If the source of all your problems is “low self-esteem” (see Monday’s blog article here), then the solution to all your problems is…
But, the million-dollar question is “that’s great, but how do I get it?”
In my own journey to higher levels of self-esteem I’ve found some things that have worked that I’ll share in this space.
First let me give you some insights into my issues with low self-esteem…
As with most of us it started at a young age for me.
- I rarely risked raising my hand to answer a question in school
- I always waited ‘til last before sharing in a group setting where everyone was expected to participate
- I rarely defended myself in a discussion when someone questioned my opinion, I would always cower and defer
- I rarely confronted issues directly when managing employees until it was absolutely necessary
- My default reaction when criticized about anything would be defensiveness
- I had anger management problems well into adulthood and would yell and raise my voice at people I could bully
Writing that list I’m amazed that I did well in spite of it, proving that even with low levels of self-esteem people can achieve high levels of success.
Here are some ways I started to turn things around at the age of 38:
- Began journaling my successes (this reinforced the fact I was smart and had been successful in the past).
- I stopped accepting procrastination as a behavior and began doing things I knew needed to be done (procrastination is particularly insidious as procrastinators know it’s a bad habit and reinforce their low self-esteem with negative self-talk about it).
- Change negative self-talk to positive, especially after making mistakes.
- Practice self-forgiveness
- Practice forgiveness and offer others the benefit of the doubt (people with low self-esteem can’t do this because they see life as a zero-sum game and if others are successful that somehow negatively impacts their own)
- Root for others to be successful and offer genuine congratulations and support.
- Accept compliments from others by simply saying “thank you” (see my article here on how by not accepting compliments you are killing the self-esteem of two people at once)
Turning around self-esteem won’t happen overnight.
It takes constant vigilance.
Begin applying the seven strategies above every day and you will begin to raise your level of self-esteem to a point where you will begin taking action and doing things you’ve never thought you were capable of.
Let me know how it goes.