How to increase your self-esteem and increase success
By Anne Bachrach
The Accountability Coach
Many people suffer from low self-esteem as well as other self-limiting beliefs, which pummel them into a state of non-action.
Self-esteem is defined as a person’s overall “self-appraisal…their own level of competence, beauty and worth.” Interestingly, self-esteem can involve a person’s belief system, as well as their emotion.
Self-esteem can be tied in with a person’s desires and belief-obligations, as well as what they feel is their own level of competence. Emotionally, self-esteem can be affected by feelings of pride and shame as well as joy and despair. You can tell a lot about a person’s self-esteem in the way they carry themselves. Body language as well as tone of voice and facial expressions can reveal qualities of assertiveness, shyness, confidence or nervousness.
Many people suffer from low self-esteem as well as other self-limiting beliefs, which pummel them into a state of non-action. Self-esteem is not limited to one aspect of a person’s body or mind, nor is it all-inclusive. Some people may hate their physical appearance, but still hold their mental prowess to be average to high in ability.
Others may discount their abilities or their worth, even though they enjoy showcasing their body for attention. Some people may hate every aspect about themselves. Whatever the case, these personalities are said to have low self-esteem. Because of these limiting beliefs, people have been known to sabotage their own future by putting forth careless efforts.
High and low self-esteem
What does the opposite of low self-esteem really mean? It doesn’t imply arrogance, though the term self-confident has occasionally been used to describe vain characteristics. A high level of self-esteem essentially means respecting yourself as a person, treating yourself with the same attitude that you would give one of your own friends or peers.
This is an important step to increasing your level of self-esteem: viewing your life objectively. If you look at yourself through someone else’s eyes, you may find plenty to love and little to hate. You may also be able to better pinpoint negative behaviors that can be changed, assuming you want to change.
High self-esteem has been called the immune system of the soul, something that can help a person sidestep and cope with life’s problems. What builds self-esteem in the first place? Self-esteem is very hard to fake. People who try too hard to be self-confident usually give themselves away. Self-esteem is an internal peace that exudes to the surface of a man or woman’s skin.
Self-esteem evolves along with the human organism, starting from a child’s developmental process into adulthood. The child learns to be happy and confident with his or her abilities because of positive reinforcement learned early on. Beyond this stage, self-esteem is increased the more success an adolescent (and eventually an adult) enjoys in life.
Success naturally makes people feel good about the world and about their own capacity to contribute to it. The more challenges they overcome, the more energized they feel. You could say that success is like a healthy vitamin, as opposed to the addictive drug of failure. Your body has to cope somehow with its surroundings. Better that you nourish it with positive feelings rather than expose it to chronic misery.
How to be successful
How does one ensure success, though? Isn’t it true that it’s hard to become successful in life and that, as many inspiring success stories as there are out there, there are twice as many depressing stories that don’t amount to anything?
Yes, it is true that bad things happen and that some visions of success are unrealistic. It would not be wise to covet the riches of a movie star or the fame of a national figure. This is an unrealistic expectation for most, propagated by the media, an institution that relies on the sensational and the unbelievable in order to sell their product. Before you start to define what success really means, you have to determine your own personal definition. What do you want out of life, in the short-term and the long-term?
Setting goals is a must. I believe in setting ambitious goals that are in alignment with what you want in your life.
When you set short-term goals, you are giving your mind more consistent reinforcement. You are not focusing on one monumental feat every five years, but little goals perhaps every week or even every day. It’s about progress and achieving milestones along the way to your long-term and life-time goals.
The more goals you fulfill, even if they are relatively small, the better you will feel about yourself. Celebrate your achievements, no matter how small, and forgive yourself for your mistakes. This is what makes or breaks self-esteem. Increase your self-esteem by measuring your progress. You know if you are making progress, you are on the path toward achieving your goals.