1. Self-esteem Matters!
Self –esteem is more than just self-confidence. It comes from the Latin word aestimare, “to put value on.” It shares the same root as the word ‘estimate’. It is literally the value we put on ourselves.
Self Esteem depends on how one evaluates oneself, one’s abilities and achievements rather than the quality and quantity of these.
By improving one’s self-acceptance, self-concept, and self-image, one can improve one’s self-esteem. Unless one is not able to love oneself, like oneself respect and accept oneself as one is — with all the defects one has — it is not possible to have self-esteem. People do not accept one who does not accept himself.
Keep a good self-image of yourself in your mind’s eye. Imagine yourself as a strong, confident and decisive person. Foster a positive image of yourself. Never waste your precious time, energy and effort by worrying about your weakness and deficits. Accept your deficits, defects as such understand clearly that worrying and mourning over your defects, deficits, weakness and negatives can never bring their opposites. On the other hand, it will only worsen your position further. So stop worrying over them.
2. We are as worthy of the respect we give others………..
The importance we attach to our self should be greater than what we attach to others. The manner in which we evaluate our worth should match that which we give others. Why would you value someone else more than yourself? We should speak to ourselves with the same respect we give others. Nobody is better than you at being you! Everybody has doubts, and we do not always see people’s personal struggles.
Princess Diana: Kind; caring; generous; good; helper to the poor; love for children; protective mother; charity.
Ordinary person, real person with marriage problems and battle with anorexia
3. What are the key ingredients of self-esteem?
- People with high self-esteem have a strong sense of self.
- These people like themselves.
- They recognise and manage their internal state.
- They have a clear sense of purpose.
These key ingredients are not magically present at birth. They are learned skills.
4. How to strengthen Your Sense of Self
- Self-confidence relates to actions. You have to take action in order to start the process.
- It means to trust in ourselves, therefore it is our challenge to ourselves to discover who we are.
- It usually relates to competency and our ability to do something. We need to know our abilities.
- It is difficult to have self-confidence without self-esteem. The need to develop our self-esteem comes from also developing our confidence by acknowledging our strengths.
Questions to ask yourself
Answer these questions. Your answers will tell you if you like yourself or tell you that you are not happy being who you are. Look at your answers and see if you are critical about yourself and your abilities. Keep your answers as a benchmark of your progress and changes you make.
1. Can I take a compliment straight, without verbally deflecting it and without blocking or qualifying it in my head?
a) The simplest way to take a compliment is just to say “thank you”.
b) Remember a compliment someone paid you: hear it in your head to experiment with different tones of voice, and different facial expressions, to find a way that’s comfortable for you, and that seems natural.
c) Practice in front of the mirror.
d) When someone next pays you a compliment, don’t be disheartened if your old dismissive response gets you first. Just catch yourself, smile and then add, “Thank you.”
2. Am I afraid that one day someone will find me out?
Being found out
a) What do you honestly not want others to know about you? You probably don’t want others to think badly about yourself and your capabilities, as you perhaps do.
b) This is more to do with anticipation than actual reality. Do you underestimate yourself? What is the actual reality – reality check.
c) Ask yourself what stops you from feeling good about yourself?
d) What would happen if you did feel good about yourself?
3. Can I list five things I like about myself without hesitating?
a) Start a list over a week of even the smallest things that you like about yourself, and see how the list adds up.
b) Think about your beliefs and value, your capabilities, your behaviour, your environment.
c) The manner in which we evaluate our worth – is it realistic, is this the way we evaluate others (same standards)
4. How do I react (inside and outside) when asked to try something I haven’t done before?
Trying new things
a) If you respond with anxiety and fear, spell out the worst-case scenarios you have in your mind. Sometimes this is enough to make you realise how unlikely these fears are.
b) But if worst-case could happen, imagine how somebody that could manage the situation would approach it. (As-If technique )
c) If your instinct says no, just don’t do it!
5. What am I telling myself when I’m about to do something difficult or challenging?
What you tell yourself
a) Your internal dialogue is powerful.
b) If you reinforce negative past experience and pointing out how you could look foolish, you might be contributing to your problem situation.
c) What would you say to somebody else in your situation needing encouragement? How would you help them, what would you say?
d) Write the words of encouragement down and read them out loud to yourself, convincingly.
e) Monitor how you feel about yourself when hearing your own positive voice instead.
f) Every time your internal dialogue is self-supportive you add to your self-esteem and self-confidence. Since this is an ongoing daily process, it is vital for personal growth.
g) Our affirmations through our thought processes control our outlook of a situation
h) Our goals – what are they, what motivates you?
i) Awareness management – Awareness of selective memory = self-deception
What is Self-Confidence?
Two main things contribute to self-confidence: self-efficacy and self-esteem. We gain a sense of self-efficacy when we see ourselves (and others similar to ourselves) mastering skills and achieving goals that matter in those skill areas. This is the confidence that, if we learn and work hard in a particular area, we’ll succeed; and it’s this type of confidence that leads people to accept difficult challenges, and persist in the face of setbacks. This overlaps with the idea of self-esteem, which is a more general sense that we can cope with what’s going on in our lives, and that we have a right to be happy. Partly, this comes from a feeling
that the people around us approve of us, which we may or may not be able to control. However, it also comes from the sense that we are behaving virtuously, that we’re competent at what we do, and that we can compete successfully when we put our minds to it. Self-confidence can be built with affirmations and positive thinking. It’s just as important to build self-confidence by setting and achieving goals – thereby building competence. Without this underlying competence, you don’t have self-confidence: you have shallow over-confidence, with all of the issues, upset and failure that this brings.