Confidence With Impact: Attracting Success By Increasing Your Self-Esteem
As we all live and lead different lives and lifestyles we naturally go through similar emotions and feelings. Love, happiness, joy, frustration, sadness the list can go on. Hence, it is very normal for people or even you to feel down now and again. Though when these feelings linger around, longer than usual or all the time, it is usually points to be indicative of a low self-esteem. Self-esteem is imperative if you are going to fulfill your potential, live the life you dream of, be the success you seek.
Challenge your thinking; is it based on real, actual evidence in your life? Or perhaps there are some positive things you might be ignoring ? Having very little self regard or self-esteem for yourself can lead almost anyone to become depressed. This in turn may cause you to fall short of your potential, make you more likely to tolerate abusive situations and/or relationships. Though inversely, too much self-love, can be off-putting and to an inability to learn from your mistakes.
What is self-esteem ?
“confidence in one’s own worth or abilities; self-respect.
What is self-esteem? According to Wikipedia “In sociology and psychology, self-esteem reflects a person’s overall subjective emotional evaluation of his or her own worth. It is a judgment of oneself as well as an attitude toward the self.” The Collins dictionary says its “confidence in one’s own worth or abilities; self-respect.” Whilst the Merriam Webster dictionary says “a feeling of having respect for yourself and your abilities.”
What is low self-esteem?
“…a debilitating condition that keeps individuals from realizing their full potential.”
What is low self-esteem? Low self-esteem according to UC Davis Health is a debilitating condition that keeps individuals from realizing their full potential. For example, a person with low self-esteem may emotionally feel unworthy, incapable, and or incompetent. Hence, “If you have low self-esteem it means that you have negative ideas about your worth and value as a person”
As a result of low self-esteem a person going through it may feel so poorly about herself or himself, that they may actually continually experience low self-esteem. Naturally low self-esteem would affect decision-making, demeanor and everyday-life through the following symptoms…
- Having a negative outlook on life
- Wanting everything to be perfect
- Mistrusting other people (even those who care for them and show them signs of affection)
- Blaming behavior
- Fear of taking risks
- Feeling unloved and/or unlovable
- Letting other people make decisions (Lack of Independence)
- Fear of being ridiculed
- Being really critical of yourself
- Focusing on the negatives and ignoring your accomplishments
- Comparing yourself to others
- Not accepting any compliments that you receive
- Negative self-talk
“Positive self-esteem empowers us and gives us the strength and flexibility to take charge of our lives and grow from our mistakes without the fear of rejection.”
The list above is by no means exhaustive and reflects the possibility of the several challenges someone experiencing low self-esteem may be going through. In recapping, self-esteem is how we value ourselves, the worth we place on ourselves in relation to the world around us; how valuable we think we are to others. In addition, self-esteem affects our trust in others. Our relationships, our work, almost every element of our lives. Positive self-esteem empowers us and gives us the strength and flexibility to take charge of our lives and grow from our mistakes without the fear of rejection. However before we directly address positive self-esteem, what does bring about low self-esteem ? What are its causes ?
Causes of low self-esteem
In building up self-esteem from having low self-esteem a large part is figuring out why it’s low in the first place. There are a wide variety of circumstances that could cause low self-esteem, including but not limited to:
- Poor academic performance
- Feeling like you’re the odd one out
- Being unemployed
- Something going on at a deeper level
Emotionally feeling dejected and down about yourself is one of the several characteristics of low self-esteem. Educating yourself about its causes, and engaging in practical steps to build your self-esteem, can greatly assist you to overcome your negative thoughts. Though if you feel like nothing in working, seek the help of a trained and qualified profession for support.
“…there are steps that you can take to build your confidence and bring your self-esteem up to where it belongs.”
Sometimes it can be hard to identify what the cause of your low self-esteem is. It might be something that you’ve never really thought about, or maybe it’s too difficult to determine when it first started. Whether or not you know exactly what the cause is, there are steps that you can take to build your confidence and bring your self-esteem up to where it belongs.
The following are some outward signs of positive self-esteem:
- Master of Your own destiny (Self-directed)
- Non-blaming behavior
- An awareness of personal strengths
- Ability to make mistakes and learn from them
- An ability to accept mistakes from others
- Being Optimistic
- An ability to solve problems
- Being independent and having cooperative attitude
- Feeling comfortable with a wide range of emotions
- An ability to trust others
- A good sense of personal limitations
- Good self-care
- The ability to say no
The 7 Pillars of Self-Esteem
Below are the seven pillars of Self-Esteem. There are several ways to go about improving your self-esteem. Furthermore, there may in fact be more pillars of self-esteem, though I have narrowed down the seven I deem as the top seven pillars of self-esteem. Here are the seven pillars of self-esteem in no particular order:
1. *Get Smart – Look The Part
Groom yourself amazingly well. How well do you look after your mind ? Your body ? Though in this instance we are focusing on your body and grooming. The power grooming well has is easily underestimated as it may seem obvious, though this is the very foundation of actual royalty itself. It is simply spell-binding the difference a good shower and a shave can make in your feelings.
You can literally enter the shower with the world on your shoulders.. and after a few minutes BAM ! You exit renewed, restored, rejuvenated and quite possibly reborn ! Your self-confidence and self-image both consciously and subconsciously rise and soar automatically. Heck, sometimes you even start singing without even knowing how or why, naturally you just know and feel you can do anything. Grooming greatly assists your self-esteem increase. Grooming alone can also change your mood or day when you are seemingly down or just not your true self.
In addition, Dress Smart. This enhances and complements your grooming. You’ll feel successful and presentable and ready to tackle the world. Now, as dressing nicely may mean something different to everyone, it doesn’t translate to meaning wearing a $700 dollar outfit. Though perhaps may also mean simply wearing casual clothes that fit well on you. Not only making you look distinguished and presentable but also conveying that you put a high value on you.
2. *Keep Your Head Up – Change Your Physiology (Change Your Self Talk)
Physiology and self-talk strongly tie into self-esteem. Physiology scientifically deals with the functions and essential processes of us humans. Neuro Linguistic Program (NLP) good use of the term to primarily refer to the body’s posture and movements. You can change your state of mind by changing your physiology, i.e. manipulating your body.
There are several everyday examples of this…
When some people are feeling low, they change how they feel by eating food. Particularly comfort foods like chocolate or ice-cream. Feeling stressed ? You can relax with a warm shower or a long bath. Or rather you can release tension through walking, running or hitting a punching bag. Those are just a few examples highlighting how changes in your biochemistry affect our state of mind. Furthermore, being aware that changing the way you move your body has a subtle, though important influence on how you feel about your-self. Notice, you cant feel sad as you jump up and down and wave your hands in the air. You cant feel confident as you slump your shoulders and look down.
Therefore now demonstrating (at least to some degree) that changing your physiology is quite possibly the easiest way to change your frame of mind practically in a heart beat.
Power posing is described as expansive and open. When you a power pose, you take up a lot of space and hold your arms and legs away from your body.
For example, in “The Wonder Woman” power pose, you stand with your feet apart, your hands on your hips, and your chin tilted upward.
According to Cuddy our attitudes often follow from our behaviors, as opposed to working the other way around. Simply put this means “assuming the body language of a powerful person can make you feel confident.” Alternatively, shouting, “I’m awesome!” initially requires a substantial shift in attitude, which is not known to be easy to come by.
Small tweaks in our physiology and mindset that can bring about behavioral and psychological enhancements instantly in the moment. Significant increase in self-esteem can come about by merely making small physiological changes in the right direction.
Cuddy in addition argues, that powerful physiological like the power pose allow anyone “to skip over psychological stumbling blocks like trying to believe that you’re awesome, confident, and perfect, when you clearly don’t believe that at all — at least not right now.
Positive Self-Talk Makes All The Difference…
The perception you have of yourself, the way you think about yourself has a very large influence on your self-esteem.For example , if you persistently tell yourself that you’re no good,or visualize yourself in negative situations you may unintentionally and randomly just start to believe it. Even though it’s not true. Now ,be aware and notice what is going on with you. Notice, if and when you practice negative self-talk .
Check out some constructive ways you may perhaps choose to challenge your negative thinking and build your self-esteem and confidence levels.If you are like the majority of people, you may well know your inner critic all too well. simply put, it is the voice in your thoughts or rather in your head that may judge you, doubt you, criticize you, and consistently tell you that you are not good enough. It repeats negative and hurtful things to you. Things that you would never even dream of possibly saying to anyone else.” I am so silly, Why am I such an idiot. I am a fake, a phony, a fraud; Can I never do anything right; I will never succeed, I am useless” The hurtful labels are endless. Do yourself and your self-esteem a favor and leave that type of thinking behind you.
“You are gifted, you are talented, you have purpose and worth.” Your best work is ahead of you and if there is hope and potential in the future,(which there certainly is) there is most defiantly power in the present. Remember that always.
Furthermore, don’t hang around people who bring you down. Find a group of people who make you feel good about yourself and avoid those who tend to trigger your negative thinking. Surround yourself with supportive people who build your confidence, who build your self esteem.
3. *Know Thy Self – Get To Know Yourself… and Truly Be YOU
“The day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.” – Anais Nin
These more than ever before people are living in total conflict with their core values, and still denying the reality of their situation and circumstances. People are at odds with themselves by simply denying who they are. Why are they denying who they are? Why are you denying who you are? the reasons vary though freedom and self acceptance are now closer than they were before. Simply because their are a wealth of resources, books, audio-books, courses and seminars, anyone can find and be guided or at the very least given a hint/ preview of who they truly are and how to start their personal journey of self discovery.
Don’t be someone else to impress people. It isn’t worth living a lie and being untrue to who you are. No matter how crazy you think you are, irregardless of how eccentric you think you are, no matter how uncommon other people make you seem, irregardless of how different you may be.
Be comfortable in your own skin because in that state, from that frame of mind you are at your most powerful. You are honestly and unapologetically embracing your uniqueness and any decision you make from here is more likely to grow you, to more likely to happily progress you on your journey of self discovery and spiritual, physical and mental unfolding. You are who you are. The sooner in life you accept this and progress, the easier and happier you will as you will truly experience freedom.
Embrace who you are, never be ashamed, never hide who you are. I saw this written somewhere Happiness is not about getting what you want… its about loving what you have and being grateful for it. Furthermore, a revelation I recently opened my eyes to…
“You won’t miss the lie you are living, because living true to yourself is the real paradise.” – Farnoosh
These questions are not meant to be easy or comfortable, but they are important to ask and to know. As you ask yourself questions, the process of self-inquiry begins, and at first, it is uncomfortable and unfamiliar – especially if you have never done it – yet in time, it becomes easier. Even fun. So while it’s up to you to decide if this self-discovery process is worthwhile, I would say trust me on this. Getting to know yourself is so worthwhile.
Self awareness is key. Asking yourself questions, evaluating your feelings, why you do what you do is a powerful process and is a founding trait of the successful, the happy and the advancing.
If you are wondering where to start to get to know yourself better, check out Dr Demartini’s questionnaire (Click Here). It is very insightful and is backed up by his many years of research. They are important to ask and to know. To some they could be uncomfortable and unfamiliar – especially if you have never done it – yet in time, it becomes easier. Even fun.
In closing, do things that you enjoy. If you’re doing things that you enjoy you’re more likely to be thinking positively and growing self-esteem. Schedule time for fun and relaxation into every day. Know yourself, be yourself, be comfortable in your own skin.
4. *Work it Out – Exercise
As regular exercise improves us as human beings in multiple ways, for example physical strength and endurance. A consistent exercise regimen is also critical to boosting inner strength, confidence and building self-esteem. Naturally now committing yourself to exercising regularly, prioritizing health, fitness and seeing, feeling the positive results regular exercise has on your body effortlessly increases a persons confidence. Hence increasing self-esteem. This increased level of self-esteem may easily lead to improved performance in all aspects of life, let it be excelling at school or achieving career goals.
“Self-confidence and self-esteem naturally are a product of what we believe in”
Fitness is a great energy booster and also makes us feel better. As many health coaches attest to “Exercise helps to improve your mood. End of story.” It helps us feel good as it releases chemicals into your brain which help make us feel more cheerful.
Self-confidence and self-esteem naturally are a product of what we believe in and what we actively set out to achieve. Physical exercise is indispensable tool that helps us attain, maintain and build and this physical confidence and increase our self-esteem. Below are some important benefits exercise to increasing self-esteem, confidence and how it can go a much further than instant gratification through retail therapy or bindging on videos games, TV, food or alcohol. Feeling confident or high self esteem in a rational and realistic manner is a sound safeguard against multiple physical, mental and emotional issues.
The following are researched finding as posited by Dr. Pulkit Sharma, Clinical Psychologist and Psychoanalytical Therapist at VIMHANS Hospital, Delhi. (As cited on Indiatimes.com)
The benefits exercise have on self esteem are as follows:
Sense of Achievement:
Whenever you exercise your personal worth increases because it gives you a feeling that you have done something rather than sitting passively and brooding over issues.
When you exercise, the body releases chemical substances known as endorphins which relieve stress and make you feel good psychologically. This boosts your confidence.
Regular exercise makes your immune system strong and well equipped to fight various diseases and infections. As you remain disease free, there is a sense of pride.
Exercise gives you a good appearance and your body image improves. Feeling attractive and good about the way you look pumps up your self-confidence.
Change of Mindset:
On some occasions when you are lost in anxious and negative thoughts, doing physical exercise can shake this mindset and make you feel confident and positive.
Exercise acts as a reliable anchor point in our life and makes you feel in control. Whenever we have something constant to look forward to we feel good and confident.
Whether it is joining a gym, walking in the neighborhood park, attending a yoga or dance class, exercise gives us space and opportunity to meet people and form bonds. Socialization adds to the confidence.
While exercising you may have a wish to challenge yourself or someone else. Going past your limit makes you feel on the top of the world.
Many people feel low due to a bad sex life. Physical exercise improves your sexual stamina and sexual performance and enhances self-reliance.
Attention and Concentration:
Exercise also increases your attention and concentration, which means that you can focus on your work a lot better and this becomes an important feel good factor.
5. *Say Thank You – Be Grateful, Be Flexible To Change
“To say we feel grateful is not to say that everything in our lives is necessarily great. It just means we are aware of our blessings.” – T. Gaka
Gratitude fortifies self-esteem. According to two psychologists Michael McCollough and Robert Emmons gratitude builds self-esteem as well as other self-esteem contributory benefits. As gratitude requires that you make yourself vulnerable, it opens you up to letting go of “you” and giving yourself over to the moment. Gratitude allows you to experience joy and greater confidence in the ability to let go. Naturally the higher your self-esteem, the more confident you are, the easier it becomes to open-up to vulnerability. Which ultimately leads to gratitude. Which leads to joy. It’s a powerful contributory circle which flows effortlessly.
Having healthy self-esteem is about believing in your abilities, your worth. Naturally self-esteem building energy, optimism and awareness you gain from gratitude are welcomed benefits. In addition McCollough’s research shows people who practiced gratitude were less likely to experience stress and depression, more likely to help others, exercised more regularly and made greater progress toward achieving personal goals. Furthermore, Dr. Emmons findings revealed that gratitude fosters creativity and bouncing back more quickly from set-backs.
It’s really great if you want to do things well, though always remember to be kind to yourself. Do not beat yourself up when you unfortunately make a mistake. Everybody makes mistakes it’s in our basic human nature. Why would you be any different? When you mess up, don’t stress, just learn from it, forgive yourself, move on and be grateful.
“Are the walls you’ve built preventing you from experiencing the gratitude and joy that’s here, right now?”
There’s a magical attribute about gratitude that takes you out of your head and into your heart. It repositions you from trying to plan and control everything and puts you in the moment in the now. Though that said, I wonder if it’s possible to experience gratitude if you’re surrounded by walls built to protect you from the loss of control and certainty? You may be able to intellectually appreciate that you’re grateful for what you have, though that rationalisation may very well be just another means of control.
Are the walls you’ve built preventing you from experiencing the gratitude and joy that’s here, right now?
Gratitude is the honest expression of your thanks towards something in your life, without needing it to be any particular way. Letting go of your ego, your expectations and your programmed craving for certainty. Embrace how things are right now, however they are because naturally you can handle any situation or circumstance, though only if you allow yourself to, by choosing to do so. From that position of making an independent decision, you are not only growing your self-esteem, you are utilising it. This will help you stand out to be more of who you truly are.
How To Cultivate Gratitude…
- Keep a Gratitude Journal. Remember, in the study mentioned above, the participants only kept a list of what they were grateful for every day. You can do the same by writing a list or just writing in general about what you’re thankful for. Make sure to take time out of your day, everyday, and don’t be distracted.
- Come to Your Senses. Through our senses, the ability to touch, see, smell, taste, and hear—we gain a new appreciation of what it means to be human. You’ll realize what an incredible miracle it is to be alive.
- Use Visual Reminders. Two things that are holding you back from being grateful is forgetfulness and a lack of mindful awareness. Use visual reminds that will trigger thoughts of gratitude. This can vary from a bracelet, a ring, necklace, gratitude quotes, or even another person.
- Make a Vow to Practice Gratitude. Research shows that vowing to do something normally increases the chances that you’ll do it. And if you make it publicly known, you’ll increase your chances even higher that you will start to live a life of gratitude. Your vow can be as simple as: “I vow to count my blessings each day,”. You can also post this somewhere where you will be reminded of it every day.
- Watch your Language. This does not just mean to stay away from foul language that comes with a negative connotation. Yet, also gossiping and talking negatively about other people. What you say is what’s continuously in your mind, so make it positive!
- Go Through the Motions. When you go through motions that show gratitude, you’ll trigger gratitude emotions. Grateful motions include smiling, saying thank you, and writing letters of gratitude.
- Live in the Moment. Don’t get caught being focused solely on what you have to do today or even much further into the future. Instead, enjoy where you are. Enjoy the company you’re with, enjoy the scenery, enjoy what’s around you, enjoy your work, and enjoy every moment of your life right now.
- Appreciate What You Have Right Now. If you’re always wanting something new or are living a materialistic life, then you’ll never fully appreciate what you have in your life. Be thankful for everything you have in your life. This can be your family, friends, and your possessions.
- Immerse Yourself in Gratitude Quotes. What you’re thinking in your life is largely dependent on your surroundings. So, place up inspiring gratitude quotes that will move you to remember how good you have your life.
“When you are grateful fear disappears and abundance appears” – Anthony Robbins
6. *A Beautiful Mind – Go through a visualisation
Comparing Compromises Your Self-esteem. Don’t compare yourself to others
It may be really tempting to try and estimate and measure our own worth, against other people. It really doesn’t matter if your friend is amazing at public speaking or is an “A” student ? You only need to figure out and focus on what your gifting is. Everyone is gifted at something, what is your gift?
Don’t let too much worry you, especially the things you cant change. Focus on the things you can change. There is no point in wasting all your resources , time and energy thinking about things that you can’t change. Perhaps, think about some of the things that are in your power to influence and control. Think about how you can advance yourself closer to what you want by influencing the things you can control.
Furthermore, have gratitude, be grateful. Having gratitude in your life is about being thankful for what’s in your life. Don’t desire what people have or are doing. Enjoy your life to the fullest, and instead be grateful for what you have and look within yourself for the joy, happiness and answers you seek.
Dr Rob Yeung, a psychologist and coach who assists people to make positive shifts and changes in their lives. Dr Yeung reveals tips and techniques to lift your self esteem and help you get what you want in life. One of Dr Yeung’s powerful tools… Visualisation
“Visualising Success Equals Success”
Rather than thinking about the bad things that might happen or things you can not change, why not think about the good things instead?
The transformational technique that is outlined below is simply known as positive visualisation, it’s nothing new though naturally its benefits are undeniable, especially on self-esteem. Profession athletes have used it successfully for decades to enhance their performance. Through picturing what they want to happen, be it being the first to cross the finish line, be it making the perfect golf swing or getting one past the keeper. They make it more likely to happen.
The more focus and effort you put into visualising a successful outcome, seeing what you want with crystal clarity, what you want to happen, the more your feelings of confidence and self-esteem will increase. Perhaps right now you could experiment with it?
• Imagine you have been so successful in your life that someone has written a book about you. A movie studio has also turned your book into a film – and you’re watching a segment of that film, the bit where you overcome your fears to deliver a sterling performance.
• Think about the upcoming event or situation you want to feel more confident about. Perhaps it’s making sparkling conversation at a party, giving the toast at a wedding or asking your boss for a pay rise. Imagine the scene as if you were on a movie screen.
• Begin by fleshing out how you look (calm and composed, or laughing?) and what you’re wearing (smart or sexy?).
• Run the scene as you would like it to happen. Imagine party-goers applauding your anecdote, the wedding guests enjoying your speech, or your boss nodding in agreement.
• Play the scene back and add detail to make the images as vivid as possible.
• Involve your other senses in the movie. We’re turning it into a 3D immersive experience. As you hear the congratulations of your boss or the mirth of partygoers, remember the smell of the leather furniture or the taste of the champagne.
• Finally, add your emotions. How does the scene make you feel? We’re talking about positive emotions here. Do you want to feel calm and focused or excited and animated?
Run through your mental movie a couple of times to lock it into your mind, but that’s all there is to visualisation. It’s more straightforward to see your success than you might imagine.
(Extract taken from Confidence: The Art of Getting Whatever You Want by Dr Rob Yeung)
Celebrate the small things, they make the big things. Start small and work your way up.
Tips on the kind of things you should visualise.
> In the perfect career
> With the perfect spouse/partner
> In that house of your dreams
> In that car of your dreams
> With and in the kind of body you’ve always dreamt of having
> Enjoying life
> Having a good time with your family, on holiday
> Contributing to the progress of humanity
> When you’re old and reflecting on your life and your accomplishments and you are full of life and excited because you have lived a full life
Visualise or meditate often, daily if you can. The more you visualise, the more your self confidence and self esteem will be fortified and the more you will begin to believe that a better future is within your reach.
What I learned from doing the visualisation exercises as well meditations (I’m sure you will discover this for yourselves too) is that as I continue to visualise in my mind’s eye the future I would like, then I can have a better future. As a result feel better about myself, I felt my self esteem and confidence being regenerate.
What you don’t envision, you cannot obtain and that’s because you cannot create what you haven’t seen.
Just as an artist initially visualises a painting in his/her mind and then actions it, paints it into existence. You must also visualise the future you want to bring into existence. Once you see it in your mind you can achieve it and believe you can achieve it. Even in the possible occurrence set backs and disappointments, “Never Give Up” be persistent and unwavering. Keep visualising and working towards it and you will actualise it.
7. *You are a performer – Act as if
Act ‘as if’. Some people find it helpful to act as if they had more confidence even when that’s not how they feel inside. For instance, walk straight and tall through the shopping centre, even though you feel like hiding. Wash your hair even though you feel you don’t care about how you look. Changing your behaviour can lead to your feelings also changing, as they catch up with what you do. Act as if
“…success is a state of mind, if you want success, start actually thinking and seeing yourself as a success.” – Joyce Brothers
I want to sell you on you, that you have something special in you. Something that is uniquely you. Accept it. Recognize it. Nurture it. Live a life with that you are more into, live a life you are more engaged in, live a life that sees you more fulfilled, therefore reflecting more of what you are truly capable of and living life to its fullest.
“You are not too old or too fat or too poor, you are not too slow or too boring, you are simply none of the terrible things and lies you tell yourself. Naturally, you are quite the opposite.
Because here’s what you may not know. Or be afraid to believe.
You are more than enough. A unique child of this world. Brilliant, smart and wise. You are deep and fascinating. Gifted and talented, you are beyond capable to do what you dream. You are loved, loving and lovable.”
The 7 Pillars of Self Esteem; moving you from fear and self doubt to freedom and self acceptance
- Get smart, Look the part
- Change your Physiology, Change your self-talk
- Know thyself, Get to know yourself
- Work it Out, Exercise
- Be grateful, Be flexible to change
- Visualize Positively
- Act as if
This article may assist you if you…
- Are curious about self-esteem
- Have low self-esteem
- Would like to learn how to build self-confidence and self-esteem
- Want to know the causes of low self-confidence and low self-esteem
- Would like to be believe in yourself more