Self esteem is a measure of our self worth, self value and self identity. It can be assessed on a personal level and by others; its value is priceless. It may be developed where it does exist and its loss has huge ramifications in respect of our perception of self.
Self esteem is related to our inner being and enthuses or depletes our spirit; this impacts on the simplest of day to day activities and subconsciously influences our day to day interactions with others. It can make us feel powerful or powerless.
Self esteem is detectable to others by how we present ourselves and the value that we place on ourselves as individuals. This is in no way associated with arrogance and superiority but is based on a strong self identity and giving and expecting to receive mutual respect.
A number of factors have a positive or negative impact on our self esteem: the effectiveness of our relationships with others, our work/non work environments and our life structure. These factors influence our behaviour, our language, our actions and our results.
Levels of self esteem may vary in our work and non work environments; a person who is happy, secure and confident at work may not feel the same in their non work environment or vice versa. This means that the concept of ones self esteem is affected by how successful that we feel that we are in each sphere of our lives. Though this concept is subjective for many, success may be related to feelings of well being as a result of positive feelings of self or self esteem.
Our perception of success may also be affected by making social comparisons with others either consciously or subconsciously. This may have either a positive or negative impact on our self esteem.
Our self esteem is our source of personal power and must be constantly kept in check. It is possible for any shifts in its level to become habitual and lie undetected until a key learning event takes place. In order to prevent this, individuals need to review and reflect their actions, language and behaviour in order to identify causes of work and non work shifts in our self esteem levels. Self honesty is essential for this strategy to work effectively. It is easy to place the blame on issues of life dissatisfaction on external causes, when often internal causes such as ineffective choices, language and behaviour as a result of a lack of self esteem negatively affect our lives.
Our levels of self esteem are like the fuel tank of a car:
A full tank and you can go anywhere
Half full and you know that you still have some mileage to go
A quarter full you should really be planning to refuel before it gets too late
On the red, you’re dredging all the dirt from the engine and are risking long term damage.
If you can identify with this view read on for strategies to refuel your tank.
1. If you have lost self esteem, reflect on why, be honest with yourself. Was it as a result of a pattern of behaviour?
2. Adults learn by having an experience, if you have lost your self esteem consider what you can learn from this to take forward to the future.
3. If you feel that you have made mistakes, forgive yourself, don’t beat yourself up and put the past behind you.
4. View each day as an opportunity to be reborn and move on.
5. Make a list of the positive people in your life and aim to develop your relationship with them.
6. Make a list of the negative people in your life and aim to distance yourself from them or develop strategies to manage their negative impact.
7. Forgive those who have drained your energy, write down the name of those individuals who you need to forgive and why 10 times, read it out loud daily until you can read it and mean it.
8. Have a clear vision in respect of career, relationships and self; write down this vision as a statement.
9. Get organised, keep a task list and do at least 1 thing a day that gives you a sense of achievement, cross this off so you can mark your progress.
10. Set achievable goals on a daily, weekly and monthly basis to accompany your long term vision.
11. Draft a list of 10 things that you would do to leave your mark on the world if you had no limitations, prioritise these from 1-10.
12. Aim to make at least one of your dreams a reality, set small action steps to achieve this.
13. Draft a list of 10 mini treats to keep you sane. Prioritise these from 1-10 and give yourself at least 1 treat a week.
14. Get some exercise, a 20 minute walk; 3 times a week will do wonders.
15. Write a list of your 50 key personal achievements in both work and non work environments. ( If you are instantly querying the number what does this say about where you are on the self esteem chart)
16. Have a pleasant conversation with at least 1 person a day who you wouldn’t normally make time for.
17. Write a list of your 10 best qualities, repeat these daily 10 times whilst looking in the mirror. These are your positive mantras.
18. Retrain your thought process to think positively at all times.
19. Learn to love yourself and don’t be afraid to let others see it.
20. Let comparisons with others inspire you, not drain your confidence.
Denise McCausland is a freelance training consultant who is passionate about Developing, Motivating and Transforming individuals and organizations. Her portfolio of work includes: leadership and management development, cultural change, equalities and diversity, personal effectiveness and workforce development. All programmes designed and developed by Denise are tailor made to the needs of individuals and teams.
If you would like Denise to support you or your organization in reaching their goals, please email: denise. email@example.com
Specific development products include Talent Academy – A 3 Day Journey to Move Beyond Excellence © designed and delivered in partnership with Hyacinth Frazer of Hyacinth Frazer Associates (also featured under expert authors).