Last week’s blog focused upon Bullying in the Workplace and I mentioned that this week we’d take a look at ways in which you can improve your self esteem and start building your confidence, so here we go …
Self esteem is crucial as it underpins a positive attitude towards life and impacts upon the results that you achieve. It affects how you think, act and even how you relate to other people. It allows you to live life to your full potential. Low self esteem equates to poor confidence which can cause negative thoughts and it has a direct bearing on your happiness and wellbeing and most importantly, your self worth.
Here’s Wiki’s definition:
“Self esteem is a term in psychology to reflect a person’s overall evaluation or appraisal of his or her own worth. Self esteem encompasses beliefs (for example, “I am competent”, “I am worthy”) and emotions such as triumph, despair, pride and shame. The self-concept is what we think about the self; self esteem, the positive or negative evaluation of the self, is how we feel about it. A person’s self concept consists of the beliefs one has about oneself, one’s self perception or “the picture of oneself”.
Take a few moments out and consider:
How do you see yourself?
How do you think that others see you?
Do you compare yourself to others?
Do you believe you are successful? What does success mean to you?
How do you feel about your social status?
Do you think your job is worthwhile and do you do it well?
Do others respect what you do?
How do you feel about your strengths and weaknesses?
Do you feel worthy of positive and strong personal relationships?
Do you deserve to be happy? What does happy mean to you?
You may surprise yourself with your answers.
And now remember a quote from Eleanor Roosevelt:
“No one can make you feel inferior without your permission”
In fact, remember that no-one can make you feel anything; how you respond to others around you and allow yourself to feel is your responsibility – and yours alone.
So with that little thought in mind, here are a few tips for you to start putting into practise:
- Make a list of your positive qualities; start by just letting your thoughts flow and watch your list grow. Then shift your perspective to that of someone close to you; what qualities does that person see which you perhaps don’t?
- Make a list of what you currently perceive as your less than positive qualities. Then think – what are the positive strengths of each of these? For instance, you may perceive yourself as impatient, however could you also see this as positive in that it means you like to be focused and get things done? You may perceive yourself as lazy; however could this mean that you just understand the need to take time out for yourself recharging or to achieve a good life-work balance? I bet for the majority of less than positives, you can find hidden positives to flip them with!
- Think about your breakthrough or “light bulb” moments; the times when in the face of adversity you’ve beaten the odds or even times when you’ve set out to learn something new or do something different. Remember the real sensation of satisfaction and strength that you felt during these times? Hold onto that feeling and remember that you can re-create it anytime you choose by using the NLP Anchoring technique I mentioned in a previous blog post!
- Be aware of the monkey that sits on your shoulder disguising itself as your inner critic, always ready to berate yourself – and take control of it! Whenever you hear that negative inner voice, recognise it and shoot it down! For every negative self thought that enters your awareness, think of something positive to counteract it and focus upon.
- Use affirmations and remember that what the mind can conceive, it can achieve! Between waking up and getting out of bed, get into the habit of repeating a positive phrase that works for you over and over and really focus on the words. Affirmations can contain anything you want to be or achieve, however phrase them in the now rather than the future – for example “I am positive, confident, motivated and powerful” rather than “I will be …” You’d be surprised at the huge effects of this very simple yet overlooked exercise as the thoughts become embedded within your unconscious mind.
- Compare yourself to the “you” that you aspire to be – not others. It’s human nature to compare ourselves to others, however remember that the only person who can ever experience the world through their own eyes is themselves! You’re the only person to have lived your life in your shoes, the same as the next man; we’re all products of our life experience to a nano-second ago. There will always be someone out there better looking, better at this, better at that – than someone else. Nurture your own skills, abilities, qualities and traits. Decide what the “you” to whom you aspire looks like, feels like, sounds like, thinks like and behaves like. And then consider the steps you need to take to become that person – and take action!
- Remember the past is for reference, not residence. Many people live in the past, nursing the negative experiences and fretting about the curve balls that they perceive life to have thrown them. The past is set in stone now and cannot be changed unless you know something that I don’t! You can choose to live in “Victim” or “Martyr” mode, feeling sorry for yourself and licking the wounds that others actions – or even your own – have inflicted. How about instead considering the learnings from the past and bringing those forward to day and carrying them forward to the future? How about letting go of the negative emotions and experiences that you hold onto and feeling that inner peace and freedom emerging as you realise that you’re in control and you can use the wisdom that you’ve gained to create a really positive future?
- “If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got” – I’m sure you’ll be familiar with the old saying. What patterns can you recognise within your life which get you the same results, create the same feelings and behaviour and experiences? In a similar situation, what one thing could you do differently to create a positive change and outcome?
- Write a to-do list. Include the daily monotonous things that you usually do and include a few things that you don’t. Keep it simple and achievable and as you tick things you’ve accomplished off, notice the sense of satisfaction that you’ll experience. You could include things that you’ve been procrastinating about; even things that have up until now seemed a little out of reach however with your new found inner positivity, things that your inner knowing tells you that you really can do! How great will that feel, huh?
- Re-evaluate the people you surround yourself with. Are they people who like to make you feel good about yourself, or are they people who readily put you down and reinforce your negative feelings about yourself? Are they people who suck out your energy and leave you feeling exhausted, or are they people who give you energy and invigoration? Are they real friends, or of the fair weather variety?
So, there you go; just a few starters for ten. Think about your world as a carte blanche and know that you can create anything that you believe you can achieve. And remember that belief comes from inside; from deep within you. Wherever you are in life, that self-belief can take you anywhere – the hardest part, perhaps, is deciding where you want to go – the rest is a cinch, if you choose it to be. In next week’s blog post, we’ll look at the keys to successfully setting yourself achievable outcomes.
If you feel that you need some help over and above these things that you can start to do for yourself, then NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming) and Hypnosis are a great place to start. Why not give me a call to chat through how I can help you? You can reach me on +44 (0)7932 060360 or you can email me if you prefer.
Be outstanding …