In the words of Ru Paul in his famous song “Supermodel” – “you better work” at building self-esteem. Why? Because low self-esteem can stop you from reaching your full potential. It can stop you in your tracks from applying for that new job, reaching for that promotion you are definitely qualified for, or going out on that first date with your future spouse. It can keep you in an unhealthy relationship or working at a job you hate because you think you'll never find anyone else or a better position or that you're not worthy of a better life. In short, low self-esteem can keep you from living the life you were meant to live.
All of us experience low self-esteem at various points in our lives. Life has a way of grinding us down from time to time with things like bad breakups, layoffs, job terminations, narcissistic parents, friends, or co-workers, etc. Society, the media, and peers bombard us with images and messages telling us that we can never be thin enough, pretty enough, sexy enough, smart enough, cool enough or innovative enough to attract love, money or to matter in this world. We then internalize these negative messages and go through life obsessing about losing weight and keeping up with the Jones' and thinking we're not good enough or worthy enough to stretch for the things that really matter like healthy relationships, career satisfaction, or discovering our passions or purpose in life.
Since the erosion of one's self-confidence doesn't happen overnight (it develops over years of setbacks, destructive criticism, negative self-talk, etc.), it stands to reason that building self-esteem doesn't happen overnight and that it takes work. In fact, building self-esteem takes quite a bit of work because to build a higher level of self-confidence you have to learn how the mind works. You have learn techniques and strategies to combat the negative messages and images that bombard us on a daily basis. You have to learn ways to quiet the mind and drown out the negative voice inside your head that tells you you're not worthy or asks “who are you to teach that course, lead that team, seek that promotion. write that book or start that business?”
We all suffer setbacks and crises of self-confidence. Even highly successful people in a variety of fields (business, the arts, academia, law) sometimes feel like frauds and are held back from taking the next step in their careers or business or personal lives due to bouts of low self-esteem. I was afraid to release my last novel – “The Liberian Agenda” because I worried about what critics might say. Even though I had thoroughly researched everything I could about Liberia, a niggling voice in my head asked: “Who are you to publish a book set in Liberia when you've never been there?” I imagined being called out publicly by droves of angry Liberian natives. I'm so glad I pushed through that fear and published the book anyway. I did that with the help of a coach. The “Liberian Agenda” is getting great reviews on Amazon.com, people all over the world are enjoying the story, and, to date, no-one has called me out. Even if someone does call me out for not portraying an accurate picture of Liberia, I'll live.
You too may need help to learn strategies and techniques for building self-esteem and how to use them effectively. You may need help with learning how to assert yourself, how to effectively communicate your wants, needs and desires, and how to push yourself out of your comfort zone to achieve the results you want. You don't have to do it alone. When you're ready to work on building your self-esteem and changing your life, click here to sign up for a 30 minute clarity consultation and let's get started.
Until next time.