Did you know that self-esteem is more vital to a happy and successful life than any other factor?
Brian Tracy, author of the bestselling book The Psychology of Achievement, says that self-esteem is the critical determinant of a healthy personality. One definition of self-esteem is “how much you value yourself.” Tracy explains that the more you like and respect yourself, the better you perform – in every facet of your life.
The way we value ourselves reflects the way we think, feel and act. Self-esteem can help predict outcomes including overall happiness, academic achievement, criminal behavior, and satisfaction in marriage or relationships.
Surprisingly, self-esteem has little to do with actual talent or ability. Someone who is highly skilled in a given area may have poor self-esteem, while someone who struggles daily can have high self-esteem.
Low self-esteem and your career
It has been estimated that over 85% of the world’s population suffers from low self-esteem at one time or another. And low self-esteem can cost you your happiness, your health, or your job.
Why? Because when you’re suffering from low self-esteem, you’re probably unconsciously engaging in behavior that tends to undermine your happiness or success, such as being afraid to ask for a date with a person you care for, or a promotion you know you deserve. This type of behavior is particularly common with women. According to Lois Frankel, Ph.D., author of the bestselling Nice Girls Don’t Get The Corner Office, people with low self-esteem often try to operate under the radar because they’re afraid of being noticed. Obviously, this is the opposite of what a person striving for success should do.
Low self-esteem can also turn you into a workaholic, driving you to put in longer hours in order to try to appear “worthy” even when you feel undeserving of recognition for all that extra effort.
Four tips for boosting low self-esteem
Be mindful. You can’t change something if you don’t recognize that there’s something to change. By simply becoming aware of your negative self-talk, you’ll begin to distance yourself from the feelings it brings up. This will enable you to identify with them less. As meditation teacher Allan Lokos says, “Don’t believe everything you think. Thoughts are just that – thoughts.”
Practice acceptance. Stop comparing yourself to others. Psychotherapist Kimberly Hershenson says “I emphasize that just because someone else appears happy on social media or even in person doesn’t mean they are happy. Comparisons only lead to negative self-talk, which leads to anxiety and stress.”
Take care of yourself. Listen to your body when it tells you to sleep, eat, exercise and relax. Treat your body like the temple it really is. Allow your inner voice to reflect in every action you take. You will find your cravings for unhealthy things will lessen the more connected and confident you become.
Focus on what you can change. It’s easy to get hung up on all the things that are out of your control, but it won’t achieve much. Instead, try to focus your energy on identifying the things that are within your control and seeing what you can do about them. If you find just one thing you can change, you’re likely to get a positivity boost.