I am not sure if it is a woman thing or an immigrant thing or just me. Even though I considered myself fairly successful, I have often found myself having self-doubts or self-deprecating thoughts. Thoughts like ‘I don’t deserve it’, ‘I can’t do this’, ‘I’m not good enough’, ‘There is no way I can do this!’ or ‘This is for rich people and not for me’. These thoughts are like the thorns on the stem of a rose. Yes, the rose is nice and beautiful, but these thoughts hold you back, if you touch them they hurt you.
These thoughts are like a mugger coming out of the dark when you walk down an alley at night. They pop up out of nowhere. You don’t like them, but you can sense their existence. You know very well the alley will get you to the destination faster, but these dis-empowering thoughts act like a gate keeper. They often scare you away from the alley. But, I often wonder is the alley really that dark? Or is it just an illusion that the gate keeper wants me to believe? There are so many times I just plainly decided to take a longer, less efficient and stupid route because that is the route that everybody else was “safely” taking.
I recently went to a training class, where there was a very kind woman whom sat next to me. During the break, she turned to me and said, “You are beautiful.” I looked at her sincere eyes. I knew she meant it. Part of me wanted to say ‘Thank you’, but the creeping thought once again crawled up and said ‘I don’t deserve this’. Instead of responding to the woman, my mind and mouth decided to respond to my thought and said: “You are beautiful too!” I could see the look on her face. She was disappointed. She responded with “Oh…” She caught me reflecting her praise. She knew my reciprocation was not real. I did not really receive the praise. We were like the tennis players on the court. All she wanted was to give me the tennis ball, but instead I hit the ball and bounced it right back to her. The praise immediately lost its meaning and I completely missed the purpose of the game.
I am excited about writing this particular blog because this is not only for you, but also for me. Here are the “Top 7 Ways to Boost Your Self Esteem”:
Number One – Write Down your Obstacles
You can’t possibly throw the dart well if you don’t know where the center is. If you want to build up your self esteem, you’ve got to know where your obstacles are. Write them down. Confront them. One of my biggest obstacles is that I know my mother doesn’t really believe in my ability to succeed. I have to constantly tell myself this is just her thoughts. I value her, but this is just her own opinion of me that doesn’t serve me well. I have to believe in myself. I know I can do this. I will do whatever it takes to succeed. I hope all of you would do the same thing. Write down your self esteem obstacles. You need to reflect upon yourself and to know your own symptoms if you want to be cured.
Number Two - Self Talk
Tell yourself you are great! You are important. You are very likable. You are capable. You deserve what you have now and you deserve more. You are decisive. You are positive. You are fun to be with. After all, who cares what other people think about you? What do they know? Only you know who you really are.
Number Three – Act Confident
William James once said, “To feel brave, act as if we were brave, use all of your will to that end, and a courage fit will very likely replace the fit of fear.” One of my old professors often said, “Fake it till you make it.” Even if you are not sure how things should be done, act brave and act like you already have it.
Number Four – Do it for the Team
You are not the center of the universe. I know it is hard to believe. Can you imagine if Christopher Columbus said to himself: “The Sea is too rough. My ship is too crappy. I’ve got to turn around or I will die.”? He did it not only for himself. He did it for his country and for his men on the ship. It was not only for him.
- Instead of saying ‘I don’t deserve this’, say ‘but they deserve it’.
- Instead of saying ‘I can’t do this’, say ‘they need to me to do this’.
- Instead of saying ‘I am not good enough’, say ‘it is not about me’.
- Instead of saying ‘this is not for me’, say ‘it is for me and they want me to have it’. Change your phrases for the team!
Number Five – Visualize the New You
2 weeks ago I started a new 30 Days visualization routine. I would practice this routine every morning before I get out of bed and at night before I fall asleep. I would imagine speaking in front of thousands of people. I wear a red jacket, red skirt and black high heels. I speak in confidence and with humor. I make some people cry. The audience and I are all connected. They all stand up and give me a standing ovation. How will you be when you have full self esteem? How will you be when you simply are confident? Can you imagine the new you?
Number Six – Speak in Public
Create opportunities for youself to speak in public. One of the best things I have ever done was join a local Toastmasters club. Toastmasters is a great friendly environment for any of us to practice public speaking in front of a nice, receptive group of people. Public speaking is the number one fear for most people; it’s feared even more than death! After three years of attending Toastmaster weekly meetings, I still go at least two or three a month just to keep my skills sharp. I promise you will feel like a million dollars after your first speech. If a person like me who can barely speak English without correct grammar can do this, you can do this.
Number Seven – Hang Out With the Positive People
Pay attention to the people around you. What kind of conversations do your friends like to have? Are they whiners or go-getters? Are they drainers or dreamers? Do they suck up your energy or pump you up? If you are serious about improving your self esteem, stop hanging around people who also have low self esteem. You can’t be the only fire in the North Pole and wanting to heat everyone up. You would be better off going to Hawaii. I am not saying you need to move immediately, but at least start hanging out with people who are from Hawaii. Pamper yourself and soak up the positive energy and great attitudes of people who are excited and grateful to be alive. You will notice the difference in yourself before you know it.
- Write Down your Obstacles
- Self Talk
- Act Confident
- Do it for the Team
- Visualize the New You
- Speak in Public
- Hang Out With Positive People
Good luck in your journey in boosting up your self esteem. Please share this blog with anyone who can relate to this. I would love to hear your story.
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