A healthy self-esteem empowers you to tackle the world, face challenges and navigate daily obstacles as human being and successful leader. Healthy self-esteem helps in problem solving for yourself and will fortify you against unhealthy peer pressure. People and leaders will a healthy amount of positive self-esteem are happier and approach situations in a more positive fashion.
Self-esteem is simply how we feel about ourselves. If we are to be better leaders, we always need to be raising our self-esteem, because as leaders, we need to be healthy models for others. Low self-esteem is a false impression of yourself. It causes you to de-value your worth to yourself, those around you and the world.
The world needs leaders. Why not you? You are in this world for a unique purpose and the world needs what you have to offer. There are always times when we get down on ourselves, but low self-esteem deceives us to believe we are not worthy of leadership or success. This is never true. It is a decision you are making for yourself one way or the other.
1. Love yourself- I’m not saying be “in-love” with yourself. I am saying to love yourself and make decisions for your good. Many times, people will abuse themselves when they have low self-esteem. Don’t work out to lose weight, work out because you love yourself. Don’t go to a workshop or seminar for improvement of skill alone. Go because you love yourself. Go on vacation because you love yourself. When you love yourself, you take the attitude that you deserve it. Thinking you don’t deserve a raise, approval or a better life is a sign of low self-esteem. In private, start telling yourself that you love yourself. It will feel weird at first if you have low self-esteem, but persist, that feeling will change for the better.
2. Don’t down yourself- downing yourself means you are the first one to put you down. “I can’t do anything right” or “I’m so stupid” is an example of shooting yourself. Or you may apply it globally to others, such as “No one wants to follow my lead” or “No one wants to spend time with me”. Realizing you are doing it is the first step to changing, and understanding where it’s coming from and make the adjustment from de-valuing yourself to valuing yourself. Influence in leadership is about your leading, if you value yourself, others will as well, but if you don’t value yourself, others are likely to follow your lead.
3. Track down the history- If you don’t love yourself as much as you should or you are downing yourself, find out the origin of it. Who did you allow to condition you that way? Whose voice do you hear in your head? It may not be yours. Starting to override other people’s conditioning of us is a large step forward to better self-esteem.
4. Take on a challenge- Remember, do this because you love yourself. Set a goal for yourself that will challenge you slightly and see it through. Nothing raises self-esteem like getting a win. You need to put together a string of wins for yourself that you had to work for. Don’t do something that will stretch you out on the first run so much you never want to do it again, but get small, challenging little victories at first.
5. Make a list of your strengths- Write down 3 to 5 things you feel you do well, then go to 3 other trustworthy friends or co-workers and ask them what 3 to 5 things they see you do well. Take that list of feedback from yourself and the friends and look at it in the morning, during your lunch, at dinner and before you go to bed. Focusing on your strengths and the positives of you will raise your self-esteem.
6. Begin to sow seeds of compliments and confidence to others- What you sow, you reap. It may be hard at first, but do it. Start writing down things you see in others you would like to have in yourself. If you see or know someone with a high level of confidence, go tell them “I really admire your high level of confidence.”. Do not say “I wish I was as confident as you, I am not confident at all.” No, don’t down yourself. “I really admire how much confidence you display.” Do that 3 to 5 times this week with people you believe are sure of themselves or who have attributes you would like to have. See what happens.