Yes, it’s not hard work, how smart you are, the amount of money, resources or ideas that you have that would determine how successful you become in life. It’s none of those things. Personally, I believe that the most important thing that would determine how far you go in this life is your sense of self.
It’s your self-worth, your self-confidence, your self-esteem and your belief in ‘the YOU’. And here is why.
Your sense of self is the way you perceive yourself. It’s the way you see and relate to yourself including your abilities, strengths, short-comings or misgivings. It is your own definition of you, and how you project that definition to the rest of the world.
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I had to work on developing a positive self-esteem because I found that I was short-changing myself due to some inherent flaws I thought that I had.
I realized that no one else could ever make me feel better than myself, so I needed to do the work for myself. I needed to look beyond my perceived inadequacies and worked on becoming the self-confident person I am today, and I know you can too.
Hard work is good; and working smarter is better, but without an inherent confidence in your abilities and self-worth, your efforts may not be sustainable enough to take you to the pinnacle of success that you truly deserve, and of which you are totally worth.
Psychologist Branden (1992) defines self-esteem as “Confidence in our ability to think and to cope with the challenges of life. Confidence in our right to be happy, the feeling of being worthy, deserving, entitled to assert our needs and wants and to enjoy the fruits of our efforts.” (p. 8).
Simply put, self-esteem is our perceived dignity, regard for self, faith, and assurance in our abilities and capabilities.
Regardless of how big or little our dreams are, if we doubt our abilities to achieve them, then we may never become successful. Developing a positive attitude of your self is one of the most important things needed to turn dreams into reality.
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Theodore Roosevelt said, “Believe you can, and you are halfway there.”
Unfortunately, however, many of us allow external circumstances, including other humans, dictate our sense of self to us. And that is why as parents, we are taught to always be mindful of the things we say to our children. Because, unknowingly to us, they become what we mold their minds into believing about themselves.
So, how can you develop a Positive Self-Esteem?
- It begins with you appreciating your personality and uniqueness. You need to appreciate the fact that no one on earth is like you, and can ever be like you. You are the only YOU, and that in itself is worth celebrating, regardless of what others think. I had to do this for myself. I had to appreciate my peculiarity and uniqueness.
- Appreciate the fact that you are gifted in your own right because no one was ever born empty. Think about something that you are very good at, and learn to celebrate your strengths. You may be a very funny person with the ability to make others laugh and help them forget their miseries. That is a unique gift that you have. Learn to celebrate it, because there are so many people out there wishing they had half of what you’ve got.
- Don’t beat yourself for things you have no come control over. Some people’s poor sense of self is as a result of inherent things or unique characteristics for which they have no control over. Learn to live above such thoughts or things. For example, I used to dread speaking in public all because I dreaded the fact that I spoke differently than others. And that thought really affected my self-confidence until I learned that I had no control over my mother tongue, as well as where I was born. Learn to let go.
- Write down your fears. Sometimes, our poor sense of self may show up as some premonition about what may happen in the future. Unknowingly to us, what is really happening is that we have allowed our fears of failure, disappointment, or poor perception of things actually get in the way of achieving success. And that is why people like me used to say things like, “I just have a feeling this is not going to work” when what was really happening was that I had allowed my fears get in the way of my mission. So, rather than hide behind some premonition, write out your fears. What are you really afraid of? Be truthful in your revelations.
- Who are your role models and the people you wish you were like/ Write down all the qualities you admire in those people, and begin to consciously let your mind dwell on those things and soon enough, you would begin to imbibe those traits. In a bid to overcome my public speaking fears, I used to admire Oprah Winfrey a lot, first because I saw myself in her and thought that I looked like her. So, what did I do? I began to watch YouTube videos of Oprah’s speeches, and with time, I developed the confidence to actually stand out and speak to people. You can do the same.
- Stay away from people who bring you down, or make you feel low. Consistently hearing negative comments or aspersions about yourself, only gives rise to a poor sense of self. If you want to change the perception of your self to something positive, learn to stay away from people who only bring you down, and deprecate your self-worth. Treat them like bad news!
In wrapping this up,
A healthy and positive sense of self is the most important thing that will determine how far you go because it is the catalyst that makes you keep doing until you get to your desired destination. Having an “I can” mentality in the face of daunting challenges, galvanizes your mind and opens you up to possibilities you may never have been aware of.
You are the best version of YOU, and you need to keep saying that to yourself if you want to grow. With the right associations, proclamations and actions, achieving success just got a little bit easier, because it has the most competent person for the job, YOU!
To your continued success. Cheers!!!