Confidence and Self-Esteem – 9 Strategies to Acquire Them Today
“People often say that this or that person has not yet found himself. But the self is not something that one finds. It is something that one creates.” – Thomas Szanz
“Who am I?” “What do I want to be?” “What’s stopping me from leading the life I want?” These are common questions asked by people throughout their lives.
Many clients come to coaching saying, “I just want to be myself, but I don’t know who I am.” Others say, “I want to re-invent myself.” Some people may not state these questions so clearly. But all clients come to coaching because something in their life is not working. If it was they wouldn’t need help. Many of them complain of feeling “stuck;” of having “a dull, throbbing, ache deep inside;” or a sense of unhappiness with who they are and the results they are currently achieving in their lives.
Lack of self-awareness and low self-valuing often lie at the core of the issue. They may not know how to repackage their lives, in what direction to head, or what’s really getting in their way. They may not be aware of their own self-limiting beliefs and patterns, or the negative, confining impact of others’ ideas about what they are capable of or what’s best for them.
Even when the answers are clear many people resist the changes needed to achieve more happiness and passion in their lives. Fear and a lack of courage often lie at the heart of this reluctance or resistance. Viktor Frankl, a psychiatrist and survivor of the Nazi concentration camps, believes that the cause of a person’s fear is a basic and crippling lack of faith about themselves and their capacity to make positive and successful changes. A common word used to describe this self-faith is ‘confidence.’
But change is good, isn’t it? For some people change is like death – the death of one’s self as it stands today. It means crossing into the unknown. Some people thrive in the face of uncertainty, others wither and wilt. Being more cautious isn’t necessarily a bad thing. What matters is that you take steps to move forward courageously. If you seize up in the face of change you may just need more reassurance and support to take on new experiences.
Be Your Biggest Fan
As actress Lucille Ball once said, “Love yourself first and everything else falls into line. You really have to love yourself to get anything done in this world.”
Reclaiming Your Self-esteem If your self-esteem needs a boost the following strategies will help. Record your responses in an inspirational journal:
1. Do what you are good at. What activities and/or special talents do you have that give you the most satisfaction?
2. Write down ten things you are most proud of. Celebrate the goals you have already achieved. You are probably so busy focusing on the things you have to achieve next that you can forget to give yourself an encouraging pat on the back for the things you have already accomplished.
3. Define life success. One of the most empowering things you can do for yourself is to define your criteria for life success.
4. Choose to be happy. Happiness is a state of mind. Tibetan leader the Dalai Lama says that the very purpose of life is to seek happiness. He believes that if you train the mind to be happy, you will be. Likewise, you can train yourself for higher self-esteem. Some people affirm for what they want by writing in a journal how they want to feel for the day. Others work out the things that lead them to feel sad and find ways to remove these things – like not watching the gloomy news. Others make a conscious effort to do something every day that makes them feel happy. List at least ten things that make you feel happy. What are some steps you can help yourself to feel happier?
5. Set challenging goals. How much you like yourself is often reflected in the level of goals you will set for yourself. Generally, people who like themselves and feel valuable set higher and more challenging life goals. Aim high. What would you do if you knew you could not fail? How could you make this goal a reality?
6. Honor your core values. When you live by a clear set of values, it is easier to align your life with what is most important to you. When you honor your core values you honor your true self. What are you doing now that is not congruent with your values? What steps could you take to ‘live’ and ‘be’ your values?
7. Enhance your energy. People with high self-esteem seem to have a reservoir of energy, and seldom get sick or let life’s setbacks keep them down. Their energy and enthusiasm for life encourages them to take care of their body, mind and spirit. What five things could you do this week that would make a positive difference to your energy levels?
8. Maintain a positive attitude. Attitude determines your altitude. The more positive your thinking, the more positive your feelings, the more positive the outcome. There is nothing more powerful and creative than your thoughts, so you may as well make them positive and uplifting. How can you stay positive?
9. Be passionate. Passion takes hold of you and feels like ‘fire in the belly.’ It is a source of power that enables you to get fired up about life and make a difference. The more passion and zest you feel, the more alive and brightly lit you are. Enjoy a daily tonic and make passion a regular event. What can you do to experience more passion in your life?
Cassandra Gaisford is a change expert with a passion for helping people and organizations live with passion, confidence and zest. She uses her favourite skills and passions for communicating, marketing, change and creativity to transform lives, uplift, inspire and delight.
Boost your happiness and success
Cassandra Galsford is an expert in happiness and transformational change – both at work and in life. She is the best-selling author of Happy at Work: for mid-lifers – a practical and inspirational guide for career changers and job-hunters. Happy at Work can be previewed and purchased on her website. Cassandra has an intense passion for passion in all its guises. She believes in the power of creativity to transform people’s lives, making them feel refreshed, playful, inspired and adventurous. The significance of creativity whether it is painting, photography, writing or anything that involves taking something that doesn’t exist and making it real is about the power of transformation.
Sometimes all it takes is one sentence in a book, one evocative image or one sensual painting to evoke a radical reinvention of one’s life.