Optimize Your LifeEpisode #43: Self-Esteem
Hello and welcome back to another exciting episode of Optimize Your Life. This week, we’re going to dive into a topic that affects every single one of us, self-esteem.
When we talk about self-esteem, what are we referring to? We want to get a good understanding of the definition of this term. This will help us get a sense of where to look for the answers to all those questions you have in your mind…questions like:
- How does self-esteem affect your life?
- How can self-esteem be developed?
- What influences self-esteem?
- Is self-esteem related to success?
- Why self-esteem is important?
We’ll let these questions lead our quest.
To start us off, let me define how you can think about self-esteem. In a sense, it’s how you perceive yourself. Do you value yourself? Surely, you have certain beliefs that lead you to either having high self-esteem whereby you feel confident and secure or you have beliefs that lead you to doubt yourself and feel inferior to others.
Before we dive into this further, I want to highlight the importance of this definition. You see, if it’s your beliefs that either lead to high or low self-esteem, and beliefs are something you can change, you can, by definition, change your self-esteem. So if you’ve struggled with low self-esteem your whole life, I want you to know that it is possible to reverse this.
We’re going to uncover what it takes to live your life in a brighter and fuller way by changing your relationship with yourself.
There’s a reason I talk about your relationship with yourself. You see, self-esteem doesn’t have to be stagnant. If your self-esteem is currently low, think of it as a sign that you need to work on the way you relate to yourself.
Because here’s what happens when you don’t. You aren’t as able to make decisions, to recognize your strengths, to accept compliments, to try new things, to move past mistakes, and you are more likely to sabotage yourself.
Now if you’re listening to this, it’s because this speaks to you and you want to find a way to do it differently.
Some people say that it’s nearly impossible to change your self-esteem because of how difficult it is to change the way you think. Maybe you have a history of being bullied at school or criticized by your parents. You’ve internalized the negative voice and now it’s become your own. This negativity seeps into every aspect of your life creating more stress, anxiety, and overwhelm at work, leading to mental health problems, relationship problems, and even money problems.
If you lack self-esteem you might shy away from others, keeping yourself isolated for fear of being rejected. The thought might be something like, “I’m not that interesting. People won’t like me,” so when Saturday night comes around, you stay home. This, as you can see, is a self-fulfilling prophecy because if you’re not putting yourself out there, no one can find you interesting and when you don’t have friends, you attribute it to the idea that you’re not interesting.
I say this not to blame you for this issue, but to point out the power of your beliefs and the importance of dominating your mind.
If you have low self-esteem you might feel worthless. In fact, there are two main ways I think of self-esteem. I think it relates to self-worth or how valuable you consider yourself and to self-efficacy which is about your belief in your ability to achieve a goal. One is more global and another is more action-oriented. They are both important but your self-efficacy can affect your global sense of worth and vice versa.
You see, if you believe you can achieve something, you’re going to pour yourself into your work and make it happen. When you do so, you might walk away with the thought, “I’m capable” which gives you more of a sense of worth. But when you don’t believe in your worth, you might also have some limiting thoughts like, “I don’t deserve success” which leads to self-sabotage.
Either way, the key is this: If your self-esteem isn’t where you want it to be, you need to work on your mind. You need to change your limiting beliefs and clear the path toward those feel-good feeling that you’re not allowing yourself to experience.
At the end of the day, you may not believe you deserve better but as long as you want more, you can take the next step to get you there. And with practice, eventually things will shift and you’ll start to believe that you do deserve your success and happiness.
When I coach people, I always start by finding out where they are and where they want to be instead. So if you’re currently critical of yourself and you want to be in a place where you trust yourself, believe in your abilities and your worth, and feel good about yourself, you have your goal clearly defined. Now we just have to fill in the gap.
Here’s the truth: You can make yourself believe what you want to believe. You just have to be consistent. Can you commit to doing this for yourself for the next couple of months?
I like to measure things to see progress along the way. So if you’re on board with this idea of shifting your self-esteem, I invite you to measure your current level with one of the world’s most famous assessments, the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale. I’ll put the link in the show notes.
Once you have your baseline score, do the work to shift your self-esteem and come back to reassess your score in 30, 60 and 90 days.
The most effective way I know of shifting your beliefs once and for all is through brain priming. It’s where you practice telling yourself the things you want to believe about yourself until they become solidified in your mind.
I recently worked with a group to reshape their self-talk. I created an audio file which they were able to download to their phone and listen to daily for 15 minutes. And over the course of just a few weeks, they reported a sharp increase in their self-talk and consequently in their self-esteem.
Of course, you can do this yourself. Come up with enough statements to create a recording and listen to them every day until you feel a shift.
Or, if you don’t want to do it yourself, join The Priming Lab where you’ll have access not only to the recording I personally made, but also to a whole slew of other resources including an entire video training on the subject, a workbook, and live weekly group coaching calls with me.
To find out more, go to www.thepriminglab.com
I’d love to have you join my community of amazing men and women who are taking control of their lives and sharing their journey with each other.
I’ll look for you on the inside.