Building Your Self Esteem is a Key to Success

Some of the happiest, most successful people I know also have the highest self esteem. It’s almost as if the way they feel about themselves coincides with their general outlook on life. In general, people with healthy levels of self esteem are usually able to follow through with their plans, meet their goals and face the challenges that life throws their way better than people suffering from low self esteem.

High Self Esteem can Help You Succeed

In layman’s terms, self esteem is a person’s overall opinion of their own worth. A lot of egotistical people in the world definitely have high self esteem (think of reality TV “celebrities” who think they deserve special treatment just because they’re popular at the moment) but it really is possible to have high self esteem without being arrogant.

Healthy self esteem can help you succeed in business and in life in more ways than one. If you think highly of yourself, you’ll probably be able to able to appreciate constructive criticism, learn from your own mistakes, and laugh at yourself when something goes wrong—among many other things.

Simple Strategy for Building Your Self Esteem

We’ve all experienced low levels of confidence at one point or another, whether it was after getting turned down for a date or doing something wrong at work. It happens, and I’ve found that when I’m feeling down it’s hard to do anything because it’s easier to sit around and feel sorry for myself.

If you’re interested in building your self esteem, you need to start thinking about all that’s right with you, not all that’s wrong. You’ve made mistakes before, but you’re not a walking failure.

  1. Concentrate on your strengths, not on your weaknesses. That’s an easy one.
  2. Compete to improve yourself, not to beat someone else. If you’re trying to run a marathon or gain a bigger following on your website, do it for yourself. Don’t do it because you think you can beat a friend (or an enemy.)
  3. Don’t be afraid to be assertive. There’s nothing wrong with taking a stance on your beliefs or saying “no” if you don’t want to do something. Being assertive doesn’t need to mean you’re a jerk.
  4. Face your fears. Ask yourself, “What’s the worst that could happen?” If you’re presented with a new opportunity or something that freaks you out, stop and think before you decide to skip it. Think about anything and everything that could possibly happen—even the worst possible outcome probably isn’t that bad.
  5. Try to avoid speaking badly about anything. Once you’re on a kick of talking trash about people and places and things, it’s hard to stop. Quit being so negative!
  6. Hang out with people who appreciate you for you are. Some conceited people (yep, people who do have high levels of self esteem) get off on putting other people down. They’re nit-picky and like to see “friends” fail. That’s not the type of people you want to be around, especially if you’re working on building your self esteem.

Have you tried any of these exercises in the past? How’d it work out?

Take Action. Get Results.

12 thoughts on “Building Your Self Esteem is a Key to Success”

  1. Hi Steve,

    I like your approach towards developing self-esteem.

    I had low self-esteem for much of my life. Being assertive and removing negative influences helped me to drop the tendency to feel poor about myself, to not believe in myself.

    Thanks for sharing your insight.

    Ryan Biddulph

  2. Confidence is really a great thing. I tend to think of myself as a ‘little’ shy still. I try hard not be be and to ‘act’ more confident and it gets great results and actually really improves confidence.

    Confidence breeds success. Success builds confidence. All that you need is that beginning that you had where you MAKE yourself act confidently to get it started.

  3. Very awesome strategies you got there, Steve! I try to cycle through all those every day, though I must admit that when I’m feeling down, I often break strategy #5. I need to work on that more.

    My favorite by far is #2, though. Being a sports and exercise person, I’m naturally competitive in a lot of things, so I always try to beat myself at something and improve every day!

    • Yeah I think most people fail at 5 some time or another. The important thing is to be cognizant of it and know to “knock it off”

      Yeah competition can be great even though I do not like to “compete” against friends or use that as a ‘goal’ I often will target someone in a race just because they are ahead of me and make sure I pass them. and then of course find the next guy “ahead” to pass. Just a way to impose a little competition into long runs.

  4. I think that self-esteem is very important for succeeding in life. There are few things that are more important.
    Yet the thing is that people who have a big ego don’t have a high self-esteem. As you’ve mentioned self-esteem could be defined as the overall opinion of your own worth. The thing is that people with a big ego usually don’t have a lot of self-esteem. Because if you look closely at people with a big ego you will realize that they are very insecure. Yet people with a high self-esteem aren’t.

  5. Very true. Bloated ego is usually a sign of low self-esteem, not high. It is all defense mechanism.

    I would still say that the egotistical person likely REALLY does not have a high opinion of there own self worth, they just pretend that they do to get the affirmation of others that they need to feel better about themselves.

  6. Hi Scott,
    You’re right on when you said “concentrate on strengths, not weakness” – it’s so easy to get caught up in the negativity and everything that’s wrong. But if you can just focus on the good, that’s what you’ll end up with. I’d also like to add – “avoid comparing yourself” whenever we compare, we rarely do it on equal terms, we only see the greener grass, but we overlook the fact that it’s astro-turf 🙂

    • Very good about not comparing on equal terms. It is very easy to only see the bright side of the other in that comparison and that is really not very fair. Thank you fo stopping by and leaving a wonderful comment!

  7. Great advice. Especially the first one. Because for so many, we focus on making our weaknesses stronger. Starting the beginning of last year, I’ve focused on playing my strengths. It makes the task much more enjoyable, with a bit more ease (because I enjoy it) and the successes have been far greater!

    And #4…still working on that one. Just like the ‘what’s the worst they could say? no’. ‘No’ is still such a powerful word invoking fear. And its only 2 letters long. :)~

  8. I like your suggestions in this post, Steve. My favorite one is to compete to improve yourself, not to beat someone else. When we have a more than enough outlook on life it’s east to do this and to find the strengths in ourselves and others. To have the most uptime of this outlook, your last suggestion is a great one. Surround yourself by people who share this way of thinking about life.

  9. Not believing we are enough or good enough is the major reason why so many don’t achieve what they set out to do.

    While you may have the best conscious intentions, if you have unconscious beliefs about yourself that undermine these then the best of intentions will be thwarted.

    I use all the exercises you list because self esteem is something that requires consistent ongoing attention.

    Probably one of the best lessons I learned and which helped me hugely with self esteem issues was to stop worrying about what others thought of me.


  10. I love these tips!

    It’s very easy to put yourself down and feel bad. However, as soon as you put your earlier successes into a list and take a look at it, your low self-esteem gets a boost to better.

    I was shocked (positively of course:) to have this realization last year, when I made a list of things I have achieved. It was like kissing your low self-esteem goodbye after that 🙂

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