As we look at having a powerful and positive self-esteem we have seen:
1> Guard your self-talk
2> Stop comparing yourself to others
3> Move beyond your limiting beliefs
Often when it comes to believing and having faith in ourselves, we are agnostics. We simply don’t believe in me. People, in general, don’t believe that they can accomplish great things. But the greatest limitations people experience on their lives are usually the ones they impose upon themselves. As industrialist Charles Schwab said, “When a man has put a limit on what he will do, he has put a limit on what he can do.” In other words, as soon as you change your self-limiting thinking, you will be able to change your life.
Author Jack Canfield offers a solution to self-limiting thinking. In his book The Success Principles, he recommends the following four steps to transform limiting beliefs into empowering beliefs.
- Identify a limiting belief that you want to change
- Determine how the belief limits you
- Decide how you want to be, act, or feel
- Create a turnaround statement that affirms or gives you permission to be, act, or feel this new way
That’s really good advice. Once you do it, repeat that turnaround statement to yourself every day for as long as you must in order to change your self-limiting thinking.
For example, let’s say you would like to learn a foreign language to improve your career or better enjoy a vacation, but you don’t think you can do it. Once you’ve identified that belief, define how not learning that language is limiting you. Then describe what it will be like when you learn that language. How will it make you feel? What will it enable you to do? What might it do for your career? Then write an empowering statement that affirms your ability to learn the language, outlines the realistic process you will use to learn it, and describes how you will be impacted by this growth. Remember, in the end, it isn’t what you are that holds you back; it’s what you think you’re not.
4> Add value to others
Because people with low self-esteem often see themselves as inadequate or feel like victims (which often starts because they actually have been victimized in their past), they focus inordinately on themselves. They can become self-protective and selfish because they feel that they have to be to survive.
If that is true of you, then you can combat those feelings by serving others and working to add value to them. Making a difference — even a small one — in the lives of other people lifts one’s self-esteem. It’s hard to feel bad about yourself when you’re doing something good for someone else. In addition to that, adding value to others makes them value you more. It creates a cycle of positive feeling from one person to another.
5> Do the right thing, even if it’s the hard thing
One of the best ways to build self-esteem is to do what’s right. It gives a strong sense of satisfaction. And what happens whenever you don’t do the right thing? Either you feel guilty, which makes you feel bad about yourself, or you lie to yourself to try o convince yourself that your actions were not wrong or weren’t that important. That does harm to you as a person and to your self-esteem.
Being true to yourself and your values is a tremendous self-esteem builder. Every time you take action that builds your character, you become stronger as a person — the harder the task, the greater the character builder. You can actually “act yourself” into feeling good about yourself, because positive character expands into every area of your life, giving you confidence and positive feelings about everything you do.