I’ve been called on to do more work in coaching and mentoring with clients who experience low self-esteem than any other single issue. This pervasive obstacle can afflict even the most accomplished and successful: entrepreneurs and executives. For those whose circumstances or situations have caused their self-esteem to drop, I have seen behaviors such as these:
- Lose edge. Following one setback or failure too many, entrepreneurs and executives who are experiencing low self-esteem may begin to avoid constructive conflict during negotiations. As a result, they leave money on the table.
- Lose steam. Building personal and organizational wealth and success eventually may result in too many options to choose from, leaving a number of entrepreneurs and executives unclear about whether to take the business to its next level of growth or to set it on cruise control to enjoy the fruits of their labor. Their vision for the business becomes vague. Lack of clarity and inspiration affects their self-esteem such that they lose steam.
- Lose hope. In the pursuit of building wealth, some entrepreneurs and executives eventually wake up to the reality that they left behind significant areas of their personal life, and wonder what their chances are of making up for lost time. They realize that finding a partner with whom to cultivate a lifetime commitment is an endeavor that is neither achieved in one night nor depends on them alone. The notion that the best of best are already taken or that the primary attraction in the relationship may be their money causes the hope of finding a lifetime partner to decline.
Do any of these scenarios resonate with you? If so, here are three secrets for boosting your self-esteem:
1. Acknowledge your own accomplishments.
Recurrently, I’ve observed smart accomplished people be the first to ignore their own achievements, not realizing that these accomplishments often are the drivers of greater enterprises.
Review past accomplishments: What obstacles as great as the Wall of China have you overcome? What victories are you most proud of? Honestly, have you ever truly set your mind on something you did not achieve? The answers to these questions will reinforce a positive mindset and boost your self-esteem for further achievements and
For instance, when one of my clients realized it was time for her to start a family, she thought she’d run out of time before she could achieve this personal goal. I challenged her to acknowledge her own accomplishments by naming the times she had failed in
achieving great endeavors compared to the number of times that she had been successful. Impressed with her own results, my client decided she was up for the challenge. She dramatically increased the number of men she dated and went through them like shirts. In less than twelve months, she found the man she wanted to father
her children. After six months of dating, she asked him when they would get married.
Ninety days later they walked down the aisle and said, “I do.”
2. Discover purpose.
Not just any purpose, your purpose. Purpose helps you discover definite direction by defining you so you have certainty about who you are, what you are here to accomplish, and where your place is in the world.
From a business perspective, understanding why you do what you do opens a
floodgate of opportunities. For example, my clients have transformed existing advantages that were merely competitive or distinctive to relationships, products and services that truly can be described as breakthrough. When that happens, you effectively eliminate the competition because there is only one You.
Besides, clarity with regard to your living legacy provides maximum contentment
as you optimize your potential and leave a mark by living a life that matters.
Nothing increases your self-esteem more than being on a mission and living your purpose!
3. Honor your shortcomings and don’t let them stop you.
All of us have shortcomings and areas in which we believe we fall short of our or others expectations. Flaws and limitations are what make us human. The idea is to not allow your limitations to become obstacles.
When you are infatuated with the accomplished side of you and resent the flawed side, you limit your ability to grow and exercise your true leadership. It is only when you know and honor your shortcomings that you can release the enormous amounts of energy that have been holding you back, and use it instead to expand your sphere of influence. You have the masterful ability to show up as your authentic self and transform every fight into a dance, inspiring others with your example.
Neil deGrasse Tyson, Director of the Hayden Planetarium at the Rose Center for Earth and Space, is often introduced on radio, television, and the Internet as America’s sexiest astrophysicist. He downplays the hype using self-effacing humor by making remarks such as “Yeah right, 50 pounds ago” honoring his few extra pounds. Not only does he not let this or other shortcomings stop him; his total ease about them further amplifies his popularity.
In short, levels of self-esteem fluctuate. When yours takes a drop, try the three secrets I’ve just revealed to regain your edge, steam, and hope or contact me for a consultation.