Self-Esteem: we’re literally talking about the ability to give yourself a value. A positive value, if you can. The ability to estimate is to be intended as the ability to evaluate something or someone, and it is related to the ability to give a judgement. A judgement! Self-Esteem depends on the ability to give yourself a judgement.
The concept of self-esteem has various synonyms, ranging from self-trust to the ability of taking care of self, to good egoism, to the belief in one’s own opinions, resources and potentialities.
In Life Coaching, people addressing to a Coach often wish to work on their self-esteem by improving and consolidating it. This allows to prove that most people are completely unable to give themselves the right value, to spend some time to pamper themselves, to firmly and strongly express their own opinion and express their talents. Just as if they didn’t deserve it, as if there was a severe and sadistic judge inside of them who doesn’t allow a positive self-evaluation. Our self-esteem is intimately bound to the relationship we have with the inner judge. It’s called “saboteador” in Spanish, saboteur in English (sums it up quite well, doesn’t it?). We all have our saboteur (so, don’t be afraid). We could consider this saboteur as a misunderstood and deceptive set of values, cultural and religious aspects. Having high levels of self-esteem doesn’t mean being cynical, egoistical and ruling people.
So, what’s the meaning of having good levels of Self-Esteem?
A good and healthy level of self-esteem arises and grows with the ability to individuate in yourself all the resources and potentialities to achieve your dreams and your goals. From this point of view, self-esteem rhymes with self-efficacy and self-trust (accept my poetic license).
Good news: it all depends on you.
That’s right! Self-esteem isn’t something you can buy or give as a present, that you receive when you are born. Self-esteem is a state of being that only depends on ourselves. Do you know why? Because when you have a solid opinion about yourself, there’s no outer comment, life situation or condition on your job which can be that compelling! On the contrary, when your self-esteem translates into trust in yourself and in your potentialities, problems seem to dissolve, conflicts die and the world doesn’t seem that bad after all!
How to improve self-esteem? I’ve packed up 10 tips, which could be considered as 10 simple exercises. Are you ready to train? Are you? Let’s start!
Discover your potentialities! The first step to develop a good level of self-esteem is becoming aware of your own resources and strengths! Find them!
Train them! Think about what’s gratifying for you. Instead of being obsessed with aspects of life that are not rewarding (ok, some of them are actually necessary), why don’t you train your potentialities? Find some time to do what you like.
Take care of your look. There are lots of ways to do it: wellness centers usually know how to take care of you, but a hot bath, a nice perfume or a dress that fits you can also be valid alternatives. Taking care of your body means taking care of the most exposed part of yourself to the outer world, and it is known that good levels of self-esteem are helped by some compliments!
Learn to smile. Our brain reads facial expressions as a prelude of the emotions they’re related to. When we smile, our brain reads that particular movement as a condition of wellness. Feeling good is definitely a good base to start developing high levels of self-esteem.
Define achievable goals. Wether they’re challenging or not, it doesn’t matter right now. “Lay low”, instead. At the moment, every goal has the specific function to make you realize you’ve achieved it, even if it is a little one. So, give yourself goals you know you can achieve. You’ve got time for challenge! High levels of self-esteem go together with a good sense of self-efficacy, and what’s better than setting up goals and achieve them?
Face one little fear everyday. Are you scared? Isn’t that satisfying, though? Remember that if you face your fears one after another, you’ll be able to face them forever. Winston Churchill used to say “Courage is rightly esteemed the first of human qualities… because it is the quality which guarantees all others”. Experimenting your courage will empower your self-esteem.
Keep a diary of your successes. Write, write, write. Buy a cool copybook, a notebook, choose it and type down every progress. You can read them again in difficult moments. You will get a sense of evolution and movement. Low levels of self-esteem are often bound to the sensation of immobility of things.
Be gratifying and grateful. When you achieve your goals, when you face your fears, when you work on your potentialities, give yourself a reward. And be grateful. Go back to point 3 for some ideas!
Share ideas with your trusted friends. The possibility to share with those who can give you an analysis without being judgmental is an incredible chance to train your self-esteem. Surround yourself with trusted people to whom you can tell your successes! (a coach?)
Start now. No more delay. Be aware that every act of will (I’ve just given you about ten of them) depends only on you.
Having high levels of self-esteem is an act of will, after all!
CEO and founder of Prometeo Coaching Society. He is considered a veteran of Italian Coaching. He has been a teacher and a lecturer in seminars about coaching, efficient communication, motivation and leadership for over fifteen years. He is the Education Manager of the Coaching School. Author of Migliora la tua Vita! Manuale di Self Coaching (FrancoAngeli ed.). He has trained hundreds of Coaches all around the world, led by an incredible passion for the development of human potential. Among his customers, he boasts the presence of main companies, professional athletes, show business figures and… lots of common people who wish to grow and improve.