Self-Esteem: How to feel good about yourself?

Today, I was meeting with one of my friends. He's good. He's even very good at what he does. He should be self confident and proud of what he delivers. Point is that he isn't. He feels like a low life. He feels like crap. In fact he came to me for advice and help. A typical case of low self esteem. Luckily, curable.

Focus on your strengths

One key to enhanced self-esteem is to focus on your strenghts. Those strenghts that make you achieve results. You see, we discussed his successes and he felt alive again. If you focus on your limitations, what do you think will happen? It will depress you: guaranteed!
Know your weaknesses and limitations. Cherish them. They help you avoiding going the wrong way. And get help to deal with them. I hate accounting, so I hire a good accountant. I hate configuring servers, so I use a great hosting company. Outsource most of what is related to your limitations. Cleaning, ironing, drinks, accounting, graphical design, you name it. I still need to outsource all of th eprogramming tasks I still do because, ableit interesting, they do not pay well compared to applying some other skills I do have. I am a darn good coder but not a stellar one. I have no interest in becoming a stellar coder. I can recognize and hire one who will be happy to work for me (since I'll at least be able to understand and appreciate what he does). So I have still to learn to let go of that to make room for my core strenghts even more than I do today. I should move coding to my hobby time. I'd better be mentoring teams on how to work well together, helping formulate and implement working strategies, or helping people craft great systems. And the net result will be a known one: a breath of fresh air, a boost to my self esteem, new interesting challenges, and better compensation for making my customers utterly better off.

Get help when you need it

If you suffer from low self esteem, you may not seek help as often as you should. Someone with good self-esteem is not afraid to call for help. Calling for help is a sign that you can deal with your shortcomings and are not afraid of what people may think.
I called upon Alan Weiss for mentoring me some years ago and it transformed my life. As I write this article, I am looking at those boarding passes and reservations for next week. I am attending Alan's workshops in Berlin: Change Management and Thrive! It all happens at the Ritz Carlton. Not a low end place for sure. People who will be there are mostly over achievers. Why do they go to such events then if they are so good already? Mmmh, it's because they aren't afraid to ask for help when reaching for the next level! As you can see, walking the talk is also a good thing. And I'll never be afraid to ask for help anymore.

Act instead of brewing in your own juices

Anxiety is a sign of self-esteem problems. Take notice that you can't be involved in the action and anxious at the same time. Taking action is a good remedy against anxiety. And it will contribute to produce results while applying your skills. So, stop those dark toughts and act upon something. Anything. Even sorting out that drawer of yours, getting the trash out, writing a paper, talking to your significant other.

Stop listening to confidence vampires

You may know them. They are the ones who push your red buttons and move you into that state where you feel bad, guilty, worthless. Get them out of your lives, confront them on their bad manners. Ignore them. Do what it takes to keep them at bay: you deserve better than that. They do provide feedback for their own benefit, clearly not for yours. Stop listening to them. Just stop it!

Let's summarize

  1. Focus on your strengths and outsource the limitations related duties
  2. Get help when you need it
  3. Stop listening to confidence vampires
  4. Act instead of brewing in your own juices
This will go a long way in enhancing your life. I have walked that path and am much better now. My self-esteem is rooted in my true skills and strenghts. I take action to make things happen. I wish that you make the same come true.