“I need to increase my self-esteem” is a
statement I hear often from my students. Their belief is that once their
self-esteem is higher, they’ll be able to achieve more and become
While it’s true that a high self-esteem can
assist you in creating the life you dream of, the mistake most people
make is how they think about self-esteem. It’s not a thing to be
increased or decreased, although that is the common terminology.
Instead, self-esteem is a verb; it’s the process of esteeming yourself.
to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, esteem means “to set a high value
on: regard highly and prize accordingly.” In other words, the process of
boosting your self-esteem starts with deciding that you are valuable and treating yourself as such.
5 Good Habits to Build
• Believe in yourself.
The first step in creating greater self-esteem is to believe in
yourself. It’s your responsibility to take charge of your own
self-concept and your beliefs – including belief in your worth, your
talent, your abilities, and your potential.
• Identify 9 major successes.
Research has repeatedly shown that the more you acknowledge your past
success, the more confident you become in taking on and successfully
accomplishing new ones. A simple way to start this process is to take an
inventory of your major success. Divide your life into three time
periods – from birth to 15, 16 to 30, and 31 to 45. The list three major
successes from each time period.
To really convince yourself
that you’re a successful person who can continue to achieve great
things, keep going with your list. See if you can identify 100 or more
of your life successes.
• Keep a victory log.
Recall and write down your successes each day. This will log them into
your long-term memory, enhancing your self-esteem and self-confidence.
Whenever you need a boost of self-confidence, reread what you have
written. Keeping and referring to your victory log keeps you focused on
your successes instead. • Display success symbols.
What you see in your environment has a psychological impact on your
moods, attitudes and behavior. Surround yourself with awards, pictures
and other objects that remind you of your successes. Create a special
place in your home – such as a hallway, shelf or even the top of your
refrigerator – to display your symbols. This will subtly program you to
see yourself as someone who has consistent successes in life.
• Keep your agreements.
One of the most commonly overlooked ways to boost self-esteem is to
keep your word. Every agreement you make is ultimately to yourself, even
those that involve other people. Your brain registers agreements as
commitments. If you don’t follow through, you learn to not trust
yourself. You lose integrity and faith in your ability to produce a
result. Don’t undermine your sense of personal power – keep your
Increase Your Capacity to Take a Risk
understand the importance of esteeming yourself, imagine you were
playing poker. If you have 10 chips and I have 200 chips, who do you
think will play more conservatively? You will, of course, because the
stakes are higher for you. Two losing bets of five chips each would put
you out of the game. I, on the other hand, could lose five chips 40
times before I was out.
Your self-esteem is like a stack of poker
chips. The higher it is, the more willing and able you are to take the
risks that will lead you to greater success. Use the ideas shared in
this article to create and maintain the high levels of self-esteem you
need to get where you want to be.