“If you make friends with yourself you will never be alone.” ― Maxwell Maltz
Welcome to my new WordPress Blog. My last blog on Self Development Tips was from the Life Change 90 Blogsite – I have joined the WordPress Blog fraternity and it feels great! I promised to follow on with how to create great Self Esteem and here it is, the two ways to develop Self Esteem.
There are really only two ways to develop a feeling of high self esteem, unless you were born into a naturally nurturing environment, where you were brought up to feel good about yourself from early childhood. If that is you, then congratulations – spread the goodwill, if not, these are the other two ways.
The first way to build high self esteem.
As a teenage guy, I had all the insecurities that most other teenage guys had, and I had a few more that many didn’t have! I lived miles from town, had little social interaction outside of school, was taller than all my classmates and a lot bigger, although I was fit and strong without being overweight. I always came top of my class right through school and was a champion athlete; I was ridiculed heaps for these – mostly by those who envied those attributes. However, the ridicule struck, and stuck, went to the bone.
At the ripe old age of 18 years, I asked one of my mates, one of the ones who had a queue of girlfriends, why he had luck with the girls and I had none. Wasn’t I good looking enough?
His answer, coming from the heart of the true friend he was to me, stayed with me for the next 15 years. He said: “You are a ruggedly handsome looking sort of guy. Don’t worry, it will happen…..!”
In that instant, I associated ruggedly handsome with being unlucky in love, a poor communicator with women, and everything else negative that I was experiencing. I suddenly realised how much I didn’t like being ‘ruggedly handsome’…
Life went on. I left the family farm I grew up on and bought my own, married, had a son, divorced, lost a business, started another, became very successful at making people wealthy after rescuing them and their businesses from the stock market disaster in 1987. Life was great, I was powering, had money, everything, but despite all this I still didn’t like me.
In 1989, I began some self development work on me. I had to – I was a machine at work, ruthlessly despatching banks to the scrap-heap in getting better deals for my clients, hard-nosed negotiations, precision calculations, strategies, but utterly devoid of fun or interest in life and living. I was great at what I did, but at living, I sucked badly.
In this self development program, something triggered a switch in me. I took stock of what I had achieved, what I was doing and what I was capable of. I looked at the amazing people around me, people who considered us to be friends, people who respected me, and it started to do things to me, in my head, stuff I had never felt before. I was successful, I had so much credibility with the people I worked with, I mixed with globally significant figures in business and was developing a significant business profile in my own right.
I had an epiphany. I got out of bed one morning after a period of these unsettling thoughts and emotions (what were they?) and when I looked in the mirror, it was like I looked at a different person. I suddenly said “You’re OK! I’m OK!”
I suddenly realised that what my dear friend said all those years ago was absolutely wrong for me. It was just his well-meaning words at the time, trying to ease the concerns of his good mate, who wasn’t getting lucky with the girls. That wasn’t me. If it was back then, it certainly wasn’t now. In that instant, I got to like me, like what I was, what I did, what I stood for and I started to feel again, starting with feeling good about me!
The epiphany came about because I had been forced, by this self development work, to start looking at and taking stock of my life and coming to realise that I was actually an OK guy, doing some great stuff!
This was the hard way to develop self esteem. It might just as easily have gone the other way – if I didn’t like what I found in my stocktake, it might have gone very differently.
But there is an easier way.
The second way to guarantee high self esteem.
In the 1960’s, a guy called Maxwell Maltz is reported to have said at the launch of one of his books, ‘confidence and self esteem is built from repeated experiences of success’.
Therefore, if you consciously place yourself in situations where you will, or are likely to have repeated experiences of success, then your self esteem and confidence will grow. It must grow! The trick is knowing where that place is!
The reality is that it’s not hard. The concept of goal setting within a self development program is what is required. Creating an environment that nurtures and supports you, with affirmations in the environment, daily counting of successes, setting them up as little goals in the morning and checking them off each evening, checking your moods each day, learning to be aware of them and finally to anticipate and set them consciously, all of these elements build to a powerful self esteem, based on actual successes and personal growth within you.
You can build self esteem accidentally like I did, and hope that after some time (I took 15 years!) you will realise you are OK too, and you always were. Or you can step into a framework that does it all for you. It’s possible. Check out this blog on why you should systemize personal development, or even here, about why bother with personal development.
Twenty years on, much has evolved to enable you to consciously choose the outcomes that I stumbled upon, and fortunately landed in a good place. Some folks from those times didn’t make it and unfortunately ended up well away from where they wanted to be. As teens, we admired and envied some of our mates but now, I see that much of what we envied got those guys into serious trouble fitting into and creating a life of success.
If you enjoyed this blog and value the message, please share it and reblog it. Who knows what a difference it could make in someone else’s life!
Til next time, fair winds and full sails.