“Whether you think you can or whether you think you can’t, you’re right.” – Henry Ford
How many times have you thought something like:
- “I could never do something like that.”
- “I could never get a girl/guy like him/her.”
- “There’s no way I would ever be able to achieve something like that.”
- “I’m just a nobody.”
These kinds of thoughts hardly ever come before an Olympic-level success.
Instead, we usually think the thought, slump our shoulders and let the dream or fantasy of success and achievement just slip away.
This is low self-esteem. And it's killed more hopes, dreams and ambitions than any harsh parent, critic, teacher or Internet troll.
"Low self-esteem has killed more hopes, dreams and ambitions than any harsh parent, critic, teacher or Internet troll."
A lot of people underestimate the importance of self esteem.
But, it turns out that having a healthy level of self-esteem is one of the most important building blocks for achieving success in our lives.
If you prefer a more visual approach to your content, then check out the video version of this blog post below!
Self Esteem Predicts Our Lives
Did you know that psychologists can use levels of self-esteem to predict your future life outcomes?
Low self-esteem can predict the likelihood of you suffering from stress, depression and anxiety at some point in your life.
It can also predict what kind of grades you’ll get, how successful your relationships will be and whether or not you might have a tendency for criminality.
Now, I should point out that predictions are not prophecies.
Just because you’re suffering from low self-esteem doesn’t mean that your life will soon fall apart. Your marriage won't break down and you won't end up picking pockets just to get by.
But, low self-esteem can make it easier to make poor life decisions and restrict the options that we do have.
If you don’t believe that you can get the guy or the girl, then are you really going to risk putting yourself out there?
If you think you won’t be interviewed for that once in a lifetime opportunity, will you apply for it?
Will you send out that book draft if you believe the publisher will shoot it down?
Also, probably not.
Your Hierarchy of Needs
In the 1940s, a psychologist called Abraham Maslow presented his new theory to the world:
Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs.
He proposed five levels of human needs, the final level being self-actualisation. This means our desire to work towards becoming our best self.
However, the fourth level was “Esteem Needs – our need to be respected by others and to have self-respect (a.k.a. self-esteem).
Assuming we’ve progressed through the other levels already, we can’t move on to becoming all that we can be until we’ve solved our Esteem Needs.
Now, getting respect from other people is not within our control, so let’s set that aside for now.
However, self-respect (or self-esteem) is within our control. This is something that we can work on for ourselves.
Plus, when we respect ourselves, others will inevitably respect us as well.
So, by improving our levels of self-esteem, we are creating space in our lives to self-actualise. Then, we can start working towards becoming the best versions of ourselves.
Self Esteem Is The Foundation of Confidence
Self-esteem is also the foundation for confidence.
Confidence is a set of behaviours and beliefs based on a core belief that we are a person of value.
Simply put, if we don’t think we have any self-worth then any chance of genuine confidence goes out the window.
We can’t walk the walk and talk the talk if on the inside we feel terrible about ourselves.
So, by addressing self-esteem and changing the way we think about ourselves, we give ourselves a foundation off of which to build our confidence.
Self Esteem Is A Mirror
Ultimately, self-esteem is our mirror.
It tells us everything we need to know about how we feel and what we believe about ourselves.
If we think that we are a person of genuine value to the world, then that is going to reflect throughout our entire lives.
It’s going to make you happier, more successful and a better person all around.
But, if we are constantly thinking about how worthless we are, then that’s what our lives are going to be like.
I had real trouble from childhood through to my early 20s when it came to making friends.
I just couldn’t see how I added any value to their lives or to the rest of the world. To me, I was just a useless drain on the lives of others.
So, I found it very difficult to make connections and, whenever I did, I quickly found a way to sabotage them – either unconsciously or intentionally.
I consistently robbed myself of the chance to be happy because of my low self-esteem.
This made me unhappy for most of my life and I imagine that, if you have also suffered from low self-esteem, you might find my story similar to yours in some ways.
Our levels of self-esteem have the power to make or break us, so let’s make the decision to make our self-esteem work for us, rather than against us!
Whether you think you can or whether you think you can’t, you’re right.
You can call it self-esteem, self-belief or self-respect, but all of it comes down to one thing: knowing that you are worth it.
If you can develop the ability to find your own self-worth, then everything else starts to fall into place.
Healthy self-esteem is the foundation of so much of life’s great successes.
When you can get yourself on your own side, then everything starts to get a little bit easier.
What are you going to do today to start improving your self-esteem?
Let me know in the comment section below (I’ll always do my best to reply to every single comment and question).
If you want to go in-depth into overcoming low self-esteem, make sure to check out the Ultimate Guide to Healthy Self-Esteem.
If you’re interested in getting coaching to overcome self-esteem issues and start living with confidence, make sure to check out the Confidence Coaching page and get in contact.
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