Charles Milch & Annarose Ingarra-Milch
ROI Training & Consulting, www.roitrainingandconsulting.us
Did you know that Oprah Winfrey, the world renowned talk show host, media mogul, and highly influential woman was born into poverty to a single mother? Did you know that she had an extremely difficult upbringing that some experts may say would have destined her for a life of failure? On her rise to the top, perhaps fearful of being “found-out”, she openly confessed, “I was once afraid of people saying, “Who does she think she is?”
Yes, Oprah Winfrey, American success story personified, admittedly struggled with self-esteem issues. And there are many people, maybe you or someone you know, who feel or felt, are just like Oprah.
Self-esteem is the way a person views him or herself. Does he see his self-worth as being positive or negative or rely on others’ opinions to determine how he feels about himself? Does she feel good or bad about herself, based on the normal ups and downs of everyday life? If he fails a test, does he think he is a failure? If a classmate disagrees with her does she feel stupid? If she doesn’t get the sought after promotion does she simply give up? People with healthy self-esteem can manage the day to day fluctuations with how they feel about themselves. Conversely, those with poor self-esteem simply pile on the feelings of self worthlessness and begin a spiral of self criticism and potential failure. Where do you think you score on the self-esteem spectrum – on the low or high side?
If you trend near the low side, there are ways to improve your self-esteem? Here are three steps to consider.
First, take full responsibility. By this I mean that no matter where you come from, whatever has transpired in your life, you can release any blame and choose to take control. Reprogram the inner critic’s negative message with positive affirmations, “I can do this”, “I am capable”, and act upon them. If you are a student, be on time for class; come prepared with textbook and notepads and pens. Actively participate in the classroom discussion by asking questions and trust your judgment by offering constructive and well thought out answers. Connect with the teacher and the students to stimulate your brain and believe that what you have to offer truly does matter. If you are in the workplace, understand that everything you do or say is important to both the success of the business and to your professional success.
Second, be kind to yourself. Silence the critics by stepping out of your comfort zone and learning new ideas and ways to learn. Be polite and respectful to others and also to yourself. Use positive words, remain open to opportunity, and value your own opinion. Challenge yourself. Instead of focusing solely on required assignments, seek out other sources for information and other people to help when needed. Surround yourself with positive people and like Oprah says, “Only make decisions that support your self-image, self-esteem, and self-worth.” Remember that whether you are in the classroom or in the workroom, smiling, upbeat, and energetic people stand out from the rest.
The third step is perhaps the most telling. Set goals. Even in the early part of the 1900’s, J.C. Penney, the retail giant, knew the importance of goals. “Give me a stock clerk with a goal and I’ll give you a man who will make history. Give me a man with no goals and I will give you a stock clerk.” Write down your goals and develop a plan as to how you will achieve the goal. Getting a passing grade in a course or a promotion at work may be your goal. If so, what will it take to achieve that goal? Take some time and really think about it. No doubt, and not surprisingly, the actions will include attending to that which is mentioned in the first two steps. It is this goal planning that sets the successful person with healthy self-esteem on a designated path and apart from those without goals. When you accomplish what it is you set out to do you will know you will have earned the success, and feel good about yourself and celebrate. Your self-esteem will soar.
If you are thinking of rigging the self-esteem barometer to go from having poor to healthy self-esteem over night, think again. Self-growth is a process and a most worthy one at that. Taking full responsibility and control of your actions, being kind to yourself and setting goals will put you on the track to feeling good about yourself and raising your self-esteem. Then, instead of hiding behind, “Who do you think you are?” you can join Oprah and add, “Now, I have the courage to stand and say, “This is who I am.”
Great recommendation Charles and Annarose, go visit www.roitrainingandconsulting.us – SjC