If the Man in the Mirror
When you get what you want in your struggle for self,
And the world makes you king for a day;
then go to the mirror and look at yourself,
And see what that man has to say.
For it isn't a man's father, mother or wife'
Whose judgement upon him must pass;
The fellow whose verdict counts most in life,
Is the man staring back from the glass.
He's a the fellow to please: never mind the rest'
for he's with you clear up to the end;
And you've passed your most dangerous, difficult test,
If the man in the glass is your friend.
You can fool the whole world down the pathway of years,
and get pats on the back as you pass;
but your final reward will be heartache and tears,
If you've cheated the man in the glass.
(This poem was written on the wall of a cell in death row. It was composed by an anonymous prisoner).
Liking yourself may be one of the most important things you'll have to do before you can achieve success (at anything). When you like yourself, you have self-confidence. And when you have self-confidence you believe in yourself and you are prepared to back yourself. These are important ingredients to success in any venture. Let'd be clear here, by liking yourself I don't mean that you should feel superior to others. What I am referring to is having a POSITIVE SELF-IMAGE.
In a nutshell, Self-esteem is the way we view or think about ourselves, and the value we place on ourselves as a person. Positive self esteem is ...
- having a feeling of confidence and competence to function successfully in life and trusting oneself
- approving and unconditionally loving oneself (warts and all).
- the willingness to appear foolish
- being able to express one's creativity and trusting in one's intuition.
- being authentic and genuine so that one's real self can be experienced.
- the ability to see oneself as the cause and source of one's circumstances in life so that one may take responsibility for it.
- Think positively about Yourself - stop comparing yourself with others, accept who you are. To Do- make a list of all the things you like about yourself. Tack it to the mirror and read daily.
- Take responsibility for your Life - stop blaming others for your problems, give up the 'victim' mindset. You have choices about what happens in your life. To Do: Be more assertive and speak up for yourself. This can be done by asking for what you want as well as by expressing your thoughts and feelings.
- Set yourself a Goal - to improve your self-esteem, to give others positive feedback,and to accept compliments graciously. To Do: tell at least one of the following -friends, family and work mates what you like and appreciate about them this week.
- Participate in Life - stop being a spectator. Do the things you enjoy. Have some fun. To Do: List twelve things you enjoy doing and make a plan to do one a week for the next 3 months.
- Stop saying Sorry - mistakes provide an opportunity to learn so don't let failure prevent you from trying again. success requires many attempts. To Do: Enroll in a workshop, seminar or course where you can be a student.
- Let go of the Past- keep your thoughts in the present. Rehashing the past won't change it. the only place that change can take place is in the present. Refer back to the list you made of your positive traits.
- Speak no Evil - Avoid put downs of yourself and others. Focus on the positive. To Do: Write a positive Affirmation or Quote and tape it to your computer. Read it when your thoughts are heading North.
- Think no Evil- Replace negative thoughts and images with positive. Turn "I can't" to "I will". If you have thoughts that start with "I ought to, I need to, I should..." change it to "I want to.." To Do: Take a walk daily or some other regular exercise to boost your mood. Experience the pleasure of deep breathing.
- Appreciate Yourself - If you are not prepared to care for yourself then others will not either. To Do: Stand in Front of a full length mirror naked (or clothed) and tell yourself "I love You" for 5 minutes. Alternative if you find this too challenging - only wear clothes you feel good in (The charity organisations will benefit from your generosity and you'll feel great).
- Respect Your Weaknesses - recognize that everyone has both strengths and stretches. If you accept your weaknesses then you are free to confront them and make positive efforts to change. To Do: Set a self development goal and a plan to achieve it ( It could be to boost your self -esteem).
- Identify the problem Areas in Your Life - Look for Factors that might be reinforcing your low- self esteem. If you can't change the situation then look at how you may be able to change the way you respond to it. For example become more assertive, improve communication. To Do: Identify one factor that is impacting on your self-worth. Look at it from multiple perspectives and then determine how you can respond to it in a different way.
- Act Confident - I am sure you've heard the saying "Fake it until you Make it". To Do: Do something you have always wanted to do but was afraid to try. Start small. Remember that it is OK to be afraid to take risks - then do it anyway.
Let me know if any of the To Do Activities paid off for you. If you have any additional tips on boosting self-esteem then I'd love to hear about them. Please join the conversation below or post them on my self-coach Facebook page.
Note: People with low self-esteem often get wrapped up in what others think of them so they don't ask for help. they either feel they don't deserve help or they will look stupid. I would encourage anyone who feels they have low self-esteem to seek additional support from a life coach or a counselor.