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Self Esteem – Are you looking after yours?

Why is it that some people appear to have a healthier sense of self-esteem than others? Are you aware of how to build up your self-image, self-awareness and self-esteem? Do you have a lot of strong beliefs about yourself? Would you be willing to look at these together?


Take a second to remember a time in the last week when someone made you feel good at work. It doesn’t have to be a colleague or your boss but someone who just took the trouble to recognise you for whatever reason. What was the recognition all about? What did you receive – was it a smile, an act of kindness or did you receive a special compliment? What did this person do? What did he/she say? And most importantly how did this person make you feel?


Yes, I encourage you to relive this moment and similar incidents. Good feelings and good moments are easy to recall and relive. Can you remember even more pleasurable times at work in the last month? What good things happened over the past month? What made you laugh? Who took the trouble to make you the star of the moment? How easy is it for you to remember the good times – the really good times?


Can you now go back a bit in time and remember a good experience at work – let’s say five years ago? OK, you might not remember all the details now – the memory of the person’s name or face may have faded a bit but the feeling is probably still there.


Positive thoughts, positive experiences and positive people nourish you. These three elements all work to remind you of the benefit of a healthy level of self-esteem.


Is it true?


Stop for a moment and catch your thoughts. What are you thinking about? Are you thinking about whether your self-esteem is high or low? Are you wondering why your self-esteem levels change? Would you like to know what triggers your self-esteem? Do you feel triggered right now? Let’s look at some of the reasons why you perhaps don’t build your self-esteem. Do you:


  • Expect your boss/work colleagues to make you feel good?
  • Rely upon your partner to do the ‘You are wonderful’ bit?
  • Feel it is a waste of time?
  • Regard it as something only needy people do?
  • Think you will do it as and when it is needed?
  • Avoid doing it in case it opens up a can of worms?
  • Know how to build your self-esteem?
  • Taking action


Fear of some kind is always at the root of lack of action. Your fear might not be the same as someone else’s but the most common types of fear are listed below:


  • Rejection – I am afraid to express my real feelings.
  • Failure – It might cost me money or take a long time.
  • Making a mistake – I don’t trust anyone.
  • Change – I am not ready yet.


Fear is just another form of resistance and the resistance itself needs to be broken down. What people often try to do is to offer a solution to the problem before breaking down the person’s fear first. For example, ‘you’ll feel better if you do this’, ‘you’ll realise it isn’t as difficult as you think’, or ‘have you thought of doing this?’


When fear isn’t broken down, the person can begin to focus on the pain rather than the pleasure of moving forward and taking action. To break down the fear, you need to be able to talk openly and honestly to someone who can help you. To focus on the pleasure you need to ask yourself the following questions.


  • How would I like the situation to be?
  • What is good about this current situation?
  • Who can help support me through this transition?
  • Which aspect of myself do I really like?


Beliefs about yourself


Are you aware of what beliefs you have about yourself? Would you say you are hard or soft on yourself? Do you know where your beliefs come from? Are your beliefs about yourself mainly positive or negative?


Would you like some help in determining your beliefs? Beliefs are very powerful things. They can do many of the following:


  • Make you feel happy or sad
  • Convince you that you are rich or poor
  • Make you feel that you are successful or unsuccessful
  • Convince you that you are powerful or weak
  • Make you feel popular or unpopular
  • Convince you that you have potential or limited opportunity
  • Make you feel that you can or can’t have the job you desire.


Yes, you need beliefs but you may discover on closer inspection that your beliefs may be old-fashioned, holding you back, outdated, inappropriate, too negative or interfering with your career development.


When people make you feel good they believe and remind you of your key strengths. They don’t see your day-to-day work worries and concerns but they see the bigger you – the one you forget in the rush and hassle of work. That is why these people have a profound and lasting effect on you. It is why, in truth, you need to be grateful and thankful to them for reminding you of all your good points.


If your self-esteem has reached a plateau and you feel you would like to discover more about how to build it up, completing a personality profile will help you. ‘How to Love the Job you Do‘ Sarah Berry’s latest paperback is packed full of self-help tactics and ways to break down your fears and resistance and build your view of yourself so that you feel good about yourself and the value you offer the workplace.


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BY: Sarah Berry

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