The world is full of opinions, but when it comes to you and your value, the only opinion that really matters is yours. How much time have you spent evaluating your self-esteem? It is time well spent. Become an observer of your thoughts and actions in order to gage where you fall on the self-worth scale. If you hear your inner voice as more of a critic than an advocate, there is work to do. I have created a free online course to help you connect with your inner voice and clean up any negative messages that you discover. You can connect to it here.
In addition to connecting with your inner voice, observing your behavior gives clear indicators of how you feel about yourself. People with high self-esteem:
1. Have Clear Boundaries
Having clear boundaries set the rules of engagement for your life. When you know your value, you have a standard for what is acceptable and unacceptable both to you and for you. However, it is not enough to have boundaries, you must be comfortable articulating them. Respect for your boundaries begins with you. Your boundaries should be those non-negotiables that determine who has access to you and who does not. You cannot force anyone to respect your boundaries, but you must respect yourself enough to honor them. That may include terminating relationships that disrespect your boundaries and in turn disrespect you.
2. Can Say No
Saying no is very challenging for someone who struggles with self-esteem. People who cannot say no are people pleasers. People pleasing behavior is fueled by fear. Fear of abandonment or rejection is the primary culprit. Those fears are rooted in a belief that your connections are not about you but rather about what you do. Therefore, in your mind, if you say no or upset someone, the relationship is over.
I wrote about my journey with people pleasing in my first blog post over a year ago. You can read it here. If you notice people pleasing behavior within yourself, it is time to do some internal work. Identify the fear and begin to replace that negative messaging with reality. The relationships that cannot handle your no are not relationships that are worthy of your time. But rest assured, in most cases, the fear is not reality. While your removal of people pleasing behavior is shocking at first and may meet some resistance, real relationships will not only support you, but cheer you on as you learn to take better care of yourself.
3. Admit Being Wrong
When the self-esteem is low, there is no room for error. Any mistake can set off an internal bashing session and allow your inner critic to run rampant. If you do not give yourself the luxury of making a mistake, it is virtually impossible to admit being wrong. The inability to apologize or admit a mistake can have a very debilitating effect on relationships. It also blocks the ability to learn from the situation. The inability to admit wrongdoing lends itself to defensiveness instead of learning. As difficult as it may be, resist the urge to defend, take in the feedback and allow yourself to grow from the experience.
4. Are Not Deterred by “Failure”
What is your relationship with failure? While no one is looking to fail, the right mindset, the growth mindset, realizes that failure is really a learning opportunity. It is not something to dread or pretend that it did not happen. The simplest definition of failure is that the results are different than expected. That doesn’t sound so bad right? If you have different results, what are they teaching you? What should you do differently the next time? Can you share with others so that they do not repeat the same actions?
We typically learn more when things do not go as planned than when they do. No experience is wasted as long as we learn from it. There has been much study about the growth mindset and reframing your relationship with failure. One of the founding researchers is Carol Dweck. The work that she and others have done in this space is the foundation of many companies’ leadership development programs. She explains growth vs fixed mindset here. It is a topic that I am passionate about. I blogged about it here.
I offer this and each of the links as opportunities for you to become an active observer of your thoughts to gain a clear understanding of how you think and feel about yourself. Your self-esteem plays a huge, but often silent role in your life. It is time to turn up the volume so that you can change the music if it is not serving you.
I am available to help you through your self-esteem exploration process. Reach out to schedule a 15-minute consultation to discuss how I can help you on your journey: https://calendly.com/m_3/15-consultation. I look forward to working with you.
Connecting with our inner voice and understanding its relationship to our feelings and actions is life changing work. I have created resources to help you along your journey.
- Transforming Your Inner Critic into Your Inner Advocate – free online mini course to connect with your inner voice with a method to reframe any negative messages
- Clearing the Path – Facebook group formed to enhance self-esteem work to clear the path to the life you desire