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How To Develop Self-Esteem

How you feel about yourself affects every aspect of your life including place of work, in relationship and as a parent. It is the key to success or failure and instrumental in understanding yourself and others. Self– esteem has two components:

• A feeling of personal competence

• A feeling of personal worth.

It reflects a belief in your ability to cope with the challenges of life and it is your right to be happy. It is the ability to value you with dignity, love and respect.

The higher your self-esteem, the more resilient, creative and ambitious – and as a result, successful – you are likely to be.

Self-esteem is not a static condition and is always a matter of degree - no one is entirely lacking in positive self-esteem.

One way to measure self-esteem is to evaluate your ability to authentically be your true self.

Am I generally honest with myself …. About what I am feeling? Accepting and experiencing my emotions, without feeling compelled to act on them.

In the process of growing up, confidence and self-respect can be nurtured or undermined, depending on whether children are loved and valued as they are, and encouraged to trust themselves and their feelings.

Strict attentive parents who set unrealistic ever-higher goals for children can just cause as much as parents who are indifferent and do not demand enough.

The average child has been reprimanded an estimated 150,000 times by the age of 12. As a result, it is not surprising that people become excessively self-critical, out to touch with their feelings and look outside themselves for approval. This can lead to a desperate need for recognition and status from others and an internal pressure to be “perfect”. People who do attain success without developing positive self-esteem go through life feeling like impostors fearing exposure.

Often people look for self-confidence and self-respect everywhere except within themselves. They say, “If I only could get the promotion, the new car or the admiration of others, then I would really feel good about myself”. This quest is doomed to failure because it is only in the way we respond to ourselves …… giving ourselves the love and approval we are looking for - that creating the feeling of peace and success.

Adapted from: "Family Life" by: "Aisha Mutuku"

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