When it comes to developing a strategy for success, one of the most overlooked aspects in any formula is self-esteem: how we really feel about ourselves, coupled with the confidence in our ability to achieve goals.
But who needs self-esteem when you’ve got great skills and experience? —said no one ever. Great skills and experience are an excellent start. But they won’t seal the deal. If you don’t feel good about yourself, or believe in your ability to successfully achieve results, you’re really operating at a loss. And honestly, who can afford that?
There is a direct correlation between success and self-esteem, and people who are most successful don’t just know it, they embrace it at the highest level.
So, exactly how does self-esteem impact success? Consider the following three ways:
1. It ensures that you have “big vision” of what’s possible. When your feelings of self-worth are strong, it’s easy to be creative and expand your vision of what’s possible. Why? You view yourself as a having a real stake in the game. You give yourself a license to be bold and think big — real big — and the opinions of naysayers and small thinkers aren’t factored into your success equation. You work to identify your strengths and weaknesses so that you can consistently and strategically position yourself for success. Your bird’s-eye view of the proverbial landscape ensures that you can capture opportunities because you can both see them and aren’t afraid to engage them.
2. It helps you to embrace challenges and recover from setbacks. Do you see challenges as opportunities or the nail in your coffin? When you feel good about you, it’s easier for you to see the silver lining and embrace difficult experiences for the value that they bring (and as quiet as it’s kept, there’s always a silver lining). In addition, you are more likely to bounce back after hardships because you don’t view them as death sentences. A good rule of thumb to remind you that you have the power to shape your perspective: Nothing has meaning except the meaning that you give it. Period.
3. It keeps you focused on your own unique contributions rather than the “competition.” Do you feel like everyone is out to get you or that you’re constantly in competition with others? If so, you’re likely focused on the wrong thing: anyone else but you. You are your own best competition, and becoming better than you were the day before should be your goal. When you value your self-worth in its own right (and not calculated against how you fare in comparison to others), you can embrace and elevate the good that you bring to the table, without the fear of being drowned out by a “bigger, brighter star.”
If low self-esteem has negatively impacted your success, you know the pain and disillusionment that it brings. Choose to elevate your thinking about who you are and what you bring to the table. Identify and improve blind spots. Jettison the tendency to compete with others unnecessarily. When you feel better about you, you do better for you.
Karima Mariama-Arthur, Esq