I know this first hand. I have fought against a low self-esteem my entire life. My birth father left my mother when I was 6 months old and I never saw nor heard from him again. My mother remarried my adopted father who loved me and I loved him. We still do. But he suffered from self-esteem issues too, and he took it out on my Mom, my sister and me. We were all called "stupid", "dump" "idiots" for most of my adolescent years. As a big kid, I endured many days on the playground by being called, "fat Matt". Odds are you have had similar unfortunate experiences. Our brains record it all and our self-esteem suffers because of it.
But you MUST overcome these cut downs and develop a positive self-esteem and self-image or success will always elude you. Positive self-esteem is what lifts us up after a defeat. It's the confidence we rely upon to keep on keepin' on. Unfortunately, many people never really master building or rebuilding their self-esteem. Here are some tips I have used that will help you get yours built back up.
1. It's not a curse... it's a blessing. Use the negative experiences you have faced as fuel to rebuild your self-esteem. Deep down, those negative experiences can drive you to success if you use them properly. Drop the blame, and remember the times when you were beat down as powerful. Prove your doubters wrong, don't allow them to be proven right.
2. Seek Mastery of something. When you are a master of something, it produces confidence. The key is to master something, anything. Learn to hit a golf ball 400 yards. Learn to play Billy Joel songs on the piano. Get in tip top shape via working out. Become a top notch cold caller in your sales career. Anything that proves that you took the time to focus on it, skill up, and therefore master it.
3. Do more of what you fear. Do more of what you fear most... LOTS MORE. Repetition is the mother of all skill and the more reps you can take the more you bury the fear and move closer to mastery the better. The key is MASSIVE AMOUNTS OF REPS. Once or twice is not enough. You need to take lots of swings at bat. If you are terrified of speaking, do more speaking. If you can't make a cold call, do more cold calls. Think of this like my friend Grant Cardone suggests in his book THE 10X RULE. Do everything with a factor of 10X to it.
4. Leverage your mastery. Put yourself in locations and situations for your mastery to shine. If you have mastered hitting a golf ball 400 years, then sign up for the company or industry golf tournament. You know that when you arrive on the first tee box, you will hit the ball farther than anyone, and others will be amazed. Therefore, your mastery will put you in a class to yourself, and people will want to be around you and invite you to be on their team. When you start a new job on the sales floor, be the person who can bang out 100 cold calls without blinking an eye. This will separate you on day one from the competition, and you will be looked at as a master. Sit at the piano when you are having drinks with clients and start playing Piano Man. Your clients will be impressed, and your self-esteem issue will go out the window. Invite your new date to the gym with you and let them see how many pull ups you can do and they too will be impressed. Your mastery must be used as constant fuel for you to continue to build or rebuild your self-esteem. Getting great at something gives you the confidence to get great at other things.
5. Help someone else. It's sad that so many people who are in a position to help whether it's a coach, a co-worker or even a parent, don't take more time to recognize self-esteem issues in others. Be that person, be the person that helps.
The topic of self-esteem is vital to your success. For some, the building or rebuilding process can be done quickly. For others, like me, it takes a long time. But either way, nothing is more worth the effort.