Building Self Esteem can be a challenge. In my experience of conducting stress management programs and counseling for over 20 years, I found that roughly 99% of those I've worked with felt that they needed to improve self esteem. How could this be?

It's because most of us have been taught to base our self-worth on our accomplishments, skills, physique, financial worth and earnings, ability to help others… Little wonder then when we: • lose skills because of injury; • lose a close family member on whom we're very dependent; • lose our financial nest egg because the stock market collapses; • do poorly in a course of study; • have a bad hair day; or • don't live up to our own expectations... we don't feel good about ourselves and our self esteem and self confidence are challenged. Ultimately, this may: • jeopardize our health; • jeopardize our emotional well being; • set us up for failure mechanisms; • have us constantly trying to impress others; • lead to an identity crisis; • contribute to suicide; • cause chronic depression

Why is it when there are so many programs available for building self esteem and building confidence that is there a tremendous shortage of those who have self esteem?
The answer is that if you analyze most programs, trainings, and techniques for building self esteem, you'll see that they actually create the path to easily put your self esteem self confidence in jeopardy with the first calamity that comes along in your life. Five things you might want to know about building self esteem.

1. Many programs focus on having you to: • Acquire skills. • Accomplish achievements. • Change you physical appearance. • Develop a talent. • Obtain additional education…
Building self esteem on something you can acquire can set you up for a big let down, life crisis, anxiety panic attack, and loss of self esteem because these things are not the essence of you but superficial. While you certainly will accomplish many things, when you build self worth the right way, you will never be at risk of losing your self esteem. While talents, skills, accomplishments and so on may come and go, you want your self esteem to be impenetrable.

2. Many programs emphasize affirmations. While affirmations are important, they can also be rejected or ineffective. One method of determining acceptance of a specific affirmation is through the use of a pendulum. It's simply to ask your subconscious mind if the affirmation is accepted or rejected while holding the pendulum over a chart with directions for "Yes" and "No." Sometimes it's simply a matter of rephrasing the affirmation.

3. Evaluate goal setting. Yes, many programs use the approach of setting and achieving goals to build self worth. While it's ok to have and achieve goals, goals in themselves can be a catch 22 in building self worth. Should you fall short of a particular goal, your self esteem is in jeopardy. While you may have and achieve many goals, your self esteem should not be dependent on them for life is more often about dealing with the plans that fall through than it is about making plans.

4. Many programs only educate the thinking conscious mind. This approach could take forever. The limbic (emotional brain) lags behind the reticular (thinking cognitive brain). When you choose a program, make sure that the program nurtures the emotional brain otherwise, the thinking brain gets smarter and you get simply frustrated because you just can't seem to put the material into action. The Program you use should have techniques to bring the emotional brain up to date to agree with the new information the thinking brain is receiving.

5. Few programs utilize the power of hypnosis and subliminal suggestions and those that do, may not tell you what the actual suggestions are and what's worse the suggestions may be counter productive. For instance, many use a suggestion such as, "I am not going to feel badly anymore." Because of how the brain processes words, this suggestion focuses on feeling badly and is therefore counter productive. Or they may use a complex suggestion which is useless because the subconscious doesn't process complex suggestions. Choose a program that utilizes hypnosis and make sure the program informs you of the specific subliminal suggestions.

For improving self esteem or building self esteem, it's important to observe (not criticize) the sources of your role models' self esteem. It's important to also observe (not criticize) where your self esteem has come from in the past, i.e. what makes you feel good about you and what you need to feel good about yourself. Thus you'll understand the psychology of self worth and the causes of low self esteem.

The next step in restoring self esteem and beating low self esteem is to meet your own best friend--you. It typical that we often think we are our own worst enemy. The fact is that you can be your own best friend. Now, how do you handle emotions? I mean feelings of anger, uncertainty, confusion, frustration...?

Self criticism in the past may have eroded your self esteem self confidence. You want to use negative emotional experiences to empower you in building self esteem through your experience of any emotion that life can throw your way.

Acknowledge your disappointments and your emotional reactions. Move through the emotional charge and use directional preference statements. Tell yourself that you want to: • learn from the mistake. • see the situation in from a different perspective. • forget about it. And that even though you may be unhappy, you still like yourself.

This is your formula for improving self esteem on a daily basis.

Source: author Richard Kuhns

Author's Bio: 

Richard Kuhns B.S. Ch. E., NGH certified is a prominent stress management hypnosis consultant for personal change. He is the author behind the best selling hypnosis cds at and (anxiety attack>.


This definition is part of a series that covers the topic of Purpose of Life. The Official Guide to Purpose of Life is Lynn Scheurell. Lynn is an authority on getting dramatic results quickly through intentional innovation, understanding natural rhythms and being personally accountable for the experience created. Primarily working with entrepreneurs, small business owners and budding global revolutionaries who want to enjoy personal success by their own definition and to change the world through conscious connections, she has helped people break their inertia to step into their true purpose through clarity and focused action.

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