How to Build Self Esteem the Right Way

Aug 22


Richard Kuhns

Richard Kuhns

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Most build their self esteem on the accomplishment of goals. Ironically this method of building self esteem is a set up for putting one's self esteem in jeopardy. Learn how to build self esteem even on "bad hair days."


Building self esteem is done one of two ways. Unfortunately most of us do it the wrong way. 

John was referred to me by his psychologist for relaxation and motivation. John was seeing the psychologist for building self esteem and self image and at the age of 28 felt that he was losing ground. This feeling of "losing out" contributed to his level of anxiety which made him tense and irritable. John's psychologist's devised a program for building self esteem. He had John focus on acquiring technical training to develop a skill. 

Of all possible skills,How to Build Self Esteem the Right Way Articles John choose to become a technician in a metal shop and enrolled in a program. Even though everything he was shown in class made sense, when it came to test time, his level of anxiety interfered with his ability to obtain respectable, much less passing grades. He was in jeopardy of failing when he was referred to me.

The psychologist's approach was the typical, "accomplish something, acquire something," and you'll be building self esteem. Yes, it's the approach used nearly 100% of all programs for overcoming low self esteem that I've seen. You are supposed to be able to overcome low self esteem by getting better at something. 

Unfortunately, this is a "catch 22" approach--a set-up for failure. I'm not saying that everyone who uses this approach fails to accomplish the goal of acquiring a skill or educational level, but this approach does not build self worth or self esteem. It's a set up for failure. Building self esteem is a myth with this approach. Look around. Most of your friends, family, and acquaintances have been building self esteem based on their accomplishments and acquisitions. 

Unfortunately, the person who overcomes low self esteem and builds it largely:     • on his fortune, often commits suicide when his portfolio is lost in the stock market crash.    •on the love of his wife may become depressed and acquires life-threatening cancer within 2 years of her passing and then dies himself even though he was in fine health prior to her passing.     •on his position in life often becomes depressed and acquires a life threatening disease within 2 years of his retirement and dies.    •on his social contacts and accomplishments may develop anxiety panic attack when he moves to another part of the country.    •on his physical skills becomes has a greater chance of getting seriously depressed and likewise may acquire a life threatening disease when he has an incapacitating accident or is replaced by younger, stronger athlete.

And we can go on and on. For each person building self esteem based on an accomplishment, an ability, physical appearance, and so on,  he/she feels good about himself/herself for as long as his/her skills, abilities, and accomplishments remain in tact. Yet when their skills, relationships, accomplishments and so on change, they lose themselves in the process. Is this self-worth? No, it's "things' worth," not self-worth.

In the face of all adversity and loss, the person who has truly been building self esteem does not lose himself, but by knowing his true value, is able to adapt and change to all life circumstances.Back to John: It was indeed a challenge getting John out of his failure path. More so because the psychologist set him up for failure--the psychologist actually set the path for him to stay stuck with low self esteem. Eventually he got up the hill and over the crest. He learned to overcome his low self esteem, not by graduating machine shop school (although he did), but by learning to deal successfully with life's challenges and to like himself in the face of disappointment.

Building self esteem the right way is from self involves asking questions. What is missing here? Why with so many programs for building self esteem is it still a crisis? It is clearly insane to teach one to obtain self esteem from his/her accomplishments.It's also to realize that:• Comparing ourselves to anyone else is to kill self esteem• Some of our best laid plans will simply fall through.• We are emotional beings and rather than be ruled by our emotions we can acknowledge them and move through them.• We each are a child of the universe deserving of feeling good about ourselves regardless of what we do or don't do. • We only feel less about ourselves because of what we've learned to believe.• Love of our physical, emotional, and spiritual self is deserved and until we can love ourselves, it's unlikely that another can love us.• Egotistical people really don't love themselves.

Building self esteem from self so that you even like yourself on a “bad hair day” (when your fail to accomplish the goal) produces real results.