Is More Self Esteem Really the Issue?

Tag: Personal Growth,Self EsteemBeth and Neill

Am I Good Enough?

self-esteem contemplation

Are you concerned that you’re not really good enough to achieve what you want– that you don’t really deserve to be happy? if this sounds familiar, then the first step is to determine what prevents you from having high self-esteem in the first place.

We believe so many people have low self-esteem because most of us grown up in cultures that use rewards and punishment as a way to get us to behave the way others want us to. As we grow up in this system we end up developing certain beliefs about ourselves. As we focus on these beliefs, we have experiences that reinforce these limiting beliefs which in turn create negative habitual thinking patterns about ourselves.

It’s the same as when you want a new car, as soon as you pick the exact model you want you begin to notice that car everywhere.

It’s no different when you focus your attention on yourself. If you think there’s no way you’re good enough to get what you want, it’s guaranteed you’ll notice yourself not being good enough to get what you want again and again.

Experience the Difference

These negative beliefs you create about yourself, prevent you from having confidence in what you can achieve. They also dramatically limit the possibilities you have about what you can do and who you see yourself to be. As you become more and more conscious of these limiting beliefs, the sooner you’re able to create more of what you want in your life. This is how you raise self-esteem–by having experiences that prove you are competent and able to achieve what you set out to do.

Power Up Your Self-Confidence and Self-Esteem Today!

Today, start paying attention to what you’re thinking. Anytime you feel uncomfortable, Ask yourself the question: “What negative belief is preventing me from enjoying this moment?” if you find one… start focusing your attention on something you enjoy in the situation, even if it’s something small. Because what you focus your attention on will grow.

Our goal is to support you in creating a life you love. We know we’re not the only ones with great ideas or have found ways that might support you. For this reason, from time to time we introduce you to others and their posts that we’ve enjoyed and think you might as well.

Here are a few other people talking about self-esteem and what they’ve discovered. Enjoy!

With love,


The Problem With Building High Self Esteem – But the problem that we describe as “low self esteem” is actually a fear that we aren’t really worthy. It’s about feelings of low self worth. And that’s why we react so strongly and with such emotion. Healthy self esteem is the ability …

Living Passionately Radio Show – 09/04/08 Episode – 7 Steps to Rebuilding your Self-Esteem after Divorce – The reason for and the process of divorce is as varied as the shape of snowflakes. There is however a commonality among most divorce survivors – low self-esteem. …

How To Battle Low Self-Esteem – Voice blog post on

Building Confidence and Self Esteem in Children – Building Confidence and Self Esteem in Children There are two things that go hand in hand making who the person is today. These are confidence and self esteem. If the person is unaware of one’s potential or what he or she can become, …

Am I Stupid or Did I Just Believe You? Overcoming Low Self Esteem

Tag: Personal Growth,Self EsteemBeth Banning

The Ups and Downs of Self Esteem?

In order to raise your [tag-tec]self esteem[/tag-tec], [tag-tec]improve your self confidence[/tag-tec] and just plain start feeling good about yourself, you must stop protecting yourself from the ups and downs you feel when you are judged or criticized. People will always have opinions, some people will like you and some won’t. You will succeed at some things and not others. Some people will think you’re wonderful and some will criticize you. Rather than defending yourself from these negative judgments and opinions, start translating them into what they truly mean…

How do you react to being  judged or [tag-tec]criticized[/tag-tec]?

If you believe that your self-esteem is attached to how you feel in each moment, whether someone likes you or not, or whether you succeed or fail with your goals, then it will feel like your sense of self-esteem is on a roller coaster ride.

A great woman once said,

“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.”

The woman was Eleanor Roosevelt and she understood that you and you alone are responsible for how you feel. Why would you feel bad about what someone else thinks of you unless you are worried about it being true in some way?

Now, you’re not alone in this. The “habitual way of being” of constantly buying into the judgments of others is extremely common. In most cultures we are actually taught that our parents, teachers, and most other adult authorities were the best judge of whether we were good or bad, right or wrong, or acting appropriately or inappropriately. With this as our training, why wouldn’t we grow up believing that we are defined by other people’s judgments of us?

We are trained so well in fact that as we grow up we learn to judge ourselves in these same ways. So then, not only did we lean to worry about the judgments of others, we become paralyzed by our judgments of ourselves.

If this sounds all too familiar to you then the question becomes: how do we get out of this mental habit so we can improve our self-confidence and start feeling good about ourselves?

“The only way to change is by changing your understanding.” ~ Anthony De Mello

The key is to get conscious

A good first step toward becoming conscious is to recognize that our low self-esteem has deep roots in our fear of being judged, both by ourselves and others.

The next step is to start translating these judgments into the truth of what they really mean. This may be hard to see at first, but we’ve found that every judgment springs from a desire to support you.

You might be saying; “Support me, how can anything so negative and destructive be supportive?”

“Suffering occurs when something is taken for what it’s not, rather than for what it is.” ~Suzanne Segal

Judgments and criticisms are never about you. They are about the values and needs of the person expressing them. We believe that within every judgment or criticism–even the ones you have about yourself–there are core values that the person making the judgment wants to experience or needs they want to have met.

As an example, let’s say you locked your keys in the car and the person riding with you says to you with a tone of disgust; “You’re such an idiot!” Then you say to yourself; “They’re probably right. That was a stupid thing to do.” This response is a reaction from your old conditioning. Whenever you respond without investigating the deeper meaning of these negative labels you reinforce this “habitual way of being”. It’s no wonder that anger, frustration, sadness, and lowered self-esteem are the result.

“Whenever anything negative happens to you, there is a deep lesson concealed within it, although you may not see it at the time.” ~Eckhart Tolle

But let’s take a look at what happens after you’ve become conscious of this old pattern and have chosen to respond from the understanding that every judgment or criticism is stimulated by a value or a need that has yet to be revealed.

We’ll use the same example where somebody says; “You’re such an idiot!” But this time — rather than defending yourself or submitting to the judgment — you respond with curiosity and say to yourself; “I wonder what’s going on with them, what value are they trying to experience or what need are they trying to met?”

You are now ready to take the third step. This is when you start guessing what the other person may value or need that would lead them to say such a thing in the first place. This process requires that you develop your Values Intelligence.

Similar to Emotional Intelligence, Values Intelligence is the ability to identify the deeply held values that motivates a person’s thoughts, intentions, strategies, and the actions they take. It’s also the ability to recognize, regardless of our circumstances, what we personally hold deeply important. Our Values Intelligence is what allows us to, in an instant, form our own intentions and strategies so they are in harmony with the essence of who we are at a very profound level.

In our example the person may value predictability or carefulness and their remark is the best way they know how to encourage you to pay attention to these traits. They may be in a hurry and the remark was stimulated by their value for integrity or punctuality and they were hoping to let you know how worried they are about being late.

“In wisdom gathered over time I have found that every experience is a form of exploration.” ~Ansel Adams

It’s important to remember that you can’t know what the other person may value from a critical remark such as this. You can only put yourself in their shoes, guess what might lead you to make such a statement in a similar situation, and then perhaps ask them if your guess is accurate.

The crucial thing here is that, whether or not you get to what is important to them, you have taken your attention off of what might be “wrong with you” and placed your attention on discovering the hidden motivation that stimulated the comment in the first place.

Learn to turn your attention from the superficial judgments and criticisms you may hear to discovering the underlying values and needs that they so effectively hide, and you’ll also learn to turn their sting into a sense of anticipation about exploring a deeper connection and understanding with the person making them.

When you stop buying into these judgments you’ll start discovering it’s surprisingly easy to figure out how everyone can experience more of what they value in life. You’ll find that this ability to translate negative judgments and criticisms into their true meaning can lead to a deep sense of self-confidence and feeling good about yourself.

And isn’t that what self esteem is–feeling good about yourself?

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Power-Up Your Self-Confidence

Choose Your Metaphor – Change Your Mindset

Have you ever heard of or done an Outward Bound, type program? Their mission is to enhance self confidence and self-esteem through challenge and adventure, and to encourage participants to achieve more than you ever thought possible.”

Sounds like a cool, adventurous way to start [tag-tec] building self esteem[/tag-tec]! The beauty of these programs is that they ask you to use your skill set in situations very different from your regular life. Whether or not you have the time and resources to take such a program, this type of adventure is available to you every day.

Reframe your activities today!

It begins by taking yourself mentally out of your habitual mindset. You might not be able to physically change the basic routine of your day, but you can change your attitude and reframe your activities. We call it Choose a New Metaphor.

A metaphor is a figure of speech in which one thing is spoken of as if it were another. A famous one is Shakespeare’s “All the world’s a stage.” By looking at your day through a different set of images, especially one that reflects an activity where you feel success or enjoy the challenge of, you begin to recognize the vast talents you have and a renewed sense of self.

So pick your metaphor! “My life is a hike in the woods.” “My job is a shopping trip with a set deadline.” The metaphors are as vast as your imagination.

As Robert H. Schuller wrote “Let your imagination release your imprisoned possibilities.”
This week… start your day by picking a new metaphor. You can keep the same one for a week or change it up each day. So don’t wait to [tag-tec]increase your self confidence[/tag-tec], start today!

Remember, the shortest path to a happy life is found through conscious choice.

Until next time…

with love,
Beth and Neill

Building Self-Esteem and Self Confidence

Tag: Personal GrowthBeth and Neill

Is Low Self-Esteem Holding You Back?

Do you sometimes worry you’ll never be “good enough” to achieve your goals? If so, you’re not alone. Low self-esteem often prevents people from realizing their dreams. The first step in overcoming this is discovery what prevents you from having high enough self-esteem in the first place.

In our work, we’ve found that our self-esteem results in a large part from having grown up in a culture that uses a system of punishments and rewards to get us to “behave.” Growing up in this culture causes many people to develop certain limiting beliefs about themselves–beliefs that negatively impact their self-esteem.

What We Focus Our Attention on Grows

This happens because these beliefs create habits in the way we focus our attention on ourselves and on our circumstances. And the simple truth is that what we focus our attention on we become more and more aware of in our lives.

Have you ever wanted a new car? Did you notice that as soon as you decided on just the perfect make and model you started noticing that particular car everywhere? This occurs because our brain is hardwired for pattern recognition. As soon as we start to recognize a particular pattern as important to us, we start seeing that pattern everywhere.

This works just the same way when you focus your attention on beliefs about yourself. If you believe you’re not good enough to achieve your desires and goals, then you’ll notice “not being good enough” everywhere you look.

We find these beliefs are the primary cause of low self-esteem. They drastically limit your choices about how you see yourself and the world around you. And just as importantly, how you believe others see you.

The First Step on the Path to Higher Self-Esteem

Greater Self Esteem
The sooner you begin noticing these limiting beliefs, the sooner you can start choosing where you prefer to focus your attention, and the sooner you can start consciously choosing what you want to create in your life.

“You have the power in the present moment to change limiting beliefs and consciously plant the seeds for the future of your choosing. As you change your mind, you change your experience.”
~Serge Kahili King

So, if you find that you are not enjoying what’s happening around you, notice what you’re thinking. Then try to determine what beliefs are causing that thinking by asking yourself this question: “Do I have a limiting belief that prevents me from feeling more confident and hopeful in this moment?”

If the answer is yes, then find at least one thing you enjoy about yourself or how you might be able to respond in the situation, and focus your attention on that. Because what you focus your attention on will grow.

Remember, the shortest path to a happy life is found through conscious choice.

With commitment to your success,
Beth and Neill