In this article you are going to learn what self esteem is, how to improve self esteem automatically and the difference between self esteem and arrogance. This is about a very specific and impactful area of success in business & life.
The material that I’m going to share with you is the result of the last couple of years of really digging into Dr. Nathaniel Branden’s work. I bought one of Dr. Nathaniel’s books kind of randomly, while searching in the local second hand bookstores here in Phuket (you never know what kind of treasures you can find by searching there every once in a while).
So, I went on read this book to learn how to improve self esteem and applied several of his suggestions on my personal issues, experiencing amazing results. That made me really get into his books, his whole concept of self esteem and I have to say that it is a very powerful & important part of the human potential success world. What I’ve learned is that, how we think about ourselves or the reputation that we have with ourselves underlies (underpins) so many aspects of our success that we must pay attention to.
Dr. Nathaniel Branden has a great quote from the book “The Six Pillars of Self-Esteem” that goes like this,
Your life is important! Honor it, fight for your highest possibilities
How to Improve Self Esteem Developing Your Reputation With Yourself
- What is your reputation with yourself?
- Do you have a good reputation with yourself?
- Do you have a bad reputation with yourself?
- Do you believe that you can cope with the challenges that life throws at you?
- Do you believe that you deserve success?
Just by answering these questions you can get some insight into your self esteem.
What is Self Esteem & How to Improve it
Before reading any further I want to let you know that we are going to take it apart, look at several perspectives and definitions of how to improve self esteem to be certain that we cover a great range of it.
First of all, self esteem is a generalized feeling that you can face and cope with the challenges of life. This emerges from developing the ability and the confidence to cope on many levels. Furthermore this eventually generalizes into self esteem.
One of the things that Dr. Nathaniel Branden talks more about in his books besides building a successful business, is about becoming more wealthy or helping others. We need to care about becoming happy also. Here’s 12 powerful tips that will help you improve your self esteem by Hendrik Edberg on the Positivity blog.
That’s because most of us were biased to believe that when & if we are happy, someone else isn’t and this is very selfish by definition. But it’s not the reality. It is very important that you work on your happiness daily and realize that you deserve it, just because you do.
I’m going to go beyond these perspectives and definitions here to suggest that it is not only about having confidence in our ability to face and cope with the challenges of life. We can go beyond that to the feeling that we can succeed and even thrive in every challenge, every situation and every opportunity.
Imagine right now how your life would be different, if you had the inner confidence that you were going to face successfully, succeed in and ultimate thrive in every challenge or opportunity that comes-up in your future. In other words…
Its kind of obvious when you think about how to improve self esteem, isn’t it?
When you don’t have high self esteem, in other words you don’t feel that you deserve to be happy and you don’t have the confidence that you can face — succeed and thrive in every situation, what you do is you resort to your old self or your lower self. That part that can’t think long-term, that often makes decisions based on fear and its more concerned with not losing than wining. As I’ve written in previous articles, this is not the direction we want to go in our life.
Can High Self Esteem Lead to Arrogance?
Interestingly enough, as I started to delve into this idea of me deserving happiness and me deserving success, just because I do, many other things have happened. Now I’ve increased my happiness and fulfillment, that’s one. But I’ve also realized, counterintuitively, that I can actually offer a lot more value to others and that it really is a WIN-WIN situation because I feel more excited and motivated to do it.
You want to not only have success, but you want to feel successful and I think that high self esteem is the bridge or the unifier of both. Now I fundamentally approach life and kind of my stances for myself and for others is that you have an amazing ability to face whatever comes-up in life. Whether it be challenges or opportunities.
I also approach life with this stance that you have an inner right to be successful and to be happy about your success. When you really embrace these and you begin developing them, you will wind-up not only succeeding more in life but also feeling successful and ultimately then going-on to help others do the same.
Now a question that comes-up besides how to improve self esteem is, can you have too much self esteem? Sometimes we think that if we have too much self esteem, then we will become arrogant. Dr. Nathaniel Branden says, NO and that’s not the way self esteem works. Here are 6 tips to improve your self esteem by John M. Grohol on Psychcentral.
So, it’s about seeing yourself accurately, being successful and knowing that you deserve happiness. This combination of knowing you can cope with, succeed and thrive in situations that life throws at you — and then going out and doing it. Succeeding and thriving in these situations. Then knowing that you deserve happiness, increasing your happiness and then seeing yourself accurately as a person who does that, that’s what high self esteem is.
High self esteem is not about seeing yourself as greater than you are. That’s more of arrogance or hubris and that’s something that its not high self esteem, it’s not accurate self esteem.
How to Improve Self Esteem Using Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs Pyramid
As you can see my approach to building success in life and to building self esteem rapidly and efficiently is to build the layers. To start with the physical body and health cause that’s the foundation. Then move to relationships and emotions. Finally move to money and success.
Why do I do it this way? Well the reason is because this is the way that our brains evolved, the physical, the emotional and the logical. It also seems to be the levels that we developed through. If you look at different models like Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, which if you’ve seen it, its this pyramid and it shows that we start-out having certain levels of needs and then as those needs get filled other needs emerge and they keep emerging, higher & higher and it seems that there is no end to them.
The lowest level of needs is what Maslow called deficiency needs and if we don’t have them fulfilled, we feel a craving or a hunger or a pain. Deficiency needs at the lowest level include things like survival and security. If we feel that we are not going to live we get really freaked-out and we do whatever it takes to survive, this is a physical need like security. We want a roof over our heads and to be able to feed ourselves.
Once those are met, then higher level needs start to emerge. Still deficiency needs but these are of emotional nature. We want love and belongingness. Then once we have those needs filled, then we have higher level needs which are more of intellectual nature and these are things like self-expression and self-actualization.
Then at this point deficiency needs go away and we actually start having what is called “Being Needs” which is where we stop acting from fear or lack because we’re afraid, because we feel like we’re a victim and we have to follow the way of the world.
That is when we begin creating, coming from a place of great abundance and actualizing all of our gifts. Eventually another need level of being emerges which is the transcendent and thats when we see ourselves as more than just an individual. We see ourselves as part of the whole group of humans and then of all the existence.
This is very powerful model but as you can see it starts in the physical realm, goes through the emotional and then it comes-up to the intellectual. Remember that these needs emerge in levels, we want to develop these levels in the most optimal order. Here are 13 tips to building self esteem by Jae Song on Think Simple Now
How Our Self Esteem Improves Through The Different Levels of Needs
Just like our actions impact our self esteem, our self esteem impacts our actions. In the physical realm, we take care of ourselves in relationship to our self esteem. This most basic level is physical health, if we have higher self esteem around our physical health, we treat our body with appreciation and respect, we care for it consciously.
In emotional & relationships realm, if we don’t have high self esteem about our emotions then we don’t feel that we deserve to be happy. If we have low self esteem and we feel that we are incompetent at love, then we are going to interpret situations — communications — behaviors differently maybe as threats or as dangers and problems more often.
If we have high self esteem about our competency at love, then we wont interpret things as threats. We will interpret them as much bigger opportunities to create love and press love in. When we hangout with people who have self esteem levels that are higher than us, we learn how they do it and our self esteem goes up. It actually turns-out that we like to hangout with people that their self esteem is about as the same level as ours so it doesn’t even change.
Same thing mentally. If we believe that we deserve to be happy and fulfilled. That we have permission to be happy and fulfilled, have permission to be successful, then we will have higher self esteem. We will do things to create it if we believe that we can cope with challenging situations — psychologically — intellectually, that we can learn — grow and thrive in intellectually challenging situations. Then it will be more likely for us to learn how to improve self esteem.
The way that we increase self esteem, is by improving our reputation with ourselves. In many cases we’ve broken trust with ourselves, we’ve promised to do things that we didn’t do, we’ve beaten ourself up with it. What we want to do now is we want to build our powerful reputations with ourselves so that who we think we are and who we are, their identities here, they line-up more and they start growing together.
I hope this article gave you a clear guideline about hot to improve self esteem in your life. Now it’s your turn to participate in the comments section below.