The Self Improvement Toolshop

tools to make you a better you

“Self Esteem”

scan001322.jpg  Be careful what you wish for or ask for, you may get it.  Well I asked for comments and I got one that is a doozie. 

I got a question, “What is self esteem?”

What a question.  There have been times I have had discussions with my friends.  Eventually there would be a comment by one of them (never me) that “They do not have self esteem.”  I have learned when to keep my mouth shut so I never asked what they meant by the comment, “They do not have self esteem or they have low self esteem.”  The reason I kept my mouth shut was because I did not think they actually knew what that meant.

It seems to be one of those phrases that people like to say and that sounds good. 

So what do I think self esteem is?  For me it means accepting yourself.  So what does accepting yourself mean? 

Accepting yourself means you are in contact with yourself.  Here is a simple example.  I was taking a quiz with my daughter.  One of the questions was, “Do you touch people?”  I answered no.  My daughter said that was not true.  My answer to hear to her was to tap her and say, “No I don’t.” 

Then we laughed because I realized what she said was true and my answer was false.  But I really, truly did not know that.  I did not argue with her nor resist the truth.  I do touch people and I accepted that easily about myself. 

To me that is an example of self esteem.  Finding out about yourself and accepting what is true. 

Now just because something is true does not mean you can not change it if you choose.  However, I think if you want to pursue that path you will find your self esteem dwindling.  Why?  Because you are taking on a challenge you may or may not be able to accomplish.

Why not accept the fact that you will not be perfect?  Why not consider the idea that you have your assets and that is where you can excel?  Instead of changing what you are dissatisfied with why not review this?  You can get some insight and see if you can tame these traits.  Maybe make a slight adjustment.  Maybe just recognize that you do have these traits that you are not enthralled with. 

Instead of changing what you don’t like why not focus on what assets you have and develop them?  For me that would be a way to increase your self esteem.  Once you have an asset you can expand on it. 

I like the expression, “Good, better, best.  Make the good your better and make the better your best.”

To me self esteem means know what you have.  Work it to your advantage.  Appreciate it. 

Self esteem also means you know you have a choice how to act and behave.  You know you can always chose to be your personal best.  You know you can always choose the high road.  You also know that sometimes you will stumble.  Know yourself and accept that and pick yourself up and get back on your path. 

Review what you are displeased with.  Give it some thought.  Even if you feel it is taking over your life you can still focus on what you have and let that take over your life instead.  Why not take the path of least resistance?  Why not be a better you not a new revamped you? 

You do not have to believe me. Think back to when you tried to correct and change what you considered a defect or flaw.  How did that go?  How did it make you feel?  And how long did the correction last, if you actually got that far? 

Now think about when you started from a point of strength with an asset that you worked on.  The best example is to consider athletes.  They improve their performance.  They work on what they are strong at.  Of course they attempt to get past their weaknesses but any coach will tell you that the effort goes in where they are strong.  You put your effort where you will get the maximum results. 

The second part to self esteem is to accept others.  If you can not transform yourself why would you think you could transform someone else?  See people for what they are.  Imperfect just like you.  That creates a connection.  Look at people’s strengths instead of their weaknesses.  Connect with people on a level of acceptance not judgement. 

Self esteem also includes going with your instincts.  This is the intuitive way you connect with yourself and others.  If something does not feel right accept that. 

Self esteem and confidence seem to be intertwined.  They both come from the same place.  Know yourself, accept yourself, appreciate yourself, and focus on your assets.  Use the same definition when you are interacting with other people. 

Make a connection with yourself and others.  Respect what is true.  Keep an open mind.  Act responsibly.  If you can live your life in this fashion you will experience self esteem.  Also remember you are imperfect so at times you will not be in this state of grace.  That is fine as long as you are aware of this and get back to striving for this. 

This is what “self esteem” means to me.  I would love to hear what you think.

Marcia, Your Confidence Coach

May 22, 2007 Posted by | change, choice, competence, confidence, decision, self esteem, self improvement, shortcomings, success | 7 Comments

Success

scan001321.jpg  I found some varied quotes on success.  Many people are quoted here from all walks of life.  Take a look at these quotes and see if they challenge, clarify or change your idea of success.
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The difference between a successful person and others is not a lack of strength, not a lack of knowledge, but rather a lack of will.
     –Vince Lambardi

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Always bear in mind that your own resolution to success is more important than any other one thing.
     -Abraham Lincoln

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What we have done for ourselves alone dies with us; what we have done for others and the world remains and is immortal.
     –Albert Pike

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The secret of joy in work is contained in one word — excellence.  To know how to do something well is to enjoy it.
     -Pearl S. Buck

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Successful: coming about, taking place or turning out as hoped for.
     -Webster’s

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Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.
     -Winston Churchill

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Success is how high you bounce when you hit bottom.
     – General George Patton

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It is a rough road that leads to the heights of greatness.
     – Seneca

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The entrepreneur is essentially a visualizer and actualizer… He can visualize something, and when he visualizes it he sees exactly how to make it happen.
     – Robert L. Schwartz

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According to aerodynamic laws,  the bumblebee cannot fly.  Its body weight is not the right proportion to its wingspan.  Ignoring these laws, the bee flies anyway.
     – M. Sainte-Lague

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Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.
     – Helen Keller

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You can’t build a reputation on what you are going to do.
     – Henry Ford

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Hard work spotlights the character of people:  some turn up their sleeves, some turn up their noses, and some don’t turn up at all.
     – Sam Ewig

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The art of resting the mind and the power of dismissing from it all care and worry is probably one of the secrets of our great men.
     – Captain J.A. Hatfield

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Success will not lower its standard to us.  We must raise our standard to success.
     – Rev. Randall R. McBride, Jr.

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It’s never too late to be who you might have been.
     – George Elliot

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Talk does not cook rice.
     – Chinese Proverb

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Rule your mind or it will rule you.
     – Horace

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It is when the well is dry that we know the price of water.
     – Ben Franklin

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Nobody who ever gave his best regretted it.
     – George Halas

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Attach yourself to your passion, but not to your pain.  Adversity is your best friend on the path to success.
     – unknown

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A successful man is one who can lay a firm foundation with the bricks that others throw at him.
     – Sidney Greenberg

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As one person I cannot change the world, but I can change the world of one person.
     – Paul Shane Spear

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To achieve the impossible, one must think the absurd; to look where everyone else has looked, but to see what no else has seen.
     – unknown

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A man is not finished when he is defeated. He is finished when he quits.
     – Richard Nixon

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Avoid having your ego so close to your position that when your position falls, your ego goes with it.
     – Colin Powell

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I am more afraid of an army of 100 sheep led by a lion than an army of 100 lions led by a sheep.
     – Talleyrand

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The mind is like a parachute – it works only when it is open.
     – Unknown

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Without a rich heart, wealth is an ugly beggar.
     – Ralph Waldo Emerson

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I can not do everything, but I can do something.  I must not fail to do the something that I can do.
     – Helen Keller

Try not to be a man of success, but rather to be a man of value.
     – Albert Einstein

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Motivation will almost always beat mere talent.
     – Norman R. Augustine

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Unless a man undertakes more than he possibly can do, he will never do all that he can.
     – Henry Drummond

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They may forget what you said, but they will never forget  how you make them feel.
     – Carol Buchner

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Motivation will almost always beat mere talent.
     – Norman R. Augustine

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Footprints on the sands of time are not made by sitting down.
     – unknown

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Greatness lies not in being strong, but in the right use of strength.
     – Henry Ward Beecher

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A mind troubled by doubt cannot focus on the course to victory.
     – Arthur Golden

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Nothing will ever be attempted if all possible objections must first be overcome.
     – Samuel Johnson

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Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.
     – Theodore Roosevelt

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Prosperity doth best discover vice, but adversity doth best discover virtue.
     – Francis Bacon

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The world can only be grasped by action, not by contemplation…The hand is the cutting edge of the mind.
     – Jacob Bronowski

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It is time for us to stand and cheer for the doer, the achiever, the one who recognizes the challenge and does something about it.
     – Vince Lombardi

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One never notices what has been done; one can only see what remains to be done.
     – Marie Currie

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Any coward can fight a battle when he’s sure of winning; but give me the man who has the pluck to fight when he’s sure of losing.
     – George Eliot

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Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.
     – Thomas Edison

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A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way.
     – John C. Maxwell

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The art of being wise is knowing what to overlook.
     – William James

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Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off your goal.               
     – Henry Ford

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After the game, the king and the pawn go into the same box.
     – Italian Proverb

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Character is like a tree and reputation like its shadow. The shadow is what we think of it; the tree is the real thing.
     – Abraham Lincoln

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What would you attempt to do if you knew you would not fail?
     – Robert Schuller

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We never know how far reaching something we may think, say or do today will affect the lives of millions tomorrow.
     – B.J. Palmer

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The superior man is modest in his speech, but exceeds in his actions.
     – Confucius

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What comes out of you when you are squeezed is what is inside you.
     – Wayne Dyer

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Empowerment is all about letting go so that others can get going.
     – Kenneth Blanchard

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Too many people overvalue what they are not and undervalue what they are.
      – Malcolm Forbes

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Anger makes you smaller, while forgiveness forces you to grow beyond what you were.
     – Cherie Carter-Scott

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Not every successful man is a good father.  But every good father is a successful man.
     – R. Duvall

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I talk and talk and talk, and I haven’t taught people in 50 years what my father taught by example in one week.
     – Mario Cuomo

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The tragedy in life doesn’t lie in not reaching your goal.  The tragedy lies in having no goal to reach.
     – Benjamin Mays

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Victory belongs to the most persevering.
     – Napoleon

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If you are to be, you must begin by assuming responsibility.  You alone are responsible for every moment of your life, for every one of your acts.
     – Antoine de Saint-Exupery

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To make our way, we must have firm resolve, persistence, tenacity.  We must gear ourselves to work hard all the way.  We can never let up.
     – Ralph Bunche

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I think a hero is an ordinary individual who finds strength to persevere and endure in spite of overwhelming obstacles.
     – Christopher Reeve

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Though no one can go back and make a brand new start, anyone can start from now and make a brand new ending.
     – Anonymous

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The real contest is always between what you’ve done and what you’re capable of doing.  You measure yourself against yourself and nobody else.
     – Geoffrey Gaberino

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Success is never final. Failure is never fatal.  Courage is what counts.
     –Sir Winston Churchill

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Visit here to succeed.

Marcia, Your Confidence Coach

May 21, 2007 Posted by | assets, choice, competence, confidence, how to succeed, self improvement, success | 4 Comments

Get What You Want Out of Life

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Do you get what you want out of life?  I have been thinking about this a lot.  How do you get what you want out of life?  I have also been thinking about this a lot.

I have been observing people regarding this topic.  My final conclusion and observation is that you will and can not get what you want out of life is you make improper decisions/choices. 

Improper decisions/choices will affect you and there will be consequences.  When you make an improper decision/choice it can certainly look like the consequences were out of your control.  And they are once you make the wrong choice/decision. 

Here is an example of what I am talking.  Life is going good for you.  You are enjoying yourself.  Perhaps life was tough for a awhile so now you are relaxing and enjoying the peace, happiness and relaxation you are experiencing.  A decision/choice is coming up.  You are in the “happy things are good mode.”   You do not pay the proper attention to the upcoming decision.  Maybe you are careless.  Maybe you are in an upbeat mood.  Whatever the reason you slack off.  You do not put the thought and detail into the upcoming decision/choice. 

You decide or choose poorly.  Boom. Things happen that you do not want to happen.  All of a sudden your happy, gay mood is over.  You are now dealing with new issues and problems.  What happened? 

You made a mistake.  But you do not see it like that.  How you see it is you got screwed.  And maybe you did.  But could you have prevented it if you had made a different decision/choice.  Probably yes. 

Here is another example.  Your life is in the toilet.  You are up against the wall.  You have to do something.  You make your decision/choice out of desperation or the only thing you think can do.  Your choices are limited.  But how did it come to this?  How did you get to this point of desperation?  Probably from past decisions/choices that you made. 

Now you can see the harm and danger to you from improper decisions/choices. 

So how do you stop the cycle?  You protect yourself.  You find out all the information.  You ask questions.  You forget about looking silly by asking questions.  You ask away to protect yourself and get the information you need to make the best decisions/choices.  You do not make a decision/choice if you are not comfortable with it. 

You take your time in deciding/choosing.  You do not procrastinate.  You apply thought and care to your decision/choice. 

Once you make your decision/choice there is another step involved.  If the outcome does not turn out as you expected you have to take a step back.  You need to step back without emotion and negative judgement of yourself. 

Once you do this you review objectively.  Subjective review is not the way to go.  Objective review means you look at your decision/choice based on the facts and information you used. 

Was the information misleading?  Did you misinterpret the information?  Did you use the information and make your decision/choice counting on an outcome that the information did not actually support?  In other words were you hoping things would turn out the way you wanted them to? 

This can happen and the way to avoid it is to be objective.  Decide/choose based on only what you know to be true not what might happen.  By doing this you will narrow down your choices.

Did the information confuse you to the point that it was not helpful?  If this happens try to talk it over with someone.  Try to clarify the information.  Sort the facts out.  Get to the bottom line.  Eliminate extraneous information.  Get clear on what will actually happen and what may happen.  If you are still uncertain consider the worst consequences possible based on the possible decisions/choices you can make.  Eliminate the decisions/choices with these dangerous consequences. Decide/choose the one with the least harmful consequences. 

Take responsibility for your decisions/choices.  Taking reponsibility means that “you made the decision/choice.”  Taking repsonsibility does not mean blaming yourself or someone else for the outcome.  Taking reponsibility means that you did what you did.  The decision/choice was yours. 

Once you do this you will notice that life becomes lighter and easier even if the outcome was not what you expected.  Once you take reponsibilty you know that you are in control of your life.  You know that when you made a decision/choice that turned out the way you expected it to you gain confidence.  You also know that when the decision/choice did not turn out the way you expected you have the confidence to go from there. 

As long as you acknowledge and recognize your input you can learn and change from it.  You must own your decisions/choices.  They must be yours and come from you.

Perhaps you made the best decision/choice and it still did not turn out how you wanted.  Let it go.  You can not predict the future.  See if there were past decisions/choices that got you to this place.  See how you can avoid, in the future, getting to a place where even the best decision/choice will not turn out the way you want. 

Decision/choices lead to more decisions/choices.  The best way to break the cycle of harmful decisions/ choices is to start now.  Clean up what happened in the past and start fresh now. 

Your clean up will be messy.  That is to be expected.  Once you get that tackled and you can start on your new mind set you will notice that there will be less and less clean up. 

You will be teaching yourself how to decide/choose in a way that will protect you.  You will be teaching yourself how to decide/choose in a way that will benefit you.  You will be teaching yourself how to decide/choose in a way that will help you gain confidence.  You will be teaching yourself how to decide/choose in a way that will help you take responsibility for your life.  You will be teaching yourself how to decide/choose in a way that will get you what you want in life. 

Marcia, Your Confidence Coach

May 10, 2007 Posted by | choice, competence, confidence, decision, how to succeed, knowledge, self improvement, success | Leave a comment

Be Competent, Get Confident

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Be Competent, Get Confident Question: How does a confident person spend their work time?  Answer: Getting things done. 

Question: How does a person who lacks confidence spend their work time?Answer:  Worrying.  Worrying they will not get things done. Question:  Why/How does a confident person get things done?Answer:  They just stay on task and do them. 

Question: Why/How does a person who lacks confidence not get things done?Answer:  They spend time worrying not completing the task. I think you are getting the picture.  The most efficient way to get things done is to focus on doing one thing at a time.  The most efficient way to get things done is to complete one thing at a time.  The most efficient way to get things done is start the task. The most efficient way to get things done is to work on the task.  A confident person will devote the majority of their time working on the task.  A confident person will spend the majority of their time doing things that get results.  A confident person may worry or contemplate from time to time.  A confident person will spend the minority of their time worrying and contemplating.   

There is no secret to being confident when it comes to tackling your work.  The secret is to do the work and then the confidence will come.  Let’s compare Larry and Lana.   Lana rates herself as mediocre.  Lana would love to have confidence.  If you give a task to Lana she does it. 

Larry is about bragging.  He thinks he has confidence.  If you give Larry a task he procrastinates.  He may get it done but his work has errors.    Here is the difference between Larry and Lana.  Lana takes pride in her work.  Larry takes pride in bragging.  Lana will eventually feel confident.  People count on her and trust her.  She can get the job done.  Larry will keep bragging and eventually be looking for work at another organization.   The moral here is that being competent will lead to you to feel confident.  The moral here is in order to be competent you have to start the task.  The moral here is being competent leads to trust and respect by your peers as well as self respect.

February 10, 2007 Posted by | competence, confidence | 1 Comment