How To Build Your Self-Esteem: Give

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My experience is that I learn more by explaining something for someone than by being taught something. By teaching others or merely communicating something to other people I soon realise if I have gabs in my knowledge. Conveying knowledge generates new knowledge!

I found that this is a general rule in life: Anything you give will generate something in return. Now you are thinking that cannot be true; but it is true. Anything you need you have to give out. I know it sounds crazy because why would anyone give something away they need? Well, you can philosophise about that, but try it out as well.

Today I encourage you to give out self-esteem by making other people feel good about themselves. If you make other people feel good then they will make you feel good and that feeling will improve your self-esteem. Make someone smile and you will get a smile in return and that will make you feel good. Give a compliment and people will say thank you and smile.

If you help someone that needs help, then you will be appreciated and the appreciation will make you feel that your help has a value. What you can do for someone else has a value and that value adds to your self-esteem. Your self-esteem is like a piggy bank where you put in loose change. At first the piggy bank is empty but the more small change you put in, the more value the piggy bank contains.

Like the piggy bank, the more value you give to other people, the more value you can add to your self-esteem. By helping other people, by giving them compliments and by making them happy, you create a value for these people. They will appreciate your deeds and show you how much they are worth. This means that you need other people to add value to your self-esteem and they need you to do the same.

Task no. 8: Find a way to make someone happy and collect the appreciation for your ‘piggy bank’.

The Secret About Consistency

No matter what your beliefs are and no matter what you think or want in life then consistency is important. It does not matter if you are a liberal or a socialist, if you are Christian or a Buddhist, consistency is still extremely important. If you want people to trust you, if you want people to take you seriously then you have to demonstrate consistency.

You have to be consistent in what you say and what you do. If you say one thing then you have to act accordingly. Unconsciously your brain catches signals that are inconsistent and that makes you alert and take a step back. It is a natural behaviour and it is a convenient part of your defence system.

If you want to be the next president you need to act accordingly or you will not be elected. It may seem unfair that you will be judged on the way you look and act in public, but whether you like it or not, people will judge you on your consistency. Does a president wear a t-shirt in congress? No he does not! But why does he not? Does his clothing have any influence on his qualifications? No it does not! But it does influence the unconscious of people from whom he needs trust.

If you were to hire a sales representative and you have to choose between two candidates. They are both highly qualified and both dressed for success, but one of them did not shake hands when you met the first time. Then whom do you choose? There could be hundreds of reasons for not shaking hands but most people will think of it as negative and rude. Thereby the candidate has made a bad impression and he was inconsistent. He lost credibility!

Consistency is important if you need other people’s trust and credibility. This is especially important for public figures like politicians, actors, businessmen etc. If you make one stupid mistake as a public figure, then it does not matter if you are qualified or otherwise trustworthy. If people scent inconsistency then you will loose credibility.

The mistakes can be anything and they do not have to be relevant for your function. Is it fair? No it is not, but that is how it works!

How To Build Your Self-Esteem: Small Successes

CandlelightSelf-esteem is one of the most important things you have to work on in life development. Your self-esteem is developed early in life in the age of 3-6 yrs. If you have traumatic experiences from that period then your self-esteem needs work.

This post is about building self-esteem through small successes. The human brain is very complex and we still do not know its potential to the full. We have an unconscious mind that helps protect us from bad things.

E.g. the first time a child sees a candle flame the child will be amazed and curious. The child will feel attracted and want to investigate this new fascinating phenomenon. All senses will be used when exploring something new and vision is the first, next the sense of smell, then the sense of hearing. Now the child wants to feel and taste as well. The child will put his fingers into the flame and experience intense heat that makes the unconscious register danger. A defence system makes the child pull his fingers away. Next time the child sees a flame he will register danger before touching the flame.

This is a very useful human feature in life. But sometimes the unconscious registers danger when it should not. If the child experiences something traumatic early in life, then he will link the experience to what he made at that moment and feel that what he did was bad. The unconscious of the child will be convinced that his actions are not good enough and the feeling of success stays away. Later in life the adult child will avoid taking action and prefer to stay anonymous.

Task no. 1: Every day you have to list five small things you want to accomplish that day. They have to be small and easy tasks that you list on a to-do list. When you finish a task you check it on the list and take a minute enjoying the satisfaction of a job well done. When the day is over then take a look at all the things you did successfully. Make small tasks like paying a bill, making that call or cleaning up your desk. The actions have to be small and easy to demonstrate to yourself that you are capable of achieving goals. Sometimes you will fail, but do not worry because every time you fail you learn something new – and that is a success!

Who Are You?

Do you know who you are? If you do not know who you are, how can you expect others to know? It is extremely important that you know yourself to get on a good path in life. You are the only one you can be certain that will be there for your entire life. You cannot escape yourself and if you do not fulfil your needs and get to know yourself, then you will end up unhappy and lonely. Not even you will listen to you and how sad is that?

If you go to a shop that says: “This is a shop that sells stuff”, would your first thought be to go and buy that thing you had been looking for? – No of course not! But let us say that you are a very curious person and decide go in. The door at the entrance binds and you push hard to make it budge. You manage to make an opening just big enough to squeeze yourself into the shop. You see a lot of undefined stuff blocking the doorway and you decide to climb over it to get into the shop.

Inside the shop you look around. There are know signs to inform what kind of stuff they sell and ‘they’ are not to see anywhere. The shop seems deserted and undefined. It does not communicate any value to you, unless caving is your favourite pastime. Eventually the undefined stuff that is clogging up the shop will bore you and you will leave. The shop does not present any value to you and it does not seem to want anything from you.

The shop can only exist if an exchange of value takes place. The same goes for you! Put yourself instead of the shop. Are you like this shop? Do people leave without exchanging value? If you want people to visit your shop and stay for a cup of coffee, then you have to do something to tell people what you offer. When people notice what you have to offer then they will come and give whatever they have to give in return.

You have to go and explore every aspect of yourself and communicate all your discoveries to the world and people will join you and make your life the best thing that ever happened. There are 7 billion people in the world and I can assure you that some of them are bound to notice you and they will certainly like what you have to offer.

Exploring takes time; you have all life; now go explore yourself!

What Is Good?

Aristotle said that all actions we take have a purpose and that purpose is to strive for something better. It is not human nature to take action towards something worse; it would not make sense to us. This is worth considering when people do something that seems to worsen the conditions for other people or themselves, because their original intentions may actually have been to improve the conditions.

If something is good is a matter of perspective. If there is something we want then this thing must be good; if there is something we dislike and do not want then this thing would be bad. Since we do not have the same feelings towards wants and do-not-wants we will experience conflicts where something good to one part is defined as bad for another. Let us say I want to eat peanuts because they make me feel good. I decide to share my good feeling and I offer them to you, but you reject the offer because you are allergic to peanuts and they will make you feel bad. In this case peanuts are defined good in my worldview but in your worldview peanuts are bad.

Something good does not stay good permanently. E.g. when I have eaten enough peanuts I do not want more of them. If I continue eating the peanuts anyway then I will start to dislike them and they will become bad in my worldview. I will probably want something else instead, like water.

To feel good you need to take action and do something else than you do now. Actions means change and change will conflict with your peace of mind and that is what I will write about in my next post.

Challenge: Try to see the good intentions in actions from people you dislike. E.g. Hitler; Lenin; Saddam Hussein; your government; or maybe just someone in your social circle.