by Linda Cattelan
Do you measure your personal self-worth based on what others think of you? Do you work really hard to make others like or approve of you? Do you find it hard to say no to people, believing that others’ priorities are more important than your own? Do you lack confidence?
If you answered yes to most of these questions, you may have a low opinion of yourself, or perhaps you just don’t consider yourself worthy. Enhancing your self-image will help to build self-confidence, and your personal self-worth.
Here Are Five Ways To Find, Or Enhance, Your Personal Self-Worth
1. Pay Attention to Your Posture and Your Body Language – How you hold your physical body has an impact on how others see you, and on how you personally feel. Similarly, how you feel often determines your body language, and your outward behavior. The two go hand in hand – body language impacting feelings, and feelings impacting body language. A simple solution is to check your body language, and especially your posture.
Stand tall with your head held high, shoulders squared, back straight and legs solid and perfectly aligned; you will feel more in control, and more self-assured. Remember the phrase “chin up”? When you hold your chin up, it is much easier to stay in a positive, more optimistic mood. Make sure you are outwardly projecting a strong physical presence. Over time what you feel inwardly will begin to match your outward posture, and body language.
2. Filter Your Self-Talk – What is the story you are telling yourself in your thoughts, or out loud with the words you choose? Are you beating yourself up with your own language? Our unconscious mind is just like a robot, and it takes everything we say literally and personally. Filter your thoughts, and filter your words. Catch yourself when you start to spiral into negative thinking, or negative language.
Wear an elastic band on one of your wrists, and snap it as soon as you think or say something that is negative. It will interrupt your negative thinking or speech pattern. When you catch yourself, reword the negative thought or message into a positive thought or message. Here’s what that might sound like: “I’m an idiot, I can’t believe I just did that”, “stop/delete”, “I could have done a better job on that project. I will use the feedback to do better next time.”
No one is perfect. Recognize that there is no failure, only helpful feedback. Learn from your mistakes, and then move on to the next chapter.
3. Develop Your Own Measuring Stick – Know what’s important to you, and take time to honor what you value most. Don’t let others influence your view of success and/or happiness. Take time out to recognize your accomplishments, no matter how big or small. Keep track of all your accomplishments, and keep your proud moments in a journal. If you maintain a personal journal, or even a work journal, start writing daily or hourly in that journal.
Keep track of all the big and little things that happen every day which validate your successes. It could be as simple as “I contributed a valid point in a business meeting today” or “Two people gave me positive feedback on that sales proposal I developed”. The more you fill up your proud moment pages, the more you will have to feel good about whenever you reread what you wrote.
You will also begin to develop some supporting documentation as proof of your strengths, and accomplishments.
4. Know Your Worth – Here’s a simple exercise you can do to gain a richer perspective of how you are perceived by others. Start by taking a close look at yourself, and create an inventory of your unique characteristics and strengths. Who are you? What sets you apart from others? What attributes do you have that you might have taken for granted, or not previously recognized?
Include your personality traits, passions, experiences, or areas of expertise. Then, enlist the assistance of others to help you understand how you are perceived by others. Ask friends, colleagues, clients, suppliers, and family to share with you what they see as your core characteristics. Ask as many people as possible within the next couple of weeks to describe you in four to six words, or one sentence.
Once you get all the feedback, look for patterns. Choose six to eight of those descriptive words, or phrases, that really represent who you are. Notice any differences, or similarities, between your list, and the list others came up with. What you will learn about how the world sees you should be very empowering.
5. Create a Vision for the Future – Develop an image vision board. Focus on what you want: your goals, aspirations, and your dreams. Clip images, pictures, words, and phrases, of what you wish to create for yourself. Next, pin or paste them to a corkboard. Then, make progress towards something you really want, by taking some action, no matter how small of a first step it may be.
You are much more than you think you are!! Stand tall, look for evidence of your proud moments and accomplishments, and let that be an acknowledgement of how great you really are. Use your own measuring stick for success, not what everyone else tells you it should be.
Create a compelling positive vision of your future, and then confidently move forward with it!!
Linda Cattelan is an Executive and Career Coach, Certified Trainer and Master Practitioner of NLP. She is Contributing Author of “The Power of Women United”, an inspirational book about networking.
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