A good self-esteem is gold, and it is in fact a golden crown. And now that we have known ‘WHY’ we should have a good self-esteem, it is even more important that we also know ‘HOW’ we can develop it.
Some people are born naturally with a good self-esteem and they do not need to try too hard to develop one. This may be due to their inborn temperament and personality. But some others need to consciously develop a good self-esteem for them to have it.
To help us do that, I have compiled here ten (10) keys that anyone can use to build a powerful self-esteem and boost confidence. Let’s begin.
1. Understand your Identity in God
In the course of writing this book, I have tried not to sound overly religious or so ‘churchy’. But in my opinion, the problem of self-esteem cannot be effectively and truly solved outside God. Any form of esteem you acquire without reference to God is at best, a form of pride. So it all begins with knowing who you are in God.
Self-esteem is basically an identity issue. So when you clarify your identity in God, you would have succeeded in laying an unshakeable founadtion for your self-esteem (and indeed, your life as a whole).
So what really is your identity in God?
First, recognise that you were created in God’s image and after His likeness. That means you are like God in your own unique way. If you are born again, GOD IS YOUR FATHER. And that makes us His sons and daughters. We are even made to understand that we are gods here on earth. That means you have divinity inside of you. We are not just ordinary human beings. You are a god in human form. We are also made to understand that we are a royal priesthood. That means YOU ARE A KING and of a royal bloodline.
These are some of the basic truths that surround your identity in God. So think about all these things and you will know that you are truly special in God’s eyes.
Did you know also that as far as your identity in God is concerned, you cannot be dull? Yes you certainly cannot be dull, retarded or foolish if you have that understanding, because we are also made to understand that as children of God, we have the mind of Christ. And that mind carries the wisdom of God inside. In God also, you have unlimited potentials. You cannot be a failure. Because we are also made to understand that we can do ALL THINGS through Christ. So you see, you are one of the most amazing creatures the world has ever seen.
We are not just ordinary human beings. We are gods in human form
In conclusion to having this understanding, it is very important that you have an active relationship with God. So in case you are not born again as you are reading this book, I encourage you to invite Jesus into your heart and make him the Lord of your life. And as you do this, the foundation to having a good self-esteem and every other aspect of your life would have been thoroughly laid.
2. Understand Your Value to Humanity
(Your Intrinsic Worth)
Sometimes, as a young person, you may be tempted to believe that you are insignificant and unimportant. You may have the mindset that you do not really matter. But that is not true. You must understand that you are very important to your generation. In fact, you are very important to the whole of humanity. There is something about you and in you that the whole world needs.
For some people, this may be hard to believe. Some people have been raised to think very little of themselves. They think that they have nothing important to contribute and so they believe that they are not important and this makes their self-esteem very low. But if only they would understand the truth of who they really are, then they would understand how important they are.
Like I said earlier, there is something in you and about you that the whole world needs. And without you, the world may never have it. To illustrate this, let me tell you a little story.
A very long time ago, there lived an orphan boy in a little village. And in this village, there was a certain cave that was believed to have magical powers. Within this cave, anyone who was sick with any disease would instantly be cured. Even if the person was dead, he or she would still come back to life if only the body was brought into the cave before nightfall.
One day, a certain king was brought in from a distant Kingdom. This king was very sick and was about to die. But when they got to the cave, they discovered that it had been blocked by a huge stone. They tried to push it away but they could not. They finally learned there was only one way for the cave to be opened.
“Only the chosen song from an honest soul,
Alone, would suffice the stone to roll”.
That meant that they needed an honest person to come and sing to the stone so that it can be rolled away. They tried many people, but no one’s song was accepted for the stone to roll away.
Finally, they heard of this orphan boy who had a reputation for honesty. It was said that the boy never lies and that only he could open the cave. And by that, they went searching for him. They finally found him in the bush trying to set traps for rodents.
Immediately they found him, they greeted him. They told him about the cave and what they had heard about him. They promised him that if he could only come with them to the cave, to sing to the stone and it rolls away, they would make him a chief in their land. The boy eventually agreed and followed them to the cave. And when he began to sing, the stone rolled away on its own. The king was then taken into the cave and he became healed. But the king did not just make the boy a chief in his land. He made him his heir (because the king had no son). That means he would become the next king of the land.
This story goes a long way to paint a picture of how important you are as a person. In life, you are important, not just because of your status or age or wealth or position, but because of what you have inside. We call it “Innate Potentials”.
Just like that little orphan boy, you may think you are nothing today. But you must realise that as he had a voice that could sing the only acceptable song, you also have something in you that can cure the ‘sickness’ of this generation.
There is something in you that can solve a global problem. And this is part of what makes you very important.
When you come to understand your usefulness and worth to humanity like this, you will begin to have a higher self-esteem. You must also remember that you are very unique. There is something about you that makes you different from every other person on earth. In fact, it has been said that among every human being that has ever lived, that currently lives and will ever live, there is no one that has your exact finger print and your exact DNA. That means you are one in BILLIONS.
For you to have and enjoy a good self-esteem, you must constantly remind yourself of these things. You must have the consciousness of the fact that that you are very important to all of humanity and you are also very unique in who you are. That way, you will be more confident about yourself.
3. Understand Your Potentials
Potential simply means what you can be, that you have not yet become; what you can do that you have not yet done; what you can achieve that you have not yet achieved. So when we talk about your potentials, we are talking about all of the things that are inside you that you have not yet expressed. And although these things cannot be seen yet (because they are still lying dormant inside you), there is no doubt that they are there and they are very powerful. Your potentials are actually unlimited. That means there is no limit to what you can become and achieve.
One of the major reasons many people have a low self-esteem is that they do not have a good understanding of their potentials. They judge themselves based on their unfortunate past or their undesirable present and they conclude that the future could not be any much better. But the truth is that everyone has the potential to bring about a most remarkable future; a future of greatness and success. It doesn’t matter where you came from, what you have been through or what you are currently going through. Deep down inside you, you still have what it takes to be the greatest of your kind. So you must understand your potentials.
I know by now, you may be asking yourself “where exactly are these potentials?” And I will tell you. Your gifts and your talents are the most evident forms of your potentials. This is what I mean; most of what you can do that you have not yet done can be seen in your gifts and talents. What you can be that you have not yet been can be seen in your talents. And what you can achieve that you have not yet achieved can be predicted from your gifts and talents also.
For example, if you have the gift of singing and you possess a very wonderful voice, it means you have the potentials to become one of the greatest singers in the world. It means you can become an award-winning musician, a remarkable vocalist and a legend in the music industry.
Maybe on the other hand, you have the talent of playing football. It means you have the potentials to become one of the greatest footballers of all time like Ronaldo and Pele. It means that deep down inside of you, you have what it takes to be one of the first eleven of your national team or to be the most valuable player of any of the club sides in any of the best leagues in the world. It means that you can become a legend in the world of football.
If you have a talent in acting, then you can become one of the greatest actors/actresses the world has ever seen. If you are good in painting, then you can become another Leonardo da Vinci or a Michelangelo. Perhaps your own talent is dancing. Then you must realise that you have the potentials to become a world renowned dancer – one whose value cannot be undermined. Maybe you’re talented with numbers and calculations, you have the potentials to become a great mathematician or a genius in a related field.
So whatever your gifts or your talents may be, you must understand that it has the capacity to take you to the highest point that you ever dreamt of getting. And the more you understand your potentials, the better your self-esteem would be. That way, you will no longer look down on yourself. Instead, you will begin to think of yourself as that important personality that you can become in the near future.
Your Gifts and your Talents are the seed-carrying forms of your ultimate potentials
Your potentials are unlimited. Your gifts and talents can take you anywhere you wish to go. No matter which gifts or talents you possess, whether it is in music, sports, Arts or even Sciences. They all have unimaginable potentials. And the more you focus your mind on those potentials, the higher your self-esteem. Do not worry about how it will happen. Just believe that it can (and it will) happen one day and you will begin to develop good self-esteem.
4. Look Down on your Past, Look Up to your Future
Have you ever wondered why as human beings, we have two eyes and both of them are in front of our heads? (No eye at the back). Now I do not want you to bother about the scientific implications of this. However, it might have made some sense for one eye of be in front while the other is at the back of our heads. A least that way, we will be able of see what is in front of us and what is behind us at the same time.
Obviously, this may be a bit funny to think about. But my point here is that God in his infinite wisdom, decided to put both eyes in front for a reason. And I believe that it is so that we can continually focus more on what is in front and ahead of us instead of what is behind us.
To develop a good self-esteem, we must focus less on what is in the past – behind us, and focus more on what is in the future – in front and ahead. The future is always more important than the past. If you continually pay more attention to what has happened in the past, you will always have reasons to be depressed and this will make you feel bad about yourself.
Stop focusing on the past mistakes, the past loses, the past failures or even the past success that you have not been able to replicate. Instead, focus on your future hopes and aspirations. Focus on your dreams and goals that will one day become a reality in the near future.
Some people give up too easily on themselves because of a couple of mistakes they have made in the past. Maybe they failed a number of times in school, business or relationships. Perhaps they feel responsible for the troubles in their families or their parents’ marriage. Some feel very guilty about certain bad things that they did as children and all these feelings and memories from the past has crippled their self-esteem.
They keep rehashing these events in their minds and the more they do this, the more they hate themselves and believe that they are not good enough. The more they focus on all the negative things in their past, the more difficult it becomes for them to have confidence in themselves and build a healthy self-esteem.
If you have found yourself in this situation, I’d like you to break this pattern. You have to shift your focus away from the past and redirect it towards your future. The past may be so dirty and messed up, but the future is still a clean slate. You may have failed many times in the past, but the future still holds a possibility for you to excel like never before. You may have made some made mistakes in the past but you still have a chance to make amends and become a better person. You may have even done some bad things, consequences of which are still affecting your life or your family today. But you must realise that your future is not doomed by your past.
No matter what you have done or have failed to do, you can begin to look forward to a better future and put a smile on your face. The sad and ugly fact about your past is that you cannot change it. But the beautiful truth about your future is that you have the power today to make it how you want it to be. The past is fixed. You can’t do anything about it anymore. So why should you keep focusing on it. However the future is not yet fixed. You can still do something about it. The future is waiting for you to make it as good as you want it to be. And the power to do it is in you.
“The past is all in your head now, but the Future is still in your Hand.” – Unknown
Make a decision today, not to give more attention to your past anymore. Instead, focus more on your future. Look down on your past like it doesn’t really matter- because your past doesn’t really matter. And look up to your future because it’s where you are going. All of your greatest successes are in your future, all of your greatest accomplishments are in your future.
In the future, you have what it takes to be an award winner, a life success and a leader in your generation.
Looking up to your future will do more for you than just giving you a good self-esteem. It will actually free you from all of the burdens and worries from your past. It will set you up psychologically for success and give you happiness in your present situation. So to builds a good self-esteem, look down on your past and look up to your future.
5. Choose an Empowering Company
“He who walks with wise men will be wise. But the companion of fools will be destroyed”
– (Prov. 13:20)
The company you keep will always have a huge influence on you, whether you know it or not and whether you like it or not. You can’t soar like an eagle when you keep the company of ducks. So if you want to build and retain a good self-esteem, you must deliberately choose and keep a company of people with a good self-esteem and whose presence empowers you emotionally, psychologically and even spiritually.
Knowing this truth, perhaps the next question is, “how do I know which company is empowering and which is not?”
Even the Bible has something to say about this… “By their fruits, you shall know them.”
When you come around different people, you will usually feel differently. Certain people generally have a positive ‘vibe’ about them. They speak positivity and behave in ways that make others (as well as themselves) feel good. They are more likely to encourage you rather than criticize. And even when they have to correct you (because we all need correction from time to time), they do so with an attitude of love, rather than hatred. They tend to always live on the bright side of life. A company of such people are what I would refer to as an ‘empowering company’. They are people who have a good self esteem themselves.
On the hand, there are people whose presence seem to always drain you of energy and motivation. They are usually negative people who always see something wrong with who you are and what you do. They ignore your accomplishments and magnify your errors. Being around them is sure to dampen your mood and make you feel less than you truly are. And I call a company of such people a ‘disempowering company’. They are usually people who lack a good self-esteem themselves.
Now that it is clear what an empowering company is, it is very important to deliberately seek them out and hang around them. Even if you cannot be in their company physically all the time, you can feed your mind with their resources like books, audios and videos. But sometimes, you may also have to make some extra sacrifice to build a relationship with them.
Avoid disempowering companies, even if they are your biological family members (Do it strategically). Try to create some gap between yourself and them. And just in case you cannot do that physically (in the case of family members, for instance), try to insulate your mind from their influence by spending less time in their presence. An empowering company is an asset.