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Success and Your Self-Esteem By Daniel Sitter

Self-esteem, the manner in which one feels about herself at the deepest level, influences virtually every aspect of our lives, hence whether we are successful or not. No kidding, it is that important. If we were all brutally honest with ourselves, each of us would quietly confess some feeling of inadequacy in at least one area of our life. This might be leftover scarring from a childhood emotional wound or result from a recent verbal attack from someone. Many times, even though we appear to be ignoring such an assault, we secretly harbor negative, self-abusing thoughts and our mind goes to work to paint worst-case scenarios.

Like Fort Knox, one's self-esteem should be guarded with great intensity of purpose. We should be on guard, constantly vigilant and aware of anything that could damage our feelings of worth and value. Self- doubt is the Devils' greatest weapon against us. We should guard our own self-esteem as well as that of our children and other loved ones, constantly building them up and encouraging them. We are all of great value to our Creator, our families and those closest to us. Do not ever allow anyone, whether intentionally or not, to attempt to convince you otherwise. As Zig Ziglar is noted for saying, "When you point a finger at someone else, you have three times that many pointing back at you."

A sign of lacking sufficient self-esteem is frequently noted in a person who is often critical of others, always finding fault in their performance or activities, all the while attempting to build himself up in comparison. Don't be fooled, and don't fall victim to this kind of assault. There is also a fine line between confidence and arrogance, and the defining variable is often sincere belief and caring. At the core of your values do you actually believe with confidence that you can do it, or is your appearance of confidence a front, masking a sense of fear and inadequacy? True confidence often empowers others with inspiration through leadership. Arrogance often includes a sense of cockiness or a slight demeaning of others possibly attempting the same task as you. An arrogant person may think that he is the sole person capable of the successful completion of a task, while a confident person will often inspire and empower others by leading them to join in on the accomplishment of a specific task or goal, sharing the glory and empowerment afterwards.

Success has been defined in many ways by dozens of people over the years. I prefer to view success as a worthwhile journey whose reward is evident as the result of embarking on, staying the course, and completing that journey. Success is more about the how than the what. That journey, that "pursuit of a worthy ideal," often defines ones' character in great detail. Self-esteem is enhanced by this pursuit. Self-esteem will deepen and grow because of this pursuit. It is seldom a result of reaching the goal, but more a function of the process itself. Self-esteem is enhanced by the very belief of "I can" and the action that is associated with it. Self-esteem will grow with action and perseverance. Self-esteem will be enhanced each and every time you step out and expand your comfort zone. Self-esteem will deepen every time you lift someone else up and encourage them. Your self-esteem will grow each time you share these simple principles with someone else and help them to grow. You are empowered by the growth and confidence you inspire in others.

Success then, is almost a by-product of self-esteem, proportional to the depth of ones' convictions and self-belief. The journey of accomplishing a worthy ideal involves digging deeply inside and mustering confidence, self-belief , discipline and persistence. Self-esteem and success, though appearing dependent upon one another, are in reality, independent. Immediate or apparent success, or lack thereof, will not impede the self-esteem of a person who is consciously on the trail of a worthy pursuit as described earlier, for they understand that the success they seek is simply a matter of time. This person is not discouraged by short-term setbacks. Her mind is focused upon her goal and she constantly is "adjusting her sails for changes in the wind."

See yourself as a person of great value, capable of making wonderful contributions to enhance the lives of others, perhaps some of whom which are not even known to you. Do not allow others to control your self-esteem. It has been said that "no one can make you feel inferior without your permission." Simply withhold permission, no matter the circumstances. Self-esteem is your own; start cultivating it today.

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