It’s really not difficult…
Have you ever felt like you are just sitting on the sidelines, watching the “popular” people racking up all the success? They operate with confidence and receive the recognition, the relationships, the great jobs, the big money, etc.
The big question is, why are you watching them rather than creating YOUR OWN success story?
As mentioned in part 1 of this series, most people are totally unaware that they are practicing “self-sabotage.” In your experience you may have some limiting beliefs that are holding you back, or you may think of yourself only in a single context (role). If you haven’t already read Part 1, you may want to go back and read it first.
So here’s the good news…
Your life doesn’t have to be this way, and we are going to give you a step by step plan to help you get out of your way so that you can be in the middle of your very own successful and rewarding life. First, let’s look more closely at those self-confident and successful people to see how they operate.
What is Self-Esteem?
Basically “self-esteem” is a person’s subjective evaluation of what they are worth, and when we don’t believe we are worth much it is a result of a whole list of negative beliefs and judgments like:
- I’m ugly
- I’m fat
- I’m an idiot
- Most people don’t like me
- My parents did not really like me
- I’m not smart enough to learn anything like that
- I am a failure
- No one in my family has been successful (and therefore I can’t be either).
I’m sure you have a list of your own personal favorites.
You Talkin’ to Me?
Often these negative judgments are reinforced with internal self-talk, you know that cranky little voice in your head that repeats these negative ideas over and over and over until you have heard them so many times you actually believe they are true. Voila, limiting beliefs are born!
Talking to yourself in this way is one of the habits that lead to low self-esteem. Not surprisingly, successful people spend very little if any time talking to themselves in that way.
There are some really fun ways that you can change the nature of this self-talk that we will cover in the final segment of this series.
Successful People Have High Self-Esteem
Here are a few other traits that people with high self-esteem have:
- They do not spend time worrying about what other people may think of them.
- They ask for what they want, but are open to advice. (They don’t believe they need to be right all of the time.)
- They are good listeners, and tend to listen more than they speak. (They don’t feel pressure to impress)
- They do not over analyze, but instead focus on positive action. They look for solutions. (They are not afraid of making bad choices)
- They are loving and kind. (Not self-absorbed)
- They accept compliments without minimizing them and also freely give appreciation to others.
- They view challenges as opportunities.
- They do not seek the spotlight, they do not need recognition to feel validated – but they DO try to shine it on others.
- Their body language reflects their confidence – posture straight, using direct eye contact and frequent, genuine smiles. (You know the difference between a smile that is genuine and one that is forced!)
- They do not make excuses.
As you can tell, those with high self-esteem tend to look at the proverbial glass as half full rather than half empty. A positive outlook keeps them from feeling defeated when life doesn’t seem to be going as well as desired. Instead, it provides motivation to grow and find solutions.
People with High Self-Esteem Have Better Relationships
By listening more than they speak, they not only learn more but are able to create better and more resilient relationships with others. Think about how good it feels when you feel that someone is really paying attention when you are speaking.
Expressing appreciation for others regularly also makes them someone that others want to be around.
Someone with high self-esteem does not make toxic relationships a part of his or her life. If a relationship becomes toxic, they will find a way to detach.
Healthy relationships are easy to spot!
- The participants have made a commitment to the relationship and operate with trust in each other.
- Fun and laughter are a large part of their interaction.
- They communicate honestly and openly, not allowing bad feelings to fester beneath the surface.
- They express interest in what the other is doing, even when it is not something they are interested in for themselves.
- They don’t expect their partner to “make them happy.” They understand that genuine happiness comes from within.
- They do not try to change or judge the other person. An interesting statistic from businessinsider.com: People who are focused on criticizing their partners miss a whopping 50 percent of positive things their partners are doing and they see negativity when it’s not there.
- The above article also found that studies have shown that the two traits that are most predictive of a long-lasting relationship are kindness and generosity.
- Conversely, contempt is the most likely factor to rip a relationship apart.
People with High Self-Esteem Have More Job Satisfaction
- I am a teacher
- I am an engineer
- I am a programmer
- I work construction
Trying to nail down the definition of job satisfaction is difficult. There are many different ways of looking at it, ranging from how content one is with his/her job to a complex set of psychological components.
The basic factors that make up job satisfaction usually include how much compensation is involved (this can be more than just a “salary”), how much responsibility is involved, how interesting the work is, how much opportunity is available for growth (knowledge, responsibilities, prestige), and the relationships with coworkers and supervisors.
More and more, psychologists are finding that people are the happiest with their work if they feel that it is meaningful
In a 2010 review, Brent D. Rosso, PhD, and colleagues noted that finding meaning in one’s work has been shown to increase motivation, engagement, empowerment, career development, job satisfaction, individual performance and personal fulfillment, and to decrease absenteeism and stress (Research in Organizational Behavior, 2010).
Needless to say, what is meaningful to one person may not be to another. We all have different criteria. People with high self-esteem have figured out that they can create meaning in their work in a variety of ways.
- By cultivating relationships with coworkers there can be a larger sense of teamwork and comradery.
- They look for ways to make their work more efficient.
- They use reframing techniques to focus on the positive aspects of their work.
- They are goal-oriented, often breaking down large goals into smaller milestones to feel more satisfaction along the way.
- They often seek out tasks that others are not interested in – there can be less competition leading to more opportunities for success
- They don’t mind making mistakes, they use the feedback as information to excel.
- They share their knowledge, mentoring colleagues when given an opportunity.
- They are interested in developing new skills
- When searching for a job they feel no insecurity or self-doubt.
As you can clearly see, these people focus on the positive aspects of their job. They feel confident in their abilities, and they do not let temporary negative circumstances throw them off track. The “job” itself isn’t the only important thing – learning, creating relationships, and self-growth are key components as well.
As an example of someone who found success early in life, here is an inspiring Ted Talk by Taj Pabari, a 15 year-old entrepreneur who is passionate about inspiring children in today’s emerging 21st Century Digital Economy to discover the great world of entrepreneurship through technology and innovation.
In 2014, Taj founded Fiftysix, an exciting and interactive way for children to immerse themselves in innovative technology through continuous creation and entertaining education. The company aims to ignite the creative spark in all children by allowing them to build and customize their very own tablet, and along the way learning what really makes it go. Taj was also the Winner of The Australian Young Innovator of the Year for 2014.
Watch his great presentation below…
In summary, there is a set of traits shared by those who are successful – and they really aren’t a secret! They feel good about themselves, without being arrogant or expecting perfection from themselves or others. They have satisfying, healthy relationships and feel good about their work. In Part 3 of this series, we will look at how anyone can easily become a part of this group. You will discover how you can change your limiting beliefs and become the successful person you have always wanted to be!
Editor’s Note: If you are interested in taking a shortcut to eliminating self-sabotage, you may want to find out more about our Eliminate Self-Sabotage program. It works great coupled with the advice you will find in part 3!