Subject: Self-esteem, Positive Mental Attitude, Success, Adversity
One of the toughest things to obtain and maintain is a positive self-esteem. Self-esteem is how we feel about ourselves, where positive is the condition we wish to maintain.
But how does one go about developing a positive self-esteem? In order to be positive one must have an optimistic view about the possibility of things we trying to achieve or accomplish.
Only through personal successes, small or big, do we enforce or reinforce our self-esteem.
I’m often reminded of the story of the three little pigs when I think of self-esteem. In the story, each pig chose the type of material they would use to build their house. One chose straw, the other wood and the last one brick. The big bad wolf was able to blow down the first two, but failed to blow down the house made of brick.
In life and in business, we run across situations or individuals for that matter who will try to blow our house down. When you lose your job the first thing you begin to question is why did this happen to you? What did you do wrong? What could you have done better? All these questions are puffs or gusts aimed at bringing down our house of self-esteem.
Some of us have self-esteem houses made of straw. This lightweight material is the result of always depending on others for help and never achieving a sense of self-reliance. A person who has never accepted responsibility or accountability for their actions completely will always have their house blown down with the slightest puff of an unfavorable circumstance. For example, people who live off of government subsidies to survive or who chose not to get an education are always in danger of getting their self-esteem house knocked down.
Those who’ve chosen wood are usually those who’ve always piggy-backed off of other’s successes. People who’ve never gone it alone or taken any risk themselves and have always played it safe. These people assume some accountability and responsibility to the degree others will cover for them if things go wrong. There are those that can withstand small puffs and get by. But this same group people who use wood to build their houses will have it collapse at the first gust of real adversity. Good example of this group would be people who overextend themselves on debt or try to leave beyond their means. And when they lose their job, for instance, their seemingly solid house of wood begins to collapse under the weight of debt.
The question we need to ask is, how do we construct a house of self-esteem made of brick? Well like any good builder, it begins with acquiring the proper material. The best material for building comes from our past. Each brick we lay is a reminder of all the great things we’ve done in the past. And the mortar we lay between them is our confidence that we can do these things again.
Often times in the face of adversity, we panic and depress ourselves. We commit a great crime against our self-esteem by not remembering all the good things we’ve accomplished. We forget about all those times where we surmounted the problems and dealt with adversity face on.
When we surrender self-esteem in the present, it is because we’ve forgotten or forsaken our past. I hear many motivational speakers and pundits who say the past is the past. I disagree to the extent that remembering successes and lessons learned is worth looking back at. Looking back into the past is a reminder of how far we’ve come.
Adversity and personal challenges to overcome are part of the success equation. As many have said, it is how we confront these setbacks that determine our character going forward. Difficult times will come, but they won’t last unless you allow them to.
Look back at your accomplishments and reflect on who you are and how far you’ve come. Then turn your head and look forward, over the present obstacles, and see the possibilities. Build your house with bricks of personal accomplishments and private successes and you will never have to fear the gust of change shaking your foundation.
Please forward this article; share it with a friend who may need a few words of inspiration.
Victor Antonio G., a top business motivational speaker and author of “The LOGIC of Success”.
Copyright © 2004 by Victor Antonio G. All rights reserved. This article MAY be reproduced in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, as long as the author’s name, website and email address are included as part of the article’s body. All inquiries, including information on electronic licensing, should be directed to Victor Antonio G.
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