Self-esteem is the jet fuel of motivation.
A high level of self-esteem is the key to success in life for many people. Thus it can give you:
- a good feeling about yourself and an optimistic outlook, taking you into a virtuous circle of positivity, with each success encouraging you on to further success.
- the courage to try things out and push back your boundaries.
- the ability to relate well with others, helping to promote their self-esteem by encouragement and support.
- the confidence to network: to seek out and talk to people who share your interests and who may be able to help you move towards your goals.
- an appropriate level of assertiveness, enabling you to negotiate well with others and to be able to ask for what you need and are entitled to.
- the motivation to persevere towards your goals, despite adverse circumstances.
- the resilience to be impervious to negativity in others, always ready to regard failure as an inevitable part of the learning process and not an indicator of personal inadequacy.
If self-esteem does play such a pivotal role in personal development, then it is quite clear that it should be given much greater emphasis at all levels of education. But how do we gain a high level of self-esteem? According to Carl Rogers, positive self-regard originates in the regard which is shown to us by others. Thus, we develop high self-esteem when we are in an environment which truly values and affirms us. Murray White has extensively explored this idea in schools by developing the concept of Circletime.
In all our working situations, whether as teachers, students, managers or colleagues, we need to become more aware of the role we can play in raising other people's self-esteem and so contribute to their well-being and effectiveness. We should also seek to influence our organisations, so that they become more affirming and empowering. Finally, we should be sensitive to our own level of self-esteem and, where necessary, seek to raise it. This can be assisted by attending personal development and similar workshops.
For further information on self-esteem see:
- An Online Guide to Improving Self-Esteem
- Building Good Self Esteem - 3 Tips to Become More Confident
Magic Circle to enhance children's self-esteem
National Association for Self-Esteem
SelfGrowth.com - Self Esteem and Self Confidence Websites