Welcome!

Blog Feed Post

Self-confidence and self-esteem – the real way to get it

do-your-best-boycroppedHow many books on self-esteem and self-confidence have you read? Most of them tell you the same thing only using different words or different illustrations to make their point.

The Huffington Post carried an article titled, “9 Self-assuring Affirmations For When You Need a Little Boost.” I clicked on it hoping I might learn something new. I didn’t.

It was only a series of nine little pictures with clever sayings on them. The “writer” provided no content beyond a short introductory paragraph that ended with these two sentences: “If you’re looking for a little encouragement, check out the self-assuring affirmations below. Then take on the world with the knowledge that you’re capable of anything.”

My first thought was, “who doesn’t need a little encouragement? I know I do from time to time.”

My second thought was that I am NOT “capable of anything.” Heck, I proved that on Friday when I played basketball with a bunch of seniors and tried to jump to get a rebound. I can’t jump much over one or two inches anymore. No more jumping up and grabbing the rim like I did in college. Those days are over. I think I could affirm myself able to slam-dunk the basketball from here to eternity and it simply ain’t gonna happen.

Once I got over the grief of aging, I decided to read the affirmations because by now, I really did need a little encouragement. As I read the affirmations two words stood out to me – I and ME. One of those two words was a part of every affirmation.

Could it be that all the self-esteem gurus and all the confidence building techniques we have been taught are upside down? Do we really get self-esteem by talking to ourselves or do we get self esteem from doing something, accomplishing a goal, working hard on something that is important, maybe by helping others?

So here’s what I did. I took each of the nine affirmations that were supposed to give us a boost and I turned them upside down. By so doing, I may have made them right-side-up.

The first affirmation said, “This challenge will bring out the best in me.”

No doubt challenges bring out the best in us. When we are pushed beyond what we think we can endure or beyond what we think we can accomplish, we have to do our best and we often surprise ourselves at what we really can accomplish given the opportunity and the motivation to get it done.

But I want to turn that affirmation up-sided-down. Instead of saying, “This challenge will bring out the best in me,” why not declare, “How can I help you with the challenge facing you?”

Do you see the difference? It’s a huge difference. One focuses on me and my challenges and the other focuses on how I can help someone else through their difficulty. Now which one of these really creates the most self esteem? The one that is only a declaration about me, or the one that gets me involved in someone else’s life?

The second affirmation was “I will see the best in myself.” Once again I understand the affirmation and the problem that many people have always putting themselves down.

When you turn that affirmation up-side-down it takes the focus off of me, myself and I and puts it on the other person. Instead of “I will see the best in myself,” start declaring, “I will see the best in every person I meet today.”

What if you said something nice to every person you met today? What if you handed out compliments to the people you do business with or the neighbors next door or the people who wait on you at the mall?

The next affirmation that needs turned up-side-down is this one: “I know I can do this!” It’s a great affirmation and there is no question we need to have this idea in our minds and hearts because we all too often sell ourselves short.

Now let is turn it up-side-down. Let us go from “I know I can do this!” to “I know YOU can do this.” What if you started encouraging everyone in your family: your mom, dad, grandma, grandpa, brother, sister, everyone? What if you became famous for being an encourager of others? Would your self-esteem go up or down? I say it would go up without ever having to say to yourself, “I know I can do this!”

Another affirmation said this: “I will thrive when life throws me a curveball!” That certainly is better than saying, “I will bawl like a baby when life throws me a curveball.”

Turn it up-side-down and it would say, “I’m here to help you when life throws you a curveball.” Don’t you think your self-esteem will rise when your life is about serving others rather than just serving yourself?

The fifth affirmation said, “I love who I am becoming.” Whoa. Wait a minute. Wouldn’t falling in love with “who you are becoming” depend a little bit on “who you are becoming?” I can recall some times in my life when I was becoming a real jerk and NOBODY loved that, especially me. So let’s just forget that affirmation altogether.

The sixth affirmation said, “I am worthy of this opportunity.” Like the previous affirmation, that would depend on the opportunity. Fact is we have all been offered so-called opportunities that were really traps or frauds or snake oil. Now, I do like the focus on opportunity rather than the popular focus on entitlement or privilege that some people think they have because they are a certain color or age or profession or rank or member of a certified victim class.

The seventh affirmation said, “I have the power to achieve my goals.” Well aren’t you special. I have one question for you, “Have you ever used your power to help someone else achieve their goals?” That might bring you a great big surge of pride, self-esteem and self-confidence – not because you achieved your goal but because you helped someone else.

The eighth affirmation said, “I have so many good qualities to share with the world.” Do you see what I mean about how these affirmations? They seem so “I, me and my” focused that they are starting to make me ill.

The ninth affirmation we are supposed to start using to give ourselves a boost is this: “I am always growing and developing.”

OK, so here’s what I’m going to recommend on this one: Grow and develop a sincere interest in other people and stop gazing at your naval. Get out of you cocoon, get involved in something that focuses NOT on helping you become all that you can be, but rather helps someone else do the same thing. You will find more joy, more satisfaction, more self-esteem in focusing on others than you will ever find by focusing on yourself.

Artist and art critic John Ruskin who lived in the 1800s seemed has a sentence that summarizes the danger of focusing only on “I, me and mine”. He said, “When a man is wrapped up in himself, he makes a pretty small package.”

To read the article that precipitated this blog posting, CLICK HERE.

facebooktimelinecover

 

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Ron Ross

Dr. Ron Ross is a publisher, author, speaker, radio personality residing in Loveland, Colorado. He is the author of two published books and several e-books. He is the host of Tidbits Radio on 1310KFKA-AM and on CastleRockRadio.com. He writes a weekly motivational and inspirational column that is published in a variety of newspapers.

Latest Stories
While DevOps most critically and famously fosters collaboration, communication, and integration through cultural change, culture is more of an output than an input. In order to actively drive cultural evolution, organizations must make substantial organizational and process changes, and adopt new technologies, to encourage a DevOps culture. Moderated by Andi Mann, panelists discussed how to balance these three pillars of DevOps, where to focus attention (and resources), where organizations might...
Microservices are a very exciting architectural approach that many organizations are looking to as a way to accelerate innovation. Microservices promise to allow teams to move away from monolithic "ball of mud" systems, but the reality is that, in the vast majority of organizations, different projects and technologies will continue to be developed at different speeds. How to handle the dependencies between these disparate systems with different iteration cycles? Consider the "canoncial problem" ...
In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Scott Davis, CTO of Embotics, will discuss how automation can provide the dynamic management required to cost-effectively deliver microservices and container solutions at scale. He will discuss how flexible automation is the key to effectively bridging and seamlessly coordinating both IT and developer needs for component orchestration across disparate clouds – an increasingly important requirement at today’s multi-cloud enterprise.
The essence of cloud computing is that all consumable IT resources are delivered as services. In his session at 15th Cloud Expo, Yung Chou, Technology Evangelist at Microsoft, demonstrated the concepts and implementations of two important cloud computing deliveries: Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) and Platform as a Service (PaaS). He discussed from business and technical viewpoints what exactly they are, why we care, how they are different and in what ways, and the strategies for IT to transi...
The Internet of Things is clearly many things: data collection and analytics, wearables, Smart Grids and Smart Cities, the Industrial Internet, and more. Cool platforms like Arduino, Raspberry Pi, Intel's Galileo and Edison, and a diverse world of sensors are making the IoT a great toy box for developers in all these areas. In this Power Panel at @ThingsExpo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists discussed what things are the most important, which will have the most profound e...
All organizations that did not originate this moment have a pre-existing culture as well as legacy technology and processes that can be more or less amenable to DevOps implementation. That organizational culture is influenced by the personalities and management styles of Executive Management, the wider culture in which the organization is situated, and the personalities of key team members at all levels of the organization. This culture and entrenched interests usually throw a wrench in the work...
Keeping pace with advancements in software delivery processes and tooling is taxing even for the most proficient organizations. Point tools, platforms, open source and the increasing adoption of private and public cloud services requires strong engineering rigor - all in the face of developer demands to use the tools of choice. As Agile has settled in as a mainstream practice, now DevOps has emerged as the next wave to improve software delivery speed and output. To make DevOps work, organization...
Extreme Computing is the ability to leverage highly performant infrastructure and software to accelerate Big Data, machine learning, HPC, and Enterprise applications. High IOPS Storage, low-latency networks, in-memory databases, GPUs and other parallel accelerators are being used to achieve faster results and help businesses make better decisions. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Michael O'Neill, Strategic Business Development at NVIDIA, focused on some of the unique ways extreme computing is...
My team embarked on building a data lake for our sales and marketing data to better understand customer journeys. This required building a hybrid data pipeline to connect our cloud CRM with the new Hadoop Data Lake. One challenge is that IT was not in a position to provide support until we proved value and marketing did not have the experience, so we embarked on the journey ourselves within the product marketing team for our line of business within Progress. In his session at @BigDataExpo, Sum...
Niagara Networks exhibited at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which took place at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, in November 2016. Niagara Networks offers the highest port-density systems, and the most complete Next-Generation Network Visibility systems including Network Packet Brokers, Bypass Switches, and Network TAPs.
Virtualization over the past years has become a key strategy for IT to acquire multi-tenancy, increase utilization, develop elasticity and improve security. And virtual machines (VMs) are quickly becoming a main vehicle for developing and deploying applications. The introduction of containers seems to be bringing another and perhaps overlapped solution for achieving the same above-mentioned benefits. Are a container and a virtual machine fundamentally the same or different? And how? Is one techn...
Web Real-Time Communication APIs have quickly revolutionized what browsers are capable of. In addition to video and audio streams, we can now bi-directionally send arbitrary data over WebRTC's PeerConnection Data Channels. With the advent of Progressive Web Apps and new hardware APIs such as WebBluetooh and WebUSB, we can finally enable users to stitch together the Internet of Things directly from their browsers while communicating privately and securely in a decentralized way.
Information technology (IT) advances are transforming the way we innovate in business, thereby disrupting the old guard and their predictable status-quo. It’s creating global market turbulence. Industries are converging, and new opportunities and threats are emerging, like never before. So, how are savvy chief information officers (CIOs) leading this transition? Back in 2015, the IBM Institute for Business Value conducted a market study that included the findings from over 1,800 CIO interviews ...
DevOps is often described as a combination of technology and culture. Without both, DevOps isn't complete. However, applying the culture to outdated technology is a recipe for disaster; as response times grow and connections between teams are delayed by technology, the culture will die. A Nutanix Enterprise Cloud has many benefits that provide the needed base for a true DevOps paradigm.
"We host and fully manage cloud data services, whether we store, the data, move the data, or run analytics on the data," stated Kamal Shannak, Senior Development Manager, Cloud Data Services, IBM, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.