Thursday, December 07, 2006

Sample Article #2

Managing The Effects of Self-Esteem


John Henri Allyn

Lets say you were marketing a business idea and you receive a phone call from David Letterman asking you to be on his show in and explain your idea to millions of people. Would you be excited or in shock?

Now lets say you show up backstage a week later and find out that the guest before you is Donald Trump and his feedback on your presentation will make or break your career. Are you still confident or would the situation terrify you?

How you answer questions like these reflect on your self-confidence and just how much you believe in the things you do. The difference between a self made millionaire and the homeless person living on the street often comes down to who believed in their self worth when the chips were down.

The smallest of compliments or achievements make me feel really good about myself,” Lacey Hotchkiss, a 24 year old college counselor in Dallas Texas told me, “I helped this mother on the phone and she asked for my name and then made a comment how she wanted to ask for me every time because I was really helpful. That made me feel good inside,”

Hotchkiss, like many others, take positives from comments and accomplishments. Reinforced with positive feedback, belief in the work they are doing will naturally receive greater effort. Just a moment taken to show appreciation here and there can not only bring someone happiness, it can also relief tension and other negative feelings. Most people fail to realize how much influnce family members, friends, co-workers, and even strangers have over how we feel about ourselves.

When I first started practicing meditation, I could feel energy very felt great,” Derek Sherwood,a 25 year old member of the U.S. Army reserves told me, “Encountering closed minded resistance from people who I respect slowly eroded at my confidence and sense of purpose. This effected the pursuit of these ideas, all of which were very personal to me, contributing to my own self doubt and lack of confidence in practice,”

Sherwood has recently turned to meditation and other concepts to combat years of depression. These concepts combined with research and good old fashion self-application have turned his life around. Where once his confidence in himself dwindled, it now brims to the point of overflow. This is a demonstration that self-esteem is the sum of a set of judgments about one's value, worthiness, and competence in various domains.

When asked for one thing she could change to feel better about herself, Hotchkiss couldn't stop with just one.

I wish I had a higher metabolism. I wish my hair wasn't so thin. I wish my father showed affection at all to anyone. I wish little things didn't upset me. I wish I wasn't so quick to anger. I wish I made a little more money to pay off my student loans faster. I wish I hadn't dated that guy my freshman year in college,” Hotchkiss said.

Her sentiments should feel familiar to many of you. A list of regrets starts to accumlate in the minds of most people once they enter their adult years. A physical feature here,an emotional confrontation there, and before you know it these thoughts are forcing themselves into your head demanding that you punish yourself with negativy for not being perfect.

Feeling down on myself after some negative feedback from a friend I decided to go and do my own research on my new philosophy,” Sherwood said, “Seeing a published report from Princeton mirror most of my personal conclusions inspired me to continue my pursuit of a new path,”

Sherwood took comfort in the fact that a reputable university such as Princeton helped him get back on track with his studies. Likewise you may find that doing research on your own thoughts and philosophies and finding published articles may inspire you to do the same.

Self-esteem issues are not all doom and gloom. Experts recommend that passing on positive feedback and congratulations for things not often recognized influence others to think positively around you resulting in a beneficial atmosphere. Next time you see a friend or co-worker complete a task or finally learn how to solve a nagging problem, congratulate them. Compliment the waitress or family member who performs a normal task for you. Odds are next time you're questioning your own self worth, they will cheer you up for doing something minor and pay you back with the same appreciation you first showed them.

Next up activities, yes physical action, Its not just positive thinking you know. Find the things you enjoy doing that you “lose” yourself in. Whether its hiking or writing, the time just flies by when you're doing what you love. Embrace that, find people with like interests, and enjoy companionship.

Lastly don't blame yourself. You know what I'm talking about. The family member or friend who won't stop that habit that you blame yourself for. The unforeseen obstacle that ruined a past event. It doesn't matter what happened in the past , do not blame yourself. Even if you were the only person at fault. At some point you have to decide to forgive yourself. Despite what popular media may tell you, no one is perfect. Don't beat yourself up over it. Its time to move on.

Jack Welch once said: “Confidence gives you courage and extends your reach. It lets you take greater risks and achieve far more than you ever thought possible.”

Take those words to heart. Find that dream you dropped long ago and dust it off. The only thing that stops you from living out your dreams in the end is yourself. Every successful person in life has one thing in common, they all learned to succeed by believing in themselves through every failure and success. Now its your turn.


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