You must have high self-esteem if you want to successfully lead others. One of the main factors in being a successful and effective leader is directly correlated to your level of self-esteem. It’s a fact, low self-esteem causes you to sabotage yourself and those around you while high self-esteem moves you toward your maximum leadership potential.
We must manage and take the time to improve our self-esteem on a regular basis, if not daily. No matter the amount of self-esteem you have at this moment, it would greatly benefit you to spend time to improve it. Here are 7 practical ways you can improve your self-esteem to lead better:
1. Spend time in daily positive self-talk
Ralph Charell said, “The inner speech, your thoughts, can cause you to be rich or poor, loved or unloved, happy or unhappy, attractive or unattractive, powerful or weak.” The self-talk you have plays a huge role in your self-esteem. Take time, I recommend at least 5 minutes a day, giving yourself a pep talk where you speak out or think about encouraging and uplifting words.
Tell yourself: You can face today’s challenging situations, you are strong, and you have been wonderfully created. Speaking the good and positive aspects of yourself and your life will improve your self-esteem.
2. Spend 2 minutes in a power posing
Like self-talk, you can practice having your body in a position where it will increase your self-esteem. In Amy Cuddy’s TED talk she shows how “power posing” – standing in a posture of confidence, even when we don’t feel confident- can affect testosterone and cortisol levels in the brain, and might even have an impact on our chances for success.”
You can trick your mind into thinking more confidently or highly of yourself with the right body language. Amy recommends spending 2 minutes, every day or when you are about to do something out of your comfort zone, in a power posing position.
3. Spend time consuming growth content
Personal growth and development content has a powerful way of improving your self-esteem. Before starting my personal growth journey, I had very low self-esteem and practically no leadership skills. As I read and listened to growth content my self-esteem and leadership skill level greatly increased.
This is primary because personal growth or self-help content primarily has a positive and uplifting message. Slowly over time the positive message will sink into your life, allowing your self-esteem to improve. Try reading or listening to something on a regular basis that is positive and good for your soul.
4. Be around thriving people
In The Little Book of Personal Growth I talked about thriving relationships. I said thriving people: “ask you questions that challenge or stretch you, encourages your growth, and helps you to reach for greater levels of achievement. People like this stand beside you through success and failure.”
Intentionally spend the majority of your time with and around these types of people while doing whatever you can to limit your contact with negative or pessimistic people. You will feel the different when you are around positive people who are thriving in life, and the impact will improve your self-esteem.
5. Complete something
There are great benefits in completing a project, achieving a task, or marking something off your to-do list. Besides accomplishing something you have or need to do it provides an internal sense of fulfilment. The fulfillment you receive improves your self-esteem. This is especially true when the task or project is large and/or has been difficult to do or when it’s undesirable.
When you force yourself to persevere through the pain and hard work of finishing the task or project you receive a higher sense of fulfillment and satisfaction which allows your self-esteem to improve.
6. Take care of your body
A healthy body can improve your self-esteem. If you regularly workout and eat healthy meal options your body will feel good and energized. A healthy body allows you to feel and look good and as a result your self-esteem will improve. The reverse is also true when you don’t work out and eat unhealthy meal options, your body will feel bad and energy levels will be affected.
Just think about the way you felt the last time you ate at a fast food restaurant versus the last time you ate at a restaurant that served healthy food. I’m sure you felt and acted a lot better when you chose the healthy option. Take care of your body to improve your self-esteem.
7. Add value to other people
There is an internal satisfaction and enjoyment you receive when you add value to someone else. In a previous post titled Four Ways to Add Value to People I defined adding value as, “simply meaning you are intentional about serving and using your authority in a positive way.” When you add value the person benefits from what you have done or said to them and you also receive internal satisfaction that you have done something good. How you feel after adding value in turn improves your self-esteem.
When you adapt these 7 ways of improving your self-esteem the results lead to you being a better leader.
Questions: How important is high self-esteem for leaders? How do you improve your self-esteem?
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