The Key to Self-Esteem? Impress Yourself!

Sometimes my inspiration for these newsletter articles comes from the most unlikely places.  While driving around running some errands the other day, and flipping radio stations, I stumbled across the infamous Dr. Laura (Schlessinger) berating a woman for not respecting herself more — or having more self-esteem in her choice of boyfriends.  And regardless of whether one agrees with the good Doctor’s general advice on things, her advice on the self-esteem issue was, I thought, outstanding.  Here’s a quote from her website that sums up her philosophy on the matter:

“Self-esteem is earned!  When you dare to dream, dare to follow that dream, dare to suffer through the pain, sacrifice, self-doubts, and friction from the world—when you show such courage and tenacity—you will genuinely impress yourself.  And most importantly, you will treat yourself accordingly and not settle for less from others—at least, not for long.  Self-esteem is always forged from your own efforts.  Want self-esteem?  Get it the old fashioned way.  EARN IT!”

Why is this relevant in a career newsletter?  Because as many of you out there know all too well, the loss of employment often has a dramatic effect on one’s self-confidence.  It takes a pretty bulletproof psyche to stay strong through some of the many career-related events that impact people these days, and no matter how much you may believe in yourself, and your capabilities, an abusive job situation (or string of layoffs…or long time searching for work without success…) can take a severe emotional toll.  And yet, this creates something of a Catch-22, since self-confidence and self-esteem are among the most critical factors in job hunting success.  Employers simply can’t get enough of candidates who are charged up, confident, and ready to contribute, so if you start losing this edge, things can quickly turn south.

So whether you tend to lack confidence in yourself, generally, or have instead been beaten down a bit by your current circumstances, I’d encourage you to read through the smattering of interesting links I’ve compiled below on the topic of self-esteem.  I think there is some great wisdom captured in these articles and I noted that another author (Glenn Shephard: link #4) was smitten by Dr. Laura’s comments, as well.

How to Elevate Your Self-Esteem

Positive Self-Esteem for Youth Pays Big Dividends Later in Life
The Single Best Way to Build Self-Esteem That Lasts Forever
Self-Esteem: The Key to Success
Love Thyself: Articles for Enhancing Adult Self-Esteem

At the end of the day, my own advice on building one’s self-esteem echoes a lot of the sentiments expressed above, with the most important being that self-esteem can’t be “given” to you — you need to instead find ways to impress yourself on a consistent basis in order to maintain a confident, positive state of mind.  So if your current career situation isn’t providing a good outlet for this, get creative.  Start a workout routine.  Go on a diet.  Start a new hobby.  Take some classes.  Volunteer your time.  Become a Big Brother or Big Sister.  Adopt a Grandparent.  Setting brave new goals, and achieving them, will do wonders for your emotional state, and thereby increase your overall job search success!

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