He’s not sure he has anything to offer a new company.
Here’s what he told me about his experience:
- Several years of experience as a successful project manager.
- At least a year as a successful program manager.
- He’s good at helping people understand what they need in a product.
If he’s only half as successful as what he explained to me, he’ll be fine with a new company.
His problem? If we think of self-esteem on a range from 1 (low) to 10 (high), his self-esteem is zero.
I suggested several things I think will raise his self-esteem. But that got me thinking. How do we raise our self-esteem?
By trying, learning, and maybe succeeding. Sometimes, we “fail” but we learned so much that we make different choices. When we choose differently, we learn where we want to spend our energy.
The more we experiment, the better we might feel about ourselves. I don’t always feel better if I make a mistake. However, I feel better when I learn.
This is an example of using the growth mindset on ourselves. The more we use the growth mindset, the more self-esteem we have.
We can do at least two things to practice the growth mindset: positive self-talk and focus on possible solutions, not problems.
Practice Positive Self-Talk
Here’s an example of negative self-talk I heard:
- I always make bad decisions.
- I can’t do anything right.
- I’m a miserable excuse for a human being.
Most of us make relatively good decisions most of the time. We do a lot of things right. Most of us are okay humans, if not excellent.
I suspect we practice negative self-talk when we sympathize with ourselves. “Oh, poor me.”
When we sympathize with ourselves, we might have a pity party. I do fall into those pity parties.
However, when we empathize with ourselves, we can create positive self-talk.
Here’s an example I use a lot for my positive self-talk.
- I’m practicing with my fiction. I don’t have to be perfect—I do have to finish this piece.
- When I finish, I can then assess my progress.
- Finishing is how I can perfect my writing.
Notice several things: I acknowledge how I feel about my writing. I focus on a solution: finish the piece. Why? Because I can’t fix anything I don’t finish.
I need that solution piece to continue with the growth mindset for myself.
Solution-thinking helps me in several ways. I:
- Focus on where I want to be in the future. Not necessarily the long term. Possibly just today, this week, and next week.
- Choose how to assess the risks of where I want to go, not stay mired in where I am.
- Create options. I use my positive self-talk to remind me of times I succeeded. How can I use those times to create more options for this time?
We build our self-esteem by practicing. Regardless of whether we “succeed,” we learn from the practice.
If we don’t know how to create options for practice, we can ask other people. However, the best way I know to create options for practice is to do it.
My parents didn’t make things easy for me. They supported me, offering coaching if I asked for it. But no, they did not make things easy for me. They challenged me to practice at almost everything.
That practice built my self-esteem.
I continued to build my self-esteem, as I challenge myself. Are there things I choose to no longer do? Of course. But I had found ways to practice all my work, including my travel. I do need support, which is why I use a rollator. I might even need personal support for certain kinds of travel.
But I don’t feel bad about needing support. We all need support for some things. Just as we all need coaching for some of our practice.
Use the Growth Mindset on Yourself to Build Your Self-Esteem
Yes, I use the growth mindset on myself to build my self-esteem.
Here’s how I build my self-esteem:
- Acknowledge your reality. If you need a pity party, go ahead and take the time. I try to timebox my pity parties.
- Move into positive self-talk.
- Consider options with solutions, not reassessing your problems.
- Practice, practice, practice. The more you practice and learn, the more you will build your self-esteem.
And if you’re looking for a job, generate a list of companies you want to work at. Use the ideas in Manage Your Job Search to reach people in those companies. Then, go for it!
I have questions for you: What did I miss? What else do you do?
That’s the question this week: How do you build your self-esteem?
- What Causes You to Flip the Bozo Bit on Someone?
- How Will You Renew Yourself?