Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Self-Esteem: Is Yours as High as Your Goals?

By Dolores Seright, Certified Professional Coach & Author of Shattering Barriers: Amazing Women's Journeys to Personal Empowerment

The words you hear as a child can impact your life forever. What you think of yourself and your abilities may have been influenced by seemingly insignificant events of your past.

“I fight demons every day” were words I never expected to hear Clarissa Burt say. Her face has graced the covers of Vogue, Cosmopolitan, Harper’s Bazaar, and many other magazines. She has also been a runway model for top designers from Armani and Chanel to Versace and Dior. Her much-photographed face appeared on the cover of more than 250 magazines over her 30-year career. Clarissa shared her story in “Shattering Barriers: Amazing Women’s Journeys to Personal Empowerment.” She is passionate about teaching young women the importance of having a healthy self-esteem.

Clarissa’s passion is the result of facing and overcoming many obstacles and insecurities as a young girl. Clarissa’s mother always discouraged any comments or compliments about her beauty and would say to her, “What are you looking for . . . the monkey to jump out,” if she saw Clarissa looking in the mirror. Growing up in a home with an alcoholic father, a lot of violence, and not a lot of “warm fuzzies” was "tough stuff,” shared Clarissa. Being the firstborn of three and hearing her entire life that she wasn’t wanted, combined with physical punishment for not getting A’s or B’s, contributed to her low self-esteem. Living with a constant regimen of physical and mental punishment, assuming responsibility for running the household at a young age, and never enjoying having friends over for fun contributed to many health challenges for Clarissa. As soon as she graduated from high school, Clarissa was eager to find a job in New York City and forge a different future. But the scars of her youth were not easily left behind . . .

Do you recognize your value as a unique individual placed here on our planet to contribute something that no one else can? Self-esteem is the opinion you have of yourself. A simple definition but your self-esteem powerfully impacts virtually every aspect of our life. Self-esteem not only influences your relationships and your career, but also the total of your accomplishments in life. High self-esteem makes it possible to function effectively. It allows you to take risks and make decisions about your life that are necessary for a successful life.

Do you believe you can create a successful life? When things are not going well, do you believe you can overcome the challenges you face? Do you deserve to be happy and successful? If you can emphatically say “Yes” to all three questions, you have a healthy self-esteem. Not really certain you can overcome every challenge that comes your way? If you hesitated over any of these questions, consciously or unconsciously, those thoughts may still be holding you back.

Listen to what you say to yourself. Do you ever say “I was stupid for saying that?” Or maybe you say things like “I can’t learn that; I’m not smart enough.” Or how about “nobody likes me because I’m unattractive.” What about, “I can’t do it.” This self-talk is programming your present thoughts and actions. If that inner talk is based on past beliefs, ask yourself if those beliefs were valid or were they filtered through events and emotions that are no longer valid in your life?

Starting right this minute you can pay attention to your self-talk and control what you say to yourself. The instant a negative thought comes into your mind, stop and ask yourself “why did I think that?” “Is it valid?” What should I be thinking about myself and my abilities?” Keep your awareness of your self-talk high and practice constantly. It will become a habit in a very short time and you will see the difference in how you approach your life. Your confidence will soar and your actions will be those of the unique, successful person you were always meant to be.

Learn from role models, like Clarissa Burt, the techniques of positive self-affirmations and implementing your personal action plan and watch your life soar to new heights!

Want to read Clarissa's full story? Log on to for details on how to purchase your copy of Shattering Barriers.

About the Author
Dolores Seright is a professional speaker, author and coach. She left a successful corporate career after facing devastating Stage III breast cancer diagnosis in 2005 and is now a cancer survivor. She is a certified professional coach and her passion is teaching women the skills to move beyond the obstacles holding them back from achieving their personal and business success. She is an experienced coach and specializes in personal success development and mastering sales strategies.

Dolores volunteers as a career coach and conducts training workshops at Fresh Start Women's Foundation in Phoenix, AZ.

Shattering Barriers: Amazing Women's Journeys to Personal Empowerment is her first book. This book is currently available on

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