Thursday, March 14, 2013

Building Your Self Esteem - Part 1

Part 1 of a 5 part series from psychologist Ellen M. Diana phd

Building Your Self-Esteem to Take the First Steps to Changing Your Life

What’s holding you back from being all that you can be?  Maybe it’s low self-esteem.

Healthy self-esteem is the foundation of your life. Whether or not you succeed in reaching your goals depends on the level of your self-esteem. Feelings of low self-worth and low self-confidence can hold you back from having all the success that you desire because unconsciously you feel that you don’t deserve it.

This is because the hallmark of healthy self-esteem is feeling deserving of having the good things in life. Feeling deserving means you are proud of who you are and have an expectation that what you need and ask for will be provided. If you think you don’t deserve that good job, promotion, or pay raise that you desire, then perhaps you’re not considering everything that you have going for you.

Let’s look at this situation in terms of the traits that you possess and feel pride in:

·         First, look over the box of positive traits listed below and select five which you feel describe you best. Think of these five as your anchors; you rely on these traits to get you through your life. Most likely you’ve also been praised for these traits and that makes you feel good.

Active, adaptable, adventurous, affectionate, analytical, artistic, assertive, attentive, brave, calm, caring, charitable, cheerful, compassionate, collaborative, competent, concerned, confident, congenial, considerate, creative, curious, daring, decisive, dedicated, determined, devoted, diplomatic, discreet , dynamic, eager, easygoing, effective, empathic, energetic, enthusiastic, extroverted, fearless, firm, flexible, forgiving, friendly, fun-loving, generous, giving, happy, healthy, hopeful, honest, humble, humorous, idealistic, important, impulsive, inquisitive, intellectual, involved, jolly, just, kind, knowledgeable, logical, lonely, lovable, loving, lucky, magnanimous, motivated, neglected, nervous, open-minded, organized, outgoing, pampered, passionate, patient, perceptive, persistent, persuasive, playful, positive, practical, rational, realistic, reluctant, respectful, responsible, sensible, serious, sociable, spontaneous, spunky, strong, talented, talkative, tenacious, tender, thoughtful, tolerant, trustworthy, truthful, understanding, witty.


·         Next, consider how each of the five traits could be useful for you in the workplace.  For example, if you selected diplomatic as one of your anchors, are you diplomatic in your interactions with your boss and co-workers? What gets in the way of your using this positive trait?


·         Also, think about whether you are using your anchors as much as you could. For example, if you selected extroverted, consider whether you express yourself as much as you could or if you have a tendency to be more introverted in the workplace. Think about why that could be so.

Finally, look for opportunities to use the traits that you are most comfortable with in the workplace. For example, if analytical is one of your anchors, look for ways to use this positive trait appropriately in your career.

Show your pride!

This blog post is the first of a short series on the topic of building self-esteem by examining what makes you proud and what makes you feel shame. Look for more blogs on this topic in the months to come.  

Also, consider coming to my two-part workshop, Building Healthy Self-Esteem, at Fresh Start on Wednesday April 17th and Wednesday April 24th from 1-3 PM. Attendance at Part I is helpful, but is not required, to attend Part II.  The fee for each session is $5.00. Hope to see you there!
Ellen Diana is a psychologist, author of the Lucky Dreamer Tip Series, and co-author of the Charge up Your Life series of self-help books. She has 30 years’ experience working with children, adults, couples, and families in schools and in private practice in Scottsdale, Arizona. Helping women to evolve into their best selves through personal growth and self-awareness is a passion of hers. Ellen raised three successful children as a single parent and so has special interests in mentoring other women in transition and helping parents to raise resilient children. Contact Ellen at or through her website


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