The Self Esteem Paradox

Many people who struggle with self esteem and self worth struggle with this internal battle. First they hate on themselves, “You suck! You’re not good enough! You can’t do that!” Or perhaps it’s less aggressive “Maybe you’re not good enough? Maybe you don’t deserve it?” but the end result is the same. Low self esteem and self doubt.

Then they try to battle against it, rise up and say “I am good enough! I am amazing! I can do anything!” But then that little voice immediately switches to “Who do you think you are?!”

So what’s the solution?

The solution is to understand the difference between confidence and wishful thinking. You have to be able to get yourself into resourceful states that enable you to do, act, achieve, progress, and learn. At the same time you have to have the perception, and honesty to face the facts and deal with reality.

Saying “I suck at my job” or “I just don’t connect well with people” isn’t useful and is disempowering. However, blindly switching that to “I am amazing at my job” or “everybody loves me” might not be true and can be just as unhelpful.

You might not have the skills or performance in your job that you would like, yet. Or you might not have developed the socials skills to connect rapidly and have a profound impact on people yet. Neither of these things mean “failure” they are just the results you are currently getting and an indication of what you have to learn and skills you are yet to improve.

The first step is to understand human potential – all humans – yourself included! You genuinely are amazing and you genuinely can achieve anything. But if you take that to mean “Ok, I want to be an A list celebrity hollywood actor, AND the CEO of a fortune 500 company, AND have 3 perfect children, AND look like a catwalk model, and I want it NOW!” Then that’s just entitlement and wishful thinking.

You can achieve anything… that you are willing to work for. If you are willing to make the journey, face the risk, the uncertainty, the fear, the knockbacks, the rejection, and the hard work. If you are willing to face all that and persist against all odds because you know your purpose and your life’s mission and you are willing to do WHATEVER it takes to get there, then yes, you really can achieve anything.

One of the biggest reasons why people hold on to their limiting beliefs like “I can’t do this”, “it’s just the way I am”, etc, is because they don’t want to do the hard work I just described. After all it’s a lot easier just to console yourself and believe “I can’t do it anyway”.

So yes, you ARE amazing! You CAN do anything! You DO have unlimited potential. That is the first understanding to resolving this conflict.

The second thing is to get yourself into a resourceful state, whilst being honest and accepting reality.

You might not have the impact you want to have socially or in business meetings and maybe you need to be honest about that so that you can spot what you need to learn. Telling yourself “everybody loves me” isn’t going to help you get the life you want, but telling yourself “I suck” isn’t going to help either!

A much more useful approach is to get yourself into a confident state and to say “I am amazing and I can do anything. I have the ability to learn, grow, and improve, and I’ll use every encounter as an opportunity to get better until I consistently have the impact I want and get the results I want in my communication.”

To simplify, the steps are as follows:

  • Recognise your unlimited potential
  • Get into a resourceful state (e.g. confident, determined, etc)
  • Accept reality, but don’t make it worse than it is!
  • Imagine it the way you want it
  • Do what it takes to make it the way you want it

Your past results do not define who you are. YOU define who you are. Build yourself and your life from the inside out, not the outside in.



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