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After many years of executive coaching, conducting hundreds of interviews and watching companies prosper and, more than a few fail, one thing remains a constant. A healthy self-esteem is the foundation for business and personal success. While many look to external appearances, credentials, schooling and lifestyle to provide an indication of success, the truth lies deeper.


  • Confident

  • Realistic goals

  • Healthy picture of strengths and weaknesses

  • Accepting

  • Healthy sense of entitlement

  • Happy to see others succeed


  • Self-critical and pre-occupied with what others think

  • Mistrust of choices – tentative

  • Avoids social situations

  • Assumes other people are happier, smarter, etc.

  • Expectation of failure, envious of others


Developing a strong self-esteem is one of the most important things we can do for ourselves and others you lead. There is a direct correlation to strong self-esteem and high performers and we’d like to share how to enhance your own self-esteem or to help others along their journey.


1. Goal setting – Absent a destination any road will get you there. The first step in building strong self-esteem is setting goals that are specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time bound (S.M.A.R.T). Having a clear picture of the outcome stimulates positive stress (eustress) and actively engages your brain to bridge the gap between today’s reality and your S.M.A.R.T goals.

2. Awareness of self-defeating language – Mahatma Gandhi said, “Beliefs become thoughts, thoughts become words, words become actions, actions become habits, habits become values and values become your destiny.” Become aware of how you speak both externally and within your mind.

3. Affirmations – In my wallet I carry with me a list of 7 affirmations that I recite to myself during the course of the day. These affirmations are things that are stated in the present tense, are positive, brief, specific and use action-oriented. The subconscious cannot “hear” negatives so it is important that you state these in a positive tense. Examples of these affirmations might include: “I am confidently making the presentation to a group of peers” or “I am positive and encouraging to others”. You cannot say, “I’m not afraid of xxx” because the subconscious cannot process the negative and, therefore, you are affirming the fear.

4. Visualization – Pictures are stronger than words. When you can visualize an outcome the mind will find a way. The mind is a powerful tool that is designed to solve problems and resolve “gaps” between your current and ideal state. Draw a picture, cut out something from a magazine or write a detailed story of what things will look like in your future.

5. Action – How many people have you met that talk a good game but never take action? Simply put: strategy without execution is delusion. Anything worthwhile requires dedication, discipline and sacrifice.

6. Perseverance - There is never failure, just a delay in results. Walt Disney declared bankruptcy several times to reach his goals. Top performers never give up in the quest to attain their vision.

7. Support system – You are the average of the 10 people you surround yourself with. Who supports your plans and aspirations, challenges you to reach higher, gives you candid feedback and that you can trust to be there for you? When we focus on WHO we want to be it influences everything we do.

8. Celebrate success –Too often we get so focused on the outcome that we don’t celebrate along the journey. Take time to find the incremental successes and reward yourself for reaching milestones that bring you closer to your goals.

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