Self-Esteem is NOT Just for Kids – It’s a Cornerstone of YOUR Success!”
— by Rick Beneteau
I’m positive you’ve done the same thing as me. Wondered about what exactly it is that separates those who we deem to be "successful" (and look up to), from those who are not.
Talent, ambition, vision, sacrifice, stick-to-itiveness and resilience are all major qualities I’m sure you’d agree, but I’ve simply lost count of TOO many absolutely brilliant, creative and serious entrepreneurs who are still wallowing in the mediocrity they sought for so long to rise above. In most cases, it’s heartbreaking.
It really got me thinking about what could possibly be the ONE defining trait or quality of those we admire in our quest to be successful. Here’s one conclusion I came to.
I’ve never met an individual who I considered to be truly successful on the personal and business level who wasn’t filled with good feelings about themselves! The kind of people who can look in the mirror and say "I like you a lot"! More than that, they can exclaim "I love you"!
Sound corny? If you think so, consider this question before you click on to something else: In business, how could you possibly feel good about what you are doing if you didn’t feel good about the person doing it?
Yes, I’m talking about the psycho-cliche of self-esteem. The kind we hear about every day on talk shows, read about in countless self-help and parenting books, and, gratefully see becoming a long-overdue part of the education system in our schools. Feeling not only good, but great about oneself is arguably the most important success-building characteristic a person can possess!
Think about this. Most of us were NOT raised when the concept of self-esteem was a part of our "fibre", as it is now. Some of us may have been fortunate to have come from families that fortified the fact that "I am good", "I am special" and "I like and love ME!" However, most of us were nutured without learning, and having instilled deep within us, the belief that "I deserve all the good things in the world I desire". That built-in sense of confidence allows us to grow (and keep growing) in order to be able to have ALL the blessings that life is just waiting to bestow upon us. In other words, SUCCESS!
I thoroughly enjoyed studying world religions in my last year of high school, when it became very clear to me that every "faith" has the concept of self-esteem as a cornerstone of it’s beliefs. The Bible has as one of it’s injunctions: "Love Thy Neighbor as Thyself".
But doesn’t this beg the question, "How could you Love Your Neighbor, or anything else for that matter, if You CAN’T Love Yourself?" An unfortunate reality that translates into business ie: "If you are not able to love and respect yourself, then how can you expect others to even just respect (and trust) you?" And isn’t respect and trust a cornerstone of successful businesses and entrepreneurs?
I’ve gone so far as to state the following in the new book I am writing:
"Selfishness is putting the needs of others ahead of your needs. Since when can you give your best to others when you own needs go unattended?"
Something else. The ONLY successful joint ventures I have ever experienced have been with entrepreneurs that were "full of self-confidence", possessing a very high level of self-esteem. Conversely, any time I partnered with someone who was either "full of themselves" (usually a by-product of low self-esteem) or simply had precious little self-esteem in their tank, the bottom fell out!
And that’s what I’ve always likened self-esteem to – the gasoline tank on a car. Everyone has a self-esteem tank and it’s either full or empty or somewhere in between. But you know what? It’s perfectly ok to get low on fuel. We all do at times, but truly successful people know how to "fill ‘er up" again, and pretty quickly. All I know is that during those periods of time in my life when it appeared I was stonewalled or even going backwards, my self-esteem was suffering!
Today, I enjoy amazing friendships and partnerships with many successful people. To a person, each is brimming with self- confidence and a deep seated belief in themselves and what they are doing. They are fun to deal with too! The kind of individuals when setbacks, even those of the worst kind where self-esteem can take a real blow, are not only overcome, but used as "fuel" to pole vault them ahead on their path to even greater success.
And you know what else? Among the most outstanding of these people work tirelessly on projects that have nothing to do with making money for themselves but rather helping people in need! That’s right, community service projects. Self-esteem AND selflessness in the success formula? You bet!
Here’s a paragraph, again from my new book, about how I believe we move forward in life towards success, with self-esteem in tow:
"It takes many inches to make a mile. We can only move by inches, one inch at a time. It’s when we look miles ahead and wonder "how are we going to get so far?" that we fail to move forward at all. The paradox is that we can choose to live life "in the rear view mirror" and remain so far back that moving forward, even an inch, is most difficult. Most important, we must always keep in mind that anytime we suffer a setback while moving forward, it will always be just a matter of inches, and not miles."
I want to close this article with a challenge for you. I dare you to stand in front of the mirror right now, and every day from this moment forward, and say to yourself, "I like you, and I love you"!
The moment you truly begin believing it is the moment that the success you crave will start coming your way!!
© 2001 Rick Beneteau
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