Are You Esteemed?
To be esteemed is to be highly-regarded. People who live vibrant lives are always esteemed. They love God, their families, their callings and yes, themselves. An individual who has personal esteem radiates confidence, gives us hope and pours out love. One who lives a vibrant life understands that if he or she doesn’t have high regard for his or her own life, neither will anyone else.
Self-esteem is defined by Matthew McKay, PhD as “the ingredient that makes strong and lasting relationships, builds a nurturing community and turns dreams into achievements.” Self-esteem is the key that unlocks a person’s ability to love others well. An individual who believes his or her life has a purpose of high value understands that he or she has a lot to give. And those individuals do just that. Without hesitation, those individuals joyously exercise their talents and share wisdom, and all that gets received as love.
History shows that when an individuals believe in themselves and their purpose, then they can love radically. I believe that all three of these highly-respected woman exemplify self–esteem.
- Mother Teresa’s life was defined by loving the people of Calcutta, however the love only flowed because of her unshakable conviction that she was called by God.
- Princess Diana believed her celebrity status had purpose. She was one of the first to literally and physically reach out to people infected with AIDS, and in the process she shifted the perceptions of many others. She explained her true desire: “I would like to be a queen in the hearts of people.”
- Oprah Winfrey, despite her impoverished childhood, believed that she had strengths. Her talent has manifested in an outpouring of love to girls in Africa.
Beliefs are powerful. They can either serve us or slay us. According to Peter Senge, a respected expert in organizational behavior,
“We live in a world of self-generating beliefs which remain largely untested. We adopt beliefs based on conclusions, which are inferred from what we observe, plus our past experience. Our ability to achieve the results we truly desire is eroded by our feelings that:
- Our beliefs are the truth.
- The truth is obvious.
- Our beliefs are based on real data.
- The data we select are the real data."
Peter’s words warn us to be very careful about what we believe. We must test what we believe, choose the correct data and take an objective look at what the data says. Then and only then can we allow the data to support or perhaps discredit our beliefs. Many of the individuals I encounter in my travels share with me their lack of belief in their life’s purpose, their talents and their calling. They’re stuck in a belief that dreams, desires and destiny must be for someone else.
I am convinced that this self-defeating belief comes from false data that has never been tested. By default, we grow up experiencing all sorts of encounters that tell us who we are, and we believe those messages. Instead, we need to create experiences that tell us the real data about who we are. With the right data, we’ll be able to see clearly and believe we have a purpose. Let’s get started!
Self-Esteem Exercises to Build Belief, Find Purpose and Ultimately Love Others
THE TALENT TALLY
Make an exhaustible list of the talents, skills and strengths you possess. Ask your family, your co-workers and your friends to help. Compile a list of at least 25 talents. Once you have 25, then go for 25 more. Keep this list posted and in clear view so you can review it daily. As your consciousness rises, you’ll find yourself adding even more talents. Over time, this list and its review will put the real data in your mind, so you will believe that you have purpose.
POINTS OF LIGHTS
Jot down five to ten shiny, bright and warm experiences from your history. These will include clearly-illuminated moments from your past: “Aha" moments, key events and critical incidences that were extremely positive. To do this, think about the flow of energy, choices, events and directions your life/work have taken. Your list might include significant people along the journey, places or experiences that shed light on your personal choices, your ideals about the world and your unique insights. Pay attention to anything that gave you a new understanding of yourself.
Now that you've uncovered your talents and carefully selected positive experiences that represent you in your best light, you have a solid basis for belief. Answer these powerful questions:
- What do your talents and positive experiences say about you?
- What are you capable of?
- What is your life’s purpose?
- Who needs you to pour out your purpose so they can experience your love?