How to develop self-esteem and live a life based on self-esteem and self-respect

Before considering how to develop self-esteem, let’s briefly consider what we mean by self-esteem and clarify the difference between self-esteem and self-confidence.

Self-confidence it is based on skill. Your self-confidence is about your level of confidence, faith, and belief in your abilities. [your power] and capabilities [your potential].

Self confidence = what you think you can do.

Mastery of self-confidence = what you know you can do.

Self esteem it is based on value. Therefore, self-esteem is equated with self-esteem and self-respect. Your self-esteem is based on how you value and respect yourself.

Self-esteem = Who do you think you are.

Mastery of self-esteem = who you know you are

How to develop self-esteem: my experiences

In my early life and into my twenties I suffered from a deep inferiority complex and low self-esteem.

Forty years later and, said with sincerity and humility, I have a very healthy positive sense of self-worth. In fact, until I got to write this article, self-esteem hadn’t been on my radar for a long time. Why? Because it is no longer a problem for me.

This is often the case, people with a healthy, positive sense of self-worth just don’t think about it. On the contrary, those who do think about it and are interested in articles like this one that seek to address the topic “How to build self-esteem?” The question tends to have a lower sense of self-worth.

“Alright, alright for you!” I hear you yelling, “… so what’s the secret? What have you learned during those forty years that makes you so complacent now?”

First of all, there was no sudden “moment of arrival in Jesus”, no damascene transformation like when Joliet in The Blues Brothers saw the light.

This was a gradual process that developed progressively over time.

From the beginning I realized that the fundamental foundation of how to develop self-esteem is based on values ​​and these were my key themes:

How to develop self-esteem [1]

If I don’t take care of myself, who else will?

I realized that people took me at my own value.

So when I first got involved in all of this, when I was around 19 years old and in college, I quickly realized that my sense of inferiority and low self-worth was reflected in the way other people treated me.

I felt inferior, so people treated me as inferior.

But as soon as I made small positive changes in how I felt about myself, I noticed that people responded to me in a more positive way.

How did i do this? I know it sounds cliché, but I faked it to do it. I took an informal inventory of myself to see what [if anything] people seemed to like me and respond positively to them, and I noticed some little glimpses of things that I felt I could build on.

Pretending to do it

I had so little confidence or faith in myself that I created a person, a new identity that I acted in and called him Isaac, which was the nickname I gave myself.

This seemed to get a good response, so I decided to run for the Student Union as Treasurer and campaigned as Isaac.

This character, Isaac, was loud, cheeky, funny, and self-confident and it seemed to work because Isaac got himself chosen as Treasurer.

It was fun and interesting to play this role, but deep down I was still desperately insecure and lacking in self-esteem.


Building on this initial success, I took on the responsibility of organizing all the rock concerts at the university and hiring the bands and the people who ran the bars. This put me in a very prominent role and I had an amazing time and a fantastic social life.

What a transformation! I had the best time of my life as Isaac. However, on the inside, the “real me” Stephen still lacked self-confidence, but I finally found a way to go and something to build on.

The next challenge was how to leave Isaac and have Stephen be that confident, socially successful man … but that’s beyond the scope of this article and a story for another day.

How to develop self-esteem [2]

If I knew how little other people think of me, I wouldn’t care what other people think of me!

Like most people, I used to be so anxious about what other people thought of me.

It was such a relief when I finally realized the truth that no one spends much time thinking about what other people do. Why? Because we are all too busy thinking about ourselves!

That may sound cynical and negative, but it is actually very comforting and very liberating to know this.

How to develop self-esteem [3]

I quit the comparison game. Behind closed doors, everyone carries a dark secret or a deep sadness: everyone suffers … nobody has the perfect life!

For years I used to punish myself by making comparisons with other people I knew who seemed to have a better life than me.

People with bigger houses, more money, and generally much more successful than me. People who lived a wonderful, happy and trouble-free life … unlike me.

Then over the years by looking at how things played out for these people over longer periods of time [maybe over 10 years or 20 years], from time to time the circumstances changed and allowed me to know better the lives of these “lucky” people.

I found? Broken and unhappy marriages, fractured relationships with children, financial trauma and bankruptcy, alcohol and other related problems, desperation and silent despair.

All of this well hidden until finally one day the masks were slipped, the curtains were moved and I got that “behind the scenes look”.

How to develop self-esteem [4]

I just do it! The more you do, the more you can do.

I have discovered that life experiences and continuous learning: meeting, working and socializing with people of different backgrounds [classes, ethnicities and cultures] traveling and working in different countries, all these things strengthen my self-esteem.

I remember the empowering impact on my entrepreneurial career as I realized that although I was surrounded by highly intelligent people who were much more technically competent than myself, I had my own special gifts for seeing the big picture, being able to connect the dots and interpret such a vision. so that “the troops” could execute it.

Then the discovery that he could “kick ass” and do things that others said couldn’t be done.

All of these experiences built and strengthened my self-esteem.

How to develop self-esteem [5]

Now I accept that not everything is as real as it seems!

At that moment everything seems so real, so wonderful, so dramatic, so traumatic, so mundane and everything so very real with all its technicolor, roller coaster ups and downs … but, as time goes by, impermanence shows its ugly face . and the dawn of the realization that not everything is as real as it seems.

Maybe it’s because I’m older now, or maybe it’s the aftermath of taking the red pill, but there came a time when I realized that almost everything I thought was important and that mattered to me a lot … ultimately. … and with enough time … and enough internal distance … it just fades … like a dream.

How to develop self-esteem [6]

My base of values ​​has changed and it has become more spiritual.

The boundaries between the “outer” world and the “inner” world blur and merge.

Self-esteem is based on things beyond the ego, on values ​​based on integrity and other personally meaningful values.

As time passes, spiritual values ​​become more important – values ​​based on the spiritual dimension – a sense of self enhanced by the realization of my higher self.

My current values ​​and the current base of my self-esteem can be summarized in:

  • Doing the best with what I have, regardless of the circumstances …

  • Focus away from myself and on serving and helping others …

  • Live in the present moment …

  • Pursue a worthy dream.

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