At work, leaders are constantly being challenged by coworkers, by the need to conform to the organization culture, to resist to the opinion of others and to work through other external pressure.
Because leadership comes most often from within and requires great energy, self-discipline, strong purpose, maintaining self-esteem is critical to maintaining leadership.
Wondering how to get a bulletproof self-esteem?
What is self-esteem?
Self-esteem corresponds to our self-image and to the opinion that we have of ourselves. It is made of the differences between the way we perceive ourselves, the way we want to be perceived and the way we are actually being perceived.
It is also a feeling of competency, worthiness, efficiency, performance, self-respect. It delimits our sense of identity, self-worth, well-being and constant satisfaction no matter the circumstances.
Self-esteem is the ability to cope with life challenges. It is the belief in our abilities, our values, our potential to confidently demonstrate our abilities and values. Therefore, self-esteem is an important component of leadership.
Self-esteem is an internal quality, is not a constant and can rise or fall throughout life, throughout challenges.
Why is it important?
With a proper amount of self-esteem, you are able to trust your skills, your knowledge, your decisions and your thoughts. Low self-esteem leads to poor relationships, depression, anxiety and anger. Increasing self-esteem amounts to better health and a stronger ability to cope with stressful situations.
As a leader, having a solid self-esteem is necessary to make decisions without fear or hesitation, to think clearly, to trust his or her opinion, to remain optimistic under pressure, to help others feel good about themselves, to build relationships, and to gracefully welcome change.
Furthermore, building self-esteem in your team will help them take pride in their work and make them commit to goals.
How to boost your leadership self-esteem?
Building self-esteem is not an overnight process and requires patience. To boost your leadership self-esteem:
- Rewire your thinking process and remember that you are not alone if you are suffering with low self-esteem.
- Recall that you cannot please everyone and the first person to please is yourself.
- Remember that you cannot be a master at everything and that you must focus on the vital few.
- Accept that you cannot control everything, that suffering and joy are part of life and that no one is perfect.
- Assess your strengths and weaknesses. Everyone has a different combination of experiences, of strengths and weaknesses that they must accept. This will help you build on the skills that you are good at and operate through your weaknesses.
- Accept yourself: learn to spend time alone and to enjoy your own company. Find activities that are fun and that you do well outside of work. Treat yourself kindly and take time off to do things that are pleasurable to you.
- Avoid reasoning with your emotions, dwelling on the negative, complaining, self-pity, shifting blame or blowing an issue out of proportion. You can remove the power that emotions and past negative experiences holds over you by writing down on paper or by speaking it out loud.
- Always maintain your integrity, treat people fairly and do the right thing, even if it puts you in a difficult situation. This will also help you maintain your self-respect and the respect that people have for you.
- Stay authentic. Being fake or hypocritical is not sustainable on the long run and your real self will slowly suffer the consequences.
- Be resilient and believe that you can overcome challenges and that you can find solutions to your problems.
- Learn to be grateful and stay grounded in reality but learn to appreciate and celebrate success, to recognize your achievements and position in life.
- Don’t be afraid of failure and learn from your past mistakes. If you have wronged someone, admit it and apologize.
- List your life achievements and list what you wish to achieve. Understanding what you have accomplished will increase your positivity and strengthen your belief that you can see things through.
- Avoid seeking only status and playing aggressive politics at work to get ahead.
- Stop comparing yourself to others and compare yourself to your past self instead.
- Create good habits and be self-disciplined enough to stick to a routine.
- Set boundaries. This is a complex task because most people don’t know how to, some confuse standing up for themselves and setting boundaries with being blatantly mean.
- Be compassionate towards yourself and others. Forgive yourself and others. This doesn’t mean that you have forgotten or that you now start back trusting or working with the same people.
- Experience life with an open-mind. Don’t take life too seriously and acknowledge that you don’t know everything.
- Eat well and regularly. Use meditation and exercise to stay healthy mentally and physically, to stay in control of your thoughts and to evacuate negative emotions.
- Don’t deprive yourself of sleep. Sleep affects your mood, your thoughts, your body and your resilience towards adversity.
- Don’t rely on people or other external factors to restore your self-esteem. Compliments only stroke your ego and will have no effect on your self-esteem for long. On the same length, belittling people won’t do the trick either.
- As a leader, it is important that you share your knowledge with your team. Retaining information is a sign of weakness, of a desire for control, power and will not lead you to success. On the other hand, your team skills, loyalty and respect will unequivocally be increased.
- Take responsibility for your actions, seek solutions instead of creating problems.
- Seek positive qualities in your employees, give positive feedback and build a positive work environment. Giving positive feedback doesn’t mean dismissing or sugarcoating negative feedback but it means that you give constructive criticism and make people feel good about their work performance.
- Know your team’s strengths and weaknesses. Place them on tasks that employ their strengths, and don’t hesitate to stretch their abilities and responsibilities.
- Remove doubt from your employees so they can perform better.
- Teach your team to see problems as challenges or opportunities in disguise. Do not punish mistakes and show that it is OK to disagree, to share a dissenting opinion, or to say “I don’t know”.
- Mitigate bad behavior within your team and maintain composure no matter the circumstances.
- Include playful time in the workplace. This will increase productivity. Contrary to popular bureaucratic and corporate belief, be playful is not a sign of immaturity to carelessness. Instead, it is a way to release painful experiences.
- Seek external professional help to sort through bad experiences and memories if necessary.
Hope that I’ve helped you get it together on your way to leadership!
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