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#3: The Law of The Mirror

Updated: Feb 11, 2023

You Must See Value in Yourself to Add Value to Yourself


"Personal development is the belief that you are worth the effort, time, and energy needed to develop yourself."-- Denis Waitley

How would you rank your self-esteem?

John Maxwell concludes that one of the main reasons so many people fail to grow and reach their potential is that they don’t have high self-esteem. Now I’m not referring to an inflated view of self, and neither is John Maxwell, but we are talking about the ability to look in the mirror and recognize that we each have value.

If you don’t recognize that you have genuine value and that you are worth investing in, then you will never put in the time, energy, or effort required to grow to your potential.

Self-esteem is the single most significant key to a person’s behavior because every aspect of our lives is impacted by the way we see ourselves. And unfortunately, people are never able to outperform their self-image.

According to psychiatrist and self-esteem expert, Nathaniel Branden, “if you feel inadequate to face challenges, unworthy or love or respect, unentitled to happiness, and fear assertive thoughts, wants, or needs — if you lack basic self-trust, self-respect, and self-confidence — your self-esteem deficiency will limit you, no matter what other assets you possess.”

If you want to become the person you have the potential to be, you must believe that you can!

"It’s impossible to consistently behave in a manner inconsistent with how we see ourselves. We can do very few things in a positive way if we feel negative about ourselves." -- Zig Ziglar

So how do you build your self-esteem? To get you started, consider the following ten suggestions.

1) Guard Your Self-Talk

  • Do you encourage yourself or do you criticize yourself?

  • Which one happens more?

  • How do you feel when you encourage yourself versus when you criticize yourself?

If we want to change our lives, we have to change the way we think about ourselves and if we want to change the way we think about ourselves, we must change the way we talk to ourselves. Research shows that it takes 3 positives to have the same impact as 1 negative. Give that a thought a moment. For every negative thought we have, it takes 3 positive thoughts to overcome the effects of the negative one.

2) Stop Comparing Yourself to Others

You either perceive the other person to be far ahead of you and so get discouraged, or you perceive yourself to be better than the other person and become proud. Neither of these will help you grow. The only person you should be comparing yourself to is you! Your mission is to become better today than you were yesterday.

3) Move Beyond Your Limiting Beliefs

The greatest limitations people experience on their lives are usually the ones they impose on themselves. It isn’t what you are that holds you back; it’s what you think you are not.

4) Add Value to Others

  • How much time every day and every week do you spend focusing on others and adding value to them?

  • Do you serve others through a volunteer organization?

  • Do you mentor people?

  • Do you give assistance to those who need it?

It’s hard to feel bad about yourself when you’re doing something good for someone else. Do something that utilizes your strengths, benefits others, and makes you feel good about yourself.

5) Do the Right Thing, Even If It’s the Hard Thing

Being true to yourself and your values is a tremendous self-esteem builder. You can actually “act yourself” into feeling good about who you are because positive character expands into every area of your life and gives you confidence and positive feelings about everything you do.

6) Practice a Small Discipline Daily in a Specific Area of Your Life

If there is an area in your life that seems overwhelming, try chipping away at it a little bit every day instead of trying to tackle it all at once. And since your self-worth is based on positive habits, actions, and decisions, you can build self-esteem at the same time.

7) Celebrate Small Victories

Taking a break to celebrate is good for you — it encourages you and inspires you to keep going!

8) Embrace a Positive Vision for Your Life Based on What You Value

If you have a positive vision for your life and you take action towards fulfilling that vision, you will more readily realize that your life matters.

9) Practice the One-Word Strategy

Make a list of all of your best personal qualities. If you have positive self-esteem, then this will probably be easy for you, but if you don’t, then don’t give up. Don’t stop until you have written a hundred positive things about yourself. Using the list as a springboard, decide on the one word that best describes you. Make this word your North Star as you begin to add value to yourself.

10) Take Responsibility for Your Life

We tend to get what we are willing to tolerate in life. If you want something to be different about your life, take responsibility and work towards changing it. It’s not easy, but it will be worth it. You are worth it.

No matter what you’ve experienced or what mistakes you’ve made, you can learn and grow. You can become the person you have the potential to be. You just have to believe in yourself to get started.

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