Manager's Tips and Tools

by Manager Development Services

Self-esteem Series (1 of 13) The Power of Self-esteem in Business

Business has evolved.  It no longer needs automatons, mindlessly following orders given by a select few.  It needs “collaborators,” working together.  The days of “There is no I in TEAM” is over.   The challenge for business today is in learning how to put the “I in TEAM” – a “TEAM” in which each individual works in unison with others while utilizing those inherent talents and abilities that make them unique.  In today’s business world, employees must be able work with management, not for.  Business needs employees and managers, who make healthy choices, are competent and confident in their abilities, and are willing to express their ideas without fear of being discounted.  In today’s rapidly changing economic climate, business needs employees who embrace change and are able to adapt to any situation.  Employees must be disciplined and able to self-manage.  Business needs employees who are able to make competent decisions and be innovative in their approach to problems.

Today’s economy no longer is driven by muscle.  Today, the driving force in business is the mind.  Information and knowledge are what drive the world now.  People with healthy self-esteem do not hoard information or wisdom, but share it willingly because they understand that what is good for one is good for all; what benefits one, benefits all; when one succeeds, all succeed.

People with healthy self-esteem tend to view problems as opportunities and setbacks as challenges; they preserver and are proactive.  They are excited to learn and try new things.  They are creative and imaginative.  They aren’t afraid to speak up and share their ideas and they aren’t afraid to ask for information or help.

People with healthy self-esteem have a compassion, understanding, and genuine concern for others.  They have the ability to effectively communicate and develop healthy business relationships.  They are able to set appropriate boundaries and stand up for their right to exist and be heard.  Because they live in reality, they possess a high level of consciousness, which allows them to see the bigger picture, recognize “red flags,” and formulate realistic strategies.  Because they respect themselves, they show others respect and understand the interconnectedness of society, business, humanity, and themselves.

In short, people with healthy self-esteem are invaluable assets in any business.

Most people don’t really understand exactly what self-esteem is, how it works, or the power it has to shape our lives.

Self-esteem is a self-fulfilling prophecy.  Our level of self-esteem directly dictates our behavior and our behavior, in turn, directly dictates our level of our self-esteem.  If I believe I can do it, that I am competent, that I am capable, then when given a task I’m going to give it my all.  I’m going to give it a hundred and ten percent.  An excess of troubles might knock me down, but I will pick myself up and continue on.  I will learn from my mistakes (failure isn’t failure if you learn a lesson from it).  I will persevere and more often than not, I will succeed and I will have validated my belief that I can do it.

If I believe I can’t do it, that I’m incompetent, incapable, then when given a task I’m only going to half-try.  Why put forth all that effort and all that work if I know I’m going to fail anyway.  And then, when I get knocked down, I’ll just lay there.  “See, I told you I couldn’t do it.”

Either way, I have validated my belief.

Happiness anxiety is a phenomenon that affects many today.  This is a fear of happiness – a fear of success.  This sounds crazy!  Everyone wants to be happy; everyone wants to be successful – don’t they?  Everyone may want to be successful, but do they deserve it?  We are all raised to believe that “good people” deserve happiness; “good people” deserve success.  But wait a minute!  I’ve done bad things.  I’ve lied to my spouse, cheated on an exam, took something that wasn’t mine, pretended I was sick when I really wasn’t, been lazy, gotten angry and yelled at my kids.  And because I’ve done bad things, that precludes me from being a “good person.”  And because I’m not “good,” I just know that if success or happiness comes my way, something big and bad is going to come around the corner and wipe it all out.  And the bigger the success and the bigger the happiness is, then the bigger this “big and bad” thing is going to be.  So, without realizing it, I will behave in a way to actually make it happen.  I will sabotage the one thing I want the most because on some deeper level I believe I don’t deserve it.

In other words, we will behave in a way to validate whatever it is we believe.  Thus, our level of self-esteem dictates our behavior, and therefore, our destiny.  (a self-fulfilling prophecy)

Believe it not, most of our dreams can be fulfilled.  Most of our problems can be avoided.  What’s the major factor that dictates our destiny and shapes our lives?  The answer is so simple it’s difficult for people to see and even more difficult to believe:  self-esteem.

Contrary to the laws of physics, when it comes to people likes attack – not opposites.   If I am a positive, “glass is half full” type of person, I will attract and be attracted to, positive, “glass is half full” people.  Why would I want to be around people who will bring me down? I find them depressing and frustrating, and can’t wait to get away.  I feel as though the very life is being sucked right out of me.

If I am a negative, whining, “glass is half empty” person, I will attract and be attracted to, negative, whining, “glass is half empty” people.  If I have low self-esteem I want to be around others who can understand and sympathize.  Why would I want to be around some “perky,” energetic, cheerleader-type who sees all the possibilities in the world and can’t wait to attack life?  (too much work!)  I will find myself resentful and angry toward those who are successful and happy.

In other words, I will feel most comfortable with people whose self-esteem level resembles my own.  If I have healthy self-esteem, I will be more likely to develop healthy relationships.  I will naturally support and complement those I associate with and they will do the same for me.

In other words – winners run with winners and losers run with losers.

With healthy self-esteem, I will be more likely to persist, solve, and overcome problems.  I will be more likely to succeed in my endeavors.  I will see the world through the eyes of possibilities and abundance.  I will be more likely to live in gratitude for what I have and feel blessed.  I will be inspired to make and pursue goals.  I will be open and honest expressing myself in relationships and feel confident in setting appropriate boundaries to respect others and myself.

If I have low self-esteem, I will lack respect for who I am, and therefore, others.  I will have nothing of any value to bring to a relationship.  Instead of going to a relationship to give my power to the relationship, I go to take my power from the relationship.  When I bring “need” to a relationship the relationship will wither and eventually die because my “need” will suck the life out of the other person.

With low self-esteem, I need others to approve of me, to tell me I am all right, that I do have worth, that I do matter. Other people become sources of approval or disapproval.  I see only others for what they can or cannot do for me. If I give you the power to approve of me, then I have also given you the power to disapprove of me.  I will see others as objects to be used.  If I need you to approve of me, I will not be able to express my needs and my wants.  I end up living at the whim of what you think, what you want, what you need.  I will even take abuse just to feel “a part of.”

If I have to prove that I am “enough,” then I’ve already lost the battle.  By having to prove it, I admit I know I’m not enough (and no amount of approval from outside will change that).

Can a person have too much self-esteem?

Most people usually answer yes because they perceive high self-esteem with arrogance.  They don’t want to be seen as conceited or a braggart.  But in reality, the correct answer is, “No.”  A person cannot have too much self-esteem because self-esteem comes from lifting yourself up – not putting others down.  People who are arrogant or conceited actually possess very low self-esteem.  In essence, they’re putting others down by spouting off how wonderful they are.  If you’re putting others down you have very low self-esteem.  You’re actually seeking approval from the backdoor by attempting to make someone else appear less-than in order for you to appear more-than.

How does a person develop healthy self-esteem?

Well, it takes that dirty little four-letter word—work!  But it’s work that pays off in something which is priceless.  Nurturing self-esteem is a process of growth.  Remember, your self-esteem is your destiny.  What are you willing to do for your destiny?   That power is in your hands – don’t throw it away like most people do.

Tomorrow, we’ll explore 9 principles to nurture our level of self-esteem.

NOTE: Manager Development Services’ Blog is intended to educate and give “food for thought” that will enhance a person’s personal and professional lives.  You can find our Self-esteem Series in either our text or our e-learning course titled, “Becoming Master of Your Destiny.”


July 19, 2010 - Posted by | Uncategorized


  1. hi all, to the OP i just wanted to let you know that i too once had “low self esteem” and it really hurt me alot however now after really “working on myself” i feel normal- one thing please never compare yourself to others and you’ll be allright!

    Comment by Lyndsey Haruta | July 19, 2010 | Reply

  2. hi all, just want to say many people have low self esteem so no one’s alone here but work on your self image & it will be allright

    Comment by Vikki Owca | July 19, 2010 | Reply

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