Here are the key points that emerged from my third Self-Esteem Workshop, for consultants and entrepreneurs, which I’ve now run in Providence, Dublin, and Newport.
• All of us have a story. It’s exceedingly rare to find anyone who has not had to cope with family breakup, illness, trauma, loss, or catastrophe.
• All of us face challenges to our self-worth at times.
• What happens to you is often not preventable. What you choose to do about it is within your power.
• “Baggage” in and of itself, is necessary. But the baggage must contain the clothes, accessories, and support that suit us for today and tomorrow, not yesterday’s stuff that no longer fits or is out of date.
• You can’t just drop baggage on the train, because it’s still traveling with you at the same rate of speed. You have to throw it off the train and risk killing a few grazing cows.
• Since we become familiar with the often inaccurate and unfair messages and baggage we received growing up, it’s incumbent on us not to do the same to our children and loved ones.
• Pleasing others is not of primary importance, and can cause you to sacrifice your own very legitimate and important objectives.
• Efficacy—how well you can do something—and self-esteem—how well you regard yourself irrespective of how well you do something—are independent variables. You can do well but feel unworthy, or feel worthy but not deliver the goods.
• Support networks are critical to build and reinforce self-worth.
• If you choose to spend time with people who think they are victims, who have low self-worth, and who suck up energy, you will eventually become just like them.
• The acquisition of skills builds self-worth if one employs them successfully and relevantly. The most important and useful skill of all is language.
• Put your own oxygen mask on first. That’s not selfish. It’s how you can help more people.
© Alan Weiss 2010. All rights reserved.