Nelson Mandela and Barack Obama have shown that being black is no handicap to achieving the highest office and becoming icons and beacons of hope to a billion black people on the planet.
In fact an experiment was conducted before and after Barack Obama became president of the USA. Prior to this event black students on average scored less than their white counterparts but after the inauguration of Barack Obama that advantage was erased altogether. You see what you believe about yourself has a huge impact on your performance throughout your life. You get what you believe.
The question then is how do we boost our self-esteem. It starts with deciding that you are valuable and treating yourself as such.
According to Jack Canfield author of Chicken Soup for the Soul and Success Guru there are 6 simple habits you can build to boost your self esteem –
1. Believe in yourself.
The first step in creating self esteem is to believe in yourself. You are responsible to take charge of your own self-concept and your beliefs – including belief in your worth, your talent, your abilities, and your potential.
2. The mirror exercise.
Every day for 30 days before going to bed look at yourself in the mirror and say “I love You” to yourself and hold your gaze for 15 seconds. You will find that after the 30 day period this positive reinforcement will have a huge impact on how you will feel about yourself.
3. Identify 9 major successes.
Research has repeatedly shown that the more you acknowledge your past success, the more confident you become in taking on and successfully accomplishing new ones. Divide your life into 3 time periods – from birth -20, 20-40, 40-60. Then list 3 major successes from each time period. After this keep going until you write down 100 successes, from passing grade R to each standard you passed, passing your driving licence, finding your wife, having beautiful children etc.
4. Keep a Victory Log.
Recall and write your successes each day. This keeps you focused on your successes.
5. Display Success Symbols.
What you see in your environment has a psychological impact on your moods, attitudes and behavior. Surround yourself with awards, pictures and other objects. Create a special place in your home – such as a hallway, shelf or even the top of the fridge. This will program you to see yourself as someone who has consistent success in your life.
6. Keep your agreements
One of the most commonly overlooked ways to boost your self-esteem is to keep your word. Every agreement you make is ultimately to yourself, even those that involve other people. Your brain registers agreements as commitments. If you don’t follow through, you learn not to trust yourself. You lose integrity and faith in your ability to produce a result. Don’t undermine your personal power- keep your personal commitments.
The challenge to you is to strictly perform these exercises for at least 21 days to turn them into a daily habit. Reap the wonderful rewards of confidence, self assurance and the happiness that are sure to follow.