Why is high self-esteem so important to success?

The keys of success The quick answer: You achieve the success you believe you deserve.

We all limit ourselves in dozens of little ways, self-sabotaging whenever we step outside the comfort zone that we live in.

The boundaries of that zone are set by our beliefs about ourselves – who we think we are, what we believe we’re worth, what fits the image we hold about ourselves, and mostly, what we believe we deserve.

Receive more than you think you’re worthy of, and you start behaving in ways that bring you back to that comfortable level where you know who you are again.  That’s why lottery winners usually end up back where they were in 3 years or less.  That’s why 80% or more of start-up businesses fail within the first 3 years.  It’s like a thermostat – if your environment goes above or below that pre-set level we’re happy with, something kicks in to bring it back into line.

Thermostats can be reset, though.

Change what you believe about yourself, start seeing yourself as having more to offer, and you’ll start allowing more good things into your life.  The higher you build your self esteem, the higher that thermostat gets set, and the more you experience success.  By setting it to new, higher levels, you’re not only overcoming that inbuilt resistance that counteracts what’s happening and brings you back down to where you were before, but turning it to your advantage to help you achieve ever higher levels of success..

How do you change those beliefs?  There’s a few tricks I’ve learnt over the years.  Repeating affirmations can help, creating a supportive environment is important too, but the single biggest thing you can do to improve your self esteem is listening for, finding and silencing the critical comments that inner voice keeps feeding you.  When you hear your mind telling you something negative, stop and feed yourself the opposite, positive point of view immediately!  Before too long, it shifts away from putting you down, and as you work your way through all those old destructive beliefs, you replace each of them with positive, self-esteem enhancing ones that create the success you want.

{ 7 comments… add one }

  • Yvonne September 26, 2011 at 11:17 pm

    Very interesting, been working for myself for three years! and things are slipping away, that I thought were in place.
    But don’t feel the deservingness problem is on the surface, I don’t but my self down ect, but I was brought up to not ask for anything, and beleive tahts where I will start to make that changes.
    Thank you this has helped

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  • Mark August 29, 2011 at 11:19 pm

    Hi, you have a fresh voice and fresh ideas. Good stuff. Well written. I particularly like your articles about self esteem and ‘Why Life Sucks . . ‘ I’m writing to say that although I appreciate your articles (and will be looking at them again), I felt the need to mention 1. The trouble with stopping one’s negative thoughts and replacing them with positive thoughts is that I’m not sure it works. Did it really work with you? I get the feeling that the more a person tries to tell themselves a positive thought, the more a voice inside them tells them it’s wrong. Therefore, positive affirmations are counter-productive. However, if it did work for you I’m curious why other people (like myself) have the opposite effect, and also, why it hasn’t caught on. After all, if it really did work, we would all simply apply it and feel wonderful, would we not? So what am I missing?
    2. Secondly, in my video blog (which won’t open until October – I’m still writing the scripts), I will be casting doubt over the commonly held view that a high self esteem increases our core happiness. I suspect it might simply be an emotional disability. A physical disability, like a missing leg, affects a person’s ability to run etc. but will not (except initially) affect a person’s core happiness. In the same way, a low self esteem will affect a person’s ability to succeed in many aspects of their life, but will not affect their core happiness. (I don’t equate success with happiness either.) There are many people who have a high self esteem, but aren’t that happy, and there are many people who have a low self esteem, but who are happy, but their low self esteem is not evident because they are happy. I’m telling you this because you write an impressive blog, and because I’d like your thoughts on both points, if you have time.
    Warm regards. Mark.

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  • Crystal August 31, 2011 at 7:11 am

    Thanks for the feedback, Mark.
    The process of changing negative thoughts to positive involves a couple of steps. First is becoming aware of them. Second is countering them, working through why they’re wrong (or not completely right) so they’re undermined in your own head, and then you can start coming up with the positive thoughts to replace them. So you’re right, it’s not as easy as shouting ‘Alakazam’ and they go away. It’s also sometimes easier for some people to live with the status quo than to work on changing it – there’s a lot of resistance to change we’re taught as we grow up that can also get in the way.
    Self esteem is only one aspect of our self-concept, and yes there are lots of other areas where it can be negative, and affect overall happiness, independent of self-esteem. You’re absolutely right, they aren’t the same thing. My own experience, though, is that esteem is the single most common issue for the majority of people. After all, it’s totally undermined by several aspects of our everyday life and culture. That’s why I focus on it, not purely because of happiness but because it’s so powerful in enabling people to move forward once it’s fixed. I’m also currently working on a rewrite of my previous free course, I’ll send you a link once that’s live if you like. I’d be happy to get your feedback.
    Best of luck with the video blog, I’ll watch out for it.

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  • Mark September 1, 2011 at 1:44 pm

    Thank you for your reply, Crystal. I must say, self esteem has been one of the two tricky subjects for me, and your comments have prompted me to go yet a little deeper into it. Yes, it is very important. And yes, please, send me a link once it’s live. Thank you. Warm regards, Mark.

  • Francisco Cavallero August 26, 2011 at 6:51 am

    This is a wonderfully written article. You must have done a lot of research in this area. You have made this topic easy to read, interesting and easy to understand.

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  • Priscila February 10, 2011 at 6:01 am


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  • k c November 17, 2010 at 4:25 am

    What is self esteem? Loving yourself just the way you are.
    We are already lovable. We need to be nurtured, loved and have structure. You get to provide it for yourself. The hidden benefit is that you get exactly what you want and need. No need to rely on someone else reading your mind or disappointing you because YOU know exactly what you want already.

    Thanks for sharing this!!
    Self Esteem Affirmation

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