18. 6. 2017 – WHY IS SELF-ESTEEM SO IMPORTANT (NOT ONLY) IN BUSINESS?
I can imagine how this caption might evoke a number of negative comments about the fact that something like self-confidence doesn’t belong in business. It belongs there more than we think. For most of you, the core of your business lies somewhere else and you don’t have the time to observe how everything affects the outcome of your organization or team, and to what extent. Self-esteem has an absolutely fundamental impact on how we function and can radically change business and relationships yet at the same time, not much is openly said about it in business. Why? Because it is a topic which makes us very vulnerable when we bring it up. And at the same time a topic which, if we don’t bring it up, causes tremendous damage without us realizing it.
In my coaching work, I meet a wide range of managers, leaders, and entrepreneurs. Over the last couple of months, I have noticed that the subject of self-esteem has appeared more and more often in different forms among leaders. Most of them do work which they enjoy, they have results and yet still feel some inner anxiety and discontent, etc. Why is this? This is because standard managerial approaches to leading people fail and are inadequate to the degree of intricacy and complexity of the problems we face. It is absolutely essential to go much deeper under the surface of professional and managerial skills and focus on the very essence of our being.
Outward self-esteem is self-confidence. Self-confidence doesn’t reflect how we mistakenly think we manage the actions and situations we know. Then we don’t need self-confidence. Self-confidence, on the contrary, is reflected in how we behave and act outside of our comfort zone. Only with the unknown or the not understood do we recognize how self-confident we really are or how high our self-esteem is.
Another manifestation of self-esteem is self-evaluation, which is reflected mainly in how we think, how we speak and to what extent we need the recognition and consent of others. Do you speak to yourself negatively? Can you see no silver lining to anything around you? Or conversely, are you trying to persuade yourself (and everybody else) that things around you are better than they really are? Healthy self-evaluation means seeing ourselves as we really are and not judging our value by comparing ourselves with others or according to whether things are going well or not.
Loving someone (including ourselves) doesn’t mean that anything goes. If we love ourselves, we don’t allow ourselves to behave in a way which is destructive for our mind, body or soul. And that includes procrastination, talking about ourselves negatively, overeating, workaholism and so on. At the same time, we don’t allow others to act in a way that we don’t like and doesn’t suit us. We know what we like, what we need, what we want and we act accordingly.
Self-esteem is anything but arrogance and selfishness. Self-esteem, on the contrary, can be expressed by being assertive and promoting your own interests while respecting your surroundings. We don’t need to fight anyone but even so, we defend our interests. We do not need to please everyone. Above all, we don’t need anybody’s approval about what we do.
The expression of self-esteem is relaxation, playfulness and the courage to get out of the rut you are in. Self-esteem means always doing what’s right for you in all circumstances and not just what’s right. Self-esteem helps you to discover who you really are and what you really want to reveal. In other words, it helps us to put aside the masks we unknowingly wear and let us be free to be authentic and natural, and therefore charismatic.
The subject of self-esteem implies tremendous courage, because the basic premise is that we look at what we really are. And not only look at it but accept our dark and secret sides. We need to accept that our real self is usually very different from the one we present to others. Our ‘pretentious’ self, which doesn’t allow imperfections, must die.