Glenford Smith | Helping to build self-esteem
QUESTION: I enjoy your weekly articles in the Careers section of The Gleaner, where you give practical and useful tips to be more effective on the job or in job interviews and basic life principles. I am, therefore, interested in purchasing any book you might recommend to build one's self-esteem and to become a self-confident individual who can overcome, or react positively, to any problem one comes across.
CAREERS: Thank you for reading the Gleaner's Careers section of the paper. I must commend you for the initiative to take command of your life.
Readers of this column will tell you that we believe that you will be the same person you are today in five years time except for two things: the books you read and the company you keep. So what you are doing is very fine.
People like to say that Jamaicans don't read, but you have proved them wrong. When a person does not read he walks around with the same ideas in his head, day in and day out. Reading introduces fresh ideas into the mind and facilitates growth and expansion.
The question you raise regarding self-esteem and self-confidence is an excellent one. How you see yourself, which is what your self-esteem is about, determines the level of your performance. It is that important.
So, what is self-esteem? According to the late Dr Nathaniel Branden, author of The Six Pillars of Self-Esteem, "Self-esteem is the disposition to experience oneself as competent to cope with the basic challenges of life and as worthy of happiness."
You can see that at its essence, self-esteem concerns itself with our self-efficacy and self-respect. It has very little to do with what one is thinking about oneself. More important, it is what one actually does in the real world and what one experiences in reality.
We live in a changing environment. We are required to learn new things, collaborate effectively with others, and look ahead. Self-esteem becomes very critical to have. With it, we can confidently confront our problems.
The following books will help you in this vital area. Listen to related YouTube videos as well.
n Taking Responsibility by Nathaniel Branden You are awakened from the sleep of dependency to the liberating reality where you care for yourself. This book is in addition to the above-mentioned volume. Let these two form the basis of your understanding about self-esteem.
- The Success Principles by Jack Canfield This presents a comprehensive programme for fully practising self-esteem. While it doesn't specifically say self-esteem, that's what this book is all about.
- What Color Is Your Parachute? by Richard Bolles This is a practical manual for job hunters and career changers.
- Maximum Achievement by Brian Tracy Expands your knowledge of self-esteem by delving into how the mind works. You will also get an outstanding grasp of what it will take to achieve your goals.
- The Master-Key To Riches by Napoleon Hill In essence, the master-key to riches is self-control. No other psychological resource is as crucial as self-control when it comes to our self-esteem. You will also get first-class guidance on how to positively react to the problems you will inevitably face.
- Glenford Smith is a motivational speaker and success strategist. He is the author of 'From Problems to Power' and co-author of 'Profile of Excellence'. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org