Self-Esteem: The One Thing That Only You Can Do Something About

How you feel about yourself is totally an inside job. Yes there are external influences and other people and situations can impact you. But you are responsible for your own self-esteem. And don’t let anyone else talk you out of feeling good about yourself. Author and motivator Brian Tracy is an authority on the development of human potential and personal effectiveness. He speaks to a total audience of a quarter of a million people a year so he must have something going for him.

Tracysays that your number one job is to keep your self-esteem high if you are going to be successful in any aspect of your personal or professional life. He has developed a formula of six elements to build and maintain your self-esteem. They are goals, standards, success experiences, comparison with others, recognition and rewards.


Just setting challenging and measurable goals for yourself, writing them down and having a plan to achieve them can make you feel better about yourself and raise your self-esteem.


The higher your standards and ideals and being consistent and true to them will increase your self-respect and the more and longer you respect yourself, the more positive you will be and the longer this enhanced self-esteem will last.

Success experiences

Having measurable goals allows you to chart your progress and as you start achieving pieces of your goals you start experiencing success, small steps at a time which makes you feel like a winner.

Comparison with others

You can have high self-esteem and be successful all on your own but if you want to have even greater success then surround yourself with them and read about them and learn from them.


We all need to be recognized by those closest to us in our professional and social lives. These people are the mirror by which we judge ourselves and if it reflects a positive image of us we will feel better about ourselves. If it doesn’t, get a new mirror!!


You may get tangible or material rewards from your successes but they need to be supplemented by rewards that you create for yourself. They can be small like a night out or big like a vacation but they are a sign to you that you value yourself and your achievements. The more you give yourself the more you will receive in positive self-esteem.

So what do you think? Does this formula work for you? What would you add or delete. Comments, as usual, welcome and appreciated.

Mike Martin is a freelance writer and consultant specializing in workplace wellness and conflict resolution. He is the author of “Change the Things You Can” (Dealing with Difficult People). For more information about Mike please visit:


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