Build Self-Esteem: Your Key to Success

Fear, along with low self-esteem, eventually leads to self-sabotage. I know. For years I was the queen of self-sabotage. My self-image was not consistent with how the world saw me. I achieved a great deal of business success selling real estate when I was in my early 20s.

I would literally look in the mirror trying to find the strong assertive person the outside world was seeing. All I could see was someone who was putting up a big front to appear cool. I was confused by my personal success when I was young because I had nothing nurturing or positive in my life to which I could relate the personal growth.

At the time, I wasn’t sure why I was getting all this money and acclaim. I didn’t think I was worthy of it, and believed that I didn’t deserve success or happiness. I achieved the level of business success because I was highly skilled, but my low self-esteem drove me to throw it all away.

The consequences of my low self-esteem and self-sabotage were many. If I can, I’d like to save you from the same fate by parting the curtain.

First, my personal life: I felt unworthy of my first husband, but you wouldn’t have known it by the way I treated him. My self-sabotaging brain decided the way to keep him was to tear him down to my level so he would feel lucky to have anyone, even me. Then he wouldn’t leave me.

I still get a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach thinking about how I hurt myself, my personal development and other people with my low self-esteem. Don’t ever kid yourself into thinking your level of self-esteem isn’t influencing the quality of life for people around you.

In my business life, the self-sabotage was straightforward. I would achieve a great deal of business success until it got too uncomfortable for my self-image to handle, and then I would destroy my achievement and my work/life balance.

I’d make my job undesirable by having a conflict or a philosophical difference where I would have to leave to maintain my ‘higher ground’. Some of these were pretty elaborate, so I could feel superior when I left.

Similar circumstances happen more often than you’d think. I see them played out by friends and co-workers over and over throughout the years. They’re easy to spot for someone like me, a former self-saboteur.

Self-sabotage is a self-fulfilling prophecy that puts people back in their comfort zone of “I knew it would all go away sooner or later. Nothing good ever lasts.”

See, I grew up in the land of “Who do you think you are?” This is still a common message kids receive today. It can be difficult reconciling personal success with that message. Without a strong positive self-image, all success is temporary.

On the positive side, another self-fulfilling prophecy is that if you “act as if” you are self-assured, knowledgeable and have work/life balance, you will become exactly that.

You’ve heard the saying, “Fake it until you make it.” This is not being phony. To become more positive, you have to start somewhere, and this is the first step towards personal growth.

The key to building self-esteem is to know that your opinion is the only one that counts. Others just influence your opinions. You can accept or reject what they say about your personal development.

High self-esteem is a gift you can only give to yourself. It’s a very valuable gift.

How is Reality TV Affecting Our Self-Esteem?

When I was thinking about what to write for this article on self -esteem what showed up wasn’t just a question of whether you have low or high self-esteem. The subject of unrealistic self-esteem just kept showing up everywhere I looked. It made me ask myself a few questions.

TV is full of reality shows and even if you say you never watch any of them, for the most part, they get very high ratings-even the bad ones. Is this affecting how people look at themselves?

Are people sitting in their living rooms comparing themselves to the people who are singing or dancing or losing weight or modeling or cooking or decorating and now even telling the truth is a reality show!

Why is it that some people with so much going for them don’t recognize it and have low self-esteem while others think they have much more on the ball than they really do? I’m sure you can identify people you know that fit in each of these categories. On reality TV it’s not just in areas where they are competing on talent, it’s also shows where they try to outsmart each other like Survivor and Big Brother.

How do these perceptions aid your self-esteem in some areas and make it even lower in others? Where does an unrealistic view of yourself really come from,
especially if we are talking about a particular talent?

I find talents such as ability to play sports or do something creative like singing, painting or acting to be very interesting. People considered experts in the field and millions of people in the general public judge these activities every day.

Of course, sometimes they are wrong. But what makes somebody keep going when they’ve been told repeatedly they aren’t good at something? Remember Sanjaya on
American Idol last year? Or how about William Hung?Hey, who says you can’t make money following your passion?

I’ve had my own personal experiences with being in denial about my abilities.

I grew up believing I wasn’t good at sports; I thought I wasn’t coordinated. The first time I was told I had a natural ability to play golf it was by a boyfriend that I assumed had an ulterior motive. The second time was by a golf pro that I rationalized wanted to sell me more lessons.

I always had an explanation to discount what they were saying. I didn’t think, “Hey, how about that! I can be good at golf.”

Why not? Even though I now believe I do have the ability, I still feel pressured and uncomfortable when I go out and play. I’m always sure that no matter who I play with, they will be much better than I am and I will be holding them up. Consequently, I don’t play much and it’s not really fun, yet.

I say yet because I am determined not to let this episode of unrealistically low self-esteem go on forever. I refuse to let it control me to the point that I never play golf again. I will overcome this and learn to play confidently and comfortably so I can have an enjoyable day on the golf course.

Anybody want to play with me?

Ask yourself, “What’s the one thing I can change about how I view myself and my talents that will realistically increase my self-esteem?”

So how have you experienced this in your life? Have you let it keep you down? If not, how did you overcome it? I would love to have you share your opinions and personal insights here on my blog.

Creative thinking in your outdoor office

It’s a beautiful time of year in Scottsdale and I love to work outside, so I’ve created workspaces on different patios all around my back yard, from the covered patio right off my bedroom where I work early in the morning when it’s a little cool and the sun is low, to patios around the pool and my wine country patio with roses, lavender, an herb garden and a two-sided fountain under a big pine tree.

Do you have a work space that makes you feel creative and happy? If not, why not go about creating one for yourself today.

The photos promised in my ezine are on their way. I’ve tried several different ways to upload photos. I’m sure there’s an easy way, but the only way I found took up the entire blog, so help me out here. somebody leave a comment of how to put normal pictures in my blog or I’ll email my web guy.

If you don’t receive my ezine, you can subscribe at

For now you can view the photo album of my house on my Facebook page at:

Why Fear of Success Is Blocking You More Than Fear of Failure

After reading Amy’s comment on the post about banishing fear from your life, I realized that it’s been a while since I’ve directly addressed the topic of “fear of success”. I believe it’s a much bigger roadblock to your success than fear of failure. It’s not like we haven’t all failed many times before and we know what that feels like and we have a mechanism in place for what we do when it happens. It may be unpleasant but at the same time it’s comfortable to a degree.

Some of our coping mechanisms are healthier than others, but that’s another topic.

Amy’s point, and mine, is that you have to be diligent at recognizing when it’s really fear of success that’s stopping you in you tracks.

Dr. Maxwell Maltz, Author of “Psycho-Cybernetics”, is quoted as saying, “Often the difference between a successful person and a failure is not the one that has better abilities or ideas, but the courage that one has to bet on one’s ideas, to take a calculated risk – and to act.”

So if that’s what fear of failure looks like, what does fear of success look like?

Are you playing it safe or going for it 100%? Are you really afraid that what you have to offer is so big that if you played full out you would scare people and they wouldn’t know how to respond to that powerful person you’ve become? Or is it that the picture of you being who you truly are is so foreign to you that you’re the one who doesn’t know what to do with that?

Creating a vision board of what you want your successful life to look like is a non-threatening “dreamy” way of getting started if you’re really blocked. But I believe that having a clear vision of what you want your life to look like and creating a blueprint of what that life will be and how you’re going to get there takes all the fear away because now you’re just taking one step at a time.

That’s what I do for my clients. I take them down that path of discovering what they want, creating the blueprint for how they will get there and holding their hand through the process. Bottom line, let someone else hold that vision for you until you can hold it for yourself.

Just remember, it can be done, if you don’t think you can do it alone, get a mentor like me to help you. You can reach me at Lynn at

P.S. If you’re reading this post somewhere other than my actual blog, please click on the blog link to comment so we can all continue this discussion together.