Self-esteem: Find back your lost crown!

“Remember no one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” – Eleanor Roosevelt

How true is this sentence! And how often do we forget about it and let ourselves feel down or stupid?

Self-esteem, love for yourself, is a topic that has been and continues to keep me busy: I have spent time thinking about it, what it means for me, for my life and my projects.

And I often encounter this doubt when working with my coaching-clients. No matter if they are executives managing large teams in the industry, seasoned professionals in a sales department, managers in a consulting company, or teachers in a private school. Most, if not all of us, have these moments of doubts: am I good enough? Will they take me seriously? Aren’t the others a lot better than me?

We were all born as princes and princesses: as “little Mr and Miss Sunshine”, full of trust in the world, in others and in ourselves. And we make our first experiences: we start walking, riding a bike, we learn writing, we find friends or fight for a toy on the playground… And we are given feedback on things we do, how well or how bad, how beautiful or ugly we look like, how funny or boring we are, how responsible or dependent we are and so on and so forth.

Society, beginning with our family and close friends, changes us and the perception we have of ourselves. If we often get a negative image of our person or our behaviours, be it at home, at school or later at our workplace, this image becomes our reality. We even start behaving as we believe is expected from us: it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy!

… Little princes and princesses lose their crowns…

When you doubt about yourself, when your “self-esteem pot” is low as described by Virginia Satir, you can display different behaviours[1]:

  • Blaming: becoming aggressive and blaming others to hide your own uncertainties
  • Placating: saying yes to others, constantly striving to please them, showing submission
  • Computing (rationalising): being factual, calm and reasonable, hiding yourself and your emotions
  • Distracting: moving in all directions, being hectic, not focused and confused

Do you recognise yourself or others in one of these descriptions? Neither of them is fulfilling nor authentic.

=> Leaders cannot grow their people without knowing and feeling their own value. They cannot be authentic and vulnerable, give feedback, inspire others without feeling at peace with themselves and their attributes (strengths and weaknesses).

The same goes for teachers with their pupils but also for professionals who struggle with their team, who are scared of presenting in front of an audience or giving their opinion in a meeting.

“Be the change you want to see in the world” said M. Gandhi. This sentence is my deepest source of inspiration on a daily basis. When talking about self-esteem, what we can change is the way we look at ourselves.

Coaching is a great way to have a new and deeper look in the mirror and challenge your “self-prejudices”. You can learn new ways to get a grip on your resources, on the image you send to others, on what makes you special…

Of course, it remains a personal path to then integrate it in your life, your thoughts, your emotional world and use it to continue building your vision. And the path will not be straight, there will be obstacles, hills and valleys and hidden curves. These are the places where your coaching experience will guide you as a compass.

What about you? How full is your pot when you enter your working place in the morning? Where is your crown?


[1] V.Satir – „Peoplemaking“ – 1972