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How good self esteem do you have?

Here's something that everyone in the business circle is constantly talking about: the challenge to always be on top. To always deliver and perform. It's tough and it's even tougher for those who are working alone.

As a solo entrepreneur you fall into a black hole at times (every business owner does) and then you have to be gentle with yourself so you have the energy to get back up again. A better self-esteem makes it easier to find your way back to your normal “fight-mode” when life feels miserable.

What is self esteem?
Self-esteem is your own sense of your value as a human being - the degree of how much you love and value yourself and how you feel inside. Self-esteem determines many things without you even thinking about it. It controls the types of jobs you get, which partner you have, what you earn, your health and what you believe you deserve to be in this life.

People with poor self-esteem attract people and life events that confirm their low esteem for themselves. It's like they are sending out a signal that says;”I don't like myself and don't deserve much.”Other people pick up on these signals and treat you accordingly.

And the opposite - if you are working on your self esteem every day and begin to see yourself in a better way, others will perceive this as well.

You have to work a lot with this and I'm no expert in psychology - but after twenty years as a business owner and as someone who always enjoy breaking outside of my comfort zone – I've become an expert at digging myself out of the black hole that all business owners occasionally fall into.

Here are some tips to those who are not expert at it yet:

Firstly - you are responsible for your self-esteem
As soon as you become an adult, you automatically become responsible for your own self-esteem. There is no point in accusing parents or anyone else. Unlike a child, you can now choose which messages to accept and which ones you don't accept. No one can make you feel inferior unless you accept it.

Stop comparing yourself with others
There will always be people who are more successful than you – but there will always be people who will be less successful than you as well. If you are constantly playing the comparison game, you will encounter lots of  ”opponents”  that you can't defeat. The result is that you feel inadequate and poor. If you are competing against yourself instead and strive to be the best you can be - then your efforts will be both fun and constructive.

Stop picking on yourself
It 's so incredibly easy for solo entrepreneurs to fall into depressions where confidence collapses. It's even easier if you constantly tell yourself things like; ”I'll never make it.”Do a simple experiment: If you had a friend who said the same things that you say to yourself - would you still consider that person a friend?

Accept compliments
Have you ever received a compliment and quickly dismissed it as ”Well, that was nothing”? When you dismiss compliments, you send a message to yourself that you are not worthy of praise. There is an easy way to receive compliments: Say thank you. It's that simple.

Take action
For me, ”action” is the world's finest word and always has been. I always tell my kids when they think something is hopeless that they need to take action. I've even written a book about the value of taking action instead of whining. You will never gain confidence by standing by and watching every challenge that pops up in life. If you decide to take action - no matter what the result is – you'll always feel much better.
If you are in a situation that makes you feel bad - think about what the first logical step to get out of the situation would be – then take the small step. Now you are in a different place. What is the next logical step? Take that too. With each step you take, you will get further away from the problem.

Yes, I know this is schematic and that the problems with self-esteem can sit very deep and that you may need professional help to deal with it - but do it then. Take action. Life is too short to just sit and feel sorry for yourself!

Now, get going!

About the author

Stefan Ekberg has worked in marketing for small business for 20 years and has written around 30 books on how small business owners can market themselves with limited resources. . In 2012 Stefan was nominated as Entrepreneur of the Year in Stockholm.

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"The 5 minute marketer" - the book
You run a small business and you want to get ahead of the competition, but how can you give resources to marketing when you're short on time and the budget is tight? The solution is here! The 5-Minute Marketer is packed with 395 tried-and-tested ways to market your business in 5 minutes or less.