Improve Your Self-Esteem with Journaling

On one episode of last season’s The Apprentice, "The Donald" gave team members, and viewers alike, a lesson in life: You can’t successfully sell what you don’t believe in. Similarly, you can’t improve on what you don’t respect.

This simple axiom applies not only to the business world, but to people in all walks of life:
  • A stylist won’t do his best work on a prom queen candidate if she is his daughter’s competition.
  • A former employer cannot convince a future employer of your worth if she doesn’t think you have much.
  • An environmentally conscious car dealer cannot tout the benefits of a gas-guzzling SUV.
  • You will not do your best to improve yourself unless you feel self-worth and have respect for yourself.

The motivational article "Why Do We Beat Ourselves Up?" concerns negative self-talk such as "I’m not good enough," or "I knew I’d fail." Talking like that conditions you to expect the worst from yourself and diminishes your self-respect. Stop the negative-speak!  Give yourself pep talks, remind yourself why people like you, and rethink accomplishments often.

If you have trouble remembering your good qualities or complimenting yourself throughout the day on jobs well done, perhaps an exercise in journaling will help turn your self-doubt into self-determination. Keeping a journal focused on your positive traits and accomplishments will bolster your esteem and satisfaction in yourself. After awhile, you'll be high on self-respect and realize that you are worth the effort of self-improvement.

Find a bound journal that you like-- a pretty cover, your favorite color, or a plain jacket that you can decorate yourself.  Check to see if the pages are lined (some folks prefer more freedom of creativity than lined paper allows).  If not concerned with frills and aesthetics, you may be satisfied with a simple spiral-bound notebook.

Keep your journal on your bedside stand. Before you turn off the lights for the night, write a minimum of five self compliments in the journal.  Here are some ideas to get you started:

Eat a good breakfast? Way to go! Write it down.

Did you let the guy in a silver Neon out in front of you during rush hour? How courteous! Write it down.

Figured out why the vacuum was making that odd "whirring" noise? Used small bills at the grocery because of the "We need small bills" sign? Having a good hair day? Write it all down-- everything counts. You’ll fill that journal with positives in no time.

Before long you’ll realize (along with everyone else) how smart, healthy, considerate and good-looking you are. Now that you respect your product (you), you’ll find it's worth improving. You are worth the efforts of sufficient sleep, a healthy diet, an exercise plan, a relaxing vacation, a less stressful (and more fun) job… the list goes on and on.

You’re worth it all, baby! You’ll see.