28 Dec, 2021

#178 How to Improve your Self-Esteem in 7 Steps


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“Confront the dark parts of yourself, and work to banish them with illumination and forgiveness. Your willingness to wrestle with your demons will cause your angels to sing.” –  August Wilson

Confronting yourself and asking important questions must be one of the hardest things to do as individuals. It requires a lot of honesty and vulnerability that we often shy away from because we think it’s a sign of weakness.

In this episode, listen as I talk about self-esteem and how you can improve in 7 steps.


There are 7 Steps to Improving your Self-Esteem:

1. Practice Living Consciously – Be aware of yourself and how you are living your life.

2. Self-acceptance – Acknowledge your past mistakes and forgive yourself enough to start moving forward.

3. Be Responsible – Be the chief of yourself.

4. Self-assertiveness – Speak for yourself. Take control of the narrative of your life.

5. Be Purposeful – Focus on who you want to become.

6. Self-discipline – Be able to delay gratification.

7. Practice Gratitude – Be thankful for your journey.

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Pete Cohen is one of the world’s leading life coaches and keynote speakers. Hundreds of thousands of people from all over the world have been motivated and inspired by Pete’s presentations. He has professionally impacted the lives of thousands of people worldwide, including business executives, professional athletes, and everyday people.  Pete focuses on the importance of closing the gap in our lives between where we are and where we want to be, both personally and professionally.

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Pete is the author of 19 published books, several of which have been best-sellers across the world, including Shut the Duck Up, Habit Busting, Life DIY, and Sort Your Life Out. He has also presented his own show on TV called The Coach and was the resident Life Coach on GMTV for 12 years. His new book Inspirators – Leading The Way In Leadership is available for free here –


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Pete Cohen 0:00
Happy beautiful amazing fantastic day, it is Pete Cohen and it is the Mi365 podcast today's podcast is called, How to improve your self esteem in seven steps. I will see you after the incredible theme tune.

Pete Cohen 0:47
Hello, it's Pete Cohen here. Today we're talking about self esteem and how to improve it in seven steps. Not one, not two, not three, not four not five. Who can have seven reflections of the fears. Now when it comes to subjects, this has to be one of the most important. I can feel my soul. Can't stop things you can do. So you know what have you done today to make yourself feel proud, Well maybe just one of those things is just being here and listening to what I'm about to share because I'm a massive fan of potential possibility. I'm a lover of human beings. I love what human beings who they are and what we can do what we've been through, I just love people, sometimes they annoy the hell out of me but not very often. Normally, I just love to be with people but the person I love to be with the most is myself, and that was not something that I ever really liked doing. And I don't know whether you can relate to this, but I didn't have a particularly good relationship with myself but I had nothing to measure it to because I didn't really know what other people's relationships were to themselves. And what I want to do today is explore, explore the subject of how to improve your self esteem, but of course, if we're going to improve self esteem, then first off we need to look at well what the hell is self esteem. And if you look at some definitions of them I like it. I mean basically all self esteem is in a nutshell is how you perceive yourself, how you see yourself it's based on you know the opinion that you have on yourself the beliefs that you have about yourself, which can sometimes seem very difficult to change. I mean, how many people can relate to that you relate to the fact that the way you think about yours, you'd like to change, but you keep finding yourself going back to what is familiar to you, keep finding yourself going back to the old relationships the old situations the old outcomes. And I can tell you from someone who is evolving, you know I was thinking, before we started this how you know I've worked with people in various coaching capacities mainly in groups, and I think about people that have moved on from working with me which is which is fine because you know, maybe they're just outlived me. But you know what I am getting better. I am so getting better. And as I get better. I believe that the people around me. They also have the opportunity to get better. And that's just, I'm just obsessed with bringing my best self forward, shining a light on my great notes and I think for many years I didn't you know I was shining a light. I was aware of my weaknesses and I didn't want to shine a light on them I didn't want to show them to anybody, but now I'm more than happy to show the to show the world hey look this is me I'm not perfect. I've got insecurities I've got doubts but that's part of being, that's part of being who I was, that is not part of who I'm going to be. So when we look at the seven steps, none of this will come as any great surprise to you but let's. This isn't about just saying the words and oh that's nice, I'd love you to listen to what I'm saying but then to really think about the application of what I'm saying because the first step to improving your self esteem is definitely, it's just being aware or what some people will call living consciously. And that's the challenge right, You know, we all know and living consciously means you're aware, rather than living unconsciously where you're just walking around and when I was a kid, I used to love zombie films I don't know exactly why but maybe as I reflect back.

Pete Cohen 5:01
You know, I realize now that I just look at people walking around and they're like zombies. They're over consuming. They're not happy, and they're not building themselves they're just existing, and they might need clinical help for that but I think most people around the world are actually suffering, or they don't have a particularly good opinion of themselves. And I think the first step to changing is waking up to the possibility being aware that there is more for you. There's more for you when I say more for you. I don't necessarily mean like more money, more things. I'm talking more, there's more fulfillment there's more happiness there's more joy, even in the moment I believe that is there for you. But that means working on your self esteem, so you end up having a different opinion of yourself that you could look at yourself, you know, it's fascinating to me that some of you have heard this song, I'm for you to recognize your talents, your gifts, the mark, you know, if you go on tiktok, leave and you search my name Pete Cohen and motor verse cities that you'll see that there's nearly seven and a half 1000 people that have done things with this with my music in the background portance of getting uncomfortable. They know that nothing grows in their comfort zone. Day, you are prepared to rise up and be the person that you want. So in my work with with leadership and actually that piece of music, I mean it's all about learning to look at yourself in the mirror and shine a light on, on who you are becoming, you know that's what my work is all about identifying with that. And it's crazy because it's good that I get paid every time someone used that song but even if I wasn't, it wouldn't bother me because the fact that, that person must have been motivated enough to do it and other people might have some of the videos, it's like, you know, 20,000 people have watched videos with someone doing something like that someone who is overweight and you show them exercising over time, and they're using my piece of music, it's, it's amazing to see what people are prepared to do, but in order to do something, it's so it's so important, first off to become aware so the first step to building your self esteem is to live self consciously living consciously just a wake up. And these are all the most important thing I'm going to say about all of this. All of this is about practice. So please write this word down because if you want to improve your self esteem, it's not a destination write it this is a preview after you, you don't have to but if you don't practice this. Good luck, human beings have an incredible capacity or propensity to drift to practice every single day, living consciously that's why people talk about meditating. That's why every single day I tell you what, why don't you do this, write down five things that you're most proud of, right, you know, write that down every day but then I did tell you to do this in the morning, write down five things that you will be most proud of that you would have done in the day, as you set your intentions, because the second step to building your self esteem is self acceptance. Accept yourself, accept yourself, warts and all. And again that's the choice, and a lot of people are really challenged by that. How do you accept yourself, well, and inspire yourself, be the better version of yourself. Today, you can be your very best to accept yourself, I believe, is to know that there's more, there's to know that you are more than your past. That's what I said that was part of it, but if there's emotion if there's trauma, except that it's there, and maybe learn to do something about that. And meditation is a very very powerful way to be able to, to sit with yourself to let those feelings come because they will come but they won't stick around, you know, they, they tend to pass everything passes, but that's what, that's where talking therapy can be really useful for people, really useful, because you're fantastic you're amazing and it's time to shine a light, not just on your, your shadow, but shine a light on what you want to do, who you want to become the third step is responsibility. In order to realize that you are the chief agent in your life, you're the chief right I'm giving you the whatever is the spear or something and saying hey look, here you are, you are that achieve. It's down to you response, able, right, I love that word is one of my favorite words you are response able

Pete Cohen 9:56
on you. You have the ability, you have the power by the power of Grayskull. I think that was he man, and the Masters of the Universe, you have that power. You know you do but it's practice remember the key word of all of this is practice and I believe for again from my experience that self esteem, right, because self esteem, if you really think about it if it is based on your opinion about about yourself, your beliefs about yourself, I would say that nearly all psychological problems, anxiety, depression underachievement, fear, fear intim fear of intimacy, fear of happiness for success, alcohol, drugs, battery, chronic aimlessness depression, I would say that a lot of this is to do with a deficiency in your self esteem.

Pete Cohen 10:54
I don't know what you think, but that's just my opinion. And of course, my opinion is only based on my experience. Because when you build your self esteem what you're able to do is to, like in value yourself you're able to make better decisions you're able to recognize your strengths, you're able to try new things, you're able to show kindness to yourself, you're able to make mistakes without blaming yourself and others, you're able to take time for yourself, that you believe that you matter and you believe that you deserve this life, and you're doing great things with this life. Can we just say those things again. Because when you build your practice of self esteem, you're building it so that you value yourself more you make better decisions. You literally recognize the strengths, what you bring to the table, you recognize that as you build it, you try new things, you show kindness to yourself you make mistakes, you don't blame yourself or blame others, you just take responsibility and you take the time that you need and you believe that you matter and no one else can do that for you. Look, it's lovely. When someone believes in you more than you believe in yourself, it's a beautiful thing and I'm sure many of you have done that in the past to others and I'm sure that's been done to you. But this isn't a joke so let's just review those, we're, we're the third step. So the first step to building a self esteem right the first step is to know all of this is practice. The practice of living consciously, the practice of just putting a smile on your face and go, You know what, there is more to me than meets the eye to observe the experience of you to be the observer second is self acceptance to accept the fact that hey you're not perfect, you you. But is that there's more to you than meets the eye and to accept the fact that maybe there are things that you want to address or you need to address when you get to address Wow, you get to address. The third step is to, you know that response, able to realize you know you're the chief in your life. The chief agent of change. The fourth step is self assertiveness is to, you know, literally speak up for yourself in I've know people that speak up for others because others, those other people often don't have a voice and they need someone to speak up for them. But you know what a lot of those people would be really would really help from putting themselves first, as well, with their health, their energy, their well being, to speak up for who you you have a voice that's why I love to do any of you know me I love to give people a voice is like hey, tell us what's going on. The floor is yours. You know that great thing that we can do for any human being which is to listen to a fellow human being. The fifth step is, is what I call being purposeful, and that's being focused, putting first things first, recognizing, you know like for me, you know, my might be seem crazy to you guys but I've already been up for two and a half hours. And now that's just what I do I get up at four I'm working. I've been working on this I'm excited about this content, recording this content I've reviewing this content I haven't looked at the concept of self esteem for six months. So I've gone back over I've looked at it again. And I thought yeah let's get this let's get this out there now because my ideas around this have changed, or enhanced I'm better.

Pete Cohen 14:19
Got to put first things first is me as a human being, as I stand for legacy, leaving a mark, leaving a mark on this, as all of you know I stand, most of you know, I stand for legacy I stand for edification shine a light on other people, put the light on them. So, every single day I'm practicing those things. I stand for my development as a human being. My spiritual development. I believe that there is something in me that is that is more than my body and my mind. And I'm building that every single day if you like that's my self esteem, that's the part my opinion of myself, is who I am becoming, what about you. And of course, as many of you know I stand for a certain mushroom called Ganoderma lucidum that I've been consuming for eight and a half years, and of all the things I put in my body. I don't think there's anything more powerful than that. I've already had two cups of it today and the coffee that I drink and you know what I'm so focused, because that's what you know you have to find the way for you to be purposeful, you have to find a way to be focused and of course I've exercised as well so I'm here, I'm present. One of the things that Ganoderma does it crosses the blood brain barrier. What does that mean it means I've got oxygen in my brain, I'm focused I'm alert I'm calm. But all of this is practice because all the things I could do. I don't have to do them. They're all easy to do, they're easy not to do. The sixth step is self is self discipline. Again, and often people find that, find that word quite funny but if you look at any I don't want to be disciplined I went to school, I know school was rubbish wasn't it. For most people, because you were told what to do but to discipline yourself is something a lot of people are very challenged by. Why, because there's so much temptation, there's so many things out there that you can do that will give you something in the moment, that will give you a little high, but to be disciplined enough to delay gratification. This is where I think psychological psychological well being in from what the way I see it in most cases and most of the time is our ability to delay gratification, and our longevity. Wow, longevity, I mean, just look how many things that you will do today. How many things that you'll probably you'll consume in terms of media, how many things you'll put in your body. How many emotions that you're experienced based on your thoughts that aren't good for you. And the reason that you do that is because it just is what you practice doing. And when we look at philosophy we look at religion and we look at all of the good things that exist around being a good moral human being. There are you know the words of courage and wisdom, and justice, standing up for the rights of other people, but without doubt Temperance is always there. Lord, lead us not into temptation. Well, if you've prayed to God to stop you from giving into temptation. I'm good luck if he's done that for you. But I don't rely on him or her, some external force because that doesn't work. You know what I rely on. I rely on the person that I have chosen to become in my life, and as best as I can, every single day. I take guidance from Him. He's talking to me and I'm listening.

Pete Cohen 18:11
And then having the discipline to act in accordance to that person. That's why Collette created the 30 Day Program. I created in memory of my mum. I created it as the piece of work that until this point I'm most proud of, when she was diagnosed with lung cancer in December. I thought well what can I do. I've got to do something. So I put everything I had into this 30 Day Program. That's why there are some people who have done it eight times, because it's, it's fantastic. The best thing I've ever created. And it's all about one thing, building that relationship because I promise you, If you start talking to the person that you're becoming, you will make some fundamentally very different decisions every single day, because your future self is saying yes to things that you're saying no to, and your future self is saying no to things that you're saying yes to. And the last step in building your self esteem is to have fun with this journey to enjoy it to see it as your epic adventure. You know, so let me just recap. All of this we're talking about how to improve your self esteem in seven steps right we're talking about what what is self esteem or self esteem, basically, in essence, is how you perceive yourself is based on your opinions about yourself, your belief, your beliefs about yourself and sometimes you know what, that can be pretty hard to change but what it's a reflection of is if you have anxiety and depression if you feel that you're an underachiever if you have a lot of fear fear of happiness for of success, fear of intimacy if you have drug addiction, alcohol drinks, addictions, if you have, if you have chronic aimlessness. Then, you can bet that a lot of that will boil down to your opinion about yourself, how you see yourself. And by building your self esteem, then really a reflection of it is the fact that you like yourself, you're able to make decisions, you recognize your strengths, you're able to try new things, you show kindness to yourself, you make mistakes, you don't blame people you take time for yourself to give yourself some time. And you believe that you matter, and you believe that you deserve more and you know that there's more we talk about these seven steps the first step number one being aware, just living consciously, being a free thinker, being aware that you are not your past. And if there's things in your past that aren't right or maybe there's something you can deal with so that you can get to a point where you could look back and go, that was one of the best things that happened to me because I'm, I'm using it, or even get to a point by working enough on yourself you think you don't even recognize who you were. And I tell you the people that get to that point they're the ones who practice. And I know those people I know, I know so many of those people and they're beautiful people to know. They talk about their passes. That was not me. It's like I'm such a different person now. I've got rid of the shell, there's a, there's a, there's a YouTube video with a rabbi, talking about the shrimp that has to get rid of his shell, you know, and the painter has to go through to transform itself all the the snake that can't shed its skin will die. Well, you might not die if you don't shed your past, but you might not be as fulfilled as you could be, and all of this is practice the second step in building self esteem is self acceptance, just accepting yourself, and accepting the fact that you're amazing. You can shine a light on what's wrong with you, which is what's, what you don't like or what isn't working, and you can work on that but you can also shine a light on your powers your greatness your abilities, your talents, your gifts. And the third step is to be responsible to, you know I'm the one here that's responsible and response able and start living consciously, you know, if you want to. And then the next is to be self assertive about all of this to be assertive, to speak up. Speak up for yourself, act in accordance stop building that relationship to your future self. If you don't have one, go through my 30 Day Program, Emi 365 dot me DM me the word somewhere kickstart will get you on the program, it's flippin free. Step number five is to be purposeful just be focused, this is a challenging thing to do and often people need a bit of help is what exactly do I need to do to, to practice building myself from the inside out. I mean you probably know some of these things, but you don't do them just because you think it's the right thing to do you do it because you know through the practice of doing it. You're starting to build yourself up from the inside out. That's why gratitude is important Gratitude has been proven, literally,

Pete Cohen 22:57
to show that people feel more hopeful when they practice gratitude when we exercise our muscles secrete what is now known as hope molecules. These are I don't feel like it was that God do with it. What on earth is that got to do with your future, how you feel about what you're doing now. Because if that's the case. Good luck. You're giving into your feelings you're giving into the temptation of not feeling like doing something. And I know this sounds like pretty full on, but this is important right I mean this is your life we're talking about, you know, I've been thinking about this a lot that I know that I'll be older, and I know that I will look back with to some of the people I grew up with, who some of them, most of them probably won't be here, but I know with some of them I'll go well, that was fast, I still feel like I was when I was 15 Well you know what, I've still got some skin in the game. What about you, is the best yet to come. Because step number six is self discipline. Right. I reckon so much of psychological well being, psychological flexibility has a huge amount to do with your ability to delay gratification. And number seven is so important. And that's now fun with the journey. You know this is mastery, this isn't a master. Because you can have power over others, and you control others and that's quite powerful but to control yourself, that's where the mastery really is. And having the discipline to do what you say you're going to do. As you energize your existence, a great life. It doesn't happen by chance. It happens by design, and maybe now more than ever, is the time for all of us to get down to the business of building ourselves from the inside out.

Unknown Speaker 25:05
Let's get down let's get down to business gave you one more night, One more night guy. We've had a mini Mehreen, just like this. So let's get down let's get down to business. Mom,

Pete Cohen 25:22
thank you so much for listening to the podcast, I'd love to know what your biggest takeaway was, let's get down to the business of bringing our best self forwards. The time isn't now let's get down let's get down, it's right now,

Unknown Speaker 25:38
let's get let's get down to business.


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