Original Script of the Video (not a direct transcript)
Hey, everyone! Welcome to this week’s episode of Watch Me Shine. My name is Brian. This week, I wanted to talk to you about self-esteem and self-confidence and how they are related to self-discipline, integrity, and letting go of your past. But, before we get into that, let’s take a look at last week’s tasks. Remember, if you comment on this video about these things, I will take the time to respond to your questions and progress.
- Go back through your lists of dreams and goals and ask yourself why you want those things or why you want to change those things. Did you come up with motivators?
- Go through your list of goals and figure out a list of disciplines you can employ to prepare for working regularly on those goals. Did you figure out some ways you could make it easier to do the work?
- Go through that list of disciplines and start looking at how you can string them together into habit chains. Did you figure out ways you can form habit chains into something you just do instead of thinking about it?
- Start using the 5-Second Rule. Did you start to turn this into a habit?
I’ve been spending a lot of time recently on Reddit, in particular the self-improvement, self-help, and various question asking subreddits, trying to help people with advice and experience. I do this for various reasons, not the least of which is to improve my own self-esteem and self confidence. But wait, you may ask, how does that work? Don’t you have to have self-esteem in order to think your advice is worth giving? Don’t you need self-confidence to take a chance and put yourself out there giving advice? Oddly enough, the answer is a very confident… kinda.
Self-confidence is a product of self-esteem. But self-esteem is a product of self-discipline and integrity. But self-discipline and integrity all start with a choice. That choice is to decide to become a better person. And to become a better person, you have to let go of your past. I know this sounds like a very loose connection, so let me walk you through it.
As I said, I’ve been spending a lot of time reading posts and listening to people talk about their past, present, hopes, dreams, goals, and how they’re stuck. They often talk about a lack of self-esteem or self-confidence, sometimes both. They often talk about how their life is ruined, how they wasted their life so far, or how they don’t know how to fix their problems. The talk about how their parents ruined it, or their bad choices ruined it, or their lack of opportunity ruined it. I keep going back to the same advice, things I’ve talked about in previous videos, but I eventually had to bring the process further back to one thing: make a choice to fix it and get started.
I make it sound easy, don’t I? Well, it is. It is that easy. What’s not easy is doing the work. It’s easy to say, “I want to fix my life.” What’s not easy is finding the right tools, creating an environment in which to work, building the habits to maintain momentum, and actually doing the work. That’s not easy and I’m not going to lie to you about it. But you can do it. I don’t know you. I don’t know what you’re going through. I don’t know your situation. But I do know that, if you make the decision to fix your life, you can do it. I have faith in you.
But the first thing you need to do is make the choice, and that involves letting go of your past. In nearly every example of helping people, I’ve found that those asking about self-esteem and self-confidence are stuck in the past. They cite experiences in upbringing, disparity in income and opportunity, problems with friends, family, or significant others, choices that they made, and various other temporal circumstances. I want you to consider this: what can you do about it? The truth is, there’s only one thing you can do about it: learn from it.
The past is over. It’s gone. It’s not set in stone because even stone can be ground to dust. The past is the only thing that is permanent. It’s completely and utterly unchangeable. And, while you’re stuck dwelling on it, your present is slowly seeping into the future, never to return, and you’re missing out on living it. You see, the past is only good for one thing: learning from it. The past is something we look back on to recall experiences. You made mistakes. Learn from them. You made bad choices. Learn from them. You wasted time. Learn from it. Someone did you wrong. Learn from it. But you also made good choices, worked hard, someone did right by you. Learn from it!
Do not dwell on your past. If something from your past is haunting you, take some time and analyze the situation. Ask yourself, what can I learn from this situation, what could I have done differently, or how could I avoid this in the future, and then let it go. Dwelling on it isn’t going to change anything. But what can change is how you do things differently in the future. This is the source of wisdom. Make the choice to become a better person by learning from your past and then moving forward.
If you watched my last video, in which I explain the differences between motivation, self-discipline, habits, and willpower, you’ll know that I hold self-discipline in the highest regard and I use it to build habits, specifically habit chains or routines, in my own life and use them to great success. Self-discipline is that practice of doing the things you need to do before you do the things you want to do so as to create an environment in which you give yourself the best chance of succeeding. If you’re interested in this topic, please go check out my previous video.
But on top of the reasons I give in that video on the importance and effects of self-discipline, it is also the basis for self-esteem. And if you were to try and guess my favorite tool to build self-discipline, although you might think it’s building habit chains, you’d be wrong. It’s actually practicing integrity.
The best definition I’ve ever heard for the word integrity is that it’s what you do when no one is watching. It’s doing the right thing even when it doesn’t matter, even when you can’t get caught. It’s being honest, always with other people, but most definitely with yourself. It’s being who you say you’re going to be. It’s doing what you say you’re going to do. It’s not showing up on time, it’s showing up early and staying late. It’s doing what you have to do before doing what you want to do. And it’s learning to do all of these things consistently.
Where people go wrong is that they come up with excuses. They like to blame others. They like to blame circumstances. They like to blame random things like luck, accidents, misfortune, or other external forces. They like to find reasons why they can’t, shouldn’t, or don’t have to. Self-discipline is the tool you use to do what you need to do before doing what you want to do so that you minimize your ability to find or use those excuses. The more you choose to do the right thing, the better your opinion of yourself will become. When you do the right thing you start to paint a picture of yourself in your mind of a person that is worthy of praise, of success, of value.
When you start believing that you are a person that is worthy of praise, of success, and of value, self-confidence comes naturally. Self-esteem is the basis for self-confidence. When you feel that you have value, you start acting like you have value. When you feel that you have worth, you start acting like you have worth. When you feel that you have something worth listening to, you start acting like you should share it. And it all begins with you.
Solipsism is the view or theory that the self is all that can be known to exist. But I believe it goes deeper than that. I believe that the self, your self, is the center of your universe. If you think about it, the only one that truly knows you, is you. The only one that truly understands you, is you. This is because you’re the only one that has access to all the facts, experiences, thoughts, feelings, and other factors that make you the person that you are. This isn’t narcissism. That’s an excessive preoccupation with your own self-interest, appearance, and a sense of entitlement. What I’m talking about is knowing that you’re the most important character in the story of your life so that you take care of yourself and your well-being.
Denis Waitly, an author and speaker I’ve mentioned before, says that there are four cornerstones to self-esteem:
- Affiliation: Know who you are spending time with, know what they’re doing to you, and ask yourself if that’s ok. Spend time with people that make you a better person, teach you things, and build you up. Limit your time with, possibly even exclude, those people that drag you down, waste your time, or influence you in a negative way.
- Belonging: Be a part of something that is bigger than you. If you’re religious, be a part of the community. Volunteer your time helping others. Join organizations that do good works. Spend time raising others up.
- Love: You can’t just join a club for love. And, by love, I don’t mean romantic love, although that’s very important in life. What I mean is that you can choose to love others in the human sense. Treat others with respect and kindness. Choose to listen more and talk less. Give your time, experiences, and knowledge to help others when they need it. Make others feel important.
- Worthiness: In much the same way as love, you can’t just join a club for worth. But what you can do is show others that they have worth. Again make others feel important. Listen to their stories. Listen to their problems. Don’t try to fix them, just listen. Show them that you have compassion for what they’re going through.
In all of these things, you get what you give. If you spend time with people that do these things, and you also do these things, you will build a network of good people around you. By doing this, you become part of something larger than yourself: a community. When you show love to others, they return that love. When you show others that they are worthy, they can’t help but show you that you are also worthy. And, more importantly, you’ll see it yourself. You’ll feel it yourself. You’ll believe it yourself.
Confidence is built one decision at a time, regardless of how those decisions turn out. It’s the trying that is important. But there are some specific things you can do to help build your confidence.
Remember that you are a product of your thoughts. Whatever you think, you will become. Be positive. Start thinking positively about your confidence. Sometimes you just have to fake it until you become it. Don’t beat yourself up. Believe that you have the potential to become something more. Believe that when there’s nothing left to hold onto.
Work on your image. Be clean and neat. Take pride in your appearance. Practice eye contact. When you meet someone new, give them your name first and ask them their name. Shake their hand.
Learn to accept compliments. Be gracious and grateful. Listen more and speak less. Ask questions. Be genuinely curious about other people. Show them they have value to you.
You have two sides: positive and negative. Cooperate with the positive. Fight against the negative. Don’t become a victim of yourself. Fear is an obstacle. At some point, you just have to get over it. The best way to do this that I’ve found is to not think about what you’re doing, think about why you’re doing it.
And, finally, take charge of your problems and fix things. Solve those problems. Problems are opportunities to change and grow. Start small and build on success. Set goals and achieve them. Achieving builds more success. Achieving a goal leads to the next goal. Track your progress. Use your journal. Habit tracking and bullet journaling are especially helpful at this.
Remember that self-confidence is the basis for success. If you have self-esteem, self-confidence comes naturally. If you have self-confidence, success comes naturally. Remember, this is not a sprint, it’s a marathon. You never fail. You just found one way that didn’t work. This is called experience and leads to wisdom. Don’t give up. Keep trying.
This week, your only task is to think about what we’ve discussed today.
So, until next week… Watch me shine.