Self-Esteem and Living Purposefully

Self-esteem implies that we are living purposefully. It is highly unlikely that you will feel good about yourself if you go through life aimlessly.  People who live without purpose live at the mercy of chance and circumstances. Living purposefully means that we use our abilities to achieve the goals we have set out for ourselves. If we live purposefully, we live productively because we have been able to translate our thoughts and dreams into reality. This automatically increases our self-esteem.

The process of setting and achieving our goals is how we become more effective and competent at living. We become a responsible individual who is able to support ourselves instead of being dependent on others. It is important to set productive goals that are in line with our abilities. This will enable us to expand our skills and competencies and enhance our self-esteem.

Living purposefully is an active process. When we take responsibility for our life, our self-esteem grows. Some individuals know from a young age what they want to do with their life. For others it may be an adventure where they are more interested in experiencing a variety of things. For many more it is an on-going process committing themselves to different activities or types of work until they discover their niche.

Craig Biddle commented: “Life does not come with ready-made meaning; we are not born with pre-packaged purpose. If we want our life to be meaningful, we have to make it so.”

Goal setting therefore becomes a conscious process. We need to be specific as setting a vague goal such as “I want to make the most of my life” is unhelpful. This kind of approach to life will also not increase our self-esteem. We need to know what we want to achieve as well as how we will be able to measure progress or the outcome. We need to set tangible measurements.

Living purposefully entails working out what the reason is for your life. Then you need to make it happen. It is about exploring your idea of a successful and meaningful life and living it to the full. It is about finding out what you feel passionate about, what energises you and following through with this. It is about utilising your talents.

A personal assistant in a law firm soon realises that she has what it takes to become a lawyer herself. Despite the fact that she is a mother of two small children, she sets out to study law part- time and achieves her legal degree. Today she is a successful lawyer in a large financial institution.

An MD of his own manufacturing business had a disastrous time at school. He suffered from ADD and was given hidings on a daily basis. At school already he started a money lending business amongst his peers. He had seen how his grandmother did business and managed her money. After school he joined a manufacturing company. His first position was that of a cleaner at the factory. He consciously decided to observe how the factory and business functioned. Over the years, by working in all of the departments, he gained an in-depth understanding of the business, its strengths and weaknesses. In his forties he bought the business.

Today he is a successful high earner who has also started another highly successful side business. His keen interest in doing business motivated him to learn and grow into the position he holds today.

These are two examples of ordinary individuals who found their niche: the one more quickly than the other. But today both of them have fulfilling careers.

So some questions to reflect on:

  • What are your unique talents? Are they being utilised in your current position?
  • What do you feel passionate about?
  • What five careers would you follow if you could and why? Explore your responses in more depth
  • What gets you into the “zone”, to the extent that you forget all concept of time while performing this activity?
  • What fascinated you as a child and kept you occupied for hours?

Your self-esteem will grow if you take time to identify and capitalise on your strengths and talents. Imagine yourself at the end of your life looking back. What would you regret? What would you wish you had the courage to do? What would you have done differently?

Business coaching can help you take stock of your life, connect the dots and re-position yourself for the future. Take some time to explore your true desires and see how you can begin to incorporate these into your life now. It is never too late to recreate a future that would make you feel more fulfilled.


Posted in Personal development, Self mastery.