COLUMN: Ask the Money Lady – The importance of self-esteem
Dear Money Lady Readers,
I read a study that asked kindergartners if they considered themselves artists, and 100 percent said yes. When they asked kids in Grade 5 if they thought of themselves as an artist, only 10 percent said yes. That’s very interesting – somewhere in those first five years of school, children are getting cues from their peers, parents, teachers, or even society and social media that they aren’t that creative anymore. Now add in 25 years or even 50 years and it’s easy to see how we are shaped by our friends, family, and society to be nervous, apprehensive, and reluctant to try new things, with sometimes only ourselves as a cheerleader to improve our lives.
To change your circumstances and to improve your life we all know we must set goals. When you set goals, remember they are to challenge you out of that comfort you so want to wallow in. Goals are to be on-going throughout your life. You can’t just set a goal, reach it, and then stay there. That’s not how it works. Once you reach one goal, you must make another, and another, and another. The goal is not the end. Instead, they are designed to force you to reach for more, to be happier, and hopefully live a life full of great adventures, meeting wonderful people, and having glorious experiences. Here are five tips on how to get started on those personal goals to improve your life.
1. Set a goal that motivates you – choose something you can accomplish over a set time frame.
2. Write down your goals dividing them into short-term, (within 12 months) and long-term, (1-5 years).
3. Post your goals where you can see them every day – on your bathroom mirror or the refrigerator.
4. Adjust your goals as you get closer to meeting them.
5. Reward yourself once you accomplish a goal, (dinner out, a spa day, personal item you’ve always wanted).
Setting and achieving goals, no matter what they are helps us grow, forcing us to step outside our comfort zone, and ultimately increases our self-esteem. It is believed that self-esteem peaks in middle age and then drops after age 60 when people enter retirement. In your 40s to 50s we tend to have the highest self-esteem, since mid-life is a time of stable work, family, and romantic relationships. Contrast this to those in retirement who may be experiencing declining health, empty nest syndrome, and obsolete work skills. So, how do we gain greater confidence as we age? Here are five tips to boost your self-esteem.
1. Dress well and look good. Having a polished appearance makes you feel better about yourself.
2. Learn something new. Take a class, find a hobby, volunteer.
3. Challenge yourself physically. This could be anything that gets you moving, preferably with other people.
4. Make a list of your life achievements, personal strengths, and talents. Read this list every day.
5. Be kind to yourself. Leave past thoughts in the past and focus on new adventures. Focus on what you can do now and surround yourself with supportive, kind, and loving people.
Strong self-esteem and constant goal setting are the keys to becoming successful in everything you do in life. The only thing missing is your determination to really do it. Once you have all three you will become unstoppable since that unwavering determination to meet your goals, is the iron fist that will crush procrastination and fear.
Christine Ibbotson is an author, finance writer, national radio host, and is now on CTV Morning Live, and CTV News @6. Send your money questions (answered FREE) through her website at askthemoneylady.ca.