How to Overcome Low Self-Esteem to Build Confidence and Success

How much does low self-esteem dictate what we do in life?

Self-esteem is closely related and directly linked to self-belief. The higher self-belief you have, the higher your self-esteem is, and the more confidence you have to try new things and progress in your work and your life. Limiting beliefs hold you back. They do what it sounds like they do — limit you.

Once you begin dealing with these limiting beliefs about yourself and the world around you, you find that nothing will hold you back, and you really can achieve anything you desire.

Limiting beliefs are rooted in our subconscious. We are all running programs subconsciously — like computer programs. Between the ages of 3–7 years old we begin to form belief systems that we adopt from the world around us at the unconscious level. These beliefs are also influenced by people who are directly involved in our lives.

Depending on our immediate environment we can begin to believe things like certain lifestyles are just not possible, life’s hard, you’ll never amount to anything, things are hard to come by and so on. So, when opportunities present themselves our conscious mind can sometimes be in direct conflict with our unconscious mind.

A lot of people are letting themselves down just because of things they picked up in the early years, and they have no awareness of it.

How do people come to realise that they have Limiting Beliefs?

Most people come to a place or time in their lives where suddenly they just feel really stuck. Frustrated, angry, and restless. Often external situations are blamed for these feelings, but the root cause is their internal programming — their subconscious — that has been running the show and dictating the kind of life they have been creating.

People come to a point that they want to move on, or perhaps they are procrastinating making hard decisions. But change seems impossible. This is the unconscious mind trying to protect you and keep you safe based on what it’s been taught. The comfort zone philosophy is based around this. Risk is unsafe. New ideas and new ways of doing things is unsafe. Better to stay comfortable. But the thing that most people already know consciously is that until you push yourself, or challenge yourself, you never grow, and nothing will ever change.

Telling yourself positive affirmations will not change the unconscious belief system long-term. The brain is the CPU, the processing system. The unconscious mind is the memory — where everything has been stored for future reference. But everything we do on a conscious level is referencing the unconscious mind or memory.

For example, when you first learn to drive a car, everything is on a conscious level — you are solely focused on pushing the right pedals, steering the right direction, checking mirrors, braking at the right time and so on. You are learning something new and so focus is needed.

Once you have done this over and over again, you jump in a car, chat to the people in the backseat and give no conscious thought at all to the process of driving. This is what we refer to as second nature — the thought patterns needed to do this activity have been relegated to the memory level of thinking and we function from there. Just like it is with this physical activity, so it is with decision making, communication, goal setting, career planning… every area of our lives.

Why do people need a reset to overcome self-esteem? Why can’t they do it themselves?

Anything that you try to do consciously, without dealing with these belief systems, won’t work long-term. Behaviour is effected at the unconscious level. The conscious mind is quite analytical and only operates in the now about 5% of the time. The other 95% is taken up with thoughts of the past or the future. It takes effort to operate in your conscious mind, everything else is automated responses.

Going to the unconscious mind and reprogramming these beliefs is like doing a Windows 10 update on your computer. New direction in life needs new programming.

Who is really in control of you?

The conscious mind thinks it is in control. But if the unconscious has the wrong settings to make something work, it’s just not going to work.

Take for example the analogy of a flea on an elephant. The flea is the conscious mind, the elephant is the unconscious (representing memories and belief systems). The flea can tell the elephant which direction to go, but it has absolutely no control over the actual direction the elephant chooses to take.

70% of the belief systems we adopt as children are not serving us in adulthood, and are due for an update.

Your beliefs determine your perception. And how you perceive the world dictates your self-esteem, your confidence, your decision making, and the life that you create.

We all perceive life through our own internal camera, change the lens and you can change your life.

As Mahatma Gandhi once said;
 Keep your beliefs positive because,
Your beliefs become your thoughts, Your thoughts become your words, Your words become your actions, Your actions become your habits, Your habits become your values,
Your values become your destiny.

Originally published at on May 12, 2017.