How We Unwittingly Sabotage Our Goals – The Low Self Esteem Connection


Understanding the connection between achieving goals and self esteem, will help you be more successful at accomplishing more goals. Understanding why self esteem is important, how it develops and its effects will help not only help you in your process of achieving goals, but your example will also help your children.


A person with high self-esteem feels worthwhile (good and capable). People with low self-esteem think they are not worthwhile and that what they do is not important to others or to themselves.

How you feel about yourself affects how you act, and not surprisingly how you act affects goal achievement. Of course, how children feel about themselves affects the way they act and their goal achievement too. Goals and self esteem are interrelated. However, it’s also important to realize that how you feel and think about yourself and how children feel and think about themselves can change each day, and we have much more power to change it for the better than we may imagine.

Beginning with the ultimate, irrefutable, self evident truth that you are a very special person. There is only one you in the world. Every experience that has happened to you from birth to now is a factor making you what you are today. None of us have control over what “happens to us”, however we DO have control over how we respond to it.


Choosing healthy responses to life’s events will help us to feel more capable, and just being around you will help children feel, think and believe they are capable too. Children (and remember we all started out as children) are not born feeling good or bad about themselves, or capable or incapable. They learn this from what happens to them, and how it is interpreted for them until they are mature enough to respond in healthy self esteem building ways themselves. Self-esteem is the value of self that we assign (or esteem) to ourselves; healthy responses to both setbacks and achievements are an important key to accomplishing both goals and self esteem.

Here is a helpful list of healthy responses suggested by For their helpful self esteem building site points out — the healthy responses we provide ourselves and our children is the Mental Central Bank that maintains the value of our self esteem currency through life’s up and downs.


• Here are some healthy self esteem building responses to use for both yourself (in other words your mental self-dialog) and for your child:

• Praise each success (even very small ones). Also praise effort and initiative.

• Give sincere affection and authentic compliments. Feeling loved and appreciated is a basic human need.

• Show interest and share interest in goal related activities, progress or problems.

• Focus on what to do instead of what not to do. Mentally prepare for positive results.

• Redefine mistakes as simply a natural part of learning and accomplishing anything new. After every setback simply say: Yes, learning new skills always takes time and practice.

• Show appreciation and gratitude when you receive help, cooperation, or other positive things.

• Gently, non-judgmentally, let yourself and your children know that you believe in them and expect them to do well.

• Above all, do not “feed into” negative behavior. Simply acknowledge it as self sabotaging behavior and get on with your goal by immediately reaching for whatever positive mental tools you do have available to work on the situation. One simply solution is refocusing some smaller detail of the bigger goal, one that is most likely to succeed.

Every response in the list upholds the ultimate, irrefutable, self evident truth that you are indeed a very special person, and so are your children!

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