The #1 Relationship holding you back.

4 questions to help you determine if your self esteem is putting a lid on your personal and professional growth?

is your self esteem holding you back?

Most people realise your ability to relate to others positively and productively will directly impact your ability to grow personally and professionally. But, there is one relationship that many never give attention to, and it is the #1 relationship that can become the barrier to your personal and leadership success…

It is: your relationship with yourself…

John Maxwell puts it this way: The only continual relationship in your life is your relationship with yourself…

The only continual relationship in ur life is ur relationship with urself @JohnCMaxwell Click To Tweet

 How you view yourself (your self-esteem) will inform the way others view and treat you. Whether you value yourself or not will affect the level to which others value you. If you don’t believe that you deserve success and growth in your chosen field, then there is no reason to expect anyone else will.

How you view yourself will inform the way others view and treat you. Click To Tweet

See, it works like this… Your self esteem will inform the thoughts you have about yourself, about your circumstances, about your setback and about the way other people treat you. Those thoughts will over time (if they haven’t already) become beliefs.

Your beliefs will in turn inform your attitude, your resilience and become the filter by which you experience life.

These beliefs will in turn affect your actions. The way you react to situations, the way you talk to others, the decisions you make and your willingness to take chances for your next steps in growth.

Do you see how that works? The way you love and accept yourself will influence how you think. The way you think will influence what you believe. What you believe will determine the kinds of actions you take. Your actions will determine your growth.


Your thoughts become beliefs, beliefs become actions, actions become outcomes. Click To Tweet

So how do you know if you need to work on your relationship with yourself? Well the easy answer is; we all do. Everyone of us battles with self doubt, negative self talk and unresolved pain from the past. But to give you something practical, try asking yourself these question…

1. How’s Your Self Talk?

How do you speak to yourself when you make a mistake or fail? Are you able to talk yourself through disappointment or do you start beating yourself up and calling yourself an idiot?

Take action: Start catching yourself out when you run yourself down. Develop a habit of changing your self talk and begin working on new ways of talking to yourself when you make a mistake or fail. Encourage yourself and be kind to yourself when you screw up. We all do… An easy rule of thumb is; if you wouldn’t talk to someone you love like that, then don’t talk to yourself like that…


Encourage yourself and be kind to yourself when you screw up. We all mess up... Click To Tweet

2. Where Does it Hurt?

Matt Keller  suggests that your leadership will be capped at the level of your willingness to deal with past pain and hurt… If your self-esteem and the way you think about yourself is linked to past unresolved hurt, disappointment or loss; start by addressing that.


your leadership will be capped at the lvl of your willingness to deal with past hurts… Click To Tweet

Take action: I don’t know where you’re at or how deep those issues go, maybe you need professional help to address the hurt or perhaps you just need to get something off your chest. Just remember; burying or ignoring matters of the heart will not resolve the pain and it’s effect. It will only postpone it to a time when you have no choice but to deal with it.


3. How is your relationship with others?

If you find yourself in regular conflict with others or feel like the world is against you, it can frequently be an indicator that you are actually unhappy with yourself and are just projecting your self loathing onto the interactions you have with others.

Nit picking or fault finding with others can sometimes be an indication of something you are disappointed with in your own life. Rather than focusing on changing it within, we can often fall into the trap of trying to fix it in others and in the process ignore the disappointment we have with ourselves.

Take action: Next time you feel under fire from or agitated and frustrated with someone else, before reacting take a pause. Ask yourself if what they are doing is really the cause of your frustration and hurt or if there’s something else within that you are ignoring. Take the time to assess your own actions, thoughts and intentions. Be honest with yourself and ask if there is anything you can adjust to fix the situation. Conflict is rarely one sided and we always get fast and better results when we turn our attention to fixing our own attitudes and actions before trying to correct others.


Conflict is rarely one sided...resolution comes faster when we turn our attention to ourselves. Click To Tweet

Do I deserve it? 

When you think about the success or goal that you’re trying to achieve, ask yourself this? Do I deserve it? Frequently we can be driven by a desire to achieve big, but underneath it we’re terrified of the thought that we might actually make it… then what?

If you don’t truly believe you deserve the success and the outcomes you are trying to achieve, don’t expect anyone else to help you get there. Sooner or later you will sabotage your own desires to achieve, because deep down you’re scared of what the accomplishment might do to you.


If you don't truly believe you deserve success, don't expect anyone else to... Click To Tweet

Take Action: Make peace with your fears and back yourself. Start telling yourself that you do deserve it. When you start believing in yourself, others will naturally gravitate towards you and start believing in you. If you keep telling yourself that you are not worthy or you don’t deserve it, others will pick up on the energy that you live with. You won’t have to tell them, they might not even realise that they have sensed your self doubt, but they will, and your perception of yourself  will become their perception of you.

What to do? 

I’ve already made some suggestions in the previous paragraphs as to how you can start changing your relationship with yourself for the better, but for the sake of you who just scroll to the bottom for the bullet points here are a few more:

  • Measure your wins not your losses. “What gets measured gets done…” John Schnatter

  • Learn to talk yourself up (encourage yourself) don’t run yourself down. publicly or in your head.

  • Stop comparing yourself to others, run your own race.

  • Learn to live with gratitude not complaining

  • Back yourself for the win.

Your turn:

How’s your relationship with yourself? Has this blog been helpful? Share your ahha moment in the comments.


How's your relationship with yourself? #1 barrier to growth Click To Tweet


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