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Ten steps to being your best self in pursuit of your education goals

Building your self-esteem will help you achieve your dreams of success, reports Boston Online Home Education

Encouraging your child to adopt self-esteem-boosting strategies can help them achieve their goals.
Encouraging your child to adopt self-esteem-boosting strategies can help them achieve their goals.
Image: 123RF/stockbroker

New year, new you ... While we may all have set some personal goals, making them happen is the next step.

Samara Cloete of Boston Online Home Education says that building self-esteem is the first step in achieving goals and striving for success. 

For many of us, our self-esteem has taken a beating. And even more so for school learners and varsity students whose lives have taken a radical turn in their experience of what should have been some of the best years of their lives.

Cloete says: “It’s important to reflect on all our achievements, as well as moments from which we need to learn, and not repeat mistakes. Focusing on your mistakes can erode your sense of self-worth, leaving you wondering if you have what it takes to achieve your goals and dreams. 

“Self-esteem is how we view our abilities, worthiness or unworthiness.  It influences what we think is possible for us to do, and even the life we lead.

“Luckily, self-esteem is not fixed.  Like a muscle it can be exercised, developed and strengthened,” she says.

Cloete suggests the following 10 strategies to boost your self-esteem:

Perfection is a myth. Life is about continuously evolving into the best version of yourself

  1. Start small. Develop a belief in your abilities with little wins.  Set small goals to build a stream of successes that "prove" you can achieve your desired outcomes.
  2. Self-talk. Replace internal negative chatter and thoughts with empowering self-talk. Exchange “I’ll never get _______ (fill in the blank) right,” with “I am the kind of person who gets the task done.”
  3. Self-compassion vs self-criticism. Our default is focusing on what we did “wrong” or what we are lacking in ourselves. “Swap critical self-judgment for motivation and compassion, talk to yourself as if you were talking to a friend.”
  4. Perfection is overrated (and unrealistic). Perfection is a myth. Life is about continuously evolving into the best version of yourself.  Workplaces change. Environments change. Mistakes are inevitable as we try to adapt to change.  Mistakes can be viewed as “proof” of your “unworthiness” or as valuable lessons. It’s your choice.
  5. Adopt a growth mindset. A fixed mindset says that your self-esteem can never change.  A growth mindset says taking the necessary steps can shift how you feel about yourself.  Remember to give yourself a pat on your back for every accomplishment and every tick on your to-do list.
  6. Nurture your interests. If you have a particular interest or skill, develop it with a short course that can give you more in-depth knowledge and skills, helping you to further your career and support your belief in your abilities. 
  7. Change your inner identity. We carry a mental picture of ourselves and our abilities. These are thoughts that we must keep positive. “What does the best version of you look like? Make these characteristics the new way you define yourself,” says Cloete.
  8. The power of choice. We choose how we evaluate and think about ourselves. Choose to believe something positive and affirming about yourself, and what is possible for you to achieve. 
  9. What makes you really happy? Whether it’s listening to music, going out with a friend, exercising or more, make a date with yourself and nurture yourself with something that fulfils you. You are worth it!
  10.  Reprogram yourself. Self-esteem is programmed by our thoughts and the opinions of others about what we can or can’t do.  De-hypnotise yourself from the limitations of your current self-esteem with empowering self-talk and a new vision of yourself.  Act as if you already have improved your self-esteem.

“Building self-esteem is a continuous process.  Each assignment you complete, each exam you pass, each project you complete is a rung in climbing towards your goal. Go slowly and think in terms of ‘building blocks’ to grow your self-esteem, viewing it as an exciting project of self-development to fuel new possibilities over your lifetime,” says Cloete.

This article was paid for by the Boston Group.

Win bursaries to the value of R200,000 with Arena and Boston Online Home Education

Arena Holdings, the publisher of the Daily Dispatch, has identified challenges in education and taken steps to fill these gaps by selecting the Boston Group as its education partner in this venture. 

Boston Online Home Education, which is part of the Boston Group, offers a high school equivalent education programme with a Cambridge International curriculum. 

PLEASE NOTE: This competition is now closed.

Entries close on February 14. Winners will be announced on February 21. Terms and conditions apply.


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