Soul Searching For The New Year

Soul Searching For The New Year

IT’S 2015 and what better time is there to soul-search than in a New Year?  Is your life going in the direction you would like? What are some plans you would like to see happen during this New Year? It is a fact that only 8% of people who make New Year’s Resolutions actually keep them. Why do you think that is? I’m venturing a guess as to why!


It is a fact, also, that only 2-5% of people have a healthy self-esteem. Unless one has a good self-esteem, it becomes nearly impossible to fulfill anything, let alone a resolution for an entire year.


So, I’d like to start changing this lack of self-esteem in the New Year, so the percentages can go up in the year 2015. How does this happen? Well, first and foremost, one has to want to improve their self-esteem. This is not easy, because it requires a lot of soul-searching and a realization that self-esteem is not where it needs to be and a willingness to learn the steps in which to change this scenario.


I’ve done studies about self-esteem with people of power and position. They were given self-esteem assessments to “sit in the shoes of participants.” Not one of the people asked me for the result! These people could not accept anything a scientific test would introduce. They had achieved in spite of how they “truly felt about themselves” and did not want to read anything that would disturb this perception. Thus, if successful people cannot admit that they are a person with a low self-esteem,  how can  we expect the general population to be able to learn about the inner workings of their mind and how they feel deep inside?


Many young adults feel they are not good enough or that they cannot do anything big in their life. They may have thought this their entire life. However, may children/young adults “mask” this to the outside world for “wanting to fit in” with the status quo.


Since it has been  established that people of all position have low self-esteem, now the challenge is how to change that.

Are you willing to ‘drop the act’ and learn something about yourself? If the answer is no, you will continue to ‘fool’ many people, since they, too, have low self-esteem,  however many others will see you as Fake, when all you are trying to do is survive in a world that has all sorts of expectations put upon you….to look a certain way…to act a certain way….to get to an certain l level….to make a certain amount of money and the list goes on.


Expectations  are TOXIC!


The ONLY Expectation you need to have are the ones you put on yourself… A dilemma; You need to put expectations on yourself, but you can’t because you have this low self-esteem and think you can’t do anything in life.


This has GOT to stop. We live in a world where people are angry and upset. Too many people allow themselves to be brainwashed or talked into something, because they feel good about ‘being in a group,’ any group….even a very dangerous group. I believe if there was a campaign to help people around the world gain self-confidence, priorities could change. Of course, there are always a few evil people, but most people are good. They just want to fit in somewhere and feel loved, respected and live with some dignity.


People need and want to feel passion when they wake up in the morning. They want to create a good life for themselves…..if they have enough self-worth.  Few want to stay in bed all day with nothing to do except play on their devices. Most, if not all, successful people can’t find enough time in the day to do all that they want to do. This is because they have self-worth. They believe in themselves and in what they want to accomplish. Education has nothing to do with this desire to achieve. Passion does. Passion gives people the push to be determined, have tenacity and work toward goals and they have goals upon more goals until the day they die.



  1. Accept yourself. Become aware of who you are and how you feel about you. Are your thoughts negative? Change negative thoughts into positive ones now!
  2. Develop values. Do not allow others to convince you about what you should or should not do. These are their opinions. The most effective way to hurt self-esteem is to take away from yourself who they really are. Once you determine your own values and dismiss the values of others who oppose how you feel, you most likely will feel a sense of relief.
  3. Take a chance. Ask yourself, “What is the worst thing that can happen if I do this?” The result of your fear is not that difficult, and you will never know unless you try. Fear is your enemy.
  4. Use setbacks as a springboard for victory. Learn from others in life when they looked at a setback as an opportunity to learn and grow into victories. Study them.
  5. 5. Join positive groups. Joining groups is a wonderful way to network, however, be sure the group is promoting positive relationships and good self-esteem for the members. What happens if you find yourself in a negative group situation is that you begin to contribute negatively, and nobody wins. Negative breeds negative. Join positive groups and network with positive people. It is always important when you are part of an association for you to promote growth in yourself and contribute to that organization or group. Many negative people will join an association and wait to see if that association is going to “do something for them.” Instead, ask yourself, “What can I do to help the group or association?
  6. Demand respect from others and seek fulfilling relationships. My favorite lines include, “I’m sorry you feel that way” “What an interesting perspective!


Negative and critical people want to bring you down to their level. Do not allow this. These types of friends, co-workers and, yes, even family members should be avoided whenever possible. A real friend, co-worker or family member will love and respect you for who you are and for what you think.


  1. Avoid being judgmental. If you would like others to respect your attitudes and beliefs, then you must do the same for them. It is okay to “agree to disagree” with others.
  2. Develop strengths. Everyone has strengths and weaknesses. It is important to be realistic in your assessment of these two variables. Think about your strengths and write them down. For example, I know I am not good in math, but I am a good communicator. Write a column sheet and look at these on paper. You will know when to concentrate once you see these written down.
  3. Set goals. As mentioned above, writing out lists is important. Once words are written down, they become more real. You can look at your list daily and see what your strengths are and what your goals are and you can then measure how you are moving along at any given point.
  4. Visualize. See yourself achieving the goals you have written down. It is a very self-actualizing feeling.


These principles help you realize success in your life. As we build successes, we feel successful and our self-esteem increases.


Now you add items to the list that would help increase your self-esteem.


Once you do this, you will be able to see just how valuable you have been in the past and how valuable you can be in your future. You just have to write your accomplishments down every time you have them.

It does not matter what you accomplished. YOU HAVE ACCOMPLISHED and everything you accomplished will contribute to your self-esteem level.


Remember, you have a set number of days. You make your decisions, select your values and choose what to do with the opportunities presented. The challenge is to live to the best of your ability. Ask yourself daily, “Is what I’m doing now taking me toward my goal?”

What can you control? You control only you, not others. What do you need to get control of?



~  Joyce Knudsen, PhD., AICI CIM