Every now and then, someone will ask, rather nervously, if raising their self-esteem is going to make them into conceited, egotistical or selfish people. “Is it possible to have high self-esteem and humility at the same time?” they ask. When you’ve spent the last 50 years teaching people, from all walks of life, to raise their self-esteem and their self-efficacy, we can be pretty confident that the answer is, “Yes!”
Now, it is true that people with high self-esteem value their worth as human beings and as individuals. They enjoy their own company, and have confidence in their ability to overcome obstacles and to achieve the goals they have set for themselves.
However, it is important that we don’t confuse high self-esteem with egotism, because the two don’t go together at all. High self-esteem people know that all people are, by their very nature, valuable – and they behave accordingly. In addition, they realize that no one gets very far in life entirely on their own, so they feel indebted and extremely grateful to those who have helped them along the way.
In fact, high self-esteem people almost always have a strong sense of wanting to give back and to help others as they have been helped. You have probably met thousands of men and women who clearly value themselves as people. Also, you probably noticed that those with warranted high self-esteem hold others in high esteem, as well. They expect the best for themselves, and they give their best to others.
Effective leadership demands a high level of self-esteem, albeit a warranted sense of self-worth. Because they value themselves, these leaders value the talents and expertise of those who work with them. They are human beings, not cogs in a wheel. You see, working with people who have warranted, high self-esteem is actually a very pleasant experience, and one that we can look forward to every day. The same cannot be said of working with an egotist.
So, refrain from worrying about building your self-esteem at the expense of your humility, because these two qualities actually go hand in hand.