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The Self Esteem Triangle

Self-esteem, self-confidence, and success are intimately related.

You can’t have one without the other. If you lack self -esteem you cannot build self- confidence and if you lack self- confidence, you will have a difficult time achieving success. This applies to all aspects in life including weight loss, relationships, and business.

When you are successful at something you build self-confidence, which in turn builds your self-esteem.

This is why your self-confidence builds with each success thus the term “success builds upon success”. Your self-esteem however builds up over time, as your self- confidence builds up. This is why it is so important for parents to build up their children’s self-confidence in the early developmental years.

Similarly, setting goals that are too high or too difficult to attain makes reaching success less likely and thus erodes your self-confidence and eventually your self- esteem. This is why setting smaller, more reachable milestones on the path to your goals is important. I use the word milestones because the goal is usually the endpoint and when people reach the “goal” invariably they tend to celebrate and then become complaisant. With setting milestones that they have to reach, they will attain these milestones and then move on to the next until the goal is reached.

With each milestone that is reached, the self-confidence increases and the self-esteem is nourished.

Once the goal is reached the person’s self-esteem is strengthened.

The triangle also shows that if you lack self-esteem you are not likely to venture into something new. Previous events and failures in your life may have eroded your self-confidence and in turn, allowed your negative thoughts to define who you are and what you will achieve.

This damage to your self-esteem will prevent you from achieving success by labeling yourself as a “failure” or “not worthy”. This is especially true if you have received that label from others early on in your development.

By understanding the Self-Esteem Triangle you can put yourself in a better position to succeed by recognizing what are the self- imposed obstacles that get in the way and addressing them accordingly.


Dr. A is a contributing blogger to JenningsWire