Sigrun and I just visited Riga for the annual partnership meeting between MOT Latvia and Foundation.
MOT Latvia’s board members are all busy businesspeople. What makes the Latvian board unique, is that three out of five board members are active MOT coaches and truly passionate about meeting the youth in the classroom. They express that it also strengthens their own self-development. In every partnership meeting we ask: What do you want to share with MOT Foundation? What are you proud of? The Latvian board members shared personally experienced stories from their three years in the classroom. One told about a youth who changed totally because “MOT believes in the youth”. Another story was about a girl who used to be a “Stinky/troublemaker”. After the MOT sessions she changed into a positive contributor in her school and she is now president of the pupil council. She has been empowered by MOT.
MOT strengthens youth’s robustness, quality of life and mental health. An essential element in this is to build up youth’s self-esteem. Self-esteem is the individual’s subjective evaluation and awareness of its own worth. Self-esteem is about self-respect and self-integrity. A healthy self-esteem is important because it predicts certain outcomes, such as happiness, satisfaction in relationships, criminal behaviour and accepting oneself as one is.
The self-esteem is partly steered by our life history and genes. Some are born with a more positive view on themselves and life. We have a different starting point for our self-esteem. However, what we all have in common, is that we can do something about both our own and others’ self-esteem.
How to build up your own self-esteem?
The way you are and your way of thinking towards yourself are important factors to build up your self-esteem:
- Dare and want to be true to your own values and yourself, rather than focusing on who you should be and have to be.
- Be the boss in your own life! Uptalk yourself rather than talk down. Collect the pluses of life instead of the minuses. Focus on what you can do something about. Be generous to yourself and focus less on the perfect. Show courage to not always be ok in the eyes of others.
- Turn your attention towards tasks of mastery and focus “outwards” rather than on yourself and on comparing yourself with others, your thoughts, feelings and how you are doing.
The way you are when meeting with others is important to build up your own self-esteem:
- Think good thoughts about others. Wish the best for others and admire. Be wondering and ask questions, rather than being judgemental.
- Be with people who wish you well and think good about you. Be in surroundings where people make you feel like a good person.
- Do things for others that they value. Self-esteem is built up more by being actively “kind” as well as shouting about your own “claims”.
How to build up others’ self-esteem?
- Give people a feeling of safety by being part of a positive community and being included.
- Avoid giving people around you a sense of shame, guilt and bad consciousness.
- Value people and give them a sense of being valuable and seen.
I wish you a nice February.