It's hard to be involved in the self improvement or self help community and not hear discussions about self esteem.  It makes sense that being happy with myself is a good path towards being successful and happy.  What does Zig Ziglar say, "Business is never good or bad 'out there', it's only good or bad 'in here' (meaning in your mind)."

There are plenty of books and material about self esteem.  I think they have great advice.  Some of the key concepts are "Do first, feel second."  So if you say you have self esteem, instead of trying to find some magic pill that will give you self esteem, then you will be able to do things, first do the thing and the self esteem will follow.

This advice to "Do first, feel second" seems completely logical to me, and it is simple, which I do like simple things, it's sure isn't easy.  It is important for me to remind myself that those areas in my life that I feel uncomfortable and maybe even unsuccessful, I can try doing more in those areas in order to develop that ability and to feel more comfortable.

Think about the things and areas where you are comfortable.  Was there a time, maybe many years ago, when you were not as good as you are now in that area?  Do you think that the person you were many years ago may have felt uncomfortable or unsuccessful trying to do the things that you can now do relatively easily?  How did you learn to do these things easily?  Was it possibly from experience and maybe from learning?

How about we use this in a manner under our control?

Now on the other side of the argument, I often think about weight loss, since it is a well discussed topic in American.  I'm pretty sure there are many overweight people that have lots of knowledge about how to lose weight.  They have seen many work out advertisements, healthy products, weight lost company ads, so they may already have lots of information and access to information.  They probably have tried many different ways to lose weight and they still struggle with it.

Is the advice for these people to try harder?  Try more weight loss programs, purchase more exercise products or classes?  Maybe there is some more fundamental shift that is required.  I had a friend that lost a lot of weight with the help of Overeaters Anonymous.  Despite the religious overtones of the program and the fact that this friend is an Atheist, she still found the overall message and program helpful.  Is a support group critical to develop success?

I agree with the idea of self-esteem and confidence being important.  I still have some open issues about what universal advice people can use to effectively achieve these goals.