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3 Traits I Abandoned to Improve My Self-Esteem

Ken is a retired entrepreneur. He is married with two adult children and nine grandchildren. He loves traveling and any beach that has sand.


I'm working hard to create a better version of myself.

Being a realist, I am not afraid to speak my mind on most subjects. Some may say that makes me opinionated. Others may say I am judgmental. Either way, that’s a tough call.

I have always thought of myself as more of a pragmatist. Reality stings!

When I look inwardly at my motivations, I don’t see myself as being judgmental, but I can see where people may think of me in that manner. Isn’t that odd?

Normally, I would shrug off these types of criticism, figuring the offending speaker didn’t know me well enough to make an accurate assessment. But this happened frequently and was called to my attention by multiple people.“Time for some self-reflection,” I gathered.

Maybe I should concentrate on the way I interact with people. After all, I don’t want to broadcast a flawed message of who I am and what I feel. Most of the outside world considers these traits unfavorably.

With that, I analyzed the circumstances in which these “revelations” happened, to see if there was a pattern I had developed.

What I found, after thoughtful consideration, were three weaknesses hindering the growth of my self-esteem. I decided to address each one of these culprits because I hate false impressions being hurled my way.


Self-Righteousness — Who let that guy into my bubble?

Self Righteousness sneaked its way past the inner guards of my mind and exposed a couple more of my weakest traits. How it squeezed into an already-occupied spot in my brain is still a mystery. Self Righteousness is a way of saying to everyone: Don’t look at my weakness, look at theirs! I noticed a tendency to point out what I felt were other people’s faults instead of looking in my mirror.

These are common occurrences, everyone, resorts to, occasionally. It enables us to shun criticism and protect our psyche, but it offers a false sense of security. I confronted this weakness dominantly. I would not demean others by reacting to them as they had acted toward me, reasoning everybody has weaknesses they could work on. Who was I to point it out to them? From now on, I’m concentrating on myself!

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Insecurity — Feeble insecurity is our mind over-thinking!

Being insecure is a birth of unreasonable fear which has no basis in facts. It springs forth from our brains as the ultimate result of “what ifs” our brains toss around to prepare us for the unknown. It is futility exemplified by some unforeseen, imagined circumstances that “could happen,” or “might happen” to derail our happiness.

To combat this weakness, I opted to depend on the Law of Large Numbers. I consulted Wikipedia for a definition: “In probability theory, the law of large numbers (LLN) is a theorem that describes the result of performing the same experiment many times. According to the law, the average of the results got from many trials should be close to the expected value and will become closer to the expected value as they perform more trials." This law confirmed my belief that worrying about the “what-ifs,” things I can’t control, is useless.

Fear of Failure — Fright paralyzes my decision process.

In addition to fighting off “what-ifs,” I hesitate in deciding important issues. In my business, I waxed and waned over hiring additional staff. I re-evaluated my thoughts from the “before” and “after” stages of recruitment.

What I found in each of these instances was I should have added staff sooner, rather than later. My hiring decision for each employee was the correct decision. I just hadn’t implemented it as fast as I could have, which would have grown the business much quicker.


The same held true in personal decisions. We had been wanting to move to a smaller house for some time, and I kept hemming and hawing about where to move, when to move, should we build, how much land do I want … normal things people think about as they go through the various stages of the life cycle.

COVID-19 hits and I’m still in the same house. Is that good or bad? That was the perfect time to build a home before the economy shut down. Lumber prices last year were dramatically lower than they are today. I had waited too long to start building a new house!

For over a year, I agonized over when to start the process. I finally bit the bullet in April, right at the height of the cost increase for lumber. Chiding myself once again, I have now convinced myself to trust my gut feeling in matters such as these.

I have a long way to go to get to my best level of perfection, but I’m working on it day by day. Sometimes, it hurts to look back at how I was and compare it to myself today. I’m not proud of some of those days before my circumspection, but I am proud that I can forgive myself and move forward.

Thanks for reading this. I hope you found something that helps you.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2021 Ken Kayse

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