We all have days that are tainted with disgust in ourselves. When nothing went right, and the stresses seemed overwhelming. It’s only human to have these feelings sometimes, and so often it turns back to how we perceive ourselves.

Spreading yourself too thin, with work, home, and a million other things leave no time for you. You have to love yourself, too. You’re worth it.

It Really Does All Start With You

If someone asked, what would you say to this question—Do you love yourself? It’s a tricky answer, sometimes, isn’t it? One day the answer may be a quick ‘of course’, but other days you might not be able to answer, and instead just shake your head sadly. But it doesn’t have to be that way.

Studies have found that self-esteem, or your internal level of self-worth, plays a significant role in the relationship between power and people. There is an overwhelmingly positive association between leadership and self-esteem.

A leader’s self-esteem can motivate, welcome acceptance of others, and create an atmosphere of innovation and independence. People who suffer from low self-esteem are typically much more sensitive to negative remarks and feedback, while individuals who have higher levels of self-esteem are somewhat buffered from these negative experiences (Fedi, 2016).

But Everything Is Just Fine

Perhaps you protest and say that everything is fine. You just don’t have time. You’re busy. Stop for a moment and think about what this means. You actually believe that you don’t have a chance to work on yourself? This kind of thinking is exhausting, and it will catch up with you eventually.

Creativity and innovation don’t magically happen. Just like you have to get a garden ready for flowers and vegetables, you have to get your mind ready to accept a new way of leading others. You may have to adjust your attitude to become mindful of yourself. Building up your self-esteem and loving yourself is not selfish—it’s necessary.

The Imagination Age Demands A New Kind Of Leader

Gone are the days of the narrow-minded, self-loathing big boss. Workers are demanding independence, opportunities for innovation, and collaboration using technology. A truly global workplace is starting to emerge and to be an effective leader to people with this new mindset, you have to like yourself.

The i4 Neuroleader Model can help you change your attitude with a clear understanding of how your brain works when you take care of yourself.

You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.


Being mentally ready to become an effective leader begins with your perceptions about yourself. You can change. You can learn how to create stronger and newer circuits in your brain and avoid falling into the survival mode of self-loathing and self-blame. It is always worthwhile to better your relationship with yourself. Don’t protest that you don’t have the time or the tools. When you are happier with yourself, you will be more satisfied with other aspects of your life. Besides, you’re worth it!

Fedi, A., & Rollero, C. (2016). If Stigmatized, Self-Esteem Is not Enough: Effects of Sexism, Self-Esteem and Social Identity on Leadership Aspiration. Europe’s Journal of Psychology, 12(4), 533–549. http://doi.org/10.5964/ejop.v12i4.984

Originally posted on: 27 March 2018
Last updated on: 12 April 2024

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Silvia Damiano

Silvia Damiano

Founder & CEO
About my Brain Institute

Scientist, educator, author, speaker, coach, award-winning leadership specialist, filmmaker and creator of the i4 Neuroleader Model & Methodology.

Silvia's scientific background and curiosity about the human brain led her to a decade long journey of research into optimal brain functioning and the application of neuroscience in leadership and daily life. Her past and current roles have uniquely prepared her for the current undertaking, that of leadership activist & change agent.

Silvia Damiano founded The About my Brain Institute in 2009, with the purpose of democratising leadership & neuroscience. She has a passionately held belief, that leaders in our 21st century global economy and their organisations must radically change long-held ideas of what constitutes effective leadership

In her ground-breaking books ‘Leadership is Upside Down’, ‘Brain-Friendly Leadership’ and the 2018 documentary ‘Make Me A Leader’, Silvia provides both compelling evidence and explores the importance of leadership in our personal and professional lives and what it takes to develop the human behind the leader.

Silvia has worked in different countries, across many industries, helping teams and organisations improve business performance. Silvia’s clients have described her as a passionate, dynamic, a highly experienced speaker and master facilitator on the topics of Emotional Intelligence, Cultural Change, Neuroleadership & Engagement.

Silvia is passionate about leaving a legacy of well-rounded leaders who can act and decide in a way that better serves humanity. Her clients include Microsoft, Australian Stock Exchange, NSW Government, VISA, Fuji Xerox and Manpower amongst many other global companies.

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