Never adopt the opinions of others as your reality. Knowing your strengths is neither comparative nor competitive and has nothing to do with perfection. It is an acknowledgement of your own capability and strengths.

My self-esteem model has two pillars. The first pillar is: knowing your capability and strengths and believing that you are competent. Being competent means that you are able to live effectively and cope with day-to-day life: "Yes - I Can!"

The second pillar refers to your relationship with yourself and is: knowing that you are worthy of love, i.e. living in the world believing that you deserve as much love, successand sunshine as anybody else. It is your responsibility to claim it. As food feeds physical hunger, so love feeds emotional hunger. Treat yourself as you would your best friend. The positive attitude of deserving comes from a placeof high self-esteem - entitlement comes from a place of low self-esteem.

When we truly believe that we are competent and worthy we are able to assert ourselves in our world and behave accordingly. Assertion ensures that welive in the world as valuable, and worthwhile, human beings able to communicate our thoughts, feelings and needs in a way that impacts positively on ourself-esteem and that of others. It allows us to live powerfully. Assertion must be part of our way of thinking and living if we are to be effective.

Do not confuse self-esteem with arrogance - a need to feel important. With good self-esteem, and knowledge of your own positive traits, you can acknowledge the positive in others. Self-esteem (I am powerful and so are you)is centred between selflessness (you are powerful and I am not), and selfishness (I am powerful and you are not).

Living powerfully is living assertively. This impacts on our values and beliefs, our personal vision and mission, our goal-setting, connectedness and relationships.