Research has shown that the more roles people fill, the more sources of healthy self-esteem they have. There is something about been given more responsibility and being able to FULFIL those roles that add to your self-esteem. I volunteer in the church, and it has helped with my self-esteem.
One of the ways to overcome low self-esteem is to help others, this cannot be over-emphasized. Helping others can help take away attention from yourself and when you make people smile, it’s just something that the negative voices in your head cannot take away.
I remember my last job, I liked it. I had people around me who became family; they taught me a lot and helped me voice out my opinions. They always probed till I spoke. I hardly ever complained about my job; I was always very quiet. I had a lot to say but I could never really say it; I didn’t want to be too forward and I didn’t want to hurt anyone. Looking back now, I realise that I should have said something instead of holding everything in. Saying something would have given everyone an opportunity to explain further or even consider where I was coming from. I kept so many things hidden until one day I erupted. Good grief I erupted. It was like a volcano that hadn’t been active for a decade; I burst forth on every side.
People with low self-esteem do not know how to voice their opinions. In other words, we aren’t assertive. Assertiveness requires boldness that most people with low self-esteem do not have. They are often too fearful of upsetting others, and they are also too fearful to ask for what they want or share their feelings. Instead, they tend to become passive until their anger builds at which point they can become aggressive-defensive, sarcastic, brusque, or rude, even violent.
Anyway, I got a new job and I was pretty ecstatic about it and now I’m wondering if it is right for me. It is close to what I wanted to do— I get to write and I get to meet a whole lot of people. As much as I want to enjoy this process, I can’t seem to enjoy it. The second guessing and the ‘what- ifs’ are choking the life out of me. Tears fall and fear grips me all the time. Will I be able to deliver today? Am I smart enough? Am I good enough? Have I just been lying to myself all this while?
It has been a very trying time for me. I can’t seem to get anything done. Although I understand that I am new to the role and I don’t have enough experience with it, but I cannot help but wonder if this is really me.
There have been a lot of shouts, complaints, corrections, all welcomed, but it’s starting to feel like a routine. Anytime I go to my boss’ office, I tend to brace myself for an oncoming assault. And so I wonder exactly how good I am.
Hyper-vigilance is something people like me deal with. We feel inadequate, as though we don’t fit in, and are consequently very fearful of repercussions. We watch others in an effort to figure out what to do and say, what to wear what seems to work.
The feeling of inadequacy has many times given me the choice of walking away. But, I refuse to walk away; you see, I refuse to be a coward, I refuse to let low self-esteem beat me, I refuse to be a failure and I refuse to continue feeling like I am not good enough.
Some days are better than others, but when I feel as if it’s too many demons for me to bear, I always talk to someone. Talking always makes me feel better about myself.
There are many ways our self-esteem gets battered at work. The demand for productivity has grown so significantly that no one feels they are doing enough; everyone looks at the undone workload and feels inadequate. Nobody said the journey was going to be easy, but here are a few tips on how to boost your self-esteem at work:
Eat Sensibly and Exercise
Practice Positive Self-Talk
If you are currently experiencing challenges on your job, I strongly urge you to employ even just one or two of these tips and I’m confident that if you commit to them they will support you in shifting your perspective, increasing your energy and adding some grace to the process!
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