Boost Your Self Esteem in the Work-Place
Remember back to the time when you were younger and the overwhelming fear of your parents being disappointed in you if you did badly at school? That fear of them rejecting you or looking on in dismay? My father was quite strict when we were kids, and I remember the punishment he gave my brother once for not achieving to his standards. He completely broke the boundaries of what was acceptable punishment for a 14 year old, but I began to realise that this was simply a behaviour he was repeating from his own relationship with his father. These days, it doesn't even matter if there is no physical contact, because people’s words can be just as detrimental and have a negative effect on our self esteem. If these situations impact negatively on us as young children, we take this right through into our adult life.
The great thing about being an adult though is that you get to take your power back. You can take back control of your own life, your own state and your own decisions. You can learn to accept the situations that happened when you understand why someone said or did what they did. As human beings we all have positive intentions for the people we care about, but this can be manifested in many complicated ways often leaving us worse off than before.
If you suffer with low self esteem there would’ve been a time in your life when you felt that you did not have any power or control over a situation. If you were bullied, manipulated or punished in a way that didn’t make sense to you, you would’ve been left feeling powerless and confused. When these negative associations happen and you believe it to be true, you start to take on the neurology and behaviour of someone who lacks confidence in themselves and act in a way that matches your limiting belief system. Your sub-conscious mind is conditioned by the very people you looked to as trusting members of your close circle be it family, friends, grand-parents, teachers etc. They have all passed on their own values and beliefs in one way or another.
In order to build up your self confidence and self esteem you have to take your power back. You have to let go of apologising to everyone and taking responsibility for other people’s happiness. You have to feel ok about disagreeing with someone else’s opinion and come from a place of power. When you can learn to speak from a place of power, and have integrity and respect for yourself, people will start to treat you differently.
Often people who lack self esteem will be easily manipulated and controlled by other people in a subconscious way. In fact the person who is manipulating will not always realise what they are doing because the person being manipulated is freely giving their power away. This may happen in all walks of life, particularly in offices or where there is a real need for competition only to create power struggles and conflict. It is never nice being in the middle of that! Nor does it ever move anyone towards a solution.
When you allow yourself to be dictated to, manipulated or controlled by someone else it is very difficult to build up strength and dignity because you have given your power away. When you give your power away, it can be difficult to get it back.
Here are some common situations that happen in the work-place, if you want to build up your self esteem and confidence read on.....
- Make more decisions for yourself; this may mean having a difference in opinion to someone else, but if they have a problem with you disagreeing, then they are clearly rooting for a power struggle. Power struggles are a pointless waste of energy. They never get anyone anywhere and you come away feeling worse off than you did before having not compromised or solved the issue. Discussions should be based around respecting each other’s opinion and reaching a decision that is for the benefit of all involved or the business, rather than letting emotions get involved.
- If you have a colleague who you feel is constantly trying to compete with you, focus on your outcome. What is it that you want to achieve and how will you feel once you get there? Avoid taking notice of what other people are doing (unless it helps in a positive way for your development) but keep your work goals on the move and be comfortable at the thought of your own success. Everyone has different ways of feeling motivated at work and for some, this is being in competition with other people. This is fine as long as there is fun attached to it, but if you feel it’s distracting, speak up and don’t take umbrage - focus on what is right for you. Let them get on with it!
- Bullying is very common in the workplace and often people are too afraid to confront it. No one should ever have to tolerate being bullied no matter what environment you are in. Bullies generally bully because they have low self esteem and confidence and want to feel powerful. They put other people down to make themselves feel better, and to disguise the deep inner powerlessness they feel inside. People have reasons for needing to feel powerful; however they should be confronted about it. Once you have mastered coming from your place of power, the bully won’t be interested in you any more. But most importantly if you are being bullied, it is vital that you confide in someone, especially if the bully is your Manager.
- How many times have you been used as a scape-goat and blamed for someone else’s mistakes? If you are constantly being blamed for other people’s errors make sure you can prove them wrong. Save emails of any correspondence. Start to keep a diary and record everything you can so that if it gets serious, you have a good case to stand up to them. In any work environment people respect people more for taking responsibility for their mistakes. In fact this isn’t just about in the work place, but in life too. Take responsibly for your decisions, your actions and your mistakes. People are more willing to forgive when you hold your hands up and say “yes that was me, sorry about that, this is what I should’ve done”.
The Art of Self Love
- Finally, the best thing you can do to boost your own self esteem is to practice loving who you are. Stop with the negative self talk and re-frame those nasty criticisms that go over in your mind on a daily basis. Would you let someone else speak to you the way you speak to yourself? If you are constantly beating yourself up with negative self talk, you will never feel an inner sense of happiness, perhaps always looking externally for things to make you feel better. Start working from within and you’ll eventually see the world from a very different perspective.