Earlier this month we talked about fear of success, which dealt with overcoming your insecurities and stepping out of the way of your own dreams. What we didn’t discuss was the role that your self-esteem can play in sabotaging your ability to be productive. Self-esteem is one of the major factors impacting people’s productivity in the workplace (and in life) and can be one of the leading causes of fear of success.
Low self-esteem has a large impact on how a person interacts with the world around them. When a person lacks confidence in themselves and their abilities, they develop an unhealthy way of coping by trying to remain unnoticed. They talk quietly, don’t speak up and ask questions in meetings, or have poor body language. They also unintentionally and unconsciously strive for mediocrity and the status quo rather than reaching above their station simply because they don’t believe in themselves and don’t want to draw attention. They might have the ability to produce amazing results at work but, because of their lack of confidence and low self-esteem, they are unable to achieve to their capability level. They self-sabotage by doubting both themselves and their abilities. They’ve been passed over for promotion or advancement even when they are better suited than anyone else, simply because they lack the confidence to excel.
High self-esteem enables a person to develop confidence in their abilities and become adaptable in the workplace. We’ve all encountered that one individual who just seems to soar. No matter what the world throws at them they are able to jump the hurdles and keep running with hardly a stumble. How do they do it? The answer is that they have self-confidence and high self-esteem. This individual is so confident that they are able to rise to any challenge and tackle it head on even when it means doing something out of their comfort zone. They may not be qualified to take on a project but, because of the confidence they have in themselves, they are able to overcome the fear that many of us would experience in the same position and do a good job.
If you are someone who generally feels confident and self-assured you can still be guilty of having a low self-esteem when it comes to new things. Outside of the office and in your daily life you can be sure of yourself and where you stand, but throw something at you that you’ve never done before and doubt immediately creeps into your mind. For many of us, the thought of working on something we know very little about, or that lies outside of what we feel is in our comfort zone, scares us. When we are asked to work on something that we’ve never done before, the tendency is to want to hide or avoid it. This is where your self-esteem comes into play.
Whether you are confident in your abilities or not, the following tips will help you develop a greater sense of self-esteem over time.
- Act more confident than you feel. People will notice that you seem more self-assured and this will help you to become more confident in yourself and over time you won’t have to pretend anymore.
- Put yourself in uncomfortable situations to develop better ways of coping with them. If you always eat lunch at your desk by yourself, try eating in the break room with your coworkers. Even if you don’t engage in the conversations at first, over time you’ll begin to feel more comfortable and confident and soon you’ll be able to join in. Seek out these types of situations and you’ll soon find that you no longer dread them but instead look forward to them.
- Speak up at meetings. For a long time you’ve been silent and let things pass that you know need to be addressed. Stop hiding your opinions and start voicing them and you’ll find that other people share your feelings and will begin to see you in a different light.
- Change the way you think. Stop thinking about how hard something will be or reasons why you shouldn’t be the one to do it and start thinking about why you would be the best person for the job. Try to find ways of relishing a challenge rather than running away from it. Focus on the rewards of a job well done.
Don’t let low self-esteem cause you to doubt yourself. Have faith in your abilities and try to look at new challenges as an opportunity to showcase how amazing you are.
Share some of your self-esteem techniques and …