A recent study found that more than half of American workers feel powerless when it comes to their careers. Many of them feel stuck in a line of work they don’t enjoy or in a position that doesn’t reflect their strengths and abilities.
The word “powerless” is a strong one, indicating that your career growth is outside of your control. What if you learned that what’s holding you back could be low self esteem?
More importantly, what if you learned that you had the power to improve your self esteem and, in turn, improve your professional life?
Let’s take a look at the connection between low self esteem and a stagnant career. Then, we’ll talk about what you can do to take your power back. A prosperous career is within your reach.
What Does Low Self Esteem Look Like?
Self esteem issues are rampant around the globe, affecting an estimated 85% of kids and adults. Self esteem issues are often accompanied by anxiety and depression. The problem is that when you’ve had low self esteem for a long time, you stop recognizing it for what it is and truly believe that you aren’t enough.
To help you identify whether or not you’re suffering from low self esteem, let’s take a quick look at what that can look like:
- overthinking what you say or do
- feeling embarrassed by your thoughts or behaviors
- struggling to trust your judgment or instincts
- feeling like you don’t belong or aren’t worthy of positive things
- feeling like a burden on the people in your life
- bending over backward to please others even when it’s harmful to yourself
- holding yourself in a disempowered way (ie slouching, fidgeting, or avoiding eye contact)
- not pursuing what you want in life out of a belief that you don’t deserve or can’t achieve it
If any of these feelings, thoughts, or behaviors sound familiar to you, you’re taking the first step: acknowledging that you’re suffering from low self esteem. Once we name the feeling, it becomes easier to tame the feeling.
How Does Low Self Esteem Impact Your Earning Potential?
Now, let’s talk more deeply about the connection between low self esteem and your career. Low self esteem often causes us to hold ourselves back from what we want or deserve. There are a few key ways that low self esteem can manifest in behaviors that impact our work performance or entrepreneurial endeavors.
Underselling Your Abilities
Many people with low self esteem don’t acknowledge to themselves or others that they have the talent, experience, or skills that they have. As a result, you might not get the assignments that you want or the promotions you deserve. It’s up to you to show yourself and others that you’re the right person for the job.
Never Taking Leaps of Faith
Financial success is often about taking leaps of faith, whether you want to invest in your own entrepreneurial ideas or someone else’s. When you don’t trust your judgment or abilities, you’re less likely to take risks at work and in life. This can cause stagnation and lead to a lot of missed opportunities.
Staying in the Background
Low self esteem can impact the way that we carry ourselves and communicate with others. When you’re always doubting yourself, you probably aren’t staying in the moment or speaking your mind. This can cause you to fade into the background while other people get attention and credit, sometimes for ideas that aren’t as good as your own.
How Can You Improve Your Self Esteem?
When we’re not on the track we want to be on, we do tend to feel powerless. However, low self esteem is impacting the way we behave, which can then impact the opportunities that come our way. Let’s take a look at the ways that you can improve your self esteem and take back your power.
Start Your Therapy Journey
Low self esteem doesn’t exist in a vacuum. Starting therapy is an important part of understanding what negatively impacted your self esteem and shifting the way that you think about yourself. Therapy provides a safe place to talk about your experiences, thoughts, and feelings so that you can heal from the past and build a brighter future.
Combat Thoughts That Hurt Your Self Worth
Start paying attention to the way that you talk to yourself. When thoughts like, “I can’t handle that responsibility,” or, “I don’t think that I’m going to say the right things,” creep into your mind, start to challenge them. Ask yourself why you are having those thoughts and remind yourself that you are worthy, intelligent, capable, and hardworking–with practice, these positive affirmations will come a little bit easier and uplift your sense of self worth.
Stand Up for Yourself in Life
It’s important to remember, as you build your self esteem, that you know what you’re worth even when others don’t. Start creating boundaries that prevent others from taking advantage of your time and abilities. When, at work, a project or assignment comes up that you know you can handle, advocate for yourself.
When you learn to respect yourself, it’s easier to command that respect from others. When you’re well-respected, your professional life starts to expand.
A Better Professional Life Is Within Your Reach
If you want more out of your professional life, it’s time to take back your power. Self esteem can impact everything from the way you talk to yourself to the treatment you accept from others. It can also take a huge toll on your career.
The Optimistic Counseling Practice is here to help. If you’re ready to start building better self esteem, contact us today. We look forward to joining you on your journey to a happier, healthier, and more successful life.