Low self esteem can be considered a work hazard. “Low self esteem has a huge impact at work,” declares psychotherapist/career coach Daryl Cioffi, owner of Polaris Counseling & Consulting. “In doubting yourself, you often create more anxiety which leads to mistakes and, as a result, more anxiety. The cycle can be toxic to your job and can impair your mental and physical health.”
Instead, boosting your self confidence is pertinent in helping you climb up the corporate ladder.
Boosting self-esteem takes some effort–but it can be done. “First, acknowledge your thoughts: Don’t discount how you are currently feeling; acknowledge the thoughts you are having. Often times, we create more resistance to the thing we want by not acknowledging where we currently are,” notes business and life strategist Melissa Mizer, CEO and Creative Director of L.A.-based MoreSeekers.
Visualize and believe. See yourself as a confident person. “Be creative imaging your new self-confidence,” adds Mizer. “Imagine yourself feeling the feelings and thinking the thoughts that create the self-esteem you want. Play a movie inside your own head where you are being this new self-confident you. The brain doesn’t know what’s real, it’s all thoughts to it. So start creating the thoughts and feelings that come with your version of self-confidence. See and feel yourself; imagine yourself with this high level of esteem.”
Look to others in your office who ooze self-confidence. Says Tim Elmore, speaker, author and president of Growing Leaders, “Spend plenty of time learning all you can from your higher-ups and peers at your organization. Find out who the key leaders are, and greet them by name when you see them. When you get the chance to speak with company leaders, inquire if it’s okay to ask them a few questions. Pose questions that show you’ve gotten acquainted with their mission. Ask about the future. Embody the values of the organization; if possible, demonstrate that you fit right in,” advises Elmore.
This may sound odd, but don’t be afraid to take up space. “By slight changes in your body language and posture you can signal changes within the brain that result in decreased anxiety. Sit up straight, walk with your head high and fight the urge to make yourself smaller with your body,” Cioffi points out.
Besides body language, also watch the verbal language you use “Stop apologizing,” says Cioffi. “Be mindful of how much you apologize for things that don’t need an apology. Things like ‘sorry boss can I bother you?’ and ‘hey boss do you have a minute’ will help you boost self esteem in the way you communicate.”
But don’t let your new self-confidence turn to arrogance. “Balance ambition with humility,” explains Elmore. “Employers love ambition, but be sure yours doesn’t make you look cocky. Many call this balance ‘humbitious’ –humble, yet ambitious. Your boss may value your new ideas and insight, but help the company with their current ideas first, before proposing new methods or ideas. Business leaders want to see a sermon, not hear one. Let them know you’ve got ideas, but you’re hungry to help with theirs as well.”