Ever had one of those days or weeks where you just can’t shake the feeling that something is missing or going wrong? That no matter what you do or how organized you are, you’re just not capable of dealing with the mountain of projects that are lined up on your desk, the hundreds of emails in your inbox or the presentation you have to give tomorrow morning? We all struggle with confidence and self-esteem in our everyday lives, especially in the workplace, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Check out this how-to guide on how to stop feeling you’re not good enough, and start feeling more confident today.
See Also: 8 Ways to Boost Your Self-Confidence
1. Stop comparing
It’s difficult to stop comparing ourselves to others, especially in the workplace where we are surrounded by our peers. If a fellow employee is constantly receiving praise from a boss or manager and you hear nothing, it can be tricky not to feel bad about yourself. But you shouldn’t. Stop comparing yourself and remember that you were hired for a reason and that you have unique qualities.
2. Get off social media
Social media is the enemy of feeling good about yourself. How can you, when you have immediate and by-the-second access to the shiny, happy lives of the people you know (or even kind of know, or in some cases don’t know at all)? It’s an accepted fact of our modern lives that people don’t always show their true lives and selves on social media. Your friends are sharing their pretty beach photos and bikini-wearing selfies on Facebook, but they’re not likely to be showing the 100 photos that it took to finally take the best-looking one.
When you start feeling low or your self-esteem starts to dip, the solution is not to jump on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram, because you’re instantly going to start thinking that your life is not as amazing as the rest of the world’s.
3. Go to a yoga class
There’s a pretty big link between self-esteem, confidence and yoga. Practicing yoga makes you more in tune with your body and how it feels. It will also calm you down and instantly put you in a better mood. As yoga can stop stress, it’s a good idea to go to a class when you’re feeling anxious or not good enough, or to invest in a mat and practice at home, in the morning before work or at night after work.
Any physical activity would be good for self-esteem - you can always try a trendy barre class, go to a dance class, or even just go to your local gym or go for an evening jog around your neighborhood. But yoga will specifically target your feelings as you will be forced to sit down, slow down, and lie down, and thus, you will be able to close your eyes, relax and deal with whatever’s bothering you.
4. Talk to a friend
Chances are, if you’re not feeling good enough, someone else might be feeling the same, and if not they’ve surely felt like you at some point or another. Don’t be afraid to talk to a friend and share your feelings. You can even set up a weekly coffee/dinner/drinks date with your best friend and make it a time that the two of you can connect and share what’s going on in your lives. Having a weekly check-in with someone close to you will make you realize that you’re not alone and that others can help you feel better.
Whatever you do, don’t keep it inside. You will only feel worse if you let your emotions run high and then keep them inside.
5. Work without judgement
What if you spent one day at the office not judging yourself or self-censoring? What if, from the time you sit down at your desk with your morning Starbucks to the time you shut down your computer at 5 p.m., you simply focus on your tasks, talk to your co-workers and forbid yourself from any negative self-talk?
It’s not always possible to do this, but if you try it for just one work day, you might be surprised. You know how to do your job or you wouldn’t have gotten the position in the first place (or, in this competitive marketplace, you wouldn’t still have your current role/title). So trust that you know what you’re doing.
6. Have some "me" time
When we’re feeling bad about ourselves, it’s more important than ever to check in with ourselves and do the things that we truly love to do. If you love to cook, then try a new recipe every evening for dinner. If you’re a reality television junkie, then curl up on the couch this Saturday night with some episodes. Get a weekly manicure or pedicure, get your hair blown dry, buy yourself a new purse, volunteer, join a gym, go the library once a week – do whatever you feel like doing to make you feel connected to who you are once again.
7. Talk to a therapist
There’s no shame is going to therapy. In fact, if you ask anyone in your circle of friends, at least one has most likely been to a counselor at some point in their lives. If you find that your low self-esteem and poor thoughts are simply not getting better, no matter what you try, then you might need to talk to a professional in order to find the true root of the problem.
Don’t hesitate to talk to someone - you will feel much better, and it will be a relief to finally feel like yourself again.
8. Commit to a healthy lifestyle
When we’re feeling down, it’s easy to reach for the extra cups of coffee, the candy bars, the pizza and burgers and fries. We crave junk food to comfort us and make us feel better. In reality, that stuff will only make us feel worse.
Commit to living a healthy life and focus on eating real, whole foods like fruit, vegetables, whole grains, protein and healthy carbohydrates like quinoa, brown rice and whole grain bread. You definitely won’t feel any worse.
See Also: 3 Ways to Boost Your Self-Esteem
It’s tough when you don’t feel good enough, and those anxious thoughts and feelings can stress you out and wreak havoc on your daily life, not to mention your performance at work. If you relate to any of these points, don’t hesitate to get help - to talk to someone, whether it’s a therapist or a good friend, to schedule some time for yourself, to take up yoga and to start eating healthfully. Feeling down won’t last forever.