Why Self Esteem Is Your Secret Weapon at Work

This week on Episode 139 of Productivity Paradox we’re tackling confidence: why we often lack it despite our best efforts, the steps we can take to find it, and what we need to do in order to maintain it once it’s within our grasp—especially (and particularly!) when it comes to chasing down those big passion projects, goals, and other ambitions we have in mind.

So today, I want to take the idea of confidence one step further by reaching beyond the realm of the personal to how confidence (self-esteem) affects us when it comes to our career and the workplace.

Because, believe it or not, having confidence and maintaining your self-esteem is one of the surest ways to fast-track your journey up the career ladder. . .

Research points to self-esteem as one of the best defenses against depression, burnout, feelings of inadequacy, and so much more. And this is especially true when we consider the modern world today that often demands workers continuously seek out new ways to boost our productivity in the face of an ever-increasing workload.

But here’s another thing about self-esteem at work: it can be incredibly elusive. Far too many of us simply don’t know how to build it—and worse, we often lack the tools to help us maintain it when we do find it.

So, without further ado, let’s take a peek at some of the ways that you can boost your self-esteem in the workplace.


    5 Ways to Build Self-Esteem at Work


1. Pursue One of Your Passions—

 We talk a lot about the importance of confidence as it relates to pursuing what we are most passionate about in our personal lives, but the message easily translates into the workplace.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed and that your self-esteem at work is suffering take some time out of your workday (i.e., for 10-15 minutes during your lunch hour, or when you have some spare time in your schedule) to focus on yourself.

Investing just a little bit of time each day to one of your passion projects is a great way to give yourself a mental—and self-esteem—boost while lending your brain some reprieve from the work-related items you have stacking up on your plate.

Not only that, but if you’ve been following along with me here and on the podcast, then you know how much of a fan I am of giving ourselves plenty of breaks throughout the day, right? (Wink, wink!)

Go for it!


2. Celebrate Your Wins (Big AND Small)—

Whenever we set a big goal, we are always looking straight ahead to the finish line, right? But what about all of the small hurdles that we tackle along the journey?

When it comes to building self-esteem and maintaining confidence at work, you must allow yourself the grace to celebrate all of your wins along the way—big and small.

Taking the opportunity to trumpet your successes will not only help keep any negative feelings you may encounter in your day-to-day at bay (especially if you have a lot going on), but it will also give you the chance to experience a boost in both happiness and confidence to boot.

And the more you celebrate, the easier it becomes to maintain your self-esteem along your journey to career (and even personal!) success.


3. Create a Self-Esteem Vision Board—

 One great way to encourage yourself to celebrate when a celebration is due is by creating a self-esteem vision board.

Did you receive some really great feedback on a presentation you gave recently? Was the article you wrote published? Did your boss commend you on a job well done on a recent project or report? Post these things up on your vision board.

Keep your vision board in a spot where you can see it whenever you find yourself doubting your ability, your talent, or your work ethic—and don’t shy away from adding to it whenever you experience a little “work win” along the way.

Again, the more you allow yourself the opportunity to celebrate what you’ve accomplished, the easier it is to build the confidence you need to succeed in any challenge that presents itself!


4. Flip the Script on Negative Thinking—

We all face it from time to time: criticism. Whether it comes from our partner, friends, family members, co-workers, or our supervisor at work—criticism is inevitable.

After all, no one is perfect, right? (Remember that!)

But as easy as it is to keep in mind that we all receive feedback that we don’t necessarily enjoy on occasion, it can be a challenge to keep ourselves in check when we hear it.

Criticism is something that we often tend to take personally—especially at work, and it has a nasty habit of zapping us of our confidence in the process.

So, when you’re faced with criticism (no matter the source) that zaps your confidence, I want to encourage you to flip the script a little bit!

If you hear something negative, don’t allow yourself to fall victim to it by dwelling on it and allowing it to destroy what you believe about yourself and your capabilities. Reject it! Instead of sitting in that negative space, look to ways that you might benefit from the criticism you’ve received.

How might you turn the experience into a learning opportunity? What are some of the ways that you could solve the underlying issue that the criticism stems from?

Focus on the positive parts of your work and remind yourself of the skills you have that have brought you to this point in your career. Chances are, they are far more significant than any bit of criticism you receive.


5. Commit—

We talk about this on the episode a bit, but confidence builds when we set ourselves up with a clear vision—and then commit to that vision.

When it comes to your job, let those that depend on you know that you will finish your work—and then get started!

Voicing your intentions is a great way to make yourself accountable, and it’s an even greater way to set yourself up for optimal success. (Remember how we talked about the importance of celebrating even the smallest accomplishments? Those accomplishments stem from your commitments, so keep ‘em coming!)

Not only that, but speaking your intentions out loud and verbally making commitments to those that depend on you at work is a great way to build credibility with your co-workers, your supervisor, your clients, and so on and so forth.

And isn’t a little credibility at work always a great thing?! I think so!


What are some of the ways that you maintain your self-esteem at the office? Share your experiences and any tips you have in the comments below . . .

And be sure to check out Episode 139 of the podcast this week to dive deeper into the world of confidence and how you can use it to your advantage in the pursuit of your passion project!

You Might Also Like

  • How To Find More ‘You’ Time After Your Workday
  • The One Rule to Follow When You Feel Overwhelmed at Work
  • 4 Ways You Can Begin Your Workweek With Joy
Tonya Dalton
Tonya Dalton