“The worst loneliness is to not be comfortable with yourself.”
― Mark Twain
One of the worst effects of failure in all of us is a huge drop on our self-esteem. We have this tendency of blaming ourselves so much that we end up losing our confidence and feel like a total failure.
“I’m a failure!”
“I’m not good enough!”
“I’m an embarrassment!”
Sound familiar? You’ve probably told yourself the same things before and though I won’t really consider this as normal behavior, some of us tend to feel this way about ourselves and I’ve talked to a number of people who had the same assessment of themselves and what I always tell them is what I’ve learned from Zig Ziglar and that is that Failure is an event and not a person.
You may have failed in one aspect of your life but that failure does not define who you are. While it is normal to feel a little self-doubt because of failure and in the process, lose your confidence altogether, it is important for you to prioritize how to get your self-esteem back.
Back in 2007 I was gunning for a promotion and I was confident that I was gonna get it because I believed that I did my best to do my duties as a team leader and that I was ready for the next step but I didn’t get it and was passed over by one of my colleagues. I was disappointed to say the least but I’m always gracious in defeat so I moved on until the next opportunity to get a promotion came but sadly, I got passed over again!
My self-esteem was at an all-time low and I have to admit that during that time, I wasn’t really a big fan of myself because my mindset back then was that I wasn’t and won’t really be good enough. I felt that I was a total failure having been passed over twice. I was also thinking that maybe, just maybe, that I wasn’t cut for this job and that I should be looking for something else where I can excel.
In 2009 my team was dissolved and we all ended up getting laid off. I went on to work as a college professor until I got back into corporate when I landed a job for an international bank. It was a new beginning for me and the change of scenery has somehow helped me regain my confidence back. I was more proactive and I took on more responsibilities perhaps because of my desire to prove myself wrong. In less than a year, I got promoted to a manager, something I’ve chased from 2 years back.
This experience made me realize that I didn’t suck as much as I thought I did and that I was good enough contrary to what I thought of myself when I got passed over.
It is totally understandable to lose faith in our abilities when we fail but there are absolutely ways to regain our self-esteem too because your self-worth will determine how far you can go.
Before you start looking for love from other people, get it from yourself first. You have to learn to give yourself the credit that is due to you and be your biggest fan because you can’t expect people to love you and admire you if you yourself despise what you are and what you have become.
One of the biggest lessons I learned from my personal development journey is that we were born in this world for a reason and purpose and that purpose makes us special.
Take a page from one of Whitney Houston‘s most popular songs, The Greatest Love of All where she said “learning to love yourself is the greatest love of all.”
Accept Who You Are
We were all created different and our uniqueness is what sets us apart. Some were born shy while others are outgoing. Some are naturally funny while others are weird in their own way.
Whatever you are and whoever you are is not important. What matters is that you embrace your uniqueness and accept who you are as a person and as an individual because we are all special. Remember that we were all molded in the image of God.
One of the best ways to regain your self-esteem is to engage in positive self-talk and having done this myself, I could assure you that doing this will really help a lot. You don’t have to do this aloud especially in front of other people because they might think you’re crazy but if you ever decide to do it, just do it either in your mind or when you’re alone (best you do it in front of a mirror and yes, speak as if you’re talking to someone else).
“I can do it!”
“I am better than this!”
“I won’t let this beat me!”
Self motivation will always be more powerful than external motivation because it’s coming from yourself. It’s intrinsic and more personal. It’s like having a coach who knows you better than anyone else.
Take Pride in Your Achievements
Don’t just focus on the things you’ve done wrong because doing so will only ruin your positive self-image. Look at your past achievements and the value you bring to the workplace or to the lives of the people you get in touch with.
Life will always have its ups and downs so you don’t have to feel bad about yourself. Nobody’s perfect and everyone make mistakes. The important thing is to focus your energy on the things you’ve done right than the things you did wrong.
Peer pressure can take a lot out of a person. The willingness to belong can push you to do things that you don’t normally do just to be part of a group and if people dislike you and think you don’t belong, you’ll probably think that there’s something wrong with you and lose your confidence in the process.
Do not let other people’s opinion define who you are. Don’t let people’s judgment be the measuring stick for your self-worth because living like this will take away not only your confidence and identity but more importantly, your happiness.
One of the things I always tell my children is for them not to ever let anyone run them over or bully them because I believe that if you ever let someone treat you unfairly or humiliate you, that you won’t only lose their respect but also your respect for yourself.
While it’s always admirable to look for the good in people, there will always be a few who will look to abuse your kindness and milk you to the last drop and it will be up to you to stop this from happening.
Set boundaries, say NO if you need to because at the end of the day, you still owe it to yourself to keep your happiness and live your life the way you want to.
“Do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life”
We’ve all heard this quote and we’ve all been told to find our passion. We’ve been told to dream, and dream big and to do everything we can to reach for them and for a good reason.
You are at your best when you’re doing something you love. Doing it doesn’t feel like a task that you are compelled to do. It’s more like play and the more you do it, the more you obsess on completing it while having fun.
Over to You
Are you suffering from low self-esteem because of a recent failure?
You may have failed and in the process started doubting yourself and your capabilities but you can’t let that doubt take over and shoot your confidence down. With failure comes learning, with learning comes growth and with growth comes success.
Always remember that you are capable of being the best and that your failure doesn’t define who you are.
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