Low Self-Esteem in the Workplace

Low Self-Esteem in the Workplace

Although it’s not talked about, low self-esteem impacts adults just as much as it does children and teens. It affects relationships, health, and in the workplace, it can keep you from meeting your career goals.

Those with low self-esteem in the workplace exhibit self-conscious behaviors that undermine their success. These self-defeating behaviors hold you back from the raises and promotions you deserve.Workplace Self-Esteem

Negative Self Talk

When you have low self-esteem, it doesn’t matter what you accomplish or how well people think you did, you tell yourself it wasn’t good enough. And when you constantly put yourself down, you believe it and begin to appear less confident.

Staying Under the Radar

When you have low self-esteem, you don’t want attention drawn to you and there’s a tendency to stay under the radar. However, not being seen at work keeps you hidden, especially when it’s time for promotions and raises.

Afraid of Taking Risks

Companies and corporations want people who are assertive, willing to take risks, and think outside the box. When you’re suffering from low self-esteem, those are things you don’t do. You’re less likely to be assertive and less likely to take risks. You don’t want to try something new for fear that you’ll mess up and look bad. Without risk, there’s no gain.


People with low self-esteem tend to be pessimistic. They always look on the dark side of things and highlight mistakes instead accomplishments. When meeting with supervisors and coworkers, people with low self-esteem point out their mistakes, instead of their achievements.


Sometimes, low self-esteem at work turns people into workaholics. They never think what they’ve done is good enough and keep striving for better and better. They go to work early. They stay late. They over-explain themselves and belittle their work in front of others.

How to Improve Self-Esteem at Work

Improved self-esteem at work can mean higher job satisfaction, better performance, higher pay, reduced stress, and makes burnout less likely.

Here are ways you can improve your self-esteem at work.

  • Get out of your comfort zone. Do something different, even if it makes you feel uncomfortable. Change isn’t comfortable; that’s why it’s hard to do. When you take on new projects or utilize a new strategy, it can boost your self-esteem and show others you’re willing to go the extra mile.
  • Challenge your negative thinking. The first step in improving a low self-esteem is recognizing and stopping your negative thinking. When you start to tell yourself that you’re not good enough or you’re always going to be a failure, stop. Do something to distract yourself. Remind yourself that you do have value, and so does your work.
  • Remember your accomplishments. Remind yourself that you’re capable by thinking about the things you’ve accomplished. You can even make an accomplishment board for a visual reminder of the value you have and the things you’ve brought to your workplace.
  • Accept compliments. Start accepting compliments, even if you don’t believe them. When someone says that you did a good job, don’t disagree with them or undermine your role. Just thank them and know that they mean it.
  • Understand everyone makes mistakes. Mistakes happen. Everyone makes them. The difference is when you have low self-esteem, you internalize the errors and obsess over them instead of seeing them as a learning opportunity.

Low self-esteem in the workplace damages your career. Learn how to gain confidence and accept praise, and soon your self-esteem will improve.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *