A job is much more than a means of paying bills. We as humans thrive on being part of and contributing to something bigger and larger than ourselves. Positive human interaction is as important as eating or drinking. A good work environment and career contribute to giving energy to one’s soul and spirit.
But what happens when you end up being in a toxic work environment that slowly and steadily drains you of all your confidence? Leaving you with low self-esteem, making you constantly question your value as an employee and your professional abilities?
ALSO READ: 9 to 5 work stress and tips to manage it
It can start off with a feeling of mild frustration and then quickly escalate to a high level of stress, exhaustion, depression, or even physical illness.
When your Boss/manager tells you your work isn’t good enough or you’re not good enough, it can affect you on a personal level. When coworkers blame and shame you, it rips little holes in your psyche. Even if you know that you add value to your company and that you do good work, constant negative feedback can be damaging.
Many people who spoke about the experience of quitting their jobs say they lost confidence in themselves because of bad work experiences. Also on the contrary, there are people who have earned advanced degrees, grown their careers, or led projects that made millions of money for their companies. Some of them have tough reputations and aren’t especially sensitive to criticism. Yet the negativity they endured made them unsure of themselves and left them with low to no confidence at all.
Here are a few tips that will help you regain your lost confidence
Take a break
If taking time off before starting a new job is a possibility then that’s amazing! If not, then set aside some time on the weekend that is dedicated to focusing inward or doing nothing but relaxing.
Things like taking a break from social media, watching good movies, long baths, good food, spending some time with nature and catching up on that lost sleep are great ways to nurture yourself back to health and regain lost confidence.
Or you can choose to let go of the pent-up rage and frustration by exercising, dancing or singing with full energy to your favorite song!
You are more than your job
Remind yourself that you are more than your job. You are not your job title, your company, or your salary, that these are just parts of your life. Know that your value as a human being is based on many things and how your superior treats you is not one of them!
When you feel low or can still hear all the negative feedback, remember what you are good at. Focus on your skills, talents, and of all the things you have accomplished in the past. This will help you when you’re hunting for a new job or updating your resume.
Do the things you’re good at
Rebuild that diminished confidence by doing things that make you feel capable and fill you with joy. Like reconnect with your core strengths, and use them as a guide to the future choices you make about your work environment.
These things don’t need to be related to your previous job. Get creative by exploring different creative activities such as – painting, drawing or even making music. You may end up discovering talents or passions that influence your next career choice.
Let bygones be bygones
How you heal is ultimately up to you. Let your intuition guide you. But it’s always nice to wrap up a bad experience and leave the past behind.
The best way to do it, you can either talk to someone or write about your experiences. Describe what occurred and how it made you feel, and then focus on what you learned from the experiences, the qualities and strengths you recognize in yourself.
With time, you may look back positively on the resilience that got you through, and the strength you gained as a result of your bad work experience.
Get a makeover!
All those movies where the lead gets a dramatic makeover and suddenly all of his/her’s problems vanish, don’t lie! Okay, they may end up exaggerating a bit. But giving yourself a makeover can also kickstart your journey towards regaining lost confidence.
Before you decide to start attending interviews, go out and get a haircut or buy a new outfit or anything that will make you feel the much deserved fresh start!
Remember all the lessons learned from your previous bad work experience and use them to help boost your confidence and shine at the new job.