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THE LIFE IMPROVEMENT : BUILDING SELF-ESTEEM AT WORK

Tutorial by:Sumit Boura      Date: 2016-05-26 00:59:24

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BUILDING SELF-ESTEEM AT WORK

Self-esteem is an excellent barrier to depression and other negative emotions. Yet it can be difficult to both build and maintain. However, research has shown that the more roles people ill in their lives, the more self-esteem they have. This means that our work role is one opportunity for building self-esteem.

Yet, the modern workplace provides a challenge to maintaining self-esteem. There are several reasons for this, which can vary from workplace to workplace. But some common reasons the workplace can be difficult on our self-esteem are:

  • he fast pace of work means we don’t always receive acknowledgement for our performance or contribution
  • he demands on us for productivity makes us all feel like we can’t do enough
  • We work incredible amounts of hours that encroach on our ‘downtime’ and restorative experiences
  • Competition is fierce in many workplaces, making it hard to feel we’ve contributed if we aren’t ‘number one’
  • We may be the receivers of aggression, rudeness, and insensitivity from others due to such a high-pressure environment
  • Challenges that arise in cultural and age differences in the workplace can have some workers feeling unappreciated and others ‘outdated’

In the face of such challenges to our self-esteem in the workplace, what can we do to help protect ourselves? Following are four strategies to help build your self-esteem at work.

  • PURSUE YOUR PASSIONS

One strategy is to pursue your passions every day – even if it’s only for ifteen minutes or over your lunch break. Take a few moments to read a favorite book, research your next travel holiday, or touch base with a friend you haven’t talked to in quite awhile. Do the same outside of work – make time to watch that old foreign film you’ve been meaning to see, take a stroll through an art gallery to broaden your view of the art world, or work in the garden planting flowers or vegetables for the coming season.

In your work, find something new that you can learn about it. Even if you can dedicate only a few moments a day to learning something new about your job, it can help you to find the passion that you once had for it. Viewing work as a learning experience keeps your mind fresh and allows you to be pleasantly surprised by a job that you may have felt was old and stale.

  • TRACK YOUR EFFORTS

It’s natural to forget what we actually accomplish in a week’s time. We all do more than we realize, but we tend to just accept it as second nature and stop noticing it. A great way to help build your self-esteem at work is to keep track of what you actually achieve. Think of it as a personal ‘report card.’ Take a piece of paper and write it down whenever you give 100% effort to a work task. Try to write down at least three each day. At the end of the week, you’ll have 15 different reasons to be proud of yourself for that week.

  • PURSUE YOUR PASSIONS

One strategy is to pursue your passions every day – even if it’s only for ifteen minutes or over your lunch break. Take a few moments to read a favorite book, research your next travel holiday, or touch base with a friend you haven’t talked to in quite awhile. Do the same outside of work – make time to watch that old foreign film you’ve been meaning to see, take a stroll through an art gallery to broaden your view of the art world, or work in the garden planting flowers or vegetables for the coming season.

In your work, find something new that you can learn about it. Even if you can dedicate only a few moments a day to learning something new about your job, it can help you to find the passion that you once had for it. Viewing work as a learning experience keeps your mind fresh and allows you to be pleasantly surprised by a job that you may have felt was old and stale.

  • TRACK YOUR EFFORTS

It’s natural to forget what we actually accomplish in a week’s time. We all do more than we realize, but we tend to just accept it as second nature and stop noticing it. A great way to help build your self-esteem at work is to keep track of what you actually achieve. Think of it as a personal ‘report card.’ Take a piece of paper and write it down whenever you give 100% effort to a work task. Try to write down at least three each day. At the end of the week, you’ll have 15 different reasons to be proud of yourself for that week.

4.4         ENHANCING YOUR SELF-EFFICACY

There are four ways to enhance your self-efficacy that have been well researched and verified as being effective. These four methods come from research done on the treatment of those that are struggling to recover from physical injuries, but they can be applied to your work situation as well. They are:

  • Skills mastery
  • Modeling
  • Reinterpretation of signs and symptoms
  • Persuasion
  • SKILLS MASTERY

The most effective way to build your self-efficacy is by mastering new or existing skills. he more often that you experience success, the more self-efficacy you will gain, and the more often that you experience failure, the more threat your self-efficacy will come under. In fact, repeated, early failures can have a detrimental effect on self-efficacy especially if it was not due to a lack of effort or severe, unusual circumstances.

As you master more and more skills, you will find that you suffer occasional failure with much more ease because you know that another success is likely not far behind. When you prove to yourself that you have the ability to master a skill, you will tend to see occasional failures as less a factor of your own lack of skills and more a factor of poor or insufficient strategies. In this case, we see that by improving our strategy we can improve our results.

So how do you begin to build your skills mastery? Simply begin by breaking larger tasks into small, manageable tasks. Then successfully complete each smaller task. Remember that you are aiming for mastery at each smaller task, not just the fastest or easiest way of getting it done. Set a reasonable goal for when you would like to master each piece of the larger overall task and reward yourself as you achieve your goals.

  • MODELING

A second means of enhancing self-efficacy is to provide a model for what you are aiming to achieve. Look for someone in your workplace or even in your personal life who has had a similar problem to the one you are attempting to overcome or who is an example of behaviors you would like to emulate. For example, if you are seeking to become a better public speaker, look for someone who is an excellent speaker already. If possible, ask them for advice. Or pay close attention to what it is that makes them good at public speaking and attempt to do the same. If you can, find a mentor who is willing to work with you one-on-one to help you achieve your goal. They can provide inspiration and feedback to help you move towards your goal faster.

  • REINTERPRETATION OF SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS

In the research conducted on patients in physical rehabilitation, this method of building self-efficacy was meant to teach patients which of the signals they were receiving from their body in the form of symptoms were perfectly normal. In the sense of the workplace, however, you should be looking more at what signs and signals you are giving yourself. For example, feeling a high level of stress under high-pressure scenarios is normal. Instead of beating yourself up about it, creating a negative impact on your self-efficacy, recognize that it’s a perfectly normal reaction. Then take steps to reduce your stress so that you can keep moving forward.

Another example is when you get angry, frustrated, upset, or experience some other negative emotion. Your emotional reactions, sometimes including symptoms like headaches, backaches, or stomach upset, are completely natural when you face upsetting situations. The key is to recognize that you are having the reaction but that it doesn’t need to stop you from doing your job and doing it well. Instead, you can acknowledge your emotions and your right to feel them, and still choose the action that will help you move forward in getting your job done. In this sense, we’re talking about a form of emotional intelligence, which is another skill that you can learn to practice.

  • PERSUASION

Persuasion is the final method for enhancing self-efficacy. It is also one that will be familiar to mentors, teachers, trainers, and others who spend their time helping others to learn or improve themselves. In this sense, persuasion means the act of convincing someone that they are actually capable of doing what they have set out to do. The goal is to find interesting ways to persuade yourself that you are capable of achieving the goals that you want to achieve. Some ideas might be giving yourself a pep talk, reminding yourself of your related past successes, or asking others to tell you what they see as your strengths. You can find this kind of persuasion from others that you respect as well, such as a mentor or supervisor.

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