Should you believe the self-esteem hype?

Self-esteem has become one of the most hyped topics in the self-help world. Coaches, leaders, marketers, they all tell you, “Work on your self-esteem and then you’ll feel more confident”.

But is higher self-esteem really what you, as a competent and successful professional, need? What if you have a motivation problem instead of a confidence problem? A state called ‘languishing’ could be contributing to your low mood.  So, how can you beat the languishing blues and feel confident again?

Often, it’s about breaking bad habits. Three small changes can make a huge difference to your energy and motivation.

1. Stop doing stuff you hate

If you hate it, it exhausts your energy. It’s something you should delegate, outsource or do away with. Even if you CAN do it, it does you no good to keep it on your to-do list. As I say, “thank goodness some people love doing book-keeping”. Because I sure don’t!


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2. Stop putting work before play

Do the something you love every day. Don’t get up early to fit it in, either. Make time for it by working reasonable hours, splitting home chores equally between everyone who’s old enough to do them and setting reasonable limits on what you do for other people.


3. Stop kicking yourself for not knowing

You don’t have to know the answers to everything. In fact, research has shown that there are many reasons to simply admit you don’t know (yet). Check out my blog for a recent article on the benefits of saying ‘I don’t know’ at work.