Self-esteem is often described as having confidence in our ability to think and cope with the daily challenges of life. It is also linked to being self assured and confident in ones abilities and having a belief in the fact that you can be successful in whatever you undertake to do.
When a person has a high level of self-esteem, they will trust their actions and their judgment and by doing so they will be in a better position to make good decisions and create a better life for themselves.
Generally such people will be more open, social and possess very effective interpersonal skills. These will help them to develop positive work relationships and help them to contribute more effectively to the work environment around them contributing to their overall success.
On the other hand, a person with a poor level of self-esteem lacks faith in themselves and their abilities, tend to fear anything new and unfamiliar and these characteristics in them lead to unsuitable behaviours such as being defensive, over compliant, disrespectful, being aggressive or rebellious and overall uncooperative.
Having a feeling of respect for our self and our abilities plays a major role in what we can achieve in life. During my career I noticed that those employees who exuded confidence in their abilities, jobs and generally in the workplace were the ones others perceived to be competent, high performers and achievers.
Why was that so ? The reason being, that confidence inspired trust and helped to build trusting relationships and respect of others in the abilities of a person. However one still needed to demonstrate ones abilities, skills and talents by delivering results but one did not require proving their competence level. Our general perception of confident people is that they have the required abilities and will perform better to deliver the required results.
Having a high level of self esteem and confidence helps an employee to speak up and state their opinions when required. It also encourages them to accept more job responsibilities and challenges, ask for more high profile assignments and be ready at all times to go the extra mile. All these characteristics support and position such people for success in their jobs and the workplace.
In the highly competitive environment of today, the need for positive self-esteem in the workplace is growing in importance. The era of professionalism, specialization and knowledge puts increased demands on employees at every level of an organization.
Employees are required to engage in self-management, accept personal responsibility for their sphere of activity and also maintain a high level of personal self-awareness. Employers require employees to be effective at interpersonal relationships and to be able to work in teams to deliver results. In addition to that, employees have much greater decision-making according to their position in the organization and more multifaceted thinking requirements. The days of being instructed to do what is expected from them, by their Managers are over. Instead, employees are supposed to be self starters, using their own minds and ingenuity to meet the goals set out and agreed by them, to meet the ever changing challenges of the competitive work environment.
Without doubt, having a positive mental attitude and a high level of self-esteem can literally double the chances of career success, according to a study, published in the Journal of Applied Psychology, Vol. 93, No. 4, which is one of the first to examine the effects of dispositional influences on career trajectories. Based on a wide-ranging survey of roughly 12,000 participants from 1979 to 2004 conducted by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the authors – Timothy A. Judge and Charlice Hurst found that participants who scored high on self-evaluations enjoyed success earlier in their careers, engaged in continued higher education, and advanced more quickly than those who scored lower on self-evaluations. Moreover, the advantages gained by having a positive self-image compounded over the 25-year period and were strongly correlated with overall career satisfaction, higher pay, and better health.
The Bottom Line being :
That “Believing in oneself” is more than just a motivational slogan; it can strongly influence long-term career advancement and overall health of an individual.