Your low self-esteem in the workplace is not because of you

We have definitely missed something very important while we studied in school.

Most schools and universities around the world teach subjects like mathematics, science, history and geography.

We have learnt mathematical formulas, scientific theory, history of the universe, world wars etc.

Few important traits that we never learnt in school:

  • Each one of us are different and will have their own area of expertise. We should know what our area of expertise is.
  • Every individual needs a mentor/coach – not critics.
  • A lack of sense of community in modern society. We are constantly in a race to God knows where, instead of helping others succeed in their career.
  • Learning must not stop with a degree.
  • There is no such thing as failure.  Failure in exams/relationships/business is not the end of the world.

If you try to analyze the reasons for your low self-esteem, your thoughts will travel back to that moment when someone said something s/he shouldn’t have and that has struck deep in your heart which you cannot forget. That person could be your friends, teacher or even parents.

Probably, even your parents did not encourage you to pursue a hobby you wanted to or perhaps they criticized you when you got low grades in school.

Just like your diapers got thrown away in the bins, so should you do away with all your bad childhood memories. You must try and laugh about those people who made you feel silly. Probably, they don’t even care or remember how they made you feel. Why should you ?

If you think you are not that great looking, then it could be because your friends/peers did not bother to compliment you. It is not about you – they are just lazy. You look good and you know it.

Even if you are the most beautiful woman on earth, there will be people who are not going to compliment you and appreciate your beauty simply because they are jealous of you.

My personal view is that your self-esteem must not be linked to your looks. However, the reality is it does impact because people generally treat others who are good looking with a lot more respect than those who don’t and this is a bit unfortunate.


In the workplace, your low self esteem is most likely because you do not feel valued for your contribution and you work in a toxic workplace where there is a blame culture or a boss who is a bully, plays favorites and is abusive and treats you like a door mat. There are great bosses out there too, but the majority are bad bosses too who have spread like an epidemic, who don’t have a clue how to manage people.

As mentioned earlier in this article – they have learnt mathematics, know how to use some spreadsheets and e-mail software but do not have a clue how to treat their sub ordinates and the fact that they are humans and deserve to be treated with respect and dignity irrespective of their looks, educational background, race or color.

It is common knowledge now that staff quit their employers because of bad bosses and lack of growth opportunities, statistics reveal that vast majority of employees are dis-engaged and that is a huge loss in productivity.

Managers themselves feel stressed out and feel they can’t cope with the constant pressure from the top to deliver and all they can do is cascade down to their staff lower in the chain.

The harsh reality of modern workplaces is they have become toxic in recent years, especially since the economic recession. For most people who work for corporate entities, they identify their self-worth based on how they are perceived and treated in the workplace. Unfortunately, workplaces have become a major source of stress and depression that also affects an individual’s family life and personal relationships with their spouse.

The situation in the workplace isn’t going to change soon and jumping employers is only a short-term solution as the problem is pervasive

There is no quick-fix solution for this problem. You’ve go to believe in yourself that you are good. You cannot be a top performer at work all the time. You are a human. Work doesn’t happen the way people expect from you. It is their lack of leadership and short sighted view and nothing to do with your abilities.

You need to identify what you are good at and where you can find an audience where people love your work.

It could be your dancing, writing, photography, art or any creative skills that could boost your self-esteem.

Remember, humans were meant to be creative people. You were not designed to use computers, prepare cash flow statement or reports as expected in your workplace. Work is only a means to pay your bills.

My approach while I worked in the corporate world was that  I would give my 200% to my projects. If people did not acknowledge my hard work and commitment and passion to work – it is their problem, not mine.

So if people do not appreciate your work, damn them – You know what you are good at.



13 thoughts on “Your low self-esteem in the workplace is not because of you

  1. Wow, felt like this post was for me. Incredible. Really needed to read this. Feel very unappreciated in the workplace of late. I can remember the exact moment in childhood when I was roll I couldn’t do something because I wasn’t smart enough. It’s definitely affected my self esteem in life. Thank you Sudhir for this wonderful post.

    Liked by 1 person

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