It’s a big challenge for people at present in these difficult times, maintaining self belief, confidence and self esteem in the face of knock-backs and rejections. This particularly arises for job seekers, but it can also apply to the self employed and to those with financial difficulty, illness, injury or other challenges that life can seemingly throw at us. Overcoming low self esteem in the face of difficulty can feel like it’s too much, particularly if your self esteem wasn’t that great to begin with.
It doesn’t help when you get a bad day. If you keep getting bad hair days, it can feel like a pattern has set in. Even if you pull yourself back from the precipice, another setback can occur and it can seem like you’re back on a treadmill to nowhere. These occasions set you back and your confidence takes a drop. Then you start to beat yourself up and your self esteem falls. It’s a vicious circle.
Let’s say you’re a job seeker and you’ve been putting a lot of energy into job hunting, with not a lot of success. A bad day could be a string of rejections coming all at once, and calls and approaches you’ve been making seemingly getting nowhere. Then your health starts playing you up and you’re struggling to get going and make things happen. And it’s holiday season and those fortunate enough to be in work are taking their summer holidays, whilst you aren’t. So you feel even worse about yourself.
This is where in recession times developing your recovery and self belief skills are so important. The point of awareness is to really notice, become aware, that you’re going back down on one of those slides, and to say “stop”, and stop yourself going back down into a pit. This takes practice, I know, but we have to start somewhere, and as good a place as any is to recognise this keeps happening, and to work to stop it keep repeating itself. What reinforces the decline is low self esteem, because we can so easily slip back into a negative pattern. It’s like it’s the ego saying, “I told you so, you’re no good”. This is where we need positive things to be saying to ourselves to challenge this negative cycle, so as to to really take action on overcoming low self esteem. None of these negative thoughts are true in any case. They are mental contructs, things we’ve thought up, usually long before we were aware of what we were doing, as small children. It’s more illusion, maya, a function of the ego, not who we really are. The mind is much bigger than this.
There’s a big point here in recognising how powerful the mind is, and how it can lead us to great positivity when we take charge, manage these mental patterns, and over and over again re-focus ourselves on to what uplifts us.
So, when you get another rejection or another set-back, this is a clue to immediately re-focus on your task and take action, and not to allow the sirens of doubt to start to get a hold over you. Working on the mind in this way is like treating the mind like a muscle that needs strengthening. So too in these situations. When we’re in a positive, purposeful state, then we draw more positivity to us, and better things start to happen.