Going into a job interview with confidence may put you ahead of other job applicants immediately. But what if you have low self-esteem? You still need to work, but how do you pull off a winning interview when you’re just not feeling it? The best thing you can do is recognize the problem and address it directly through therapy.
Signs of Low Self-Esteem
First, notice whether any of these signs of low self-esteem are cropping up in your thoughts and behaviors. You might have low self-esteem if you:
- Say negative things about yourself often.
- Are constantly thinking critical things about yourself.
- Spend more time thinking about your failures than your achievements.
- See others as being better than you.
- Have trouble accepting compliments.
- Strongly dislike speaking up when you need or want something.
- Say, “I’m sorry” a lot.
- Avoid rocking the boat at all costs.
- Feel incompetent about most things.
- Don’t feel you deserve anything better.
- Avoid making choices for yourself.
- Don’t know how to say “no.”
- Assume others won’t like or accept you.
Getting to the Heart of the Matter
If you recognize that you are struggling with low self-esteem, the best thing you can do is to find out why and make a plan to overcome it. So, what could be behind your self-esteem issues? This problem can be related to many different mental disorders.
For example, if you have major depression, you will naturally see yourself (and everything else) in a negative light. The same is true if you’re on the depressive side of bipolar disorder.
You can take a quiz to determine if this is something you need to explore further and read articles, such as those at https://www.mind diagnostics.org/blog/bipolar-disorder. But these are issues that a therapist can help you understand and deal with. So, the next step is to talk to a mental health professional.
How Therapy Can Help
Talking to a therapist is the best and quickest way to improve your self-esteem. A psychotherapist can help you find out why you think of yourself in negative terms. They can help you uncover incidents from your past – even as far back as your childhood – that contributed to your seeing yourself in this way. They can also identify any mental disorders that are exacerbating your negative self-image. Then, they can help you learn to analyze those negative thoughts and choose thoughts and behaviors that are more helpful to you.
Things You Can Do for Yourself
There are also several things you can do to boost your self-esteem on your own. Try this plan. On the day before you go to your next job interview, have a “me day” when you focus on helping yourself feel better. Start with some vigorous exercise, which will make you feel stronger and more in control. Eat healthy foods at each meal and drink plenty of clear water.
Next, make a list of your goals for the interview. After each one, write, “I can do this by…” and fill in the blank with something you know you can do. Before you go to bed, write positive messages to yourself so that you can see them when you get up to prepare for your job search. And, when your inner critic tells you that you will fail, refuse to listen. Instead, talk back to your critic with words like “I deserve this,” or “I can accomplish my goals.”
It’s a shame that some people who are extremely talented and skilled miss out on the best jobs because they don’t feel good enough about themselves to shine in an interview. The best way to avoid that situation is not to fake it but to learn to love yourself more. Then, you can inspire hiring managers to trust you with a new position by just being you.
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Marie Miguel has been a writing and research expert for nearly a decade, covering a variety of health-related topics. Currently, she is contributing to the expansion and growth of a free online mental health resource with MindDiagnostics.org. With an interest and dedication to addressing stigmas associated with mental health, she continues to specifically target subjects related to anxiety and depression.