When I visit businesses that work with the EAP, I realize all the challenges these organizations have faced in the last years. Challenges like:
Through the statistics of the assistance program, I realize that our consultation requests linked to self-esteem are always there. I do not know what explains this thoroughly, but it is difficult not to connect it with employee recognition. What explains this situation? I cannot answer precisely, but according to some findings, our businesses now focus on the operations, leaving the recognition they promoted in the last ten years behind.
According to James Noley, the theory of self-esteem can be translated into the relationship between who we are as an individual (physical appearance, social success) and what we wish to be. The weight of the views of others is a powerful factor of good or bad self-esteem. It is at the basis of the construction of personality.
What about work recognition?
Work recognition can encourage a sense of pride, which increases self-confidence and allows someone to be more effective and happier at work. The opposite is also true. Someone who is constantly criticized and does not feel appreciated will end up running out of confidence. It also increases their level of negative stress, and they will become less efficient and more unhappy at work.
The lack of appreciation, indifference, and all other forms of direct or indirect aggressivity can cause irreparable damages within a business. It is why communication based on mutual respect and self-esteem is so vital for a team. Recognizing objectively the strengths and weaknesses of your team members to better use the potential of everyone in order to reach a common goal: here is an excellent technique to create an individual and group sense of pride.
With this in mind, it is up to each individual to work on their personal development, fulfillment, and connection with others. By learning to know themselves by questioning their values, needs, qualities, and weaknesses, someone is more capable of appreciating themselves better, consequently increasing their self-confidence. They will then be more capable of making better choices and be less dependent on their entourage’s appreciation.
Did you notice how we are critical and merciless regarding our failures and faux pas? We do not skimp on negative comments for ourselves, and we are ruthless. We want to be perfect, but we are not. It is not the goal we wanted, but it is stronger than us; we need to be hard on ourselves.
Tip: We try to ask ourselves what we would tell a friend with the same situation as us and would be looking for some advice. Would we be as ruthless? Probably not. Therefore, we give ourselves tips and do not hesitate to pat ourselves on the back when we accomplish something that makes us proud, especially when nobody recognizes us.
Are you truly the person you want to be? Do you feel in true harmony with yourself? Only sometimes? This happens to everyone! Sometimes, we react with so much emotion, and it does not sound like us. Other times, we hold back some words we would like to say. Are you lacking self-control? Beware, this is something harmful. With time, you will start depreciating yourself because you will be unable to recognize the person you became.
Tip: Every morning or evening, take the time to do an automatic writing exercise. Write what you feel, think, and live without any filter or embarrassment since it will not be shown to anyone. This exercise is from Julia Cameron, the author behind The Artist’s Way. It allows us to break up some appearances and focus better on ourselves.
We live in a world where everything is fast. Nothing is quick enough, and we only look for having more time. We do not know how and why to wait. We want everything right now and nothing less! Do you have a goal, a dream, or a project? There is no doubt that you feel that you are not reaching it fast enough. Stop! There is no hurry!
Tip: Note down every step that leads you toward fulfilling your goal. It is not only about achieving it; all the small gestures count. Therefore, write down every small realization linked with your significant change.
Our schedule is regularly full, and we often need help doing everything on the same day. But it is not why you should take some time for yourself. Caught in a whirlwind, fulfilling the needs of others always before ours, we can quickly become frustrated, like we do not have enough value to take care of ourselves when it is time. We need to remedy this situation quickly.
Tip: All the occasions are good to grant yourself a small break; sometimes, only 10 minutes is enough to take care of yourself! We eat a piece of dark chocolate, grab some pen and paper to draw, go shopping, and stop by a bookstore to review some magazines without having the right to feel guilty. These breaks for yourself are essential to feel comfortable about oneself.
Chantal Lévesque, Brio EAP