What should you do when you feel like you’re not good enough?

“Believe you can and you’re halfway there.”
 ― Theodore Roosevelt tweet this!

I’ve got this new staff member in my team who went on-board just recently and I’ve got some negative feedback about the way he works so I decided to talk to him to let him know where he stands and what is expected to him as one of our new team members.

Right off the bat I told him that he had good potential but that he needs to work on showing more initiative based on the feedback I received from his teammates. I told him that he needs to put down his phone while working because I always see him tinkering with it.

Before we ended, I made sure to clarify that I told him these things not to embarrass him, but to let him know what he’s doing right and what’s he’s doing wrong so he can pick it up from there. I understood that he’s a fresh graduate so I went easy on him and focused on helping him improve and not shatter his confidence. I treat my staff this way because I don’t want them to experience what I did when I was in their shoes more than ten years back.

I remember it was my first time to handle calls for a living. I came from email support and just when I thought the transition to phone support wouldn’t be that much difficult, I was wrong. DEAD WRONG for that matter.

My manager at that time had the reputation of being a terror and being unreasonable and I actually didn’t realize this until I experienced her cruelty first hand.

It was my first day of handling calls after a month of training and my boss was listening to the call in real time. I guess the inexperience combined with rookie jitters made me sound unprepared as I mumbled through the call that ended in a callback. This time, by one of my seniors since I was not able to help the customer.

“YOU SOUND STUPID!” suddenly echoed across the room.

Everyone in the room, my teammates, and even the teams sitting next to us all turned around to look at our direction. I bowed my head in embarrassment while holding myself back from retaliating.

“Don’t pay attention to her. It’s normal for newbies to be nervous at first.” an agent from the neighboring team whispered.

I must admit that the embarrassment affected my self-confidence. It made me question myself if I was ready and capable to do the job and it lasted for a while until I was able to finally figure everything out.

We all experience times like these when people and circumstance slaps us in the face and makes us think if we are good enough. They make us question our ability and belief in ourselves so much that we lose our self-esteem and self-worth.

The good news is that we all are more than enough and it all depends on you and how you make yourself realize this fact. I’m here to let you know that you are what you think and if you consider yourself an epic fail, then you are totally wrong.

Here are 4 things you should tell yourself when you are running low on self-confidence:

“It’s Okay to Fail”

World-renowned entrepreneur and owner of the Virgin group, Richard Branson, didn’t have the qualities or potential qualities that is, of a future millionaire when he was young. He was a high school drop out and an admitted dyslexic all his life.

His first business endeavor almost sent him to jail and at one point, he was charged with tax evasion, this time, he ended up in jail for a night.

It didn’t end there however. Failure continued with the launch of several of his other brands like Virgin Vodka, Virgin Clothing, Virgin Vie, and the list goes on.

One of the benefits of being human is that we are allowed to fail. Yes, you heard me. Failure is not something to fear. It’s not something to be embarrassed about. Remember that you are only human and you’re bound to commit mistakes.

Don’t let your mistakes define you because at the end of the day, they’re just what they are — A MISTAKE. No big deal whatsoever!

You are robbing yourself the opportunity to be happy if you’ll continue to dwell on the failures you’ve gone through. Stop obsessing on what you didn’t get right and focus on the lessons you learned from them.

“I will not let Other People’s Opinion Define me”

People have different standards and beliefs and not getting the approval of one doesn’t make you less of a person.

I learned about this back when I was working for one of the largest BPO companies in Manila (at least at that time). I was already a team leader back then and when the position for the manager was vacated, I was considered for it but ended up a bridesmaid to one of my colleagues. The position was vacated again around two years after and even though I was considered for the position again, the company ended up getting someone else externally.

That was probably one of the worst days of my life. My self-esteem was at an all time low and it got to a point where I asked myself why am I not good enough? Was it me or was it the way I worked? I really wouldn’t know for sure but self-doubt was all I felt during that time.

Our team got laid off a year after and I ended up working for a bank where I got to be a manager in just one year. I finally got what I aimed for. It took a year in this new company what I couldn’t get in the previous company for ten years.

I got my self-confidence back after this. I was finally able to prove to myself that it wasn’t me after all but it was how the company or the people who has the power to make decisions, viewed me. People have different opinions of us but none of them matters. The only opinion that matters is your opinion of yourself.

“I can be Great if I want to”

Ben Carson had low grades as a boy and was often bullied by some of his classmates. He wasn’t confident and he had a bad temper that when he was in ninth grade, he nearly stabbed a friend during a fight if not for the knife’s blade getting broken.

His life turned around due to his mother’s constant motivation on how he can improve himself. She encouraged him to read books and be at the top of his game.

In 1987, he, along with 70 members of his surgical team successfully separated the Binder twins, who had been joined at the back of the head. Carson was the lead surgeon and from that point on was considered one of the best neurosurgeons in the world. His life was the subject of the 2009 movie Gifted Hands starring Cuba Gooding Jr.

No one is born great nor successful. In order to achieve greatness or success, one must work for it. Every successful person knew what it’s like to be a beginner, to be on the learning curve, and to fail miserably. Think about that every time you feel bad about yourself or when you make mistakes.

Perhaps the most important thing to think about is that you know that it can be done and that successful people like the Ben Carsons, the Warren Buffets and the Michael Jordans are living proofs.

“I am Special”

“We cannot think of being acceptable to others until we have first proven acceptable to ourselves.”
 ― Malcolm X tweet this!

You can’t expect people to believe in you if you don’t believe in yourself. It all starts with you. If you see yourself as mediocre, people will treat you as mediocre. Never sell yourself short because if anyone should have a biggest fan, that should be you.

One of the things I believe people should change is our tendency to underestimate our abilities and belittle our accomplishments.

“I’m just a driver”

“I’m just a janitor”

“I’m just a housewife”

“I’m just an average guy”

First off, please, for the love of God, remove the word JUST in describing what you are or what you do for a living or even yourself. The use of this word shouts lack of self-confidence and self-worth. Be proud of who you are!

Lastly, don’t settle for mediocre. Don’t settle on being average because you are more than enough and you are capable of achieving more.

The Takeaway

There will be situations when your confidence will be put to a test and more often than not, you will end up losing it because you failed and people will keep rubbing it in your face. It’s normal to feel bad and discouraged but you can’t dwell on it for far too long.

No one knows yourself better than you do and if you just stop listening to what other people say and focus on how you can improve, everything will be fine.

Believe in yourself and take action.

Over to You

What do you normally tell yourself when you’re losing confidence?

I would love to hear from you so feel free to leave a comment or feedback below. Share your stories. Let’s talk.

Originally published at lifeshowyouliveit.com on February 11, 2015.

Originally published at medium.com