It’s happened to the best of us: We’ve been told words that sting, handled experiences that crumple our self-esteem, and met people who let us down or left us feeling defeated. To move past disappointment and hurt, try these tips:
1. Have empathy for the other party.
Cruel words, destructive behavior and thoughtless actions all stem from a dark place in the other person. Recognize this, then forgive them.
2. Forgive yourself.
If your confidence is down, you might beat yourself up for not being stronger, for the role you played in the toxic situation, or for choosing a relationship with someone who hurt you. Aim to understand the roots of your actions and forgive yourself. It’s only human.
3. Identify a fear related to the lost confidence.
When you do, take action to burst through it. For example, if someone said something derogatory about your body, that has left you afraid of going to the beach in a swimsuit, commit to going to the beach.
4. Decide whether the offending words or actions have merit.
If you were fired for poor job performance, get real with yourself. If your work really was poor, own that. Take steps to improve, or decide on a career change. You might also conclude that the firing was not warranted. If it wasn’t, make a list of your professional successes such as happy clients and bosses, and focus on surrounding yourself with colleagues who appreciate your skills and work ethic.
5. Focus on your tribe.
Whether they’re friends, colleagues or family who believe in you, embrace these people and identify what they love about you. That is truth. Believe it.