Do not let the pandemic chip away your self-worth and self-esteem. This is the time to re-define yourself.
It is unfortunate but true that our sense of who we are and our definition of ourselves is often a mix of what others think and perceive of us. In this medley of thoughts, we often forget the most important aspect of what we think of our own self.
What is central is that we be clear about our own definition of what we stand for, what makes us unique and different. No two people are alike. There will always be someone better than you in some skill. At the same time, you will always be better than someone at some other skill.
Irrespective of what skills we have to offer, we can sharpen our own identities and thereby our own brand by being conscious of what we seek, what we are good at and what we need to avoid.
Many of us (including me at one time!) harbor the false sense that our professional growth will spur our personal growth. Nothing can be more wrong. Pause and reflect. What makes you better at your job? Is it the designation? Or is it your skills and talent which are so intrinsically linked to your own self-belief in yourself?
How do we then better ourselves each day? Growth is not a one-day process. Nor is it achieved over a period of days and then we are over and done with it. Growth, personal growth is a continuous process of learning, refining, and discarding. It is akin to a snake coming out of its old skin and remaking a whole new one.
Getting lost and confused is so easy in this process. Add to it the stress that we are all under today. I have spoken to many colleagues and friends – their sense of self-worth has plummeted to low levels because of lack of social interaction or loss of pay or being told to suddenly leave. The best of journalists and writers are today without jobs. Communicators who have a critical role to play in this crisis are also being told to leave.
Remember, this has nothing to do with who you are and what you bring on the table as a professional. There is not a single person today who is not impacted by what is happening around us. The pandemic has been the worst scourge to humanity. It has wiped out years of self-worth and forced many to the brink of stress and despair. Jobs will come and go but rebuilding the blocks of our self-esteem will require much hard work.
How can we then safeguard ourselves and continue to excel at our personal and professional lives and give our best? Some thoughts…
- Like yourself and appreciate what you possess
We all have flaws. And we all also have something great about ourselves. It is human nature to focus on that flaw and try to work around it. Instead, make a list of your skills and accomplishments and put all your energies in showcasing and improving them.
- Strategise to create your own brand
As communicators we have often mastered the art of positioning our organisation and the brand it represents. However, when it comes to doing the same for us, we fall woefully short. Work hard on building your own brand. Think of this as the most critical project that you have ever handled. Go about it strategically as you would if you were to build a strategic communications/PR plan for your organisation.
Once you have identified an action point, get into implementation immediately. Do not linger. You don’t have to take anyone’s permission here. You are your own boss! Uncertainty is the name of the game today. Keep adapting and improvising on yourself.
Remember, our true worth and greatness shines when we are able to give our best during our darkest times.
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