“Just the Facts” Improves Self-Esteem

Dear Dr. Hurd: I used to feel that I wasn’t equipped to survive in the business world. Even as I obtained successes, I still felt like I somehow didn’t deserve them. I eventually concluded this was irrational. What helped me feel better was keeping a file with evidence of my objective successes–praise from others, or my own observations. It helped a lot. Does it seem like I’m on the right track?

Dr. Hurd’s reply:

That’s right. The essence of low self-esteem is a prevailing feeling that you’re a fraud or phony in some major context. It’s a feeling, not reality. Emotions give the illusion of reality; but in your mind, you have to train it for facts to hold sway with this issue. I advise anyone feeling like you once did to spend some time on noting concrete specifics that show your good work and accomplishments. ‘Just the facts’.

There’s really no reason for anyone to believe they don’t belong in the business world. The business world relies upon intelligence, creativity, a willingness to face hard facts, a desire to make a profit and succeed, and a desire to please customers with a product or service you take pride in. Anyone who possesses these qualities, or is committed to cultivating them, belongs in the business world.