Self-doubt can kill your confidence and give you 101 reasons why you’re not good enough for anything or anyone. For healthcare workers, a poor self-image can hurt one's physical and mental health as well as negatively impact the way they work and care for patients.
If you are struggling with low self-esteem as a CNA, here are seven ways you can boost the way you see yourself:
1. Identify what made you see yourself as being not good enough, and beat it.
No one wants to feel bad about themselves, but there are circumstances where you may give in to the horror of your past mistakes or listen to another's bad opinion of you. For some reason, you concluded that others are better and luckier than you.
So, forget the errors you made in the past, but keep the lessons to reflect on. Take each day as another chance to learn and get stronger. Do not beat yourself up repeatedly over what cannot be undone.
2. Choose wisely who you listen to.
Bullies do what they do best: pull others down and make them feel bad. And then, there are others who are actually on your side and build you up. On your worst days, you may have no one nearby to tell you that you’re doing right, so let your inner voice remind you!
It's a matter of who you choose to listen to. It’s a difficult choice to make, but remember that whatever you listen to the most will win over your thinking, which brings us to the next point . . .
3. Change your mindset.
No one can do this for you. If you’re frequently jumping to the wrong conclusions about yourself, stop. Make a conscious effort to quit downplaying your positives and do some uplifting self-talk.
This may be a tough task, especially if you have been ruminating lately. Ruminating means thinking over and over about an upsetting situation and the details that led to it, and then beating yourself up instead of looking for a solution.
Instead, make a list of your good qualities as a nursing assistant and as a person, and dwell on those, essentially replacing rumination with positive self-talk. Give yourself credit with every little accomplishment.
4. Stop comparing yourself to other people.
If you do, you'll tend to see ways they’re “better” than you. People generally put their best foot forward and want others to see their best side, not the reality of their own messy lives. So, try to focus on your own strengths, goals, and ambitions.
5. Consider the image you’re presenting.
Along with feeling burned out, you may not be looking your best. Take a second to see if you’re scrubs have gotten a bit wrinkled, or your shoes are filthy. When you see yourself put together well, you can feel positive about giving others your best self. Radiate those feel-good-about-myself vibes. Your self-esteem will thank you!
6. Focus on doing things that make you happy.
Doing your favorite hobby, eating a slice of your favorite cake, spending a night out with friends, singing in the shower . . . wherever your happy place is, spend some time there, and you'll find it's now a little easier to be kind to yourself.
7. Focus on solutions, not problems.
You were reprimanded because your patient fell while on your watch, and you (understandably!) feel bad. For a little while, as you reflect on your mistake, that’s okay. But after, avoid ruminating and focus on finding ways to avoid the same incident in the future.
When self-doubt starts to get the better of you while you work as a nursing assistant, stop the negative thoughts in their tracks as early as possible to prevent them from ruining your self-esteem and making a permanent mark on your mood. Remember. before you can effectively take care of others, you must be kind and compassionate to yourself—and know how to embrace your own strengths!
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