In short, many!!
But let’s start by considering what we will avoid.
When we are continually dragged down by low self-esteem and low self-confidence the impact is much wider than our work; it affects our whole life!
Biologically, our bodies set-up defence mechanisms against infection to keep us healthy, but the prolonged stress caused by poor self-image counteracts those mechanisms and renders us more susceptible to infection.
In addition, prolonged secretion of hormones and other natural chemicals which usually help us maintain good health, become imbalanced all over the body.
- We suffer skin rashes and conditions such as eczema
- Our breathing suffers and we can precipitate asthma
- The lining which protects our stomach from the acid it contains erodes and eventually the acid digests our stomach tissues leading to ulcers
- Other digestive disorders
- Heart conditions
- Increased risk of stroke
- High blood pressure
- … etc.
The emotional drain can
- Lead to bouts of low mood
- Precipitate full-blown depressive illness
The severe lack of confidence affects everything we do …
- We become less inclined to try anything new (or even continue doing what we are doing)
- We hide ourselves away as a defence mechanism, trying to avoid the possibility of anything else that may reinforce the low self-image and pain we feel
- We become less inclined to go out, either for exercise or to be sociable.
So the detrimental effects can be catastrophic on a personal and professional level.
Confident people with a good level of self-esteem are less prone to the above list of horrors (although as with all things, over-confidence and inflated levels of self-importance can also be detrimental to our own health and the health of others).
When we are confident, we are more likely to
- Think clearly
- Contribute ideas to discussions and meetings
- Be able to speak candidly about serious issues affecting us or our workplace
- Help each other
- Be more creative and innovative.
Creativity and innovation are clearly more complex entities than simply being a function of our self-confidence or self-esteem. They involve different patterns of thinking and assembly of ideas, but they are much more likely to occur where we can interact with others, openly, candidly, confidently.
In my next post I’ll be looking at a few ways in which we can start to build self-esteem in others and how that affects our living and working environments.