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  • Writer's pictureGeorgina Sturmer

How to rebuild your confidence after leaving a toxic workplace

A toxic workplace can leave a lasting imprint on us, in the same way as an unhealthy relationship or a traumatic experience. I spoke to Yahoo News about how to rebuild your confidence after leaving a toxic workplace. Click here to read their article in full, or read on to see the rest of what I had to say.

When we’re in a toxic workplace, we often feel trapped or silenced. Maybe we’ve been on the receiving end of unfair or damaging criticism. Or perhaps we have had to stand by while others have been treated badly. When we’re stuck in an environment like this, we often react by suppressing our feelings. Keeping our head down and doing what we need to do to keep our job. That can mean that sometimes it’s only after we have left that we begin to take stock of the impact that it’s had on our physical and emotional wellbeing.

If we’ve been surrounded by negativity or criticism in a toxic workplace, we often internalise these messages and judgements. These leaves us lacking in confidence or self-esteem, even when we have escaped the negative environment.

If we’ve felt a need to keep silent, or hide our true selves in a toxic workplace, then we become accustomed to hiding away, or wearing a ‘mask’. This can make it difficult for us to feel safe to have a voice or to show our vulnerability.

How can you rebuild your confidence after you've left a toxic workplace? Find ways to remind yourself that you’re not there any more. This might sound strange, but sometimes our minds feel as if they are stuck somewhere, even if we have liberated ourselves from that environment. Think about what you might need to do to keep yourself in the present. This might involve calming techniques, like breathing or grounding, or using positive affirmations to support how you feel about yourself. Reflect on the workplace environment that you’ve left, and think about what you need to do in order to avoid falling into the same situation or relationship in life or in your next job. Consider what boundaries you need to have in place to make sure that you control how you are treated, and how you let other people’s words or actions affect you. Find an outlet for your negative feelings or experiences. Voice them to a loved one, or a mental health professional. Consider a creative outlet like journaling or drawing. This can help us to understand what we have been through and support us to be kind to ourselves.

Keen to explore more? In counselling we can take a deeper look at your feelings and how you cope with the world around you. Click here to contact me, or click here to book a 30-minute introductory call.

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