Low Self Esteem and Work

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Low Self Esteem and Work 2014-04-24T11:05:58+00:00

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  • #124950

    Post count: 4

    I have been working hard to do my best at a job that I know isn’t a good match for me, cashier in a gas station. I am finding that some days I do well and others not so well at doing the work. When I don’t do so well I then get stressed because I worry about keeping my job and my self esteem drops and I get depressed. Are there any strategies to deal with the emotional side of dealing with ADHD?


    Patte Rosebank
    Post count: 1517

    @Haa1052, that’s always hard for us, because it puts more pressure on us, and the more pressure there is, the more nervous we get, and the more likely we are to screw-up.

    I think the key is to try to see our mistakes as “learning experiences”. Or, if you’re a writer-performer like me, as “material”.

    As long as I can learn something from a mistake or bad experience, it’s not really “bad”.

    I’ve also spent most of my life cultivating the habit of trying to find the funny side of everything. If I can laugh at it (if not in the moment, then later…sometimes MUCH later), I’m in control of it, instead of it being in control of how I feel.

    Here’s an interview with Alice Cooper. In it, he says that making mistakes is important, because they’re the best way to learn. (If only we could remember that, before we beat ourselves up!)



    Post count: 906


    I tried working at a gas station once so I have an idea of the kind of stress you are dealing with. It definitely is not the ideal job for someone with ADHD.

    What shift are you working? Is it a busy/slow/both? And which do you do better with, the busy time or the slow time? And what causes your bad days? Is it worse when you haven’t slept well, or if you haven’t eaten, or just at a certain time of day?

    Identifying the times when you do well and the times when you don’t and the cause can help. That way you can try to improve those bad times. If, for example, you notice that you make more mistakes when you haven’t eaten, then you can try to  eat better before you go to work.

    As for your self esteem, it is hard for us, as Larynxa said. Try not to put too much pressure on yourself and remember that everyone makes mistakes. It’s not your fault, you are doing the best you can. And don’t compare yourself to other people or let other people define who you are. Your self esteem can only be determined by you. Believe in yourself and you will find that you will start to do better.

    My experience has been that it is not likely you will lose your job as long as you are not doing anything really bad, like stealing. Of course, every employer is different. But if there is no indication that they are not happy with your performance then chances are it’s not as bad as you think.


    Post count: 4

    Thank you for your replies, it helps to just have a place there I can chat with others that deal with simular challenges.  Most of the time I am able to not listen to the negative thoughts, but not always yet.  Also, I feel I am getting impatient to start in my new career, I am just finishing a Civil Engineering Tech. Diploma program. I found the program challenging at times, but I enjoy it more now then when I started, so I want to start getting payed to do something I enjoy.  I find most challenging working at the gas station when there are customers non-stop for an hour or two.  I feel I get tired when I don’t get any slow times to rest between customers. I han’t thought to look at if I am hungery when I get overstressed, I will look into that.




    Post count: 846

    I have employees in a situation perhaps similar to yours.  I want my employees to be efficient so that customers don’t get impatient, sociable so that customers will want to come back, and build customer loyalty and sales.  I realize that that can be a lot to expect and that everyone has a bad day occasionally.

    I would say that if you are friendly to customers and don’t make a lot of mistakes costing time or money, you have nothing to worry about.

    One thing I heard once that has stuck with me is that most people think they are working for somebody else.  Not so, you’re working for yourself, selling your services to your employer.  Do the best you can and that ethic will follow you to your ultimate goal.  Think about making the customer smile and by doing so it should get your mind off being stressed.  Think of nice things to say to the customers like “I really like how your spider tattoo looks like its crawling into your ear.”  (You can say this to them even if they don’t have a tattoo.  🙂 )

    You’re not a machine, don’t get stressed because you’re not perfect.  Let us know how it goes.



    Alan Brown
    Post count: 6

    @Heather — your feelings toward yourself are, sadly, very common among us ADDers. I spent decades busting my butt in a career where i just assumed that everybody was smarter than me, or that everybody secretly knew i was a “fraud” waiting to be exposed.

    This is part of the deadly, “Negative Self-Talk” that ADHD coaches are trained to quickly identify and “re-frame”. Here’s a blog about this that also links to a radio interview on Attention Talk Radio about the subject.

    Understand Negative Self-Talk for Natural ADHD Remedy

    I’ll also bet that Rick Green and the TotallyADD team has done a webinar or interview with some expert(s) on the topic. It’s totally worth spending some time reading about. Important that you re-frame your thoughts about yourself…you deserve WAY better!!

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