Beating yourself up destroys confidence others have in you and belief in yourself.

The election of Donald Trump to President of the United States left many of us scratching our heads. Let’s hope the reality is not as frightening as many of us fear.

Idle interest though led me to look at some of his interviews on Youtube and those of past presidents. I came across the famous interview in 1977 between David Frost and Richard Nixon following the Watergate scandal. For those interested the clip can be found here. Nixon v Frost

Nixon famously said, “I let down my friends… and I let down my country.” The self-loathing in his tone and intonation, and in his body-language, was almost palpable. He was obviously a beaten man, disappointed with his own performance and seemingly questioning his own self-worth.

In that state of mind it was difficult to see how he ever have become President of the United States of America. In the circumstances probably understandable.

You can’t get a job if you dislike yourself.

Similarly have you ever bought a product from a salesman who doesn’t like what they are selling? The chances are that you haven’t. Instead, we are much more likely to buy from somebody who is evidently enthusiastic and passionate about their products.

22135079 - disappointed young businessperson sitting on a wooden bench isolated against white background

When people have lost a job their confidence can also take a dip. An acted bravado may become apparent in the belief that appearing to maintain a positive attitude is essential. Trouble is it can be seen through relatively easily.

How can you be passionate and enthusiastic about yourself and your history when your confidence is at a low ebb?

Think about your achievements and re-live them.

When coaching I have encouraged people to think about their achievements in both professional and personal lives. Consider what competencies and emotional intelligence qualities have been shown in those achievements. I also remind people to tell me about who else was involved, what their colleagues’ contributions have been and how they had worked together. Did they have contact with people outside their own organisation and how they reacted to the contribution they were making?

I also encourage people to look carefully at their disappointments but not beat themselves up or become immersed in self loathing or defeatism of which we are often guilty. Self compassion and self worth and still liking ourselves warts and all will not only help people to speak about disappointments or perceived failures openly and honestly but will enable them to talk about what they have learned. Instead of bottling up failures using self compassion they can be examined and explored to demonstrate the ability to learn and humility while maintaining a learning mindset.

Keep repeating the exercise.

The time I spend with people in a coaching session is only relatively short but often people’s body language will change and they will begin to sound more confident and realistic about their career history as we go through this exercise. There is a very real risk though that further rejections and disappointments, in the hunt for a job, may lead to feeling miserable and dejected again.

Perhaps it may be useful to spend a little time each day to practice self compassion and better understand our achievements and look compassionately at when things have not gone so well and instead of beating ourselves up we are able to learn more about ourselves.

Feeling good about yourself does not necessarily provide a magic answer, but I believe it does give you a much better chance of being successful in the interview process..

What do you think?

If you’re open to sharing your experiences and thoughts, or want to share what you’ve learnt with other job-hunters, why not get in touch at



Who am I? A chap living in Nottingham, United Kingdom who perhaps has a much higher level of enthusiasm than ability leading to an interest in many things but mastery of none. A father of three no longer dependent children, or so they tell me, and husband to a one-time nurse who now works with me (or rather I work for). I attempt to take photographs and occasionally fluke half decent shots though thank goodness I no longer have to buy film. I endeavour to practice karate but with advancing years spend more time instructing them participating but actively participate in the more gentle tai chi. Professionally I have spent the last twenty years in recruitment – not always the most highly regarded ‘industry’. For my part I take great pleasure in helping companies to find the right people and a lot of satisfaction out of seeing them thrive and succeed. More recently I have spent a lot of time helping people who have, or fear they may, lose their jobs. For many putting a CV together is so difficult and then finding opportuniteis can be a major challenge. Interviews can be a different problem altogether but with a little help most people can perform a lot better than they otherwise would.

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