Finding Confidence and Self-worth at an Unlikely Time

March 27, 2023 Teddy Mbukha

I had somehow convinced myself that my life would be over the moment I walked out of there, completely devoid of confidence and self-worth. That’s a tad dramatic, but at the time, I didn’t know better; I was so clouded by feelings of self-doubt to see beyond the tragedy (as I would have described it at the time) unfolding right before my eyes. You’re a little lost, so let me dial it back for you.

I Got My Confidence and Self-Worth from Work

By 19, I had a detailed plan of what my life needed to be like; I would have a good job immediately after university, gradually climb the corporate ladder, and live a pretty comfortable life. You’ll notice that my plan didn’t involve a family, hobbies, or anything besides work. This is because I tied my whole sense of worth to professional achievements. I’m not proud to say this, but at the time, I was willing to do anything to keep my job, especially grovel. So, when instead of getting that promotion, I was handed a termination letter, my whole world came crumbling before me. I begged to stay to the point that I was willing to take a pay cut just to keep the position. 

When I walked out of the building, I took a few beats, stared at the building, and made my way home. Just before bed, I began thinking through my day again and thought about the job I had so earnestly begged to keep. I was hit by the realization that I didn’t die. I had convinced myself that I would probably lose my mind if I ever lost my job. But then, I convinced myself it was too soon to tell, so I gave it some time. 

For the following month, I would wake up every day and, like the grandma in that one animation, The Croods, yell out, “Still alive!”

Somehow, this became the beginning of my liberation. I gradually let go of the need for professional validation, started journaling, learned new courses online, began freelancing, and now here I am, years later. I now have hobbies, friends, and a career I’m passionate about, and most of all, I am confident; I found myself and my self-worth; I love myself and have a life.

I Found My Confidence and Self-Worth When I Was Terminated from Work

As humans, struggling with feelings of inadequacy and self-doubt is inevitable, but feeding into it becomes debilitating. That search for validation from external sources is a constricted cage that tugs at your skin and leaves no room for self-discovery. I started finding joy in small things, like waking up, completing a journal entry, reading a chapter, making pancakes from scratch, and so many other mundane activities. 

You might be struggling with your confidence and self-worth, but you can find it in the most unlikely places and times. For me, it happened at the end of a job when I was very unstable due to low self-esteem and heavy dependence on professional validation. I have learned that I hold the power to change my thoughts about myself. I became more confident and self-assured, and with my experiences and words, I try to help others keep an open mind to opportunities for growth that might be disguised as challenges.

APA Reference
Mbukha, T. (2023, March 27). Finding Confidence and Self-worth at an Unlikely Time, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, July 22 from

Author: Teddy Mbukha

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