Lack of self-esteem nearly stopped Robbie’s success

If Robbie only had known what to do to overcome her low self-esteem…

Robbie was a very skilful musician. She played the piano in all imaginable ways. Trained classically, any old hero from Mozart, Bach to Schubert was a piece of cake for her. She loved jazz and recently started with Blues and had done a few jam sessions. And she absolutely loved music. When she played her soul came to life and she forgot who she was, where she was and what she did. She was gone with the fairies on the flow of the notes.

One day she received a letter.

A letter that could change her life.

A letter that she put aside and decided not to pay attention to.

Two days her friend Ronnie came over for a drink. She noticed the letter, asked what it was about and Robbie shrugged her shoulders, saying: ‘It’s nothing. You can read it if you want to.’

And Ronnie did.

She jumped and shouted, punched the air, hugged her friend, had tears in her eyes and was over the moon. Meanwhile, Robbie had shrunk and sat as a tiny little mouse in her chair. ‘Rabbit in the headlights’- eyes, nodding her head.

‘I can’t do it’, she mumbled. ‘Absolutely can’t.’

How could it be that the reaction of the two friends to the same letter was so different?

The answer? It is all about confidence and self-esteem.

The letter mentioned a series of occasions where they had heard Robbie play and they wanted her to start working for their event company. The events ranged from parties and gatherings from 100 to a few thousand guests and they wanted her to perform in different settings: on the stage of a theatre, in the background of a dinner and in spontaneous jam sessions. Some musicians who started their career with this entertainment company had made it in the big world and it was a brilliant opportunity for anyone who dreamed of a career in music.

And the only thing Robbie really wanted was to play music. So, this was the best that could happen to her.

Or not?

Robbie was a confident musician. The moment she touched the keys of her piano she was in her bubble. Feeling alive and not noticing anything but music around her.

However, her confidence was undermined by her low self-esteem: the opinion she has of herself. Unfortunately, Robbie didn’t value herself, she didn’t rate her skills, was very critical of herself and feared other people’s comments on her performances. She was continuously beating herself up about what she did and especially what she ‘could do better’.

Even after the occasional performances in small and safe surroundings, she couldn’t take on board that people admired her and loved what she did.

Did Robbie miss her opportunity due to lack of self-esteem?

Definitely not. Because Ronnie took her to me. And Robbie and I worked together on building up her self-esteem, changing the relationship with herself, making her less scared of the opinion of others, appreciating who she was and valuing her talents.

Robbie’s low self-esteem is very similar to imposter syndrome. The situation where a little voice is constantly telling you that: ‘Even though it looked/sounded good, it had nothing do with your skills. You were just lucky. They were not too critical. Wait till you discover how crap you are. Wait till they see your true colours….’

Tips to overcome low self-esteem

  1. List daily three positive achievements
  2. Don’t allow the critical voice to come in
  3. Be open to receive and trust positive feedback
  4. Change how you speak to yourself – from negative to positive
  5. Don’t compare yourself to others
  6. Don’t set ridiculously high standards for yourself
  7. Be kind to yourself

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