• How to handle toxic people in the workplace to increase your confidence

    Posted on April 15, 2021 by Karen in automatic negative thoughts, compassionate mind, confidence, confidence building, emotional intelligence, happiness, mindfulness, mindfulness for business, mindfulness in the workplace, neuroscience, personal development, positive affirmations, positive thinking, self esteem.



    Does any of this sound like you?

    • I want to reconnect with my creativity, spark and imagination but don’t know how
    • Instead of feeling demotivated and bored at times, I want to feel more focused, passionate and enthusiastic about my work
    • I’d like to achieve even greater success levels in work and relationships
    • I want to become more productive, to procrastinate less, to make smarter use of my time and to consistently meet/exceed my targets
    • Making it to the top of my career is a key priority for me
    • I’d like to enhance my leadership skills, to improve my communication style, to read people more efficiently and to become more emotionally intelligent
    • Obstacles keep holding me back because I’m afraid of not having what it takes to be successful or to follow my ideal career path
    • I’d like to be more decisive

    Well the good news is you are not alone in this, we all feel at least one of these things sometimes…

    Even more good news, Mindfulness and emotional intelligence strategies and tools can really help you to overcome stress, burn out and to develop new/improved business skills too such as –


    • Improved work performance and targets
    • Wiser Decision making
    • Resilience
    • Patience
    • Mental Focus
    • Improved People and Social skills
    • Creativity
    • Skilful Communication
    • Embodied Leadership
    • Confidence
    • Empathy and compassion
    • General well-being
    • Ability to perform better under pressure

    How mindfulness and emotional intelligence can help you to develop more confidence at work

    Walk away from your desk and imagine you are pressing the pause button of a film entitled: “My work life”

    Then, physically step to the right and ask yourself the following questions:
    Why am I feeling under confident?

    For me, the most important first step when confidence building is to ask yourself whether you are demonstrating the behaviours and are following the beliefs outlined in the quotes below

    One “Life is too short to be spending it with the wrong people”

    Two “Surround yourself with the dreamers and the doers, the believers and thinkers but most of all surround yourself with those who see greatness within you, even when you don’t see it yourself”

    Three “Surround yourself with people who champion and encourage you to do new things and who bring out the best in you not the stress in you”
    Four “If you do please everyone you are not making progress”

    If your answer is no, then start doing so now otherwise you may continue to talk yourself out of doing incredible things forever because you’re afraid you’ve got what it takes. This can often happen especially when you share new ideas or ventures with the naysayers in the world.

    You know who I mean, those people who say:


    “you don’t want to do that it’s too risky”

    “you don’t have the skills”

    “you’ll never make it as a successful artist or author that’s for dreamers”

    They also regularly use phrases such as

    “yes but”

    “what if”


    “have you thought about”

    ETC ETC you get the gist?

    Also, remember that these alleged “naysayers” are often concerned and envious that if you make it to the top of your career or you become a highly successful entrepreneur or executive, this might highlight their own fears insecurities and inadequacies. So watch out, they will try all kinds of strategies to hold you back just in case: “you get too big for your boots” or “who do you think you are”


    In other words “success breeds envy”

    An excellent Coach, Lynne Paris, I once worked with coined a delightful phrase for this type of behaviour: “The Cinderella Syndrome” Lynne was an expert naysayer spotter as she encountered hundreds of naysayers when she wrote a play shown in London at age 62. Good for her !!!

    And how about J K Rowling? Before she became a famous Harry Potter author she was continually criticised by people close to her for having an over active imagination.

    Anyhow let’s back to the Cinderella syndrome what Lynne meant by this was: the higher you excel at work, in business or in your personal life the more ugly sisters you will attract.


    (Though I am using the word “sister” in this context I am actually referring to both males and females because it’s rife in both genders).

    Put simply, no matter what you do and how well you do it, there will always be someone there to rain on your red carpet, so it’s important to know how to spot these so called ugly sisters:

    They often display envy when you achieve success, then deny it, and express negativity towards you and your accomplishments.

    They look for the smallest mistake, then attack, never acknowledging any of the positives.

    They’re critical of absolutely everything, are insecure, under confident really even though they often present an assertive and confident facade and are unhappy with themselves to say the least

    And most significantly they are ENVIOUS OF YOU

    Here’s some tips how to deal with these ugly sisters and become more confident

    One I – ignore them

    I appreciate that this is easier said than done what can be helpful as a first step though is begin to ask yourself what do I know?

    I know that their criticism adds no value to my life, if I believe what they say to me, I may end up stuck where I am and not being the best possible version of me to fulfil my dreams and passions

    I also know that it’s important to accept that ugly sisters will always exist because it’s their occupation and I cannot change this.

    Two – don’t take it to heart

    Occasionally, you may experience difficulties identifying constructive criticism and ugly sister behaviour because there may be a grain of truth in their remarks. If this is the case, remind yourself thoughts and opinions are not facts just someone’s version and perception of the world based on their past experiences.

    Three – avoid counter attacking

    This takes up too much time and energy and life’s too short, so don’t give these ugly sisters the satisfaction of getting what they want, ie your attention, they don’t deserve it. Also it this type of behaviour only brings you down to their level and that’s unseemly.

    Four – Dodge apologising and overusing the word sorry

    It’s not unreasonable for you to expect other people to treat you as an equal with respect and dignity and in the manner that they would expect to be treated.

    Apologising and using the word sorry regularly is highly likely to make people take you less seriously and as being somehow inferior to them.

    At its worst, it can lower your confidence levels so hold on to your hard earned self respect, value and integrity. Only say sorry when it is appropriate for example when you make a mistake or when you accidentally bump into someone on the train.

    Five – Stop people pleasing

    According to Psychologist Susan Newman People-pleasers “want everyone around them to be happy and they will do whatever is asked of them to” keep it that way.”

    Often, even if it means abandoning their own needs to meet the needs of others.

    People pleasers yearn for outside validation. Their “personal feeling of security and self-confidence is based on getting the approval of others,” said Psychologist Linda Tillman.Thus, at the core, people-pleasers lack confidence, she said.

    As stated earlier – “If you do please everyone you are not making progress”

    Worst case scenerio – when you’re walking on eggshells trying to please everyone, it’s impossible to be the best you can be and indeed to be yourself.

    So is it worth it? No because you end up bending yourself out of your true shape and continually feel resentful and disappointed because of all the sacrifices you are constantly making.

    Six – Allow yourself to feel flattered

    If people are continually undermining or putting you down know that you are a star shining brightly and that it is a form of confirmation you are doing something right or that matters.

    So, treat how they are behaving towards you as a compliment and remember you wouldn’t know how successful you are if it wasn’t for your entourage of ugly sisters.

    I’ll end with one of my favourite quotes by Fritz Perls Pioneer of Gestalt Therapy


    I do my thing and you do your thing
    I am not in this world to live up to your expectations
    And you are not in this world to live up to mine

    You are you and I am I
    And if by chance we find each other it’s beautiful
    If not it can’t be helped


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