Anxiety and low self-esteem

Nurses General Nursing


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Tweety, BSN, RN

33,820 Posts

Specializes in Med-Surg, Trauma, Ortho, Neuro, Cardiac.

cwazycwissyRN, excellent!

You have to be willing to let go of some of that. Having high standards is one thing, but as I'm sure you recognize being perfect is not good for you, because no one is.

Realize there is 24 hours in the day, another shift to help you out.

Perhaps your supervisor is really right. You are doing a good job. Belive you me, you'd hear about it you weren't doing a good job.

Don't compare yourself to others, (like your peers who you graduated with.)

In a way, I'm somewhat the same way, when I'm passing on work to another shift, or something happens I get a bit bothered and apologize too much.

Good luck.

Good advice from sjoe. Take care of yourself.


1 Post

juz think dat u can do it.

A Kitty RN

27 Posts

Sounds like you are a nurse to me!! Although you could use an outlet for your stress and EAP was a wonderful suggestion. I have had long standing anxiety problems and never saw a professional about it (probably should have). I am kind of a control freak in regards to myself. I force myself to calm down, take a few deep breaths, step away from the situation for a few moments, and clear my mind. NO ONE IS PERFECT Also, if your manager gives you Kudos then you must be doing a fine job. As nurses, I think we are constantly beating ourselves up because we can't do everything in one shift-- gee, wunder why?! haha

Anyway, just know we understand and we are here for u--but do seek some one-one help------avoid pills if you can


187 Posts

Hi everyone,

Thank you soooo much for all of your kind words.....All of your comments truly make me feel better. I've thought of counseling..but just never tried it I guess. I think having low self esteem is just part of "me". Thinking back, I've always had problems with it. I am trying to get into more activities, etc., when I'm not really helps to take your mind off of some of you said. I guess just knowing that some of you have felt the same way...makes me feel better. Thanks again are all great! I'll keep you updated on how things are going. :)

renerian, BSN, RN

5,693 Posts

Specializes in MS Home Health.

She has this plus a panic disorder and an eating disorder. Paxil is working miracles for the social and panic disorder but not the eating disorder. At least she can go out of the house now.

MIght want to consider it,


Momto3RN, RN

62 Posts

Originally posted by IloveSnoopy

Hi everyone,

Say...did anyone catch the Oprah that was on this afternoon? It was about people and their "social anxiety disorders". I seriously think I have far as work goes. I think a lot of my problem stems from low self esteem. I work on a med/surg floor...and I always feel like I'm doing something wrong. Like last week for example: I had like three IV's I couldn't get started...and I felt soo bad after that....totally worthless. Even with assessing lung sounds....I feel like : "god, am I listening right, am I hearing right?" I'm constantly wondering what the doctors think of me and what my co-workers think of me. I feel like quiting my job sometimes just due to the fact that I don't feel like I'm doing a good enough job as a nurse. I just had a review and my supervisor said that I'm doing a great job..but yet I don't think so. I take every bad situation and dwell on it for weeks, sometimes months even. And then...I see my peers who graduated with or some even after me...working their way up into higher positions... I don't know....I graduated three years ago....I know it's not a super long time ago...but shouldn't some of this "anxiety" of being a good nurse be wearing off by now? Does anyone else ever feel like this or am I alone in this? My thoughts of wanting to be a "perfect nurse" and then feeling like I'm failing at it are consuming me...I think about it all the time. Help......I need your guy's opinion....or maybe just some Xanax..I don't know....anyways...thanks for listening.....

Honey, I could've written this post myself! This is exactly how I've been feeling. I graduated 3 years ago and I've been mostly part-time and prn since then so I could be home with my young children. So I feel like I never have any consistent experience!

It sounds to me like you are a wonderful nurse who takes the job seriously and that's the person I would want taking care of me!!

I try to focus on what I do well and realize that eventually I'll become more confident!! And you will, too!



186 Posts

This was an issue I was going to post on tonight too. I've just started a new job...haven't been to my unit yet but had a calculations test and some IV inservice and felt totally inadequate. I have been in office nursing and psych nursing since school a little over 2 yrs ago. IV's and calculations haven't been in the forefront of my practice. I totally wasn't expecting the test nor was it a big deal to the one giving it but I really panicked inside and just felt horrible about my self. I've wondered the last couples of days if I'm even cut out for this high stress job. I know my doubts stem from low self esteem and is why I haven't pursued med/surg nursing or hospital nursing until now and now it's ambulatory/GI Lab. I'm scared to death and the nervousness and anxiety is closing in on me as my first day on the unit is Friday. I've had problems with anxiety before, so much so, it caused me to get the flight or fight response and my bp skyrocketed and I almost passed out. I do have xanax but don't take it but as the incoming days pass I'm very frightened of having an episode. Just know you're not alone and you got some really good advice from the above posters.


558 Posts

I feel like this all the time. I have never done anything other than LTC with geriatrics and LTC with MRDD since graduating 4 yrs ago. I dont feel like I know nearly enough nor do I feel I have much in the way of experience. I have never made any major mistakes but I still feel like I am a nurse imposter if that makes any sense. I personally advise any students or new grads I come into contact with to go straight into the hospital for the experience. I wish that is what I had done.


1,024 Posts

PM me if you want to talk. Maybe we can get some lunch or liquor (or both...:)) if you'd like. I'm here for you!



187 Posts

Thanks again you guys.....You Rock!!!!

It's amazing to hear that so many people feel the same way that I do. I guess a lot of it stems back to that old nursing school saying: "you learn something new everyday". I think that there are just soooo many damn things to know and be proficient's bound to bring on anxiety. And if you think about it: we are dealing with "real people"'s scary sometimes. I think maybe I'll open a floral shop or something...sounds much more relaxing..LOL. Actually...when it comes down to it...I really DO like my job.....I just wish I could let all of this anxiety, fear of making a mistake, etc. go. One of my sup's told me once though that it is good to have some anxiety.....or not "too big of a head" keeps you and your patients safe. I've seen nurses be Over-confident..and boy were they crappy nurses....they pretended that they knew everything..when actually they didn't have a clue. Now...lastnight..I had a great night...I didn't screw up, nobody crashed on me, etc. When I have good nights.....I come home fairly confident and then "let work go"'s when I have a crappy night...that I dwell, become anxious..etc. I don't know what's wrong with me...I guess I'll just have to keep doing the best i can..that's all I can do. Ok..I'm off to bed...thanks so much everyone for all your comments...I really appreciate it!!


258 Posts

I lovesnoopy,

I hate to admit it, but I do the same thing to myself all the time..

The only time I have gooten a "boost" is when I hear from my co-workers or even my employer that "I'm a darn good nurse".. but even then after that wears off,I'm back in the same rut.. The advice given in the posts are great..but like the old saying goes,"easier said than done."


62 Posts

I feel the same way most of the time.

Especially now that I work in PICU, am fairly new and I feel like I will never know everything the more experienced nurses know. I feel like I will never be confident.

Hugs to you. You will be okay.


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