Do you know that low self-esteem can sabotage your career success? In a recent article in Forbes Woman, author Laura Sinberg states that people with low self-esteem often unconsciously sabotage their careers. Sinberg quotes Lois Frankel, PhD, author of Nice Girls Don’t Get The Corner Office.

People with low self-esteem often try to remain under the radar screen because they don’t want to be noticed, but especially in this economy, that is the wrong thing to do.

This quote caught my attention because the focus of my coaching for professional women is to help them create visibility and be on the radar screen of key influencers at work. This is critical for career advancement.

The article also states that, in general, we tend to make assumptions about people who exhibit behavior associated with low self-esteem. One common assumption is that they are not very intelligent. We make these assumptions based on the fact that these people seldom speak up in meetings and if they are called on, they are timid and don’t readily express an opinion.

Other self-sabotaging behavior that is associated with low self-esteem is not asking for raises or promotions. It’s easy to see how all this can negatively impact your career.

Sharon Fontain, who is an expert in self-esteem, states that self-esteem can be learned through the practice of positive self talk.

What you’re doing is working with the unconscious mind, which is extraordinarily powerful and extremely stupid. In other words, it is perfectly within your power to fool your unconscious mind, allowing you to banish low self-esteem for good.

Wow! that’s great news. A regular practice of positive self talk can actually boost your self-esteem. If you feel you are in this category and are victim of negative thoughts about yourself and your ability, it’s time that you did something about it before it dramatically affects your career.

Notice when negative thoughts come up and think of a positive thought to replace it. Practice the positive thought over and over, until you can “fool” your brain. For example, “I will never make it in the company” can be replaced with “I am talented and have a great deal to offer this company. I know that I have the capability to succeed at whatever I attempt”. See how it works?

Make a conscious effort to speak up in meetings with confidence, offer your opinion, volunteer for special projects and other initiatives in the company to make yourself more visible.

Lois Frankel recommends you go one step further and fake it.

Fake it until you make it. This will not only convince your superiors, but it will also help you rejigger your thought processes.

What do you think? Does it work to fake it until you make it?

Listen to my Head over Heels Radio interview with Lois Frankel to learn more ways women unconsciously sabotage their careers and advice on how we can modify our behavior to better position ourselves for advancement.