Confidence comes naturally from success, but success comes only to those who are confident
You may lack confidence at work for a variety of reasons.
Maybe your employer’s expectations are too high, or you are in a job/department that requires skills you do not have. Perhaps you have a new boss, or you feel threatened by your colleagues — your work environment changed, or you are your worst critic.
These and a host of other factors can impact your self-confidence, leaving you with a feeling that you’re unable or unqualified to do your job.
Unfortunately, at some point in our career, most of us have had to deal with a lack of confidence.
Truth is, no one is born with confidence. Somehow, in the corporate world, our confidence either depletes or grows over time as we make mistakes or excel in our tasks.
However, the decisions we make on a daily basis, how we react to criticism, and our ability to gain experience and knowledge can spell the difference between self-confidence and self-doubt in the workplace.
You can grow confidence at work if you apply the following tips:
1. Stay focused on yourself
Do not expend your energy worrying about what others think of you.
Regardless of the politics, non-productive office manoeuvres, or what the rumour mills say, channel your energy into doing time-honoured productive work and striving for success in the workplace.
2. Protect your energy
Do not go around fixing everyone’s problem. What do you think happens if you view your colleagues or clients as resourceful persons who can fix their issues?
You’d be better able to channel your energy into more productive ventures that will positively impact you and your confidence in the workplace.
3. Identify your strengths and weaknesses — and capitalize on them
Getting clear on your strengths and finding ways to integrate them into your everyday life is one of the best ways to build confidence.
When you make decisions and carry out tasks from your strengths, you will be positively engaged and energized.
If there are weaknesses that impact your strength, consider creating a plan to eliminate or minimize them.
Obsessing over your weaknesses will do no good, but by making a diligent effort to address and overcome them, you will enjoy increased confidence.
4. Challenge yourself
Achieving tasks you didn’t think possible is a great way to boost confidence.
Look out for assignments and projects that allow you to leverage your strengths and take on projects that challenge or stretch you.
You can do this by trying out something new, even if you are afraid or unsure. Take the needed baby steps, but gradually immerse yourself in the new activity or project and try to manage it from there.
Refrain from criticizing your performance too early or comparing your achievement to someone who has been in the business for a longer period of time.
5. Develop a positive attitude
A positive attitude does necessarily mean being “happy”. It can also mean being resilient.
Rather than spending time discussing a specific problem, focus on how you can provide solutions.
Good news is, employees are drawn to those with a positive attitude, and it will even rub off on your boss, ultimately projecting your confidence as you strive to make positive energy a ‘personal brand’.
6. Be decisive
Do not prattle. Eliminate responses like “uhm”, “I think”, or “I feel” from your lexicon.
Look at the data before you, review the available options, and provide a response.
Do not let your decisions to be determined strictly by the committee. Be a decision maker. This will go a long way to boost your confidence in the workplace.
7. Set realistic goals and trumpet your successes
Set measurable goals so you can track your performance and progress.
Pen these down. Be realistic, be specific, and set a date for the completion of your project, including the benefits package when you complete the goal.
When meeting your set goals, celebrate the win! Acknowledging your success and progress is a huge confidence booster. Write down your successes so you can look back at them when your confidence takes a hit.
Always remind yourself of your abilities, look back at your bright intentions, and focus on your goals moving forward.
8. Monitor your successes
Keep track of your daily successes. You can create a to-do list as you’d be more aware of your constant accomplishments when you cross tasks off the list.
You can also keep a file dedicated for the ‘storage’ of your successes; here, you can record milestones reached, personal notes on challenges overcome, kudos from bosses, thank you letters, congratulatory messages, and recognition from inside and outside your workplace.
9. Get testimonials
Having a neutral person assess your performance is a great way to boost your confidence and personal brand.
A strong personal brand will help your self-confidence in the workplace.
10. Know that you could feel threatened at times
No matter how much effort you put in, you have to accept this will happen.
If you are on the receiving end of a mean comment from your boss and this affects your confidence, breath. Breathing is a great confidence tool that will help you relax and push the pause button.
Give yourself 24 to 48 hours to recover from the episode before responding or making crucial decisions.
11. Self-confidence promotes a good work ethic
Self-confidence won’t come overnight.
By working hard to build a strong personal brand, your belief and self-confidence will be given a massive lift.
However, if you have worked with the tips above but continue to struggle in your workplace, you may need to change your work environment to one that promotes personal growth and career advancement.
e27 publishes relevant guest contributions from the community. Share your honest opinions and expert knowledge by submitting your content here.
Send in your scoop to firstname.lastname@example.org