In today’s competitive job market, confidence is a trait that can make it or break it for an individual.
This of course should not be confused with overconfidence, which will most likely only present you as arrogant and haughty, which is not something you want – unless of course it is, then no judgement here, my friend. Confidence can be great for any individual in both their personal and professional lives – it gives you the boost you need to have your own voice, be yourself, and it eliminates some of that fear and doubt everyone experiences on a regular basis.
Having a healthy level of self-confidence can be especially useful in working environments, where it’s very easy to feel intimidated, inadequate, and insecure, which in turn only suppresses your full potential or restricts growth. Despite confidence being such a natural trait to have, a study in February 2021 revealed that out of 2000 participants: 2 thirds of the women and 60% percent of the men admitted that they constantly struggle with work related confidence, preventing them from leading lucrative careers.
Sound all too familiar? Stick around for a few tried-and-true tips on how you can boost your confidence at work and kick some butt!
- Fake It till You Make It
Yup! You’d be surprised what this can do for you. It’s quite normal to feel under-confident at work, especially if you are taking on a task you are unfamiliar with, or if you are new to the job. Still, thinking positively and acting confident can actually work wonders for nerve-racking moments like these. Don’t just act the part, you have to look the part too. Good posture, eye contact, dressing well, and self-assured smiles are the way to go. You’re not only fooling those around you and getting them to trust in your abilities, but you’re fooling yourself as well. You will soon realise that you are perfectly capable and skilled, and after a while, you won’t have to put on an act.
- Ask Questions
This one requires a little less panache, so you can put away the acting skills for now. Asking questions at work can be a very stressful act for some people, especially if the superior is intimidating or discouraging. Understandably so. However, attempting to fulfil a task without clarifying or fully understanding the brief, will further affect your confidence as you work on it and may lead to unfavourable outcomes. Remember, no one has all the answers and there is absolutely nothing wrong with questioning and requesting clarification. So, don’t be shy! Take a deep breath and question away. Checking all the boxes will boost your confidence and will also show your superiors that you are meticulous, making an initiative to do your very best, and vocal. All the good stuff.
- Focus On Your Strengths
This modern world has instigated a global pattern of comparison, low self-esteem, and insecurity. People have forgotten the simple fact that every individual is unique and talented in their own way. As cliché and cheesy as that sounds, it is simply the truth. So, why dwell on what you don’t have or what you wish you had, when you can focus on what you do have and what you are perfectly capable of? Always try to focus on your strengths and never put yourself down – your self-confidence will naturally shine through. This also ties in with maintaining a positive mindset: look on the bright side of ever situation, cut the negative self-talk, learn from your mistakes instead of beating yourself up about them. Switching your perspective of your work life from negative to positive is a sure-fire way of boosting confidence, because nearly nothing will faze you.
p.s. Every day is an opportunity to learn new things or grow as an individual. If you saw a colleague with an admirable skill and you wished you had that, what’s stopping you from picking up that skill? You don’t just have to focus on your strengths, you can build on them too.
- Challenge Yourself
Don’t you love that feeling when you do something you never thought you could do? This is a great way to boost your self-confidence. Even the smallest challenges can sometimes feel like a big win. Take tip two for example, asking questions at work. This small act can trigger anxiety for some people, but what if you challenged yourself to ask a question? A little challenge and competition are part of human nature, it can be rewarding and fulfilling. Think about the sense of accomplishment that would follow you asking a question. If that interaction goes well, it will also encourage you to ask more questions moving forward. Challenging yourself to try something new or to overcome your doubts and fears, is a great way to push yourself out of your comfort zone and build confidence. You never know what you can achieve until you try.
- Go With Your Gut
Admittedly, it is always easier to follow the crowd or to do what is acceptable, but do you ever get that churning feeling that makes you stop and think? That’s your gut giving you clues, signs – listen. Confidence often comes from being honest with yourself and leading a life based on your values and beliefs. If you are changing yourself to fit your work environment, doing something you don’t enjoy, or suppressing your potential to get along with colleagues who are unsupportive, then your confidence will surely diminish. If you feel dispirited, it might be time to consider looking for another job where you are more comfortable, appreciated, and true to yourself.
Already feeling like a new person? Wait till you actually try these tips out at work! Confidence is empowering and bolstering and utilising it at your workplace will present you as someone who is capable, poised, and equable. You got this!
*Queue in We Are the Champions by Queen*