Self-confidence is extremely important in almost every aspect of our lives, yet so many people struggle to find it. Sadly, this can be a vicious circle: people who lack self-confidence can find it difficult to become successful.
After all, most people are reluctant to back a project that’s being pitched by someone who was nervous, fumbling, and overly apologetic.
On the other hand, you might be persuaded by someone who speaks clearly, who holds his or her head high, who answers questions assuredly, and who readily admits when he or she does not know something.
Confident people inspire confidence in others: their audience, their peers, their bosses, their customers, and their friends. And gaining the confidence of others is one of the key ways in which a self-confident person finds success.
Wouldn’t it be helpful if you could boost confidence in your skills and abilities in the workplace? Confident people tend to work more happily, and are unafraid to go for promotion or take on new challenges.
The good news is that self-confidence really can be learned and built on. And, whether you’re working on your own confidence or building the confidence of people around you, it’s well-worth the effort!
Here are ten tips you can use at work to boost confidence in yourself.
Focus on your strengths
Studies have shown that a good way to boost confidence is to focus on your strengths rather than your weaknesses. Accept what you already do well, and make an effort to refine your better qualities. It’s a great confidence boost to do something excellently rather than adequately.
Speak about your own successes
It’s OK to let people know when you get a win, at least in small doses. That’s not normally true with friends or spouses in daily life, because it sounds like bragging. Yet, you can build your own confidence by pointing out, in a matter-of-fact way, that you were the one who accomplished something for the company. It makes you more confident because you get into the habit of self-rewards and self-acknowledgement.
Don’t be afraid of mistakes
Practice is the cornerstone of success. But it’s not only the practice – it’s also correcting mistakes along the way. Every time you complete a task, ask yourself how you could improve on it even more the next time you do it.
Bounce the criticism
Here’s a technique to try when you face criticism that zaps your confidence. If you hear something negative that just isn’t true, before dwelling on it and letting it destroy what you believe about yourself, just reject it out of hand. Try thinking of something more positive and remind yourself about the skills you do have. The reason this works is because it’s the brain cycles you waste on something negative that tends to lower confidence.
Learn new skills
There is always room for improvement, and learning new skills will not only enhance proficiency at your job, but will also boost confidence. Watch what other people do successfully, and copy how they do it. Attend seminars designed to help you hone your skills and become a better worker. Pick useful skills such as time management, customer service, and productivity, or learn something new that will help specifically with your job.
Personal training helps build confidence because it goes right to the source of the problem. You might feel ill-equipped at work and hesitant because you don’t have the proper training. Fortunately, that’s easy to correct. Find online courses in your field or go to a seminar and start growing in your capabilities to counteract any feelings of inadequacy.
Say what you think
I’m not recommending you avoid having a filter for what you say at meetings and just chime in with whatever comes to your mind. Yet, a lack of confidence is often a bottleneck that keeps you from saying what you really think. Uncork that confidence blocker. By stating your view in a meeting, you are building confidence because at least you can see the reactions to your viewpoint and adjust as needed.
Beware of the negative self-talk
No-one ever got better at anything by beating themselves up. Talk to yourself kindly, and encouragingly, rather than ragging on yourself for making mistakes. A positive mindset will help you learn more easily, which will boost confidence.
Sometimes the very language we use limits us. If you’re walking around all day saying “I can’t…” you’ll find that you are closing your mind to solutions. Instead ask yourself, “How could I…?” Finding effective solutions will boost confidence greatly. Many people place unnecessary limitations on themselves at work, by using the word “but” in their communication. Stop saying “but” for a while and notice how you can get more done if you make an effort, rather than making excuses.
Always be seeking knowledge
A sure-fire way of being more certain of what you’re doing is to learn more. Read up on the latest research to enhance your knowledge. Knowing how and why certain practices and processes work can boost confidence in your ability to do them.
Read more books, watch more TED talks, attend more seminars. It’s easy to go overboard, and spouting your knowledge too often can be a confidence killer when people who have greater knowledge on the subject start debating with you, but knowing what to do about a complex issue or problem can help you gain confidence. Confidence grows when you act on what you know.
Never be afraid to ask questions when you don’t know something. Doing a task incorrectly because you don’t fully understand it is not a good way to boost confidence. If you’re ever unsure of how something should be done, ask someone else what you need to do. Additionally, don’t go about a project without fully understanding the brief. Better than messing it up and lowering your confidence, ask for clarification of what precisely is required.
Focus on your achievements
It’s difficult to boost confidence if you’re bemoaning what you don’t do well. Remind yourself of all the successful projects you’ve done to boost confidence in your abilities at work. Did you meet a tight deadline? Did you manage to turn a difficult project around? Did your boss praise one of your ideas? Recalling successful times at work is a better way to boost confidence instead of constantly focusing on the negatives.
Fake it until you make it
When approaching a new task or a fresh challenge, it is normal to feel under-confident. If you’re starting a new job, you can’t be expected to know exactly what you’re doing right from the start. But if you put on a positive frame of mind and act confidently, you’ll be surprised how far that will take you. Not only will other people trust in your abilities, but you’ll start to realize that you are a capable person with many skills to offer.
There’s nothing worse for your self-esteem than taking yourself too seriously. Of course you want to do a good job, but you can also have fun while you’re doing it. Learn to laugh at your setbacks and mistakes, and take criticism with good humor – you’ll be amazed how being more light-hearted boosts your confidence and helps you improve yourself.
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