After years of sharing stories about work with friends, it’s only finally started to dawn on me that self-confidence at work is one of the key factors for success and happiness.
Self-confidence at work is about trusting your decisions and being happy with the work you are delivering. It’s about believing in your opinions and daring to share them, standing up for yourself and taking risks.
When you first start a job it’s normal to feel some uncertainty as you are in a learning process. It doesn’t hurt to ask questions to better yourself and make sure you’re not going down the right path, having no self-doubt at all would be risky.
Everyone self doubts at some point, (even though I met someone who claimed the contrary) it’s normal and I would even say, healthy. We all know that people who never doubt themselves come across as arrogant which is not good either.
But sometimes at work the self-doubt can creep up on you without even realizing it. Little by little you start losing your self-confidence and soon you’re doing things you don’t enjoy or not speaking your opinion because of it.
There can be many reasons this can happen, you could be going through a rough patch personally which has made you a bit more vulnerable, or you could have delivered a bad piece of work and received negative feedback which has given you a blow.
Or in worse situations, you aren’t given the recognition you deserve for your work or you may be having interpersonal problems with co-workers which are blowing your self-confidence.
Ultimately your lack of self-confidence will leave you feeling unhappy and unaccomplished. You will be more afraid of taking risks and therefore less likely to succeed in the workplace, compared to others who are loudly proclaiming their greatness. So here are 6 tips for keeping your self-confidence or identifying moments in which it matters.
- Know who you are
Knowing your strengths and weaknesses and what makes you yourself will help you grow your self confidence. Knowing what you stand for, your values and goals, are defining personality traits that contribute to your uniqueness. Being aware of them and making these conscious choices for yourself builds character and personality.
How have you become the person you are today and what makes you proud of that? Why are you confident about who you have become? Being conscious of this will be your strength in the face of adversity as you will be able to stand by your decisions.
- Believe in yourself
If you know who you are and how you got there, you have to believe in it to be fully confident. It doesn’t have to become arrogance, but believing in who you have become and being proud of it is a strong asset.
- Take risks
Confidence allows you to take risks. Don’t hesitate and just go for it! Risk taking is scary, there’s a reason you feel edgy about it because the word “risk” is looming at you. But it’s also by taking those risks that you will get ahead.
I once read an article stating that men generally took more risks than women and succeeded more because of it. Taking the risks ultimately provides you with more opportunities of doing innovative things, showing your pro-activity and entering spaces that haven’t yet been covered. So go for it!
- Speak your opinion/challenge the status quo
You shouldn’t be afraid to share your opinion with others and challenge the status quo. Sometimes people get used to doing things a certain way, “we’ve always done it this way” becomes and excuse for not trying something new.
You may have a brilliant idea of how to change things, or you may want to suggest a new approach which could be better. Even if you have a bad idea it doesn’t hurt to share it, after all perhaps it will inspire someone and initiate a brainstorm.
If you lack self-confidence you will often pass up opportunities to voice your opinion when you may be having the idea of the year all by yourself. Don’t be afraid to show people your talent.
- Stand up for yourself
If you know you’re worth it, then stand up for yourself! If you believe you have a particular talent or set of skills, if you know you’re good at what you do, then go out there and defend it.
Don’t allow people to sideline you or make light of your abilities. Each person is unique, as is their talent. People may try to trivialize your skills but remember, not everyone can do it as well as you can so go champion yourself!
Again, no need to take it to the extreme of arrogance, but there is no harm in believing that you’re seriously good at something and advocating for it.
- Fake it ’til you make it
A piece of advice that I have received, which I find hard to apply but see the value in. I once read an article that said that what you reflect is what you receive. Therefore if you are projecting self-confidence, people will give it back to you and more naturally trust you. This, in turn, will allow you to feel more self-confident.
The truth in this piece of advice lies more in learning to project what you would like to feel/achieve, rather than lying to pretend you’re great at something when you’re not. Use it in moderation and it can also help boost your self-confidence.
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