10 ways to build your confidence at work
It is estimated that roughly 85% of people worldwide (adults and adolescents) have low self-esteem. Statistics show that almost 60% of men and 2/3 of women are not confident in their ability to do their job!
Confidence is not constant
Sometimes we all experience a lack of confidence in various social situations and interactions, both in private life, and at work. When we feel unsure about our abilities, we start conducting an internal, self-critical and negative dialogue, blaming ourselves when things go wrong, and we become over-sensitive to criticism by others.
Lack of self-confidence harms our lives, holding us back from progress and from reaching our full potential. The good news is that we can train our brains and change the way we think about ourselves.
Building confidence can benefit in many areas of your life: the better you feel about yourself, the more open you are to changes, excited about new opportunities, and ready for challenges or risk. The process of transformation is not easy, but it is certainly possible. Since our brains are wired to see the bad first, it requires us a conscious action to notice the positive.
So, what can you do to create a winning mindset?
Here are 10 ways that can help build confidence:
1. Build on your talents, skills, and resources – identify them carefully and start using them consciously. Slowly, step by step your insecurities will start decreasing, and your confidence will grow. Observation and writing down all your resources are key in this process. This will allow you to become more aware of your strengths and what serves you better in life. Start now and see how powerful this awareness is.
2. Stop focusing on what others think of you. You have no idea what is in their heads. They may have their problems or self-doubts (look at the statistics above!). So do not make assumptions. Instead, go ahead with your actions and focus on what is important for you, here and now.
3. Leverage your current strengths in one area to build confidence in another. Example: If you know you have great organisational and analytical skills at home (because you are an expert in planning family vacations), realise that and try to further develop these skills at work. You can start mentoring others who need help in areas you are good at. Share your expertise and experience with those who ask for your help, it will raise your confidence like a rocket.
4. Identify your values and connect them to your day-to-day activities. Make conscious choices, based on your values. Be honest with yourself – when you follow what is important for you, you respect yourself. This way you start trusting yourself because you have your internal compass, and you feel integrated as a human.
5. Challenge your unhealthy thinking. Pay attention how you speak to yourself. Instead of repeating: “I am hopeless, I never get things done”, see what you can do about it. Create a plan and start implementing it step by step. Take responsibility to change what you do not like. Teach your brain to act differently. Consciously create a new path to confidence. Nobody else will do it for you.
6. Go into action to see your abilities and empower yourself: Make a plan for every day, week, month, prioritise your tasks and tick the boxes after – this gives a great feeling of ability.
7. Do not forget to praise yourself: sum up in the evening three to five things you have done well during the day. Even if you didn’t achieve something you planned, reward your effort. It does not matter if you achieve what you wanted or fail. In any case, you always win because you have learned.
8. Never compare yourself to others – comparing is poison. Look instead for what makes you unique and what you can bring to the world as your own specific and precious contribution.
9. Ask for support. If you have a difficult task that stresses you too at work, think about the person you could talk about it with. Discussing all options will increase your confidence. When we say things out loud, we start seeing things clearer. This way the fears decrease, making space for new ideas and solutions.
10. Be with people who believe in you and support you. They are your secure base. They know you, they know your capacities and talents, and they wish you well. Get in touch with them when you feel weak or insecure. With their positive approach and faith in you, you will regain your motivation and get back on track.
And what is your best way to empower yourself when your confidence falls?