10 Tips to Boost Your Confidence at Work
It is common, especially for young people just starting a new career or job, to feel unsure of themselves. This problem is even worse for women and may follow you throughout your career. However, this doesn’t have to be true. You can improve your self-confidence by incorporating some easy practices into your daily routine. Let’s get started!
Tips to Increased Confidence
1. Be curious! This is a great trait to have and express at work and bosses love it! Be interested in what projects the company has going on and what people are working on. Be willing to try new things and develop new skills. It not only will make you more valuable in the company, but this will help you to feel better about your place in the company and to be more confident.
2. Ask questions. This goes hand in hand with #1 above. Asking questions shows you’re interested and may help you to learn something new which will not only impress your bosses but will also build your confidence.
3. Learn from the people around you. No matter who they are or what position they hold, everyone has strengths that you can learn from. Maybe Mary is good at making small talk, John is good at expressing himself at meetings, and Whitney writes great emails. They can all help you to learn something important that can help to boost your skills and your confidence.
4. Pay attention to the messages that you’re giving yourself through your self-talk. This is something that I talk about a lot with clients, but that’s because it’s important! If you have a habit of constantly putting yourself down, then your confidence will suffer from it. Try to catch yourself when this happens and turn the thought into something more positive.
5. Learn a new skill. And this can be any new skill whether it is related to your work or not. Just the process of learning something new will help you to feel good about yourself.
6. Notice when you do something right and give yourself a pat on the back. This can feel very awkward when you first start, but I believe it’s really important for you to take the time to praise your success. It doesn’t have to be a big celebration or even something that anyone knows about, but you need to take some time to celebrate when you accomplish something. This will help keep your motivation high and also build your confidence.
7. Praise your effort, not your skills. I’ve been reading a lot about this lately, and although most of the studies use children as their subjects, I feel fairly confident we can extrapolate this to us as adults as well. The logic goes like this: when you praise your skills (“I did really good! I must be smart!”), you become focused on doing well all the time which limits you to only doing things that you know you will do well at. If, however, you praise the effort, (“I tried really hard on that and did well!”), you will gain satisfaction from trying harder. This means you will try new and challenging things which, as we’ve already learned, can help to improve your confidence.
8. Remember past successes. Many of us have this bad habit of discounting the things we did right, while hyper-focusing on the mistakes we’ve made. This tends to lower your confidence in your abilities and in yourself. If instead, you take a moment or 2 to remember a time when you succeeded, you can get a boost to your confidence and self-esteem. And really, this is a quick exercise that you can do any time and any place to give yourself a quick confidence boost!
9. Look the part. I think we’ve all heard the old adage that you need to dress for the job you want, not the one you currently have. But this goes beyond what you wear and how you groom yourself. Try to stand tall and have good posture. Maintain good eye contact when you’re talking with someone. Smile. Speak in a confident tone, neither too loud nor too soft. This not only changes the way others think about you but also how you feel about yourself.
10. Stop using qualifiers in your speech. This includes things like, “What do I know?”, “I’m not really sure if this is correct or not, but…”, “I may be wrong, but this is what I think…”, or “I don’t know if this makes sense, but…”. These types of statements broadcast to others that you don’t know what you’re talking about and that no one needs to take you seriously. If you find yourself saying something like this, try to stop yourself. It’s probably become a habit to talk like this, so you won’t change all at once, but if you stick with it, you will be able to break this habit.
How To Use These Tips
I think the best way to tackle this is to start with one thing to work on and go slow. Go through the list above and find the thing you’d like to start on first. Spend a few days to a week noticing the patterns you currently have in your life. For example, for #6, do you notice at all when you accomplish what you’ve set out to do? Or do you tend to minimize your successes? Then, when you know your pattern, you can begin to make small incremental changes. Maybe a good first step will be to notice your successes so you can plan to spend a few minutes at the end of each day reviewing what happened throughout your day and seeing when and where you succeeded. Once you’re fairly confident with that, you can start praising yourself when you do something right! With practice, this new behavior will become just as ingrained as your original habit, only healthier!
Another thing to remember is to be kind to yourself as you go through this process! Change does not happen quickly for anyone. It takes time and practice and will go smoother if you encourage yourself along rather than noticing all your mistakes along the way!
Although these tips are written to be used in a work environment, anyone can use them for any aspect of their life. And if you’d like help with your journey to improved self-esteem and confidence, contact me at the link for self-esteem counseling. I’d love to hear from you.