One of the most important things you can do for your career is to build confidence in yourself. When you feel good about yourself, it shows in your work. Self-confidence doesn’t just happen, though. You have to make a conscious effort to build it. Some people are naturally confident, but many of us have to work at it every day. You can build self-confidence through practice and hard work. The more you work on it, the more confident you’ll become.
What is Self-Confidence?
Self-confidence is the belief in your ability to succeed at something. It’s an inner feeling of trust in your capabilities and attitude that encourages positive thinking, ambition, and optimism. Self-confidence is the belief that you can do something even when there is fear of failure.
Why is Self-Confidence Important?
Self-confidence is important because it allows you to approach any situation with a positive attitude, believing in your ability to succeed. If you are confident in yourself, then this will carry over into many aspects of your life and make you feel better.
When someone feels good, it becomes easy to be productive. People with low self-confidence tend not to reach their potential as they would rather stay anchored firmly on the “safe” side.
The Benefits of Self-Confidence at Work
Self-confidence makes it easier for you to lead other people. Self-assured people are more inclined to speak up than sit back. They often make their presence felt, whether in meetings, one-on-one conversations, or when making presentations.
Confident people usually gain promotions to higher-level jobs because they exhibit strong leadership qualities. But if you don’t have self-confidence, you may not share your ideas and will be overlooked for promotion.
Also, self-confidence is good for networking. If you come off as someone who knows a lot in your industry, people will want to talk to you. People with low self-confidence are usually negative about themselves and what they can do, which is counterproductive when networking.
How to Gain Confidence in Yourself?
There are many ways you can do this. Here are 19 examples of building self confidence at work:
1. Believe in Yourself
If you are going to build your confidence, first believe in yourself. When you do, it will show in your actions.
No one is perfect, and everyone has a story to tell of bad days. But it is in those situations that make us who we are today.
Think about what you learned from those experiences, and remind yourself that each step forward is progress — no matter how small it may be.
2. Be Realistic and Adjust your Attitude
Don’t be too hard on yourself when you make mistakes, and it’s equally important not to be too easy on yourself either. You can’t be perfect. You can’t control everything.
When you accept that you are not perfect, and things will go wrong sometimes, it will be easier to have confidence in yourself. We all have weaknesses and insecurities, so we should not expect ourselves to be perfect when everyone else is not either.
3. Learn to Take Risks
We all crave success when it comes to work, but not many people want to take the necessary steps that lead them there. Taking a risk often means putting yourself out there—and that can be scary.
For example, if you are unhappy with your current position, telling your boss that you are ready for a promotion can be scary. And it might not always pan out the way you want it, but it is better than regretting not trying at all.
Taking risks is often the only way of getting things to happen and making your dreams come true. With each risk comes a potential for reward.
Your ultimate goal, after all, is to succeed at work and in your career. To get there, you have to put yourself out there and take some chances too.
4. Ask for Constructive Criticism
If you want to get better at anything, whether it is learning a language or figuring out how to do your job more efficiently, you need to ask for feedback from the right people.
Just keep in mind that not everyone will give you good feedback or tell you what you need to hear.
But it is okay to ask for help and constructive criticism. You will be better off for it in the end. Everyone around you has something to offer.
So, don’t be shy about asking for their advice. You don’t have to take it, of course, but ask questions that will help you figure out what you need to do next.
5. Get Comfortable Talking about your Accomplishments
People love sharing their triumphs. So, you will fit right in when you share yours. Don’t brag or try to show off — just be open about what you have done.
It is good to talk about your achievement when you want advice or input. It is not good to talk about it to make other people feel inferior.
The more you talk about your accomplishments, the more confident you will be taking on new challenges.
6. Don’t be Afraid to Fail
Confident people aren’t afraid to fail. They know that not everything will go as planned, but they are willing to take the chance to achieve their goals.
It’s not that they don’t care about failing. They do care. But they know that the only way to succeed is to try and learn from their failures.
If you are always playing it safe, you will never get what you want. So, take some risks, see how it goes, and don’t be afraid to adjust along the way.
7. Don’t Overthink Try it
One of the best ways to build confidence is by actually doing something rather than thinking about it. When you do something, you are taking a step closer to success.
So, don’t take too long to think about things, just try them. When you worry too much about something, it can get hard to do it.
Sometimes people will put off doing things because they overthink them. Just go and do it! After you see the results of your work, you will feel more confident to take on new challenges.
Read also: 21 Good Examples of Accountability
8. Stop Worrying about what other People Think
It’s easy to get caught up in worrying about how others perceive us, but ultimately that’s their problem, not ours.
Yes, our reputations matter a lot. But we should not worry about what others think of us and just be true to ourselves.
We can’t control how other people think of us, but we can control how we act and what we do.
So, focus on being your best at whatever you do and don’t worry about what others think. Be confident in yourself, do not care about what others think of you.
9. Be Assertive
Being assertive means standing up for yourself and your beliefs without stepping on others in the process. It means communicating effectively and honestly and not being afraid to ask for what you want.
Assertiveness is a key ingredient in confidence, and the two go hand in hand. If you want to build confidence in yourself, start by being more assertive in your interactions with others.
When you know what you want, it is easier to get it. Be clear and specific about what you want, and don’t be afraid to ask for it. If someone tries to take advantage of you or push you around, stand up for yourself.
Remember, you have a right to be treated with respect. Don’t be intimidated by your co-workers or boss. We all have the power to create the life we want. It’s just a matter of using it.
10. Don’t Compare Yourself to Others
Competition can be a good thing, but only if you use it in the right way. When you compare yourself to other people, you don’t always win.
You are setting yourself up for disappointment. Insecurity is a common by-product of comparisons. When you look around and notice how others have more, or you realize that their life seems easier, it can cause your confidence to waver.
Don’t get caught up in what everyone else is doing. Instead, focus on your path and stop comparing yourself to others. You are on your path because you have a reason.
11. Speak with Certainty
When you are speaking, make sure that your voice reflects certainty. Avoid speaking in a questioning tone or with hesitation. When you sound unsure of yourself, it sends a negative message to your listener.
Be assertive in your communication, and speak with intelligence and wit. You don’t have to use big words to sound smart. Just use the right words, in the right order, for the right situation. And be aware of your tone and volume.
Speaking too quietly can make you seem afraid or ashamed. Speaking too loudly might make you look overly confident or aggressive. Find a balance that you are comfortable with.
12. Have a Signature Move
A signature move is a gesture that you consistently use when you are communicating. It can help you to look more confident when you talk. And it can also make people remember you as someone who speaks with certainty.
Everyone needs a signature move — something that you do to announce your presence and makes people know who’s in the room. For example, some people touch their faces when they are talking.
If you have a signature move, make sure to practice it until it becomes a habit — and use it with confidence. It works so well when you speak with others about something important, and makes them know who’s in charge!
13. Don’t Apologise too Much
People often underestimate how many times they say sorry in a day. It is good to apologize for something you have done wrong. But if you do it too many times, it makes you look weak and insecure.
It also makes people doubt your authority. Check how the times you say sorry just because you are not quite sure of something and become aware of your behavior.
14. Don’t Always Ask for Others’ Opinions
When you constantly ask others for their opinion, you give away your power and control. It makes it look like you are not sure of yourself and need others to help you make decisions.
It also shows that you are not confident in your own opinion. Instead, come up with your ideas and support them with examples.
15. Speak up in Meetings
If you are shy, it’s easy to stay quiet during meetings and let others take control. However, this will not make you look confident.
Instead, try to speak up and share your ideas. It will show that you are knowledgeable and have something valuable to contribute.
16. Stop Seeking Sympathy
When you are not confident, it’s easy to seek sympathy from others. However, this will not make you look confident. Instead, try to be independent and strong. It will show that you are capable of handling things on your own.
17. Avoid the “victim” Habit
When you are not confident, it’s easy to tell yourself that everything is too hard and no one will ever give you a chance. You develop a victim mindset that keeps you from trying new things.
However, this doesn’t help you become more confident. It reflects poorly on you. Try to see the opportunities around you instead of how difficult it is.
18. Be aware of Your Body Language
Your body language doesn’t just reflect how you feel but also influences your mood. It is so easy to notice someone who is feeling down. Some people tend to slouch, have poor posture and look generally unhappy.
On the other hand, someone who is self-confident usually stands tall, has good posture, and looks happy. Their presence is automatically more uplifting. So, if you want to feel more confident, start by working on your body language.
19. Stop Being Indecisive
Being indecisive can sometimes be a sign of low self-confidence. If you are not confident about the choices you are making, you will most probably end up procrastinating and putting it off until tomorrow.
The only way to overcome being indecisive is to decide. You don’t have to worry about making the “perfect” decision; that doesn’t exist. You will learn and grow from the decisions you make, both good and bad.
Building self-confidence takes time and effort, but it’s worth it. Remember to start small and build on your successes.
Be patient, persistent, and positive, and you will see some improvement in your confidence levels. Keep working at it, and you will be on your way to building self-confidence in no time.