We all have those moments when we question ourselves and think we can’t handle a situation. When faced with unfamiliar situations, we are filled with self-doubt and constantly have to talk ourselves through those situations. Confidence is an important ingredient in the workplace and very few people can go far without it.
To improve your level of self-confidence and help you reach the peak of your career, keep these tips in mind:
1) Understand the reason for your lack of self-confidence. This is one of the first steps to take to liberate yourself from the demons of doubt. Where is your self-doubt coming from? Perhaps you have been employed to fill a position you are not quailfied for? Perhaps you have a presentation coming up and are not quite prepared for it? Understanding the source of your self-doubt can help you address the problem and project a confident front when you need it. If you have a knowledge gap that keeps affecting your self-confidence, address it.
2. Think positively. People tend to berate themselves and their capabilities whenever they are faced with unfamiliar situations. If you are faced with a challenging situation and negative thoughts start crippling into your mind, reject them immediately. Remind yourself of your many strengths and accomplishments. Don’t focus on your weaknesses.
3. Your body posture matters. How you carry yourself has an impact on how confident you feel. Amy Cuddy in this popular TED video, points out that our body language can shape our minds. She recommends striking a power pose before any major event like a presentation, in what she calls “faking it until you become it”. Little actions here and there will help you become confident over time by helping you carry that sense of power with you everywhere you go. Just as important as your body posture is what you wear. Paying attention to your physical appearance can go a long way in projecting a new and confident you.
4. Negative situations or encounters at work can cause you to lose confidence in yourself. The situation can be worsened if you are working for someone that constantly berates you or finds faults with your ideas. After a while, you start to doubt yourself too. Look for ways to develop self-confidence outside your work. If there’s something you enjoy and love doing - like a hobby or passion, do it. Playing and winning a game of tennis for instance, can boost your self-confidence and take some pressure off you. Find your joy and confidence in other activities besides work.
To become someone - anyone at all, you need to believe in yourself. Don’t let anyone, especially you, take away your belief in yourself and all the great things you can accomplish. Keep looking for opportunities to grow your confidence and reinforce your strengths to yourself and you will start to see a difference.