Confidence at work can make a big difference. Success will come easier, you will feel happier, and will not be afraid to ask for that promotion. If you would find it helpful to boost your confidence about your skills and work abilities then you’re in the right place. Here are 8 tips to boost your confidence at work:
Try these tips to increase your confidence at work:
1. Cut out negative self-talk.
Being humble has its place, but don’t talk yourself down at work. A positive mentality will help you to stand out from your peers and people are less likely to think there is weakness to take advantage of. When you find yourself speaking negatively or criticizing yourself, immediately switch it to something positive, instead.
For example, instead of criticizing your won lack of knowledge about something, talk about how great it is that you can learn what you need quickly and gain additional knowledge in the process. Visualize yourself learning and achieving what is required, then take the necessary steps to do it.
Don’t ever say, “I can’t,” instead ask yourself, “How can I?” This takes your focus off the negative or self-doubt and forces you to think about how to solve the problem with a positive attitude.
With this mindset you are much more likely to come up with the solutions you need. Remember that problems are opportunities and there is always a solution – it’s usually the person that is the problem to progress, not the problem itself.
2. Increase your knowledge.
You should never lose your hunger to keep learning. Knowledge is power as the saying goes, and in a work environment the more knowledge you have then the more confident you are likely to feel.
A salesperson is more effective at selling when they know their product inside out and understand the psychology of selling. A marketeer is much more powerful when they understand the audience they are trying to appeal to, the different ways to approach them, and what is more likely to work. A lawyer is likely to be more effective if they understand all the nuances of their area of law and how to use them to the benefit of their client. I think you get the point.
So what are the best ways learn and increase your knowledge? Well there are a plethora of digital platforms, like Udemy for instance, available for you to learn on in your own time. You can choose from a huge library of useful courses, many for under $20, that will add a lot of value to your professional life.
Reading books and e-books is the classic method of learning. The digital revolution has meant that the prices of books (particularly e-books) have come down significantly, making valuable information very accessible. You might even pick up a few good resources for free. You can download our e-book on ‘how to build key success habits’ for free as an example.
Another prudent way to learn is from what others in your workplace do successfully. Learning from highly successful and highly efficient people is a great tactic – the more people like this you observe and learn from, the more variety of skill and techniques you will pick up.
You can also benefit from observing what other people do that is unsuccessful or counter-productive. Sometimes learning what not to do is just as important as understanding what to do better.
The main thing to remember about learning is that you should never stop doing it. The world keeps changing, sometimes at a frightening pace, so you need to keep up and be able to adapt. You’re going to need an impressive bank of knowledge to do this effectively and excel in the workplace.
3. Practice (and work ethic) makes perfect.
It’s no secret that when you practice a certain task or skill you will get better at it in time, but you might not be aware of just how much of a difference the right practice and work ethic can make.
There is research that shows when it comes to highly complex jobs, the top 10% of professionals produce 80% more than average worker doing the same job and a staggering 700% more than the bottom 10%.
What is the most influential component that separates the top 10% and bottom 10%? Practice and work ethic. Yes of course some people are born naturally more talented, but there is an abundance of evidence throughout all kinds of professions that dedication and practice are what lead to greatness.
Cristiano Ronaldo has a reputation for constantly practicing and training with a level of dedication and obsession far beyond his peers. This has made him one of the best soccer players of all time. Mark Cuban went 7 years without a vacation when he started his first business so he could become an expert in his field. Michael Jordan spent his summers practicing hundreds of jump shots every day and is regarded by many as the greatest NBA star of all time.
You don’t have to cancel your social life to be successful (this would actually be counter-productive), but if you want to be great at your job or even the best at what you do then it is going to need dedication, sacrifices and practice, practice, practice.
Each time you complete a task, ask yourself whether there is anything you could do differently to improve the process the next time you do it. Get feedback from your line manager, your peers and your friends. Feedback is hard to hear sometimes but it can be so valuable to boost your self-awareness on areas you can improve.
4. Work on your strengths
A good tip is to make sure you keep honing your strengths instead of just working on your weaknesses. Don’t expect to be an expert at everything; pick the key skills that make you stand out and master them to make you the expert and the authority in those areas.
Try to be a reasonable general standard for other things too, but don’t ever let your key strengths get watered down. It’s a proven way to boost confidence in the workplace by focusing your attention on excelling at the skills you are already good at.
5. Ask questions
Don’t be afraid to ask questions if there is something you don’t know or understand. After all, the knowledge you seek could be the information you need to finish your task quickly and accurately.
Asking questions is not a weakness, it’s quite the opposite. It shows a desire to understand, to clarify, to learn. Try to ask questions where the answer is going to be of genuine value to you. If the answer is likely to be very simple and easily accessible, then take the initiative and learn using the internet.
Never worry about whether you are a burden to the person you are asking. Your line manager for example has a responsibility to help you grow and learn. If they do not seem willing in this regard then you have a poor line manager which is a whole different problem.
Most people enjoy sharing their knowledge and helping others. It feels good to help people and it can be a nice little ego boost to know that someone wants to learn from you.
6. Remember your past successes
A quick way to boost your confidence is to think about past projects that you have excelled in, particularly if you were given recognition for your achievements.
This can be a great reminder that you are capable of achieving outstanding results and give your motivation the little nudge it needs to succeed in what you are doing today.
Be careful not to get complacent however. Your past successes can be a great boost, but we are all judged on what we do in the present and the future.
People often fall into the trap of coasting on past success and this is a big mistake. You should always strive to improve and build more successes that you can look back on as your career continues to flourish.
Nevertheless, stay focused on the positives. Everyone is capable of great moments. Appreciate yours.
7. Act confidently
If you’re approaching a new task, or perhaps an entirely new job, then chances are you won’t know exactly what needs to be done. In these situations, it’s completely normal to feel under-confident. However, if you act confidently and put on a positive frame of mind, you may surprise yourself.
Don’t follow the ethos of ‘fake it till you make it’ in a work sense as you are likely to get caught out at some stage with damaging consequences. Focus your confidence on the fact that you know you will pick up and learn the things you need over a reasonable amount of time.
Also be careful that your confidence doesn’t pass the tipping point into arrogance, especially if the arrogance is misguided. It’s great for someone to feel and act confidently about learning to do something or figuring out a solution to a problem, but arrogance will usually come off in a negative light and could set you up for a rude awakening one day.
Acting confidently in the right way will you gain the trust of your work colleagues, but your own self-confidence will increase too, with the knowledge that you are capable at your job with valuable skills to offer.
8. Enjoy what you do
We may not all be lucky enough to be doing a job that is also our passion, but always taking yourself too seriously in the workplace will leave your self-esteem in tatters when you encounter setbacks. Of course, you want to be good at your job, but this does not mean that you need to be serious 100% of the time.
You are allowed to have fun at work and doing so will allow you to laugh at yourself and any mistakes you make. You may also notice the quality of your work increase as you take enjoyment in your daily task.
Remember that it is unrealistic for most people to love every part of their job; everything comes with its pitfalls. Just try to remain focused on the positive aspects of your day at work – the less enjoyable tasks will become easier if you do.
Take any criticism directed at you with good humor and you won't suffer any knocks to your confidence. Criticism is a part of life that will never go away no matter how successful you get. You won’t be able to prevent it from happening, but you can control how you react and respond to it.
A little extra confidence can go a long way toward helping you reach your career goals. Think of these tips the next time you are feeling doubtful about your skills or abilities and you’ll be able to bring your confidence back up again in short order.
For further tips on becoming successful, check out some of the comment in our success blog.For more resources on confidence, visit our blog on self-confidence and self-esteem