Confident people have the qualities, skills, and intelligence to be successful even in the most challenging situations. They often face their fears and are likely to pursue new challenges and goals, no matter how difficult they seem. Self-confident people believe in themselves and, consequently, so do others.
Having confidence in the workplace is crucial to your success as a learning leader. It can make you more motivated and ambitious, less anxious and stressed, and more likely to drive performance, career growth and work relationships.
This article outlines 10 steps you can take to help you boost your self-confidence and use it in the workplace.
1. Invest in Your Professional Development
Developing the skills you rely on for your job can impact your overall confidence. When you increase your skill level or develop a specific skill further, like learning a new coding language if your department is information technology (IT), you can improve your performance at work, which can have a positive influence on your confidence.
Attend a professional development or skills training. For instance, you might take a class or attend a training seminar to learn new project management strategies.
2. Learn New Skills
Other than developing your current skills, learning new skills or continuing your education has a lasting impact on your overall confidence. Exercising your development helps boost your confidence by allowing you to assess your capabilities and motivation to develop your knowledge. When you learn a new skill, you can apply it to your job and increase your productivity, and ability to stay organized and enable you to take on new tasks more confidently.
3. Dress For Success
Consider your professional look and improve your personal appearance to match what is required in the office. For example, you might have a “business casual” dress code, but instead of wearing denim jeans, try a pair of casual slacks.
Dressing to appear more professional will influence the confidence you feel when performing your job and interacting with your peers and superiors. Similarly, avoid dressing casually for important events like conferences, board meetings or other presentations, where formal business attire is usually an expectation.
4. Leave Your Comfort Zone
Leaving your comfort zone can be one of the most effective ways to gain more confidence in your career. For example, you have never liked giving presentations to the entire sales and marketing team. You could step outside of your comfort zone by volunteering to give the next presentation or co-host with a teammate.
Stepping out of your comfort zone can also present opportunities that you might otherwise have missed. For example, moving forward with your presentation might present a new advancement or client acquisition opportunity that you otherwise may have missed if you did not leave your comfort zone to give the presentation.
5. Emulate Confident Peers
Find someone who appears confident in their job and observe their mannerisms and how they interact with other people. You can adopt some strategies you observe confident peers applying in their own careers to help you develop your own confidence at work.
Observe the way your colleagues sit or stand, and emulate this by adopting a similar posture that can help you project assertiveness. Often, developing your workplace body language can influence overall confidence, and by following your colleague’s lead with outgoing gestures and posture, you may start taking more pride in your work.
6. Focus On Your Strengths
Focusing on your strengths helps boost your confidence because it requires you to measure your success and abilities. Professionals who focus on perfecting their work can focus too much on small missteps or errors rather than the overall success despite these minor details. If this is the case, one way you can reduce this is by making a list of your strengths and abilities and the second list of your achievements. You can read through them every morning and anytime during the day you need a confidence boost.
7. Learn From Your Mistakes
Mistakes are unavoidable when implementing improvement plans and goal-setting strategies. Instead, you can examine your mistakes and learn from them. It’s difficult to accept failure, but failure can influence how you apply your skills in future trials.
For example, you might have formatted the code for a data entry software incorrectly, but instead of identifying the mistake and starting from scratch, you might examine where you entered the defect code and evaluate whether your mistake was a careless error or a specific, faulty code.
8. Eliminate Negative Language
If you find you are overly critical of yourself or you entertain self-doubt regularly, take steps to change this mindset. Practice self-affirming techniques such as focusing on all the successes you have had in the past week or journaling what professional skills you admire most about yourself. Continue to evaluate the positive career improvements you have made and continue to praise yourself when you satisfactorily complete work projects or when you exceed your manager’s expectations.
9. Ask Questions
Not knowing everything — whether that’s because you’re new on the job or have incomplete information — can make you feel insecure and lead to a lack of confidence. But remember that no matter what stage you’re at in your career, you’re never going to have all the answers. So don’t be shy about asking questions, especially when you’re feeling uncertain or insecure. Instead, arm yourself with the information you need to do your job well by asking for it.
Consider making a habit of asking at least one question during team meetings, project planning sessions, or conferences to help clarify any information that might otherwise be convoluted to you.
10. Ask For Feedback
Don’t wait to be told that your work isn’t good or shines — ask for feedback along the way. Doing so demonstrates that you care about your work and want to succeed in your job. Plus, instead of anxiously wondering what you’re doing wrong, you’ll gain a better sense of your performance, your strengths and your areas for improvement.
I hope you found this piece a useful and informative dive into confidence in the workplace. It turns out that Henry Ford was mostly right, although self-confidence is not necessary to function in the world, it can make all the difference between just getting by and thriving!