For some people, their office might be a fun, amazing place where they feel completely and totally comfortable and self-assured. For others, such is not the case, and they may be seeking tips for feeling more confident at work. Yet some might fall somewhere in between. As much as we might not think about it often, being able to have a sense of confidence at work is significant in our careers. Not only can it make or break how we feel about our jobs, it can also make or break how we feel about our abilities and ourselves.
Even if you only feel slightly insecure at work, that could be playing against you, so let’s put the kibosh to it, shall we? People lack confidence in the work place for all sorts of reasons. Some might not feel like they are qualified or smart enough to be there. Others might have just started a new position and feel a constant sense of uncertainty about how they are performing every day. Other times, people feel insecure because of specific colleagues or superiors, or perhaps even because they’ve made a mistake in the past that they’re scared they’ll repeat. No matter the rationale, it’s not something you can’t overcome. Confidence isn’t something you’re either born with or not born with. The best part about confidence is that it can blossom over time if nurtured the right way — it can, in fact, be learned.
With all of that said, here are seven tips that can help you feel more confident at work.
1. Determine Your Biggest Strengths & Use Them
A huge part of feeling confident as a whole is being able to pinpoint your strengths, whether that’s at work or in your personal life. For this article’s purposes, let’s work specifically on doing this in the office. You were hired for you job for a purpose — whoever decided to bring you on board saw that you had strengths in certain skills that were required for the position. The first step, according to Huffington Post, is determining what these strengths are. Are you highly organized and excellent with numbers? Are you great on Photoshop and especially creative? Figure out where you stand, and then stop to value these things about yourself. Maybe in your next meeting today you’re the brightest in the whole room in terms of managing customer service requests. That’s an awesome feeling to greatest at something — so appreciate it! Now that you’ve come to value the strengths, put them to use, Huffington Post suggested. Raise your hand next time an assignment comes up in your niche area.
2. Determine Your Biggest Weaknesses & Work On Them
Just as important as focusing on your strengths is focusing our your weaknesses. Not dwelling on them, but focusing on them. This means prepping yourself to make some changes where necessary in order to get that confidence going. According to Inc. once you determine your weaknesses and accept them, you can start to motivate yourself to improve. The outlet noted by doing this you’ll eventually become stronger and more confident in your role.
3. Stay Out Of Office Politics
You know how we’re now super focused on playing to those strengths and weaknesses? Let’s keep focused on that and on your success at work, and not spend time with things that might drag you down. Office politics is a prime example of something you should keep out of. Lynn Taylor, a national workplace expert, told Forbes that those looking to gain confidence at work should keep on-task and focused, regardless of what’s going on around the water cooler. Taylor added, “Confidence emerges from time-honored good work combined with a great attitude.”
4. Present Yourself The Right Way
We’re getting our thoughts on the right track using the tips discussed so far, but let’s not forget the importance of how we physically present ourselves in order to achieve workplace confidence. According to Entrepreneur, non-verbal signals can actually affect how we feel about ourselves. For instance, if we hunch at our desk or in meeting, it means we feel less confident. Oppositely, the outlet noted, if we sit tall in a power pose, we feel powerful. That said, non-verbals can affect if we’re hired for a job, how we’re judged at our job, and how others in the workplace see us. With this in mind, try to regularly keep your body in power pose mode. Even if you’re not feeling confident that day, your pose will help you fake it.
5. Don’t Be Afraid To Speak Up
Like I mentioned, you were hired for this job for a reason — because the company thought you would be a valued asset for them. Remember this as you pepped yourself up to speak up. If you rattle your brain around just a bit, I’m sure tons of awesome ideas are knocking around up there. So share them. If you’re not the most outspoken person it can feel really scary to voice your opinions and ideas in meetings, but try not to fear. There are so many times I’ve shared ideas that have left coworkers looking at me like I have 10 heads. Do I let those moments get me down, though? No way. It just gives me fervor to come up with new, better ideas for the next go-around. U.S. News & World Report recommended against being a wallflower in meetings if you’re hoping to build your confidence. Let people know what you’re thinking (without interrupting or discrediting anyone else's ideas, of course), and remind yourself that you do have worthy opinions and ideas.
6. Keep A File For All Of Your Accomplishments
Whenever I’ve been slacking on the confidence in my personal life I’ve made a handwritten list of reasons I’m great, and it actually works to give me the boost I need. The idea of an accomplishments folder is quite the same. Forbes suggested creating an email folder for all of your work accomplishments. As you achieve something big at work, or if you receive kudos of any sort from a boss or colleague, save it in the email folder, or print it out and store it in a file folder. Not only will this folder be a great asset to have during performance reviews, it will also be a good place for you to personally visit when you need an ego boost or just need to reflect on your career progress.
7. Believe In Yourself — Because You’re Awesome!
Not to sound like a cheesy Instagram quote here, but you really are awesome, and you shouldn’t forget it! If you’re having trouble believing in yourself, Huffington Post suggested asking yourself questions that instinctively frame you in a positive mindset, like “Why am I so confident?” and “Why do I believe in myself?” Practice this regularly until the answers start to naturally roll off your tongue. Then, pack that confidence up and bring it with you to work!
If you’re hunched over at your desk right now wondering why you even got hired for your job, stop it right there. Straighten up and start enacting some of these tricks — by doing these things you soon might find a newly built sense of confidence in the workplace.