11 Ways To Feel Less Insecure At Work Every Day
Everyone has reasons as to why they feel self-doubt sneaking through while they're in the office — everything from not having enough experience in their field to being the new person in the office. But the important thing is to not let your insecurities at work take over and impede any of your progress or self-growth. It can be an uncomfortable thing not feeling sure of yourself when you're starting projects or juggling sensitive to-dos. But while there's always, always room for improvement and a chance to learn something new, letting your insecurities stop you from asking questions or taking chances can be super damaging.
Going that route only ensures you that your self-doubts will grow. Without letting yourself mess up from time to time and fumble, you're not letting yourself gather experience or allowing yourself to see what you're capable of and what you can accomplish. If you stay meek and nervous all the time, there's no chance to change.
While it can be intimidating when you're first starting a job or it can be scary to allow yourself to make mistakes in front of coworkers and bosses, it's important to allow that to happen so you can come into your own professionally. So below are 11 ways to beat your insecurities at work.
1. Realize How It's Damaging
A great way to shake off your insecurities at work is to realize how it's damaging you and your growth. It's not protecting you from making a fool of yourself or making mistakes at work — rather, it's strengthening your fears. Business writer Jeff Haden from entrepreneur site Inc observed, "Insecurity is a terrible thing, because insecurity breeds insecurity. When we act out of insecurity, our actions increase our fears." By letting them take lead, you're only teaching yourself how to be terrified, rather than pushing yourself to grow.
2. Force Yourself To Ask Questions
If you feel like you don't measure up to standards at work, arm yourself with enough information in order to become better. And the way to do that is to be curious and ask questions. Career writer Ruth Zive form career development site The Muse, told Forbes, "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." There's no shame in learning.
3. Set Challenging Goals For Yourself
Nothing will top that pride and awareness you'll feel when you beat a challenging goal that you've set for yourself. It'll act as proof that you're a champ at your job, and that you shouldn't put too much stock into your self-doubts. Business writer Ted Karczewski from entrepreneur site Fast Company advised, "Learn to set uncomfortable goals for yourself in spite of self-doubt." Force yourself to reach higher than you're comfortable trying, and then watch yourself gain confidence as you begin to slowly achieve those goals.
4. Stop The Negative Self Talk
If you're constantly telling yourself you can't handle something or that you're doing a terrible job at work because of X, Y, and Z, then you're not going to easily shake off your self-doubt. Instead, change your inner dialogue to be one with pep talks and "you can do this" affirmations. For example, every time you think you're going to get rejected if you pitch to your boss, answer your negativity with, "You've got this — even if your idea gets denied, it'll make you more comfortable for the next time.
Career writer Katya Andresen from Entrepreneur explained, "Apparently using a third person perspective gives us a little emotional distance and allows ourselves to offer the pep talk to ourselves that we'd certainly give to another person who needed one." Have just as much faith in yourself as you would another person that would need your encouragement.
5. Realize What You're Doing Is Giving Up Control
Say you're insecure in your presenting skills and so you never volunteer to take on a project. Because of that, you're giving up your control over the situation and instead letting outcomes happen on their own: Now your coworkers might think you're not experienced enough to handle projects, aren't ambitious enough to take on tasks, or just aren't a team player. How is that better than stammering through a couple of slides. Haden pointed out, "The next time you feel insecure—about making a call, giving a presentation, confronting an employee, or dealing with an irate customer—don’t stand in the back. Don’t give up control." Stay in charge of your own outcomes by not giving into your insecurities.
6. Do More Than You Were Asked To Do
A great way to squash insecurities is to prove to yourself that you do an amazing job in your field. And in order to do that, you need to go above and beyond of what's expected of you and knock those projects and tasks right out of the park. Zive explained, "Can you suggest new ideas, clients, or products? Make a process easier or more streamlined? Or even just get the report on your boss’ desk three days early?" Knowing you're working your hardest will beat back any insecurities you might have about not being good enough to be on the team.
7. Remember That Your Goals Are Different Than Other Coworker's Goals
When you compare your progress to someone else's in the company, you can feel self-doubt setting in. They might be more hard-working, ambitious, or smarter than you, and that can let loose a whole box of insecrities. But keep in mind that they have different goals than you and that's why they're in the place they're in.
Karczewski explained, "Doubt forces us to compare our accomplishments and skills to those we perceive to be most like us. As if somebody else’s professional growth can impact our own." But someone else's accomplishments don't impede your own! Just because they're succeeding in one area doesn't mean you're not succeeding just as well in another place.
8. Don't Cover Up Your Flaws
You'll only become turmoiled by your flaws if you try to cover them up and deny that they're there. But if you change the narrative and own that you don't know it all yet, you become in charge of what that means when it comes to your abilities.
Andresen pointed out, "It's certainly uncomfortable...yet oddly empowering. I have control over my narrative, however flawed it may be." You're no longer the employee that has no idea what's going on and is constantly messing up. Rather, you're the employee that hasn't learned everything yet, but is doing her best in trying.
9. Identify The Things You Are Good At
Rather than focusing on everything you're lacking, embrace what you're good at and practice admitting that you have strengths along with weaknesses. Lifestyle writer Elli Thompson Purtell from lifestyle site The Everygirl advised, "Start by focusing on one thing you know you're good at. Whether it's working with people, multitasking, proofreading or a specific computer program — whatever it is, recognize it. Admit to yourself that you do a pretty good job at this one thing, and practice telling one other person." If you allow yourself to believe that you have skills you're great at, your insecurities will seem more trivial because you clearly bring a lot to the table.
10. Say Yes More Often
Even if you don't think you're perfectly qualified for a task or project, get into the habit of saying yes and snapping it up. You'll learn more on the job with the more projects you volunteer for, and you'll also prove to yourself that you have the ability to figure things out with the experience you already have. Purtell pointed out, "This means having enough belief in your abilities that you know a new task isn't beyond your grasp. The more you believe you can do it, the more others believe in you." By agreeing that things over your head aren't necessarily over your skill set, you allow yourself to believe in your abilities.
11. Celebrate Your Wins
If you accomplished something you've been struggling with or knocked a project out of the park, make sure to celebrate it! Zive explained, "If you’ve received an amazing performance review or nailed the client meeting you’ve been stressing over, celebrate — you deserve it!" Patting yourself on the back over those wins reminds you you're great at your job and that you have the ability to succeed — so get yourself a treat and squash any insecurities you might have had about your position in your office at the same time.
So the next time you feel yourself getting antsy with self-doubt when you're at work, try out these tips and see your confidence begin to shine through.
Images: @jessannkirby/ Instagram