We all have an inner voice of self-doubt that tells us we can’t do something, or that we might fail. It’s part of being human.
But that doesn’t mean we have to listen to it. Most of the time this voice is ruled by fear and should therefore be gently acknowledged, and then firmly ignored.
Self-confidence is about living beyond fear.
Think of some of the things that make you feel vulnerable or anxious at work. Some common examples include asking for a promotion or a pay rise, delivering a presentation or dealing with conflict.
Now think about the one thing all these challenges have in common: fear.
The best way to improve your self-confidence at work is to employ techniques to overcome your fears, so you can act with purpose and clarity as opposed to anxiety.
I’m not suggesting that this is easy, or that it will happen overnight, but remember: small steps can reap big rewards. I believe we can all overcome our fears if we are kind to ourselves along the way.
Try small things until you feel more confident.
Some people overcome their fear of heights by parachuting out of a plane. While this ‘quick fix’ has been known to work for some, I’d suggest a gentler, more long-term strategy for improving self-confidence in the workplace.
You don’t have to walk straight up to your boss and tell him you want a pay rise! Or deliver an impromptu presentation to a large group of people, just to test your fears.
Instead you can try small things each day or each week, and see what helps you personally to feel more confident and centred.
Here are some tried and tested strategies for success:
- Be kind to others: Support and appreciate their work. This is great for your own soul and happiness, and your colleagues will notice you for all the right reasons.
- Be kind to yourself: Listen out for compliments and record them in a notebook so you can refer back to them on tough days. Make note of your achievements and the things that make you feel proud of your work. Celebrating what you are good at is so important.
- Be open: Talk to trusted colleagues about your own fears and ask them what areas they struggle with. You might be surprised – most people aren’t as confident as you think.
- Be curious: Ask for feedback about your work and look for opportunities to learn. Show that you are willing to improve and grow. This will help you make a good impression as well as discover what people already appreciate about you.
These are just some of the ways you can make small adjustments to your confidence. Remember, self-confidence isn’t about being the loudest or the brightest; it’s about awakening your calm inner strength. It’s amazing how much we can flourish when we be kind to ourselves and others.