Do you often find yourself questioning your self-esteem at work? Do you feel like you are not appreciated enough? Like no one acknowledges the work that you are doing? Do you find it daunting to speak out at meetings? If the answer to these questions is yes, then you most probably lack confidence at work.
Lack of confidence or self-esteem at work impacts your mental well-being, but it also affects your career prospects. Confident employees are the natural pick for leadership roles and promotions. You may be more talented and have more experience, but a lack of confidence at work will result in fewer developments and fewer career growth opportunities.
Tips to Improve Confidence at Work
Most people believe that you cannot change or improve your confidence level. The belief is as far as possible from the truth. Lack of self-esteem at work stems from various reasons, including insecurities, the experience of bullying or harassment, body image issues, negative peers, high expectations or perfectionism, etc.
However, you have the power to overcome all of these and exude confidence at work. Wondering how?
Here are a few tips:
Negative comments regarding work, appearance, or personality can reduce your confidence and make you question your abilities. Positive affirmations negate the impact of these and improve your self-esteem at work. Positive affirmations are short statements that you use to motivate yourself.
A few examples are:
- I am confident in my abilities.
- I am the best at what I do.
- I do exceptional work for my company.
- I am a worthy candidate for this job.
You should start your day by looking in a mirror and repeating these affirmations to yourself. You can also remind yourself of these affirmations when you feel like you need a boost of confidence.
You want your work product to be perfect, and when there is even a small mistake, you start questioning your abilities. But, the thing is, everyone makes mistakes. Mistakes do not mean that you are not good at your job.
You should think of mistakes as a learning opportunity. Understand why they happened, find out how you can avoid them, and then forget about the mistake itself while retaining only the useful information. Dwelling on past mistakes does you no good. On the other hand, learning from them makes you better at your job. This will ultimately give a boost to your self-esteem at work.
Long-term and short-term goals
You know the standard interview question – “Where do you see yourself in five years?”. You need to ask yourself this and decide your long-term goals. Now, decide on short-term goals that will help you attain your long-term goals.
Goals keep you motivated. They also tell you how much progress you have made. When you feel that you haven’t achieved much, your short-term goals will show you how much you have achieved. This knowledge will give you a boost of confidence at work.
Even if you falter on one short-term goal, having a long-term goal offers you the motivation to work out an alternative short-term goal that will help you achieve your long-term goals.
Know when to ask and when to assert
There is a time to ask, and there is a time to tell. Understand the difference between both situations and make the right choice. If you are stuck with a problem and need help, there is no harm in asking for it. Asking for help doesn’t make you a smaller person or reduce your self-esteem at work. Most confident people do not hesitate to ask for help.
On the other hand, when you need to communicate about your needs or requirements, you should be assertive. When your boss hands you a task to do, assert that you can do it. Most people undermine their capabilities and ask whether they are truly capable of handling the job. Not only does it create self-doubt, but it also causes the other person to doubt your abilities. An assertion is what is needed in such situations to show confidence at work.
You should always welcome feedback. They tell you how much your work is being valued. They also offer an insight into areas that you can improve upon and make yourself better.
You should seek out feedback. Seeking feedback shows others that you are confident in your abilities and do not feel insecure about your work. Rectifying the mistakes mentioned in the feedback will give you a sense of accomplishment and increase your self-esteem at work.
Give respect to get respect
Respect is a two-way street. When you respect others, they respect you too. Being recognized by others will also help in building your confidence at work. Respect indicates that the other person values your opinion and admires your work. When others respect you at the workplace, you naturally start to believe more in yourself, improving your self-esteem.
Dress the part
Have you heard of the saying “dress for the job you want, not the job you have”? Take that statement to heart and make sure you are always dressed impeccably while at work. When you wear well, you feel good, and you become more confident at work. It will also reflect on how others treat you.
This is not to say that looks are the most important thing. There is no substitute for hard work. However, dressing well is a way to boost your image. You are not doing it for validation from others, but for yourself. When you feel good about yourself, you will be better at the job, which, in turn, adds to boosting your self-esteem at work.
Confidence is the key to success
The first step to achieving anything in life is to believe in yourself. The confidence in your abilities keeps you motivated and helps you in attaining your goals. Don’t let lack of self-esteem at work hold you back from achieving your dreams.
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Can confidence at work be gained overnight?
Confidence cannot be gained overnight. It may take a bit of time, but the payoff is worth it. It allows you to gain contact with colleagues, build relationships, and deliver a better output. Most of the employees struggle to gain confidence in the workplace, especially while working with new people. It can be challenging to build up confidence in the initial days of a job but eventually confidence can be gained. New joiners gain confidence from the structure and discipline of their place of work, others from the bonds of trust and friendship that their boss has with them. The build up of positive relationships within the workplace boosts confidence.
Is it possible to stay confident every minute?
It is not possible to have confidence everyday and in every task which has to be performed. Everybody has gloomy days where things look difficult and deadlines seem unattainable. It is fine to lack confidence on one day or the other. Trying new things at the workplace may cause nervousness due to the pressure of performing well. In such a scenario, no one ever seems to stay confident, but there are ways to find confidence in the workplace. If you haven’t educated yourself on how to stay confident, you can learn some quick tips from this article.
Can negative feedback harm self-esteem?
It is often mistaken that unlikely feedback can cause lower self-esteem. If the feedback is taken as an opportunity to work on the weaker side and improve yourself, it will enhance your esteem and not lower it. In the workplace, negative feedback is something that many employees have to deal with on a regular basis. Feedback is something that is often essential to the development of a person or a company. A person with a high level of self-esteem is less likely to be negatively impacted by feedback than a person with a low level of self-worth.