In the office, it is common to experience a loss of confidence, whether it is bleeding over from your personal life or attributable to situations happening at work. We all lose confidence in our work at one time or another. Having strong self-confidence at work will change how you respond when a mistake occurs, react to criticism or your willingness to take on new and different tasks. If you’re experiencing a drop in your self-confidence and want to get your groove back, try implementing these three ways to improve your self-confidence at work.
- Analyze your reactions
When we have low self-confidence, we often internalize things our bosses and coworkers say and do. We read too much into actions and words and use it to reaffirm the negative beliefs we already have about ourselves. For example, thinking “I must have screwed up and missed the mark again, my boss isn’t paying attention to a single word of my presentation.” Increase your emotional intelligence by taking a moment to reflect on how you interpret a situation. If your boss seems upset, take a moment and identify if you are assuming that you must be the cause of their stress. Ask yourself if it is possible that they’ve just had a bad day, don’t realize that they’re stressed or if they might have other things on their plate. Conversely, don’t immediately dismiss compliments. Take a moment to celebrate your wins. We often shy away from compliments and don’t take a moment to fully appreciate and be happy for ourselves when receiving praise.
- Identify your strengths and find ways to play to them
One of the best ways to find out what you are or could be good at is to take a personality or employment assessment. Sometimes the terms are used interchangeably, but you want to find an assessment that is able to define your core competencies and how you’re wired. Learning how you’re wired will help tell you the kinds of tasks and environments where you’re likely to succeed. There is a quote that says “Everyone is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.” If you are wired like a fish, finding tasks at work that involve swimming will lend you a greater chance of success than ones that involve climbing trees. Use the results of the personality test and list out the tasks and projects at work that you think best align with your strengths.
- Speak up
A lack of confidence can stop you from speaking up in meetings, this can keep you from an opportunity for building confidence and getting the information necessary to complete your job. By asking a question in a meeting you will see that the reaction is never as bad as we think it will be, and it will allow you to see that thoughtful or honest questions are often welcomed. This doesn’t mean to not have a filter or constantly playing devil’s advocate, it means asking the questions that you really would like to have the group reflect on or answer. Asking questions is also important because it can ensure that you have all of the information that you need to effectively complete your job. If you are too scared to ask necessary questions, it can create a self-fulfilling prophecy where you won’t have the information you need to succeed.