If you’re putting on a brave face at work, but deep down don’t really feel so confident in your abilities, then it’s time to change that. Believing in yourself and having confidence in what bring to the role will open up a world of new possibilities for you, from enjoying your own work more to chasing new career opportunities.
Here’s how you can make that happen:
We’re all guilty sometimes of having the best intentions and planning for change. But the key is not just planning – it’s implementing those plans to make a real change.
If you’re not sure where to start (and most people aren’t so you’re not alone!) then sit down and get to the bottom of what is causing these confidence issues. Is it a colleague or boss that is quick to criticise but not to compliment? Is it a recent or past mistake that is haunting you? Or maybe it’s something totally different. But the key here is to identify the issue, set a clear goal, and make some milestone targets to help you overcome it.
For example, if you feel nervous speaking up in meetings, then why not set yourself a target of raising three things in the next meeting you have. If the reason you don’t speak up is because you don’t feel you have anything to contribute, prepare something to say ready for the next one and even rehearse how you will say it out loud. Then keep increasing your input over the coming months.
Development goals are a great way to overcome confidence issues, and sometimes support can help you to reach them sooner. Talk to your line manager or a friend at work who might be able to help push you and encourage you to reach those goals.
Confidence is about how you come across, and you’ll notice that different personalities have different ways of showing confidence. Some people are outspoken and loud when crowds are involved, others dominate in brainstorming or creative meetings. isn’t always about being the loudest person at a networking event or dominating brainstorming sessions in the office. Other confident people might not speak as much, but rather listen and take in new ideas and knowledge from those around them.
It’s easier to be confident in something that you’re good at. Highlight your strengths and draw on those to find your own confidence. And equally, it’s important to also embrace your weaknesses. While others may be stronger than you in one area, your strength may be someone else’s weakness and they might have confidence issues about that too.
Having confidence in your strengths will give you the self-belief to go for that promotion or speak up in that next meeting, because you know what you have to offer. And by addressing your weaknesses, you can work on them and learn from the people who are strong in your weak areas, to help you overcome confidence issues. Don’t dwell on the negatives – work on them and turn them into more reasons to feel good about yourself.
If you often feel like you might not be deserving of your success, like you’re not really worthy of the job and eventually you’ll be found out, then you’re not alone. It’s a completely normal and common phenomenon known as ‘imposter syndrome’, and many of us suffer from it.
The key way to overcome this is to put yourself out there. Say ‘yes’ more often, whether it be a new challenge at work or an experience that is completely out of your comfort zone! You will soon feel your confidence grow as you overcome new challenges and realise that your success is not a stroke of luck, but it’s the result of your hard work and genuine ability.