Confidence at work: Are you aware of your own abilities?
Taking an audit of your own strengths and weaknesses is the key to building confidence.
In all aspects of life, confidence is acknowledged as a positive quality to possess. Confidence enables us to effectively communicate our personality and abilities to others through the way we act and handle tasks. It is therefore a valuable, and often a vital skill in the workplace. So why exactly is confidence so important, and what can be done to improve your confidence, at work in particular?
Although of course it can’t be made accountable for all problems in the workplace, a lack of confidence and self-esteem can in fact be the underlying cause for many of them, such as bad relationships with co-workers or a lack of recognition for your achievements. If others notice that you lack confidence or don’t complete challenging tasks, they may well consider you less capable than you really are.
To really work out how to show your confidence, it is necessary to go deeper. It is only once you have identified your weaknesses that you can really work on them. This way you can solve any problems rather than avoiding tasks that you feel less adapted to. While the importance of addressing weaknesses cannot be denied, there is also a great value in identifying your strengths and capitalizing on them. Use your skills whenever the opportunity arises and make sure to reflect on your accomplishments. Not acknowledging your talents is little better than not having them in the first place, so allow yourself to take pride in the work you do. This will boost your self-esteem and make you more aware of your skills, thus making you better equipped for success in future tasks. If opportunities to put your skills to use are lacking in your current job, then perhaps it’s time to think about a change!
It may seem that there are an impossible number of things to consider if you want to come across as confident at work, so be realistic. You can’t possibly change everything at one. Once you know what your strengths and weaknesses are and which areas you want to work on, take on small projects that you feel are challenging but manageable to boost your confidence through their completion. Reflect on your achievements. Think about what you enjoyed and what you did well, so that you build up a mental picture of your skills and can keep an eye open for opportunities to use them again.
The absolute key to true confidence has to be knowing where your strengths lie and believing in yourself and your talents. It is only once you begin to believe in your talents that others will do the same.
*Excerpts from Executive Secretary Magazine May 2012