Although some people appear to be naturally confident, chances are they’ve simply worked on their self-esteem and benefited from using tried and tested techniques to boost their confidence. No-one is born confident, so we all need to learn how to assert ourselves in varying environments.
However, ‘confidence’ doesn’t appear anywhere on school schedules or college timetables, so it’s something we tend to learn at different rates and at different ages. Perhaps you’re about to start your first post-graduate role and you’re feeling nervous about the transition? Maybe you’ve been a manager for more than a decade, but you still struggle to push yourself forwards in the workplace?
No matter what stage you’re at, it’s never too late too to increase your confidence and become a more natural leader at work. To give yourself a head start, take a look at these top tips and begin enjoying a more confident workplace persona today:
1. Identify your strengths
Being aware of your own strengths can help to enhance your self-esteem and remind you why you should feel confident in your abilities. No matter what your job role is, your unique talents and qualities have enabled you to succeed, so be sure to remind yourself of them.
Make a note of all of your strengths and remind yourself how you put these to good use in the workplace. Perhaps you’re a great motivator who can inspire others to up their game? Maybe you’re a brilliant salesperson who keeps the company alive by securing new clients? Or you might have the organizational and administrative skills to ensure the company is operating in accordance with the latest regulations and sector-specific guidelines? Regardless of what they are, identify your unique strengths, and keep reminding yourself of them.
2. Know your weaknesses
Just like we all have strengths, we all have areas of weakness too. However, knowing what your weaknesses are and working on them will give you the opportunity to increase your skills and diversify your talents.
Often, people lack confidence because of what they perceive to be weaknesses. In all likelihood, you’re viewing yourself much more harshly than you would anyone else. Try to be as objective as possible and acknowledge your weaknesses without remonstrating or devaluing yourself. Instead, create a workable and actionable plan that will help you to build upon the skills you have and enhance the areas you feel are your weaknesses.
By taking positive action, you can boost your confidence levels even while your skills are still being developed. Simply making a conscious decision to enhance your own abilities can have a tremendous impact on your self-confidence, so begin taking action right away.
3. Stick up for your rights
Although employers are required to adhere to various laws and regulations, there can be unspoken pressure not to invoke your rights in the workplace. Unfortunately, unscrupulous employers will often lean heavily on members of staff who lack the confidence to speak up for themselves. Allowing this to happen will continue to decimate your confidence and could even lead to unsafe working practices.
If you notice potentially dangerous working environments or your employers aren’t playing fair, take a stand, and voice your concerns. From contacting a union rep to instructing a top personal injury attorney after a workplace accident, there is a myriad of ways you can ensure your rights are upheld in the workplace. In doing so, you’ll boost your own confidence, but you’ll also encourage other people to stick up for their own rights too. In addition to feeling more confident, you’ll gain respect from your colleagues and your employer and potentially create a safer and fairer workplace.
4. Ask questions
The best workplaces are collaborative environments in which everyone has the opportunity to learn from one another. However, most people feel too self-conscious to ask questions or request help and guidance from their peers. If you fear looking ill-informed or you worry that asking questions will reveal negative attributes, it’s time to think again.
When you ask for assistance from a colleague, you’re showing that you value their expertise and experience. What’s more, your willingness to learn from them highlights your professional opinion of them, which helps to boost their confidence.
Asking questions gives you the opportunity to access new information and enhance your own knowledge and skills, which is good for you, your team, and the business as a whole. If your employer tries to discourage this behavior, it may be indicative of a poor or uninspiring workplace, so don’t think twice about searching for somewhere else to share your talents.
5. Drop negative self-talk
Our own internal voice has a major impact on our emotional well-being and our confidence levels. In fact, it can be far more destructive than anything anyone else says! Before you begin to make changes, simply observe your inner voice and make a note of the messages you’re sending yourself. By consciously acknowledging every time you criticize yourself or negatively judge yourself, you’ll begin to realize just how much of a hard time you give yourself.
Once you’re aware of the impact negative or disparaging self-talk is having, you’ll find it much easier to change your habits. Instead of continually chastising yourself, make the effort to use different words and terminology. Find the positives and rely on your inner voice to remind you of your successes and talents. Even when things don’t go as well as you would like them to, you can switch negative self-talk for positive affirmations and use the situation as a way of building your confidence.
6. Becoming a More Confident Person
Learning to be more confident can seem impossible at first but it’s something everyone is capable of. By making small, almost imperceptible, changes, to begin with, you will gradually grow to become more self-confident. As this happens, you’ll feel more empowered and more comfortable displaying your newfound confidence in the workplace, during professional engagements, at home, and when you’re with friends and family.