During one of my sessions, I spoke to a client who shared an experience that is a very common scenario at a workplace. His team was discussing various ways to make an upcoming campaign a success during one of his morning team meetings. My client did not agree with all of the strategies proposed and was doubtful of the outcome as well.
I asked him how he responded to it and it turns out he never said much to protest it, at least not with enough strength for his opinions to sway decisions at all.
“What made you do that?” I asked, and he said, “I didn’t feel very sure about how it would be perceived.”
He explained that he really wanted to share his concerns but something kept him from doing that. He knew the loopholes. He was well aware about the problems that would arise. He tried to share it with confidence but his second-guessing held him back. Besides, he didn’t want to be under the spotlight being the only person opposing it.
And it’s not like he was new to this. He was a mid-management employee with a good amount of experience in this field.
So, why did he feel so inadequate and want to hide himself from the others?
As the session progressed, I realized that this behavior was not limited to his workplace; rather, he has moments of low self-confidence in other areas of his life as well.
Why do we hesitate to speak up with confidence?
Many of us shy away from speaking with confidence, even when there is so much we have and want to share with others. In fact, recent research has revealed that only 5% of us feel fully confident at work.
Now, it is natural to have insecurities at work when you are new to a job or when you choose a career path that is completely unrelated to your expertise. However, prolonged low self confidence issues are often a consequence of different factors like past experiences, upbringing, lack of representation at home, school or work, personal behavioral traits and so on.
However, your lack of confidence doesn’t have to define you. Many people wrongly believe that confidence is a trait you get from birth– you’re either confident or you’re not. But the fact is that confidence is something you can build and improve over time.
And working on it has so many benefits too! You’ll feel happier, more productive and feel better about yourselves. You can also improve your communication skills, become better presenters, gain more influence within your company, and start saying yes to bigger opportunities that excite you!
4 ways to boost your confidence at work:
Not everyone is born with self-confidence but it is important for your success. So, here I am listing out 5 strategies you can adopt to boost the self-confidence within you.
- Ditch the idea that confidence is an inherent trait: The first step to boosting your confidence is getting rid of this mindset that confidence is a fixed trait. Your mindset will determine how much you can improve your confidence because having a fixed perception leaves little room for growth. I would advise you to make confidence a part of your routine, which will evolve as your roles in the organization change.
- Focus on your strengths: Instead of focusing on what you lack, direct all your energy in acknowledging what you are good at. Oftentimes, we put too much focus on the shortcomings that we forget what we excel at.
I recommend that you keep a journal in which you list your strengths and skills. If you are unsure, have a colleague or friend look it over for you. When you’re finished, I want you to read it out loud every morning with all your energy and focus. This reminder can be a powerful boost that your confidence needs.
- Practice, Practice and Practice!: How do you take up a good habit and reinforce it in your life? Practice. The more you practice speaking confidently, the more you will feel it within yourself.
You don’t have to jump into it right away. Start small. Begin by practicing in a low-stakes environment where you feel safe. It could be someone in your family, a close friend circle, or a coworker with whom you are comfortable.
The first thing I want you to pay attention to is your body language and the words you use when speaking. Don’t crouch or keep your eyes down or use words that convey doubt while speaking. Sit upright, shoulders back and use words like “I believe this should help…” or “I was thinking about this new strategy…” rather than beginning sentences with “I could be wrong…” or “I don’t know…”.
- Work on gaining new skills: Learning something new is one of the best ways to boost one’s self-confidence. Repetitive work can undermine your confidence at times. When you learn a new skill or hone a talent you already have, it can drastically change your inner dialogue about yourself and boost your self-esteem.
These strategies, with practice, patience, and determination, can boost your professional confidence, allowing you to fully share your ideas, grab new opportunities, and make your performance shine.
Need more help?
If you’re someone facing similar confidence issues, then you can share it with us. Check out our one-to-one life coaching and Mindset development training programs.
For an appointment, you can directly call: 01844526740.