Picture this. You’re in an important team meeting and a brilliant idea comes to mind. Exciting, right?
Now, you just have to muster the self-confidence to share this idea aloud in a room full of smart colleagues. But just as you’re about to speak, another person beats you to it and shares their very similar, equally brilliant idea.
You can’t help but feel disappointed that you didn’t have the courage to speak first and ended up keeping your mouth shut for the rest of the meeting.
There are hundreds of scenarios just like this one unfolding every day across the globe. Many employees find themselves struggling to build self-confidence at work. Developing confidence in the workplace doesn’t happen overnight. It’s a process that takes practice, reflection, and patience over time.“If you hear a voice within you say, ‘You cannot paint,’ then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced.” – Vincent van Gogh Click To Tweet
Rather than letting negative thoughts paralyze you, confidently dive in head first, take action, and prove your inner critic wrong. Of course, that can be easier said than done.
Keep reading to learn more about the importance of self-confidence at work and tips on how you can build and maintain that confidence!
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Self-confidence is the ability to trust in your own judgment, decisions, and skills without letting outside factors negatively impact that self-assurance.
Many factors play into the development of one’s self-confidence including upbringing, personality traits, feelings of self-worth, and professional experience, to name a few. While many people use the terms self-confidence and self-esteem interchangeably, there are nuances between them.
Self-esteem refers to how one values oneself, whereas self-confidence relates to one’s faith in their decisions and their capability to succeed at whatever task is at hand. Moreover, self-confidence is something that is built over time and can be strengthened through reflection and self-awareness.
🔥 Pro-Tip from The Assist: Attend networking events or workshops related to your field. Engaging with the professional community reinforces your expertise and belonging.
Importance of Self-Confidence at Work
Self-confidence is important not only in your personal life but also plays a major factor in your professional development as well. The more confident you are in the workplace, the more comfortable you’ll be sharing your ideas, networking, completing key assignments, or leading large meetings and teams. Your self-confidence or lack of confidence can have a direct impact on your work performance, development, and career growth.
Furthermore, self-confidence empowers you to take more risks in the workplace, such as stepping out of your comfort zone to tackle a stretch project or learning new software. Confident employees aren’t afraid of voicing their opinions, flagging a concern, or constructive feedback. This can lead to more productive conversations amongst colleagues and increased levels of creativity and innovation in the workplace.
Confident people aren’t afraid of taking on challenges or learning new things which can open up more growth opportunities. Self-confidence truly is essential for long-term professional success in the workplace.
🔥 Pro-Tip from The Assist: Keep a journal or “brag book” of your accomplishments and praise. Refer back when you need a confidence boost.
5 Tips for Building Self-Confidence at Work
While building confidence at work, you should concurrently work on your self-awareness as well. Self-awareness means having a conscious knowledge of your character and how your actions do or don’t align with your standards.
It can be as small as maintaining eye contact or being aware of your body language when presenting. Being self-aware about your actions, shortcomings, and where you excel can be an immense help in building your self-confidence.
👉 Examples include:
- Carve out 10 minutes every Sunday to reflect on how you dealt with a difficult situation, whether at work or in your personal life.
- Volunteer to work on a project that aligns with your interests because you know you’ll be a great asset to the team.
- During your annual performance review, you can easily pinpoint areas where you’ve excelled along with areas you can continue to improve in the coming year.
2. Positive Affirmations
Positive affirmations are a fantastic way to steadily build your self-confidence at work. It’s far too easy to let negative self-talk bring you down and hold you back. Reciting positive affirmations can help positively adjust your mindset, mental health, and even how you see yourself.
They also help ensure that you start your day with a positive attitude ready to tackle any task thrown your way!
👉 Examples include:
- Start your day with a simple, yet effective positive mantra from The Assist: “I can do great things.”
- Jot this affirmation down on a nearby Post-it to keep you & your to-do list on track: “I am full of focus.”
- Rough day? Try reciting this positive mantra in the mirror: “Bad days don’t define me. Each day is a new opportunity to start fresh.”
🔥 Pro-Tip from The Assist: Redefine success from perfectionism to giving your best effort. Mistakes are inevitable so stay resilient.
3. Continuous Learning
Another fantastic way to boost your self-confidence is to remain curious and embrace continuous learning.
You’re never too old or set in your ways to learn something new! Having a curious mindset and craving knowledge will help boost your self-confidence because it allows you to explore new topics & interests. Added bonus – you’ll always have something interesting to share with friends and colleagues alike.
👉 Examples include:
- Pick up your Kindle or browse your local bookstore to find an awesome leadership book for women, like She Thinks Like a Boss: Leadership by Jemma Roedel.
- Maybe audio learning is more your thing. There are a ton of amazing podcasts for women to choose from including Stuff Mom Never Told You hosted by Anney Reese and Samantha McVey.
- Looking to learn a new skill or sharpen an existing one? LinkedIn Learning courses offer a massive variety of on-demand educational segments on topics such as public speaking and running effective meetings.
4. Setting Achievable Goals
Few things are more deflating than missing your quarterly or annual goals. Not to mention, it can harm your self-confidence.
Avoid this by setting goals that are achievable in the timeline allotted. A good rule of thumb when goal-setting is to use the SMART method. Using this methodology, your set goals must be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely. Outline your goals using these criteria and you’re already setting your future self up for a confidence boost come year-end when you absolutely slam all of your goals out of the park.
👉 Examples include:
- You have a massive project due by the end of this quarter. To ensure you meet the deadline, you create weekly milestones and target goals to keep you on track.
- Your sales leadership team has set a minimum requirement of 5 client meetings a month. To ensure you reach that quota, you set a personal goal of 10 meetings per month to account for client availability and interest.
- You have an annual sales goal that you are personally accountable for. You create goals for each quarter and each month and schedule routine check-ins with your manager to discuss pacing.
5. Find a Trusted Mentor
If you’re in the market for a confidence boost or career advice for women, finding a trusted mentor can help provide that and so much more. Developing mentor relationships in the workplace helps immensely with self-confidence and growth.
Whether you’re the mentor or the mentee, there are great benefits to participating in mentorship programs including networking opportunities, knowledge exchange, and upskilling. If your job doesn’t have a formal mentorship program, try reaching out to female leaders in your workplace whom you respect. Chances are that they’re more than willing to lend you an ear and some friendly advice.
👉 Examples include:
- Building a strong working relationship with your direct manager.
- Participating in your work mentorship program and being paired with someone whose work ethic and leadership style you admire.
- Developing a bond with a family member or friend you respect where you feel heard and supported by one another.
Overcoming Self-Doubt at Work
✅ Identifying Negative Thoughts
You’re not good enough. You don’t deserve this promotion. You can’t succeed at this. Negative thoughts like these are key indicators of imposter syndrome and plant seeds of self-doubt, which can contribute to a lack of self-confidence. Many times, the way we see ourselves impacts how others see us. If you allow negative language to take over your mindset, it will likely affect how you behave in the workplace and how willing you are to take on new challenges. Of course, having negative thoughts is unavoidable, but the key is to identify those negative thoughts when they occur and push them aside in favor of focusing on your skills and the positive things you have to offer.
✅ Adopting a Growth Mindset
Another effective way to overcome self-doubt in the workplace is to adopt a growth mindset where you focus on learning opportunities, especially when starting a new job or new project. We’re all guilty of falling into our daily work routines and keeping our heads down. Take some time to look up and see the bigger picture. Rather than focusing on your mistakes or ineptitudes, explore opportunities for learning and growth.
If you do catch yourself falling into a slump, try reciting a few motivational quotes for employees. They can work wonders on both your motivation and self-confidence levels. Another added bonus of adopting a growth mindset is that you’re much more likely to seek out professional growth opportunities and acquire new skills that may be needed to obtain those opportunities.
✅ Seeking Support
It’s not always easy to ask for help, but seeking support is so important when it comes to conquering self-doubt and building up your confidence.
Support comes in many forms, both personally and professionally. Some examples include a supportive spouse or family member, a friend who has great advice, or a manager who’s willing to advocate for your success. Having people in your corner who believe in you is a massive boost to your self-confidence and can help keep you grounded when you’re feeling overwhelmed.
Another awesome way to find support is by subscribing to some of the best email newsletters for women, listening to positive podcasts for women, and following empowering social media pages. The Assist not only offers great tips delivered directly to your inbox, but invites you into a community of like-minded individuals looking to become better professionals.
How to Maintain Confidence at Work
🤔 Regular Self-Evaluation
Regular self-evaluation is vital to maintaining self-confidence at work. Whether you do it on a daily or weekly cadence, it’s important to carve out time for yourself to reflect on your work performance and mindset.
⭐ Some self-reflection questions you may ask yourself include:
- What did I do well this week?
- In what areas could I have done a bit better?
- Did I face any challenges and if so, how did I overcome them?
- What did I learn?
- Did I make progress towards my goals?
- Am I striving too hard for perfectionism?
By regularly practicing self-evaluations over time, you’ll be able to pinpoint your core strengths and weaknesses which will boost your self-awareness and self-confidence levels.
⚖️ Balance and Stress Management
We all know the importance of work-life balance, but maintaining a healthy balance between the two is much easier said than done. Prioritizing balance and stress management is essential for confidence-building at work. If you’re constantly feeling overwhelmed or stressed, your work performance and self-confidence can take a major hit.
⭐ Avoid low confidence by trying some of the stress management techniques below:
- Daily yoga or meditation
- Having dinner with a friend or co-worker
- Practicing self-care
- Painting or listening to music
- Dress for success
By effectively managing your stress levels, it frees you up to focus on your work performance and development which will keep you feeling confident in your work environment.
🎉 Celebrating Success
Another critical practice to maintaining self-confidence at work is taking a moment to truly celebrate your success, both big and small. Of course, there’s always room to learn and improve, but that doesn’t diminish your accomplishments thus far. You’ve rightfully earned a place in the room through hard work and dedication and it’s important not to forget that.
⭐ Some ways to celebrate your success at work include:
- Going out to dinner to celebrate a promotion
- Rewarding yourself with a day off after completing a massive project
- Having a spa day after you overcame a challenge
- Grabbing a drink with your close friends – you’ve earned it!
- Logging your successes in a journal for future reflection
Giving yourself the credit you deserve and celebrating every day wins will energize your self-confidence and keep you motivated to continue accomplishing your goals.
Work Reddit Threads
Tapping into the collective wisdom of the r/work community on Reddit can provide a major confidence boost.
The recent thread on building self-confidence at work delivers real-world tips from fellow professionals who understand the challenges. Connecting with empathetic peers facing similar struggles makes you feel less alone. The validation that everyone experiences self-doubt at times is comforting. Reading the open and honest dialog allows you to reflect on your strengths and growth areas, reframe unhelpful thoughts, and find actionable ways to showcase your talents.
Whether it’s volunteering for a project that uses your skills or keeping an accomplishments journal, the community shares practical confidence-building advice.
With the support and camaraderie of those who have been there, you gain encouragement to break out of your comfort zone professionally. Motivated and uplifted, you can take steps to create positive changes that foster workplace self-confidence.
Check out r/work on Reddit to learn more!
People Also Ask These Questions About Self-Confidence at Work
Q: How can you build self-confidence in the workplace?
- A: You can build self-confidence in the workplace by increasing your self-awareness, reciting positive affirmations, and finding a supportive mentor.
Q: What are some common reasons for low self-confidence at work?
- A: Some reasons for low self-confidence at work include lack of experience or knowledge, fear of being wrong or making a mistake, and resistance to trying new things or taking on challenges.
Q: How can managers help employees improve their self-confidence?
- A: Managers can help employees improve their self-confidence by positively reinforcing what they’re doing well and celebrating those strengths. They can also provide growth or learning recommendations for their employees. Furthermore, avoid micromanaging your employees.
Q: How does self-confidence impact job performance and success?
- A: Self-confidence impacts job performance and success because confidence empowers employees to advocate for themselves, expand their skill set, and approach their roles with creativity and certitude.
Q: How can I encourage a culture of confidence and self-esteem in my workplace?
- A: You can encourage a culture of confidence and self-esteem in your work environment by celebrating both individual and team members’ success, providing opportunities for growth, and encouraging your employees to prioritize their overall well-being.