Some people naturally exude confidence. They know exactly who they are, what they want and what they’re doing – all the time. But for the rest of us, self-confidence is something that is gained slowly through experience, rather than something that’s inherited since birth.
Unfortunately, it’s almost impossible to broach the topic of workplace confidence without delving into some pretty cringey clichés. So, here’s some cliché-riddled tips for nailing the art of workplace self-confidence:
1) Be your best self.
Fast-paced roles require a tricky balance between getting everything done on time and maintaining a high standard of work. Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg is often quoted for saying “Done is better than perfect” - and while this is by all means true, delivering a subpar performance will reflect poorly on you (and it won’t do any favours for your self-confidence levels either).
It might require some fine-tuning, but once you’ve got the balance right between ticking everything off your to-do list and pleasing your inner-perfectionist, your self-confidence will start to soar.
Encourage communication between your bosses.
When working for multiple bosses, it’s easy to get put in the position of having to report one boss’s agenda to the other – and sometimes even having to defend it.
Avoid getting put in this difficult situation by setting up regular meetings, facilitating daily scrums, or creating direct conversations between the two parties through email, instant messaging tools or platforms like Slack.
2) Step outside your comfort zone.
Once you’ve been in a role for a while, it’s easy to get comfortable, and this can lead to you taking a backward stance and letting learning opportunities pass you by. Challenge yourself to develop by picking up new skills, or volunteering to work on projects that stray outside your area of expertise.
3) Run your own race.
Avoid getting swept up in office politics – gossiping, greasing and flattery will get you nowhere in the grand-scheme of things (nowhere that you want to be, anyway). Instead, focus on your work. Knowing that you’re doing a good job and being proud of your performance will do far more favours for your confidence than sucking up to the boss.
4) Sing your own praises.
That being said, don’t be afraid to share your successes with others, because if you don’t believe in yourself, no one else will. So, when you’re talking about your work, achievements, or even your personal life, make sure you do so with enthusiasm.
It’s also a good idea to keep track of your successes. Not only will it be a useful reminder of how far you’ve come, it will also come in handy when you’re updating your CV.
5) Fake it till you make it.
Don’t fixate on your past performance or failures, focus on where you want to be in the future! For instance, if you want to be in a certain role or position, rather than waiting to prove yourself, treat your current position with the same level of seriousness as you would the role itself.
6) Be the change you want to see.
Ghandi might have been referring to world peace when he made this quote, but the notion also applies in a business setting. Don’t complain about your current environment or workplace without doing your bit to change it.
Why did you decide to get into your current job or career path? What was it that interested or inspired you? Find your personal purpose and instil this purpose into your work, and you’ll soon start to see changes take place to your environment.
7) Keep your head up.
We all know that negative thoughts are the Achilles’ heel of self-confidence – so don’t entertain them! It might require the occasional motivational pep talk in the mirror, but do your best to think positive thoughts, or at least let your positive thoughts outnumber the negative.
By applying these simple yet effective tips to your day-to-day behaviour, you’ll find yourself benefiting from a new supply of self-confidence in no time.