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How To Develop Career Confidence: 6 Ways To Boost Your Self-Confidence

Do you panic at the thought of standing up to speak to a room full of people, or do you constantly second guess yourself at work and during important meetings?  

Have you thought of yourself as simply shy, not as talkative as your colleague and therefore do not speak up in work situations?

Developing self-confidence is the single most important life skill you will ever acquire. It impacts your happiness, success and well-being. When you have self-confidence, you’ll find that advancing in the workplace goes much more smoothly and naturally.

Confidence like all skills can be developed, and with enough practice, it can become second nature. Historically, confidence was thought of as a personal trait; some were born with it, while others simply were not. But more recent research has revealed that no one is born with confidence which is great news. It means you can learn how to develop this important skill in no time to become unconsciously competent.

Confidence can be situational. You might feel confident speaking to your peers at work but less confident presenting to a room full of people.

But for us to be confident in any situation we might find ourselves, we must operate with a bit of courage. Courage isn’t the absence of fear, as you will still feel the fear. Courage will help you push through the fear and enable you to overcome your limiting self-belief.

So, the next time you need to boost your self-confidence, try these tips to feel confident and live up to your fullest potential at work, or in your personal life.

1. Develop self-belief

You may have experienced setbacks or embarrassing situations which has knocked your confidence, causing you to retreat. But you need not accept this position as your lot in life.  

You have to believe in yourself to develop lasting self-confidence. This isn’t about being arrogant, showing off or having a superiority complex, rather it is an internal quiet self-confidence which comes from accepting who you are despite your flaws. It is knowing that perfection is a myth and accepting you are on a journey to becoming the best version of you.

Often times we can be our worst critic, with constant mindless chatter telling us we are not good enough. Take control of the internal chatter and silence the voice by speaking to yourself the way you will speak to a dear good friend. You can also incorporate mindfulness and meditation practises into your daily morning routines to boost your self-confidence in no time.

2. Tap into positive emotions

It is easy to feel positive, and be optimistic when things are working out well, but the reality is that things do not always work out as planned. This uncertainty can create a sense of loss of control, but we need not be overcome by negative emotions. It is during this period of uncertainty that we must dig deep and tap into our positive emotions.

You can do so by reminding yourself of the time when things worked out well, when you experienced great joy, this could be in your personal or professional life. You should keep the memory at the forefront of your mind and replay the positive emotions associated with the experience.

You can use visualisation techniques to replay those positive experiences, and feel the emotions associated with the experience. Recent research in the field of Neuroscience suggests that recalling an experience in our memory is similar to experiencing the feelings associated with the experience all over again, so tap into positive emotions in your memory to boost your self-confidence.

3. Act confident to feel confident

I haven’t always been a big fan of ‘fake it till you make it’ because frankly it felt a bit fake. But are we truly living an authentic way when we shy away from embracing life and going after career growth opportunities?

For the days when you are fearful and don’t feel confident, adopt a high-power pose, like the wonder woman pose. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and place your hands on your hips with chest out for an instant confidence boost.

The wonder woman pose was made popular by Amy Cuddy, in her inspiring TED talk on body language. Cuddy suggested that our body language can control how we think and feel about ourselves. In other words, by assuming a powerful pose, we can make ourselves actually feel more powerful. The power pose is said to reduce cortisol the stress hormone but increases the levels of testosterone which makes us feel more confident. So, get power posing for an instant confidence boost!

4. Top up your confidence daily 

Sometimes we feel very confident, ready to take on the world, but on another day, we may feel deflated and consumed with self-doubt. You can manage this highs and lows by developing daily confidence boosting habits.

You can start by creating a list of things you do well, your achievements and successes. This might include the time when you have felt most confident, it could include qualifications obtained or skills gained through training and work experience. This isn’t the time to be modest, so jot down as many awesome things that you can think of in a journal.

Make a habit of reviewing the journal each morning before work or at bedtime so that when you encounter difficult situations you know you have what it takes to come out on top.

5. Focus on progress instead of perfection

Perfection is a myth which is reinforced by popular media. The idea that we are not enough, and we need to do more and be more. If we feed into these untruths, we will find ourselves unhappy which isn’t a good place to build self-confidence.

Rather than focus on trying to meet up to ideal standards which are unrealistic, accept that you are work in progress and are becoming a better version of yourself while still accepting all your flaws. Loving yourself is one of the ways to developing a healthy self- esteem.

I am a big fan of journaling and you can take time each day to reflect and write down the progress you are making towards achieving any goals you may have set for yourself. It might just be taking baby steps, but as long as you maintain forward momentum and keep going, you will make good progress towards achieving your goals in no time.

6. Get a career mentor

We all know that mentors can significantly enhance the potential of individuals and that most successful people have benefited from at least one mentoring relationship during their career.

A mentor can assist you to develop skills needed to grow in your career which can in turn boost your confidence. Seek out people who have achieved amazing things and have walked a path similar to the one you are embarking on.

When you’re in self-doubting mode, a great mentor that believes in you can serve as an instant confidence boost. You can learn more about how to find the right mentor or click here to find out more about our mentoring programme where you will be paired with a great mentor.