Most of us have experienced a hit to our self-confidence at some point. Low self-esteem can come up for various personal and professional reasons, but regardless of origin, it can really take a toll on you in the workplace.
Fortunately, just because you’re feeling less than stellar right now doesn’t mean you’ll always feel this way. If you’re feeling insecure in your work, try these 14 tips from Forbes Coaches Council members to boost your confidence, no matter what comes your way.
1. Reframe Your Perception Of Confidence
In her book "re:MIND," author Kristin Taylor frames a new way to look at confidence. She says it's about asking for help, building trusting relationships, accepting feedback and trying new things. In the workplace, these activities are the foundation of building confident employees. Employees: ask your leader what they think and pick one of these to try. Feedback is where we learn the most. Start there. - Colby B. Jubenville, PhD, drjubenville.com
2. Find Meaning In Your Work
What is the impact your work has directly or indirectly on the lives of others? Internal or external customers? How do you make a difference for them? Perhaps you are giving them clarity or you help them consider alternatives. Or you help them avoid certain risks or simply brighten their day. Once you know the impact, you know your higher purpose, and it will give you tremendous confidence! - Mickey A. Feher, The MANTORSHIFT Initiative
3. Make Expectations Explicit
Expectations: We all have them and yet, in our need for speed, we don’t take the time to share them and understand them. When I don’t know what you expect, my confidence goes down in proportion to how high the stakes are. Low confidence can lead to mistakes, lack of engagement and missed opportunities. So take a few minutes before delegating that next assignment and share your expectations. - Cyndee Blockinger Lake, Blank Page
4. Seek Out Mentors Who Know Your Work
If you are not confident or are losing confidence in your ability at work, ask people you respect to be your mentor. Share with them what you're doing and be vulnerable about your feelings. Good mentors who are close to your work will often see the good things you're doing that you miss. Take their advice and follow up on the effect it has. - John Knotts, Crosscutter Enterprises
5. Learn To Silence Your Inner Critic
According to one study, an estimated 70% of people will experience impostor syndrome in their lifetime, the persistent fear of being exposed as a fraud. Everyone experiences insecurities and doubt about their abilities. Being prepared and silencing your critical inner voice through positive thought and creative visualization will help you manage feelings of insecurity or inadequacy in your abilities or power. - G. Riley Mills, Pinnacle Performance Company
6. Lean On Your Cheerleaders
It’s natural to lose our confidence from time to time. But with wavering confidence, we often have forgotten what’s true about ourselves—who we really are. We must find cheerleaders and supporters who can remind us of who we are so we can get out of our own way and get our work done. Because, as leaders, our biggest "to-do" is to exile doubt and remove obstacles in order to be high performers. - Dorothy Enriquez, The Communication Strategist
7. Focus On The Facts
For some, low self-confidence shows up when we forget our thoughts are not reality, but rather are habitual responses of our brain neurons firing together. One way to offset this is to focus on the facts. For example, if you don't think you're doing a good job, have you actually received this feedback? This simple exercise may give you a more realistic perception of yourself and raise your confidence. - Elizabeth Semion, Elizabeth Semion & Associates
8. Practice Self-Compassionate Self-Acceptance
Here's the secret: You don't need to feel more confident. You just need to be compassionately OK with feeling a lack of confidence. When you do so, those feelings are no longer a barrier. Focus instead on what value you want to support by taking your desired action. The feelings of "lack of confidence" will be unpleasant, but they won't get in your way. - Dr. Joel M. Rothaizer, MCC, Clear Impact Consulting Group
9. Work On Your Power Pose
One of the techniques I share in workshops is Amy Cuddy's power poses. Her research shows that by having a powerful stance, we can make ourselves actually feel more powerful. And it's true. I have visibly seen people's energy become stronger and more confident after just five minutes of power posing. So sneak into the restroom and stand firm with your arms out reaching for the sky. It truly works. - Gabriella Goddard, Brainsparker Leadership Academy
10. Accept That Everyone Makes Mistakes
Low confidence is directly tied to the fear of not being perfect. Even the most confident employee has made mistakes. The difference is they are able to put the mistake in context. Most mistakes are not career-ending or detrimental to overall business success. Lean in and do the best job you can and learn from your mistakes, including time management misses or inefficient processes. - Tracy Levine, Advantage Talent, Inc.
11. Celebrate Small Wins
Self-doubt, impostor syndrome and erosion of self-confidence can often be a perpetual downward spiral, especially when we are out of our comfort zone and trying to learn and do new things. However, looking for small yet meaningful wins in our day-to-day work can help to interrupt that downward spiral and be the start of rebuilding our confidence as we expand our competencies and become experts. - Jonathan H. Westover, Ph.D, Utah Valley University & Human Capital Innovations, LLC
12. Understand And Challenge Your Limiting Beliefs
In order to evolve from low self-confidence to self-esteem and then to self-worth, you can begin by asking yourself, "What behaviors of my own are holding me back from success?" Being cognitive of your limiting beliefs and having the courage, discipline and humility to work through the transition is the beginning of realizing success—for success truly is a mindset. - Lori Harris, Harris Whitesell Consulting
13. Set And Achieve Reasonable Goals
To become more confident, achieve goals. Try new things. Set reasonable goals and divide them up into steps, then work on them one at a time. Therefore, we can celebrate small accomplishments, which causes us to see how our goals become more achievable. My advice is to take an online micro-course, where you learn one new thing then implement it in your job immediately. - Elizabeth Ruiz, EAR Enterprises
14. Exercise Your Confidence 'Muscle'
Just like anything in life, we must exercise our ability to pursue life with confidence. Confidence is arguably the single most important characteristic in any business professional. Confidence is also physiological and can be quickly acquired by the way you stand, the way you smile in and your inner chatter. These three things can rapidly help you regain confidence in a matter of seconds. - Adriana Rosales, Adriana & Company™ LLC