Building up confidence at work is harder said than done. We all know that feeling: You want to say something in a meeting, but your lack of confidence gets in the way. Will they think my question is dumb? Or wait … have they already answered it and I just wasn’t paying attention? I’d better stay quiet.
In this scenario, it’s likely that the question you have in mind is a good question. In fact, lots of other people sitting at the table probably have the exact same one and would benefit from knowing the answer, as well. Self-doubt is a real thing, and too often it stops us from saying what’s on our minds, asking questions, and fully understanding.
So, let’s work on building up your confidence, shall we? Here are some tips!
Learn as much as you can.
You know how it feels to finally understand a concept for the first time? It’s the lightbulb moment, and suddenly you feel like you’re on top of the world. Learning new things boosts our confidence by giving us a sense of self-satisfaction. Here are a few ways to start learning more in your workplace:
- Find a leader who inspires you. What are their strengths? How do they handle tough situations? Observe and learn as much as you can from them!
- Don’t be afraid to ask questions when you need clarification.
- Update your skills often. LinkedIn™ has over 500 courses available for professional development.
Learning doesn’t happen by simply sitting back and letting new information come to you. It requires you to actively seek out opportunities to grow!
Fake it ‘til you make it.
Research shows that our body language accounts for 55% of communication. Sure, you may not feel confident enough to voice your opinions out loud just yet. But lucky for you, your body language can help you look and feel more confident all on its own!
Here’s our advice for body language that projects confidence:
- Maintain eye contact.
- Stand up straight.
- Point your feet toward the person you’re talking to. This subconsciously lets them know you’re interested in the conversation!
- Have a firm handshake (this one can be tough … for some professional handshake tips.)
The last (and probably the best) piece of advice we have for you on body language is to simply make an effort to smile more. You may think that being serious and keeping a straight face is the key to showing confidence, but this type of body language will ultimately steer people away from you. Plus, smiling makes you happy even when you’re not feeling it initially … the ultimate “fake it ‘til you make it” if you ask us!
Look for new challenges.
Your comfort zone is … comfortable. And sure, it’s a place you feel good in, but nothing new and exciting will ever grow there. The solution? Get out of your box and try out something new!
Yes, it’s scary at first to shoot your hand up to volunteer for a new project. Or it may terrify you to accept a promotion into a leadership position when you’ve been doing the same exact job for the past 25 years. But guess what? By accepting new opportunities, you’re opening yourself up to a world of possibilities to grow your confidence!
Build Your Confidence at Work and Beyond!
We all have insecurities that hold us back and make us feel like we’re not enough sometimes. But by letting those insecurities control our lives, we’re missing out on becoming the best version of ourselves! Learn to become more self-confident and you’ll likely find doors opening that you didn’t even know were possible.
Looking for other ways to improve your leadership skills? Reading can help! Check out our blog post on “Why Reading Can Help Make You a Better Leader.”