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Saturday, July 20, 2024

11 Ways to Boost Your Confidence at Work

We all want to feel more confident, but many of us need help figuring out where to start. While it can seem like some people are just born confident, there are easy ways to become more confident, just like with any other skill.

Here are some tips to boost your confidence and help you become a more confident person at work and in your daily life. Developing higher self-esteem and confidence doesn’t come immediately, so be patient with yourself and try out these tips and different things one at a time. 

A happy, confident woman working from home on a laptop in her kitchen.

1. Ask Questions 

Have you ever had a question for your boss, client, or colleagues but kept putting it off? 

Maybe you felt the imposter syndrome or perfectionism creeping in. If so, you’re not alone.

Asking questions shows that you’re interested, want to learn, and take your work seriously.

If you’re worried you have too many questions, talk with your boss or colleagues about the best way to ask questions. Would they prefer doing a short daily or weekly check-in? Should you batch-send your questions in an email? Find what works for everyone involved. 

Over time, your confidence will grow as you become more knowledgeable in your work and feel more comfortable asking for what you need.

2. Seek Out Opportunities to Learn New Skills or Software

Once you finish school or have been in the same job or company for a long time, it can become easy to feel stagnant.

Think about what skills or software could be helpful for you and take the initiative to read books or take a workshop or online course

Learning something new is a good way to stretch yourself and show that you’re capable of more than you realize. 

Not only will you expand your skillset, but you’ll also boost your confidence in the process. 

3. Record Any Positive Comments You Receive 

Most of us have perfect memories of remembering every negative piece of feedback. But, we often overlook the positive things we’re told.

Have an email folder or Word document where you keep any positive feedback or comments that you receive. They don’t need to be work-related. 

Maybe your best friend told you you’re a great listener, or your boss mentioned you did a great job on your last report. 

Regardless of how small or large it seems, keep track of it. Then, when you’re feeling discouraged, revisit your list.

4. Reflect Regularly on What Is and Isn’t Working

I learned about the idea of a work journal from Lauren McGoodwin of Career Contessa. With a work journal, you track how things are going in your work life, both good and bad. 

You can note small wins, goals, things you want to work on, etc.

Set a specific time each week to schedule a weekly reflection. Praise yourself for things that are going well, and note things to improve.

As you make improvements and have a record of your growth, you will gain a sense of accomplishment. 

5. Avoid or Limit Confidence Drains Like Social Media

When you spend too much time on social media, it becomes almost impossible not to have low self-esteem. From the outside, it can look like your feed is full of confident people crushing every area of life. 

Your high school bestie just got a promotion, your old coworker got married last week, and everyone else seems to have a successful side hustle. 

If you find that using social media drains you, don’t be afraid to limit your use or delete it entirely. 

I took a break from social media for a few years and am so glad I did. 

6. View Failure or Setbacks as Opportunities to Learn 

No matter what kind of job you have, there will be challenges or situations that make you feel like a failure. That’s just part of being human. 

Remember that we all feel this way at times. 

If you are still in the first few months or even the first year of a new job or company, you might feel a lack of self-confidence. The key is to avoid getting stuck there.

Whenever you make a mistake, make sure you know why you messed up and avoid doing the same thing in the future. 

Beyond that, try to brush it off and remind yourself that you’re still learning and part of the learning process is making mistakes. 

7. Have Support In and Out of Your Workplace 

Have you ever had a friend or family member who stayed in a job they didn’t love because they loved their colleagues or boss? 

People can truly make or break a situation. If you’re new or don’t have any work friends, try inviting a colleague for a quick coffee chat over Zoom. 

Support outside of work is equally important. 

The more you have friends or family to vent to with problems or to encourage you when you’re struggling, the more you’ll thrive in your day-to-day work.

Think about your situation and ask yourself whether you have the positive relationships you want and need.

If not, how can you find it, and who can you ask?

8. Make Your Sleep and Health a Top Priority 

If you want to be the best version of yourself and maintain your energy levels, you need to get enough sleep, get some movement, and fill your body with healthy foods.

You can’t do your best work when you’re constantly exhausted and lethargic. 

See if you can start going to bed at least 15 minutes earlier. Then, a few minutes earlier. Use trial and error and see how much sleep you need to feel your best. 

Another tip is to focus your meals and snacks around protein, vegetables, and fruit to keep your energy up throughout the day. 

A happy, confident woman working from home on a laptop at a table.

9. Find Hobbies or Passion Projects Outside of Work 

In seasons of my life when I struggled with my work, one of the most helpful things I did was prioritize my hobbies and try new things.

By putting my energy into a new hobby or other talents I was good at, I found my confidence increasing with my hobbies and in other areas of life. 

For example, let’s say that you start learning a new language. You build confidence as you learn new vocabulary and overcome your fear of speaking or making mistakes. You realize that if you can do something challenging like learning a language, you can also take on challenges with other things and develop resilience.

10. Seek Out Mental Health Support as Needed

At the root of building self-confidence is seeking the right mental health support. Whether you’re struggling with anxiety, depression, a mood disorder, self-doubt, difficult emotions, or negative thoughts, the right help and professionals can change everything. 

Some people think that going to therapists or psychologists is only for pretty severe problems, but that’s not the case. Therapy can help you resolve personal issues, work problems, relationship concerns, and more.

Therapy has tremendously helped me trust my decision-making, build confidence, and improve my well-being. 

11. Strike a Power Pose

Another way to develop high self-confidence is to try striking a power pose. 

First, you can look at yourself in the mirror, stand straight, and have good posture.

You can also find a positive affirmation that resonates with you and repeat it to yourself. 

At first, you might find the notion of positive self-talk and posing to feel silly, but stick with it and see how it makes you feel over time. 

If this sounds intriguing, you can follow Amy Cuddy, who has a TED Talk and a book on the topic.

Boost Your Confidence at Work Wrapup

As you can see, there are many simple ways to boost your confidence at work and in life. If you’re currently feeling low in confidence, these changes might feel a little overwhelming or intimidating, and that’s okay. Fear is normal. Try re-reading this list and see if you can pick out a few tips that seem the least daunting.

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