It's common to feel unsure of your work and second-guess yourself on the job. But there are many easy ways to address this problem. Here are 11 things you can do when you need a quick confidence boost at work.
1. Make eye contact
While speaking, making eye contact shows you're assertive. And when someone else is speaking, it shows you are truly listening. Let your bosses and coworkers know you are as comfortable leading the conversation as you are taking a back seat and listening.
2. Encourage others to be confident, too
By encouraging others to build the confidence to speak up, you become confident yourself. Be responsive and engaged and add your own view or idea to their point. Let them know you care about what they worked up the courage to say.
3. Push beyond your comfort zone
If you're normally anxious to speak up in meetings, set a goal to do just that. Push past your normal level of participation and be confident in what you have to say.
4. "Fake it till you make it"
Take this cliche to heart. Tell yourself you're confident, even if you don't truly feel it yet. Act prepared in situations you may not fully feel prepared for. And soon enough, you'll believe it.
5. Identify your strengths
Build upon the aspects of the job you already know you are good at. Access these strengths when you are looking to impress a boss or a colleague. And continue to improve upon these skills; you can always get better.
6. Identify your weaknesses
Acknowledge the skills you may not be the best at, and then work on them. Devise a plan to improve your weaknesses and eventually eliminate them. But don't obsess over your weaknesses. View them as a challenge you're ready and prepared to tackle.
7. Practice positive affirmations
Don't let your insecurities or fears of failure hold you back from reaching your full potential. You've worked hard to get to where you are, and your boss saw potential in you. You are capable and prepared. And it will help to remind yourself of this every once in a while.
8. Keep your desk organized
This simple act will make you feel more in-control. And a clean desk will encourage you to take control over other things in your life.
9. Ask for feedback
The smartest employees want to know the good and the bad of their job performance. Don't be afraid of constructive criticism; it will only allow you to improve upon yourself and your work. Plus, it shows your boss you care about constantly getting better at what you do.
10. Always appear positive
Smile. Take deep breaths when necessary. Appear in-control when, in reality, you may be frustrated or upset. You will seem more approachable, friendly, and better prepared to handle disasters that may occur.
11. Don't be afraid to ask questions
Even the most experienced of employees ask questions. Showing you are eager to learn and understand something that may be unknown or confusing is perceived as taking interest and chasing personal growth. It is better to know than to pretend you understand, which later could have a negative impact on your performance.
A version of this post previously appeared on Fairygodboss, which helps women get the inside scoop on pay, corporate culture, benefits, and work flexibility. Founded in 2015, Fairygodboss offers company ratings, job listings, discussion boards, and career advice.
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