Do you want to know how to be more confident at work? As a professional, having a high degree of self-confidence will be key for achieving success at work … and in every other aspect of your life.
Employers want confident employees because confident employees are self-motivated, efficient and creative.
Confident employees also turn into confident leaders.
Do you want to know how to be more confident at work? Or do you want to continue slugging through the daily grind, complaining of being underpaid and underappreciated? Hopefully its the former rather than the latter.
Since you want to know how to be more confident at work, following are nine tips for gaining that confidence.
1. Focus on Your Strengths
The most confident people work within their strengths. Trying to do something at which you know you are not blessed with the ability will drag you down emotionally.
By this point in your life, you should know what your talents are. Are you able to use those talents, i.e., strengths, at work on a daily basis? If not, try to find a different career in which you can work within your strengths.
A few years ago, I took the Strengthsfinder 2.0 test. I was curious to see what the results would be because I’ve always been an introvert.
The results of the short test were astounding. Four of my five biggest strengths were spot-on. I saw them and thought, “Of course that represents me.”
My number one strength, however, was a complete shock to me.
My number one strength was “Relator.” At first, I didn’t think that was possible. But then I read the description of what a relator is. Sure enough, that is my number one strength. I don’t like to make friends just for the sake of having friends. But when I enter into any type of relationship, I try to make it deep. I want friends, not acquaintances.
In reality, my career has allowed me to use that strength more and more as I progress. Building relationships is what I deem to be the most interesting and fun aspect of my career.
So if you really want to know how to be more confident at work, buy Strengthsfinder 2.0 and start using your top strengths.
2. Enjoy Your Job
Being good at your job is one thing. You also want to enjoy what you do. Being good at and enjoying are not always the same.
If you can find something you’re good at and enjoy, then you’ve found the sweet spot.
For example, I’m really good at bookkeeping. If I did that for a living though, I’d flip out. It is not what I like.
What do you really like to do?
Do you need interaction with people or do you enjoy working alone? Do you enjoy using your mind or just repetitious tasks using your hands?
Do you need to be creative to have fun or do things by rote?
Whatever you like to do, if you want to know how to be more confident at work, find that intersection between what you like and what you’re good at doing.
3. Have High Expectations
What would be the point in building confidence if you didn’t expect it to improve your future?
You can make your future whatever you want it to be. You should expect it to be great.
Those expectations are not just because of you though. Expect great things from those you work with. The trick with expectations is communicating them to all parties. If others do not know what your expectations are, they won’t know how to meet them.
I’ve suffered from this in the past when dealing with my coworkers and employees. I have high expectations of everyone I work with. Partially that is because we hire very smart, personable, self-motivated people. They demand much of themselves so high expectations are the norm for everyone.
I’ll identify something that can and should be improved. I’ll change it and then keep seeing it without it being corrected. I get so frustrated.
That’s my fault though. I’ve never told anyone to correct it. My expectations are just that they will notice I made the change and then change it going forward. Shame on me for not telling them.
As you continue to set, meet and then exceed your own expectations, your confidence will continue to grow.
4. Dress to Impress
Yes, I’m a nerd.
Sometimes when I work from home, I still get dressed up in a suit. Why? Because I feel better and more professional being dressed in professional work attire.
Part of my personal brand, which I’ve worked hard to create and manage, is to wear a suit and tie every day. Just last month, some of my clients were joking with me that I probably even mow the lawn with a tie on.
I don’t go quite that far.
Anyway, dressing up always makes me more confident.
Wear clothes that fit properly and look good, and you’ll see your confidence soar.
The suit that does it for me the most is a fully tailored suit and French cuff dress shirt. Both fit me perfectly. I just feel so good when I wear them.
For you to know how to be more confident at work, I recommend investing (it is an investment, not an expense) in a tailored suit. Don’t go to a store where they will bring in the jacket a little and hem the pants to the right length. Get a suit made. It will be more costly but I promise you that it is worth it!
5. Smile to Be Happy
Smiling induces the body to release certain chemicals that will increase your happiness. When you smile, you will feel happier. When you feel happier, you will feel more confident.
It’s only a theory but I believe only happy people can truly confident.
You’re probably thinking, “That can’t be right. There is this really mean guy I work with but he has more confidence that anyone else.”
That may be how it appears but I believe his confidence is truly a falsified ego that is used as a defense mechanism for his lack of confidence.
I used to coach high school volleyball. We were playing a match against my alma mater and were faring well. Our middle hitter made a mistake and got really down on himself. He was talented but we had to regulate his demeanor.
After he made that mistake, I didn’t chew him out, yell at him or even try to correct what he did wrong. Instead, I yelled out to him, “SMILE!”
He gave me this strange look and then smiled. I knew that if he would keep his emotions in check, he would be more confident and play better. It worked!
An article from Psychology Today delves into the secrets of happiness. It doesn’t specifically address smiling but it does address many benefits of smiling and being happy.
Watch your confidence soar when you smile more often. You’ll even find that it is contagious. The more you smile, the more others will as well.
6. Celebrate Small Wins
One of Dave Ramsey’s teachings of the debt snowball is to pay off the smallest debt balance you have, regardless of the interest rate. He realized that most people need to win a small battle early on or they will stop fighting the war.
Sure, it makes sense to pay off the highest interest rate debt first. That would save you the most money. However, if you are not strong-willed enough to continue paying off that debt, it won’t matter.
We think the same way in any other task.
Think about dieting. If you continue to focus on losing a huge number of pounds, you’ll become discouraged every time you step on the scale. However, focus on losing two pounds per week, and you can celebrate the achievement of a goal every week.
Winning creates momentum. Winning creates confidence.
To know how to be more confident by celebrating small wins, break large goals into steps. Each step should be small and short enough to be achieved quickly.
7. Spend Time with Confident People
Jim Rohn said, “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.”
I love this quote and think of it often.
Have you noticed how misery loves company? Unsuccessful people hang around others who are unsuccessful. Complainers spend time with complainers. Stressed people hang around other stressed people.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, happy people hang out with happy people, confident with confident, successful with successful.
That’s no accident.
Be intentional about who you spend the most time with. When you find yourself spending time with someone who is always complaining, stop spending time with her.
8. Be Healthy
This should be a no-brainer. If it was though more people would take their health seriously.
Are you as healthy as you want to be? If not, what’s holding you back?
I know the answer to that…time. You don’t think you have time. I hear you. I use that excuse too.
Think about two things about time and being healthy. Even the most important business leaders in the world today have only 24 hours in a day. You have no more time than they do and they have no more than you. We all have the same amount of time.
Also, one of those business leaders is Richard Branson, head of the Virgin companies. When asked what his number one tip for productivity is, he answered, “Work out.” That tells you something right there.
It’s odd to me how we as a society have to focus so much on getting healthy. Shouldn’t that be the norm? Instead, we eat processed foods high in chemicals and sugars and then sit all day. That’s a recipe for disaster.
Ask me how to be more confident at work by being healthy and I’ll give you a short list of simple things to do:
- Drink more water, no soft drinks
- Get out of your chair often
- Don’t eat anything that came out of a vending machine
- Sleep more
That’s it. Each is simple. They are even easy when you focus on your health rather than convenience.
9. Be in the Now
You cannot be stressed if you focus on now. Stress comes from focusing on the past and the future, rather than the now. Stress is the result of your thoughts.
I can’t say it much better than Prince Ea can in the video below. He shares how to eliminate stress in 60 seconds. Watch it, you will be happy you did.
How to Be More Confident At Work
There you have it. Nine easy tips for building confidence at work.
Use these tips to enhance your confidence and grow in your career. You are in control of your confidence, your career and your future. No one controls any of them. Only you do.
Be the author of your own story. Be the CEO of your career.
Question for you: What else have you done to be more confident at work?
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