No matter what position you hold or what your job might be – whether you’re an artist or a surgeon, self-confidence is essential to your success.
Do you feel self-confident at work? While you may experience some feelings of self-doubt, it isn’t always that obvious. However, if you find yourself passing on assignments, doubting that you’re able to tackle assignments, or designing reasons that you can’t take on new challenges, that’s a red flag. You might even find that you’re procrastinating until you’re out of time to complete a new project.
That doesn’t mean every work related problem is caused by or is a sign of a self-confidence issue. But a lack of self-confidence could be at the heart of larger problems. You may sabotage yourself by not taking the necessary steps because you believe you’re not going to succeed anyway.
If you do indeed lack self-confidence, your low self-esteem can be apparent to others. Clearly if you don’t believe in your own abilities, why would your boss or peers believe in you? If you’re unsure of your confidence level or how you are perceived by your peers, speak with a close friend. Your friend might be able to give you some insights.
If others take note of your lack of self-confidence, it can become a vicious cycle. When you don’t appear confident, your boss senses your feelings. He or she notices your lack of progress because of procrastination and other symptoms. Less trust and therefore less important assignments come your way. You then notice this lack of trust and of course your self-confidence sinks even lower.
The good news (yes there’s good news) is that it does not have to end this way. Once you realize you have some self-confidence issues at work, you can actually take some action and make change.
A great way to gain self-confidence at work is to be prepared. Whether it’s a new procedure or a high profile presentation, being well prepared will garner you much more confidence. Your self-confidence stems from putting yourself in a more stress-free position and from pride in a job well done.
Procrastination is a pitfall you want to avoid. Procrastination is the absolute antithesis of preparedness. Clearly there is no way to be completely prepared if you put off doing something until the absolute last minute. If you are rushed to complete your project, more than likely your confidence in that undertaking, and by extension your personal abilities will be low.
At the same time, procrastination can cause a lack of confidence and can often be a symptom of low self-confidence. If you feel insecure in your ability to complete a challenging task, you will keep putting it off. You’ll tell yourself that you’ll start the project just soon as you finish checking your messages, then your email, and after lunch, and… you get the picture.
Strangely enough, one of the best ways to boost your self-confidence at work is to actually admit that you’re having difficulty. If you don’t ever admit your problems, you’ll never learn let alone grow. As you take on new tasks, learn and gain new skills, you also increase your self-confidence.
If your self-confidence is low, start with small tasks to build up your esteem. Focus on the one thing that you feel you do well. Obviously now isn’t the time to take on the firm’s biggest client. Instead, if you’re an artist, design a new business card or write an interesting article for the company newsletter.
The key is to build confidence by doing things you’re good at, and then from there you build your way up to difficult tasks that you previously avoided. Self-confidence is an essential part of your success at work. It truly pays to be aware of your confidence levels and to take steps to develop them whenever necessary.