How To Be Confident At Work: 3 Practical Tips on Mindset

Hard work is essential in order to be successful at work. However, the lack of confidence can negatively influence that success.

So what does it mean to be confident? To be confident is simply to be assured or convinced about your own abilities or qualities. For example, your own views of your daily performance at work can either lead to a higher or lower self-esteem. The level of confidence you have, therefore, greatly depends on your mindset.

So if you’re aiming for a promotion, a raise or you simply just want to have more self-esteem – the belief in your own ability to succeed will play a major role.

Balancing Confidence and Performance

According to an interesting study done by Don Moore of Carnegie Mellon University, people tend to be more swayed by confidence than by expertise. This leads to the fact that confidence can sometimes even be more important than your actual performance. However, this is not to say that performance or expertise should be put aside. Instead, the right balance of both can be a powerful combination of gaining more success at work.

Here are three mindsets and practical tips that will help you exhibit more confidence at work:

1. Adopt a Positive Mindset

Probably easier said than done – However, the truth is, whatever you think regarding your work or performance will eventually be the outcome. You might not be able to do all the things that person A or B does at work. However, don’t forget you are great too, in your own unique way. You are a valuable member of the team and your individual contribution is essential to the team’s overall performance.

How to be more positive at work:

  • Substitute negative thoughts for positive thinking
  • Stop saying negative words – Made a mistake? No problem. Let it go.
  • Disengage yourself from negative conversations/discussions
  • Use your lunch break to read a good book/listen to music that boosts your mood.

2. Adopt a Growth Mindset

Adopting a growth mindset is crucial for learning. Start by identifying your own strengths and weaknesses. To help gain more confidence, it is important to know what you’re actually good at. What do you do at work that no one else can do better than you? Also recognising your weaknesses gives you the opportunity to focus on the things you need to improve on.

Being open to growth doesn’t mean that you will get it right a 100%. It means that you have to get comfortable with trial and error. You’ll sometimes try and fail and that’s absolutely okay – That’s part of the growing process.

How to deal with growth at work:

  • Don’t beat yourself up each time you make a mistake
  • Take small steps to improvement – Don’t try to improve in one day
  • Set yourself some practical goals. For example, by the end of the month, I would like to master/be better at […….]
  • Don’t compare yourself with others

3. Adopt a “We” Instead of “Me” Mindset

Building self-confidence doesn’t mean you have to entirely focus on you. According to ‘The Confidence Code’ a book by Katty Kay and Claire Shipman, especially women thrive the most when they focus on “we”. This means that you might need to adopt a mindset that focusses on how your work or success can help or benefit others.

For example, think about the positive impact your confidence and eventually, success will have on your community, company, team and so on. Katty and Claire argue that even though expertise is important, especially for women, developing confidence is essential if you want to thrive in your career.

How to have a “we” mindset at work:

  • Low confidence results in inaction – Increase your confidence by taking action
  • Determine how you want your success to impact others
  • Develop goals outside of yourself
  • Extend genuine help to team members. However, don’t overdo this.

Sarah Johnson

Sarah is Founder and Editor-in-Chief at IAMICareer. She has a strong background in Marketing and currently holds a BA in Commerce. Sarah is passionate about seeing young people thrive in career and is dedicated to helping the millennial generation bridge the gap between university and the corporate world.

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