Everybody’s confidence tacks a knock at some point or another as they climb their chosen career ladder. What makes prosperous business owners and entrepreneurs so successful, however, is the fact that they find a way to overcome these momentary instances of self-doubt. They push forward regardless of what people say about them and they bounce back after suffering minor losses simply because they can see the bigger picture.
If you want to climb your chosen career ladder, you mustn’t let your thoughts and feelings about your past performance deter you from carving out a successful future for yourself. To ensure that this is the case, you’re going to have to resolve to overcome your lack of confidence.
Here are a few ways to do just that:
Push through the limitations that you set yourself
‘My photograph cannot be featured on the company website because I don’t like the way I look.’ ‘I can’t go and talk to a certain colleague because he/she doesn’t like me.’ ‘I won’t speak in front of my peers because I’m scared nobody will be interested in what I have to say.’ You have to ignore the little voice in your head that whispers these negative affirmations in your ear, as the limitations that they set will most likely cause your confidence to plummet. The longer you allow yourself to be at the mercy of these self-limiting believes, the lower your confidence will drop. This is because you’ll find yourself grasping fewer opportunities over time, which will ultimately result in your career stagnating.
Get comfortable with the uncomfortable in your workplace, and both your self-confidence and career prospects will be sure to flourish.
Test the waters before rushing in
Just as you would if you were on the beach and debating whether to go in the sea or not, you have to test the waters with your confidence before you jump in at the deep end. Rushing into situations that are going to make you doubt yourself or force you to retreat into your shell will do nothing but trigger your lack of confidence, and that’ll only make you doubt yourself more in the long run.
Whether you’re a financial trader or not, you could learn a lot from the advice that IG provides regarding confidence in trading. They state that traders should use a demo account and test their strategies using virtual funds when they first enter the field, as learning the ropes in this type of risk-free environment helps them to effectively cultivate confidence in their investment abilities over time. This advice might not resonate with you specifically, but you should heed it all the same. You should seek to build your confidence slowly by immersing yourself in small environments that aren’t at all daunting. If your goal is to integrate with your new colleagues after landing a new job, for example, then this would entail you talking to a small number of people on an individual basis before attempting to jump into large-scale group conversations. Doing so will help you to learn more about your new colleagues on a personal level, which will then stand you in good stead as you seek to forge healthy working relationships with them going forward.
Understand your triggers
There will be certain aspects of your professional life that trigger your lack of confidence. It could be your boss talking to you in a certain way, it could be an inability to perform a specific task, or it could be the pressure that is placed upon you to act uncomfortably while you are in the workplace.
If you are aware of your triggers and subsequently able to spot them before they do any damage to your career prospects, you’ll find it much easier to remain productive, hard-working, and enthusiastic throughout each working day.
Here are just a few the most common triggers to look out for, as they might very well be having an impact on your confidence:
- Negative peers
- Heavy workload
- The questioning of life choices
- Unrealistic goals
- Negative thought patterns
Improve your body language
Even when your confidence is at its lowest ebb, you can protect your career prospects by projecting confidence through your body language. You don’t necessarily have to feel confident to look confident, which is why you should consider improving your body language in the following ways:
- Maintain an assertive posture (keep your legs and shoulders aligned, keep your feet four inches apart, distribute your weight evenly, throw your shoulders back, and always face the person you are talking to).
- Take up power poses.
- Keep up an appropriate amount of eye contact.
- Mirror the body language that others use.
- Refrain from fidgeting.
Low confidence is nothing to be ashamed of, but it is something that you should seek to overcome if you want to push forward in your career. Take the above advice, and you’ll be sure to do just that.