When a Lack of Confidence is Holding You Back at Work

Jan 19, 2017 | Blog

When it comes to your career, there are many things you can do to increase the chances of getting ahead. You can gain more qualifications, put in extra hours, schmooze your colleagues and take on responsibilities outside of your job description, to name just a few. But have you ever given any thought to what might be holding you back? With things like qualifications and skills sets, it’s easy to know that you don’t have enough of them. However, what if the thing holding you back is not so obvious?

Confidence at Work

For many, it’s confidence. A lack of confidence can overshadow all of your best qualities and achievements, if you let it. Being confident is not easy for everyone. To some, it comes naturally, but for others it takes a bit of work and even a change of mind-set.

Why do we lose confidence?

There can be many reasons as to why you’ve lost confidence at work. Perhaps you are in a role that you don’t feel qualified for, or perhaps you feel too inexperienced compared to your peers. Maybe you have a bad relationship with your boss or a colleague. Whatever the reason, the Contract Accountants team have put together some advice on gaining more confidence at work.

Think Positively 

It sounds simple, but it’s a very effective way of feeling more confident. When we are feeling insecure, it can create a very negative outlook. This negative view of things can have a knock-on effect that will permeate every part of your work (and often, home) life. Simply starting the day in a positive frame of mind can do wonders. Easier said than done? Try focusing on one thing every morning, like a task, that you are going to take charge of and carry out in the best way possible. Make it one of the first things you do and you’ll set the tone for the day.

Reward Yourself

It’s OK to pat yourself on the back when you’ve accomplished something. In fact, it’s a good idea! Claiming your achievements is a real confidence booster. Too often, we go mindlessly through our daily tasks without a second thought. Take the time once in a while to remind yourself that you’re great at what you do and treat yourself to a coffee from that really nice café!

Stop Comparing Yourself to Others

Using others as a yardstick can be a real confidence destroyer in and out of work, but in work there can be extra pressure. It’s also one of the hardest things to stop doing.  It’s natural to want to compare yourself to others, and to varying degrees, we all do it. Learning to focus on yourself and disregard the status and achievements of your peers is a huge step towards gaining more confidence at work.

The Office

Don’t Withdraw

If we don’t feel confident, a natural reaction is to withdraw from others. Allowing this to happen only exacerbates the problem and creates an unhelpful distance between you and the people you work with. Avoid this by making sure you focus on communication. Keeping solid lines of communication open will prevent any withdrawing on your part and the connection to others will give you an extra confidence boost too.

Be Aware of How You Present Yourself

It’s not all about the outlook – physical changes can also have a significant effect on your confidence. Consider your clothes. A change of wardrobe, as minor as a new pair of shoes, can increase your confidence dramatically. Pay attention to your body language, too.  Don’t obsess over it, but be mindful of how you come across to others. Get into the habit of standing up straight and keeping your head up. When you walk, walk with purpose but most importantly, smile. You want to appear confident, not unapproachable!

Feeling confident at work is easily achievable and incredibly rewarding. Having a confidence crisis can make your professional life miserable. Stay on top of any potential issues by being aware of the confidence-killers at work and nip them in the bud before they cause problems.



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