Signs of low confidence at work include downplaying your achievements, perfectionism, negative self-talk, and a fear of making mistakes. It can also include overachieving, and taking on more than you can really handle.
Does it seem like everyone around you is smarter, faster and more out-going? Do you feel like you’re working under a dark cloud?
You’re not alone.
A recent survey by Moneypenny, a global phone answering service for businesses, showed that 35% of women and 30% of men suffer from feelings of inadequacy and self-doubt at the workplace.
Moneypenny found that signs of low confidence at work include downplaying your achievements, perfectionism, negative self-talk, and a fear of making mistakes. It can also include overachieving, and taking on more than you can really handle.
That sounds very easy, like snapping your fingers and it suddenly disappears, like the sun coming out on an overcast day.
Of course, it’s not that easy, but if you want to become a more confident person at work and at home, there are several steps to help change your self-perception, such as:
Stop comparing yourself to others. If coworkers are especially good at handling issues, ask them for advice. You will find people are typically anxious to share their knowledge and help others. Learn from them. Likewise, offer to help others in areas where you excel.
Volunteer for high profile projects. It’s a good way to shake yourself out of the doldrums. Initially, you may need to work harder and smarter than those around you, but you’ll grow from the experience.
If your company has a United Way campaign or something similar, volunteer for it. Even better, volunteer to serve as chair.
Getting involved in projects such as these will get you noticed — and more appreciated — in a positive way by people other than by in your immediate co-workers. Having the visibility of a job well done will make a noticeable difference in your self-confidence.
Find a trusted mentor. This is always good advice, especially if you’re doubting your talents or whether you’re a valued employee. Start by defining your own goals.
What do you want to accomplish and what do you need to get there? A good mentor will see you from a completely different perspective and give you constructive criticism and guidance.
Determine what makes you unique. Often called your brand, this is what makes you different from others where you work. It could be your nationality, or your ability to speak other languages, or your level of education or experience. Be proud of who you are and the unique perspective you bring to your job.
Celebrate even small wins. You may have fallen into a rut where even when you excel in something you’ve gotten into the habit of downplaying that success. No, it wasn’t just luck or simply being in the right place at the right time. Claim your win. You solved the problem, so join in the glow of making it happen.
Speak up at meetings. When we don’t feel confident in our capabilities or ideas, we think the best solution is to not speak up in discussions. In fact, you are probably as knowledgeable as anyone in the room, with valuable input to offer. At the right time, allow yourself to raise your hand, then speak up and participate thoughtfully in the dialogue.
Connect with co-workers. Don’t be a wallflower that people aren’t even aware of when you’re in the office. Start the morning by saying hello to co-workers. Give a few sincere compliments. Ask about their weekend, or about their family and then really listen. You may well realize that you have better friends at the office than you realized.
Avoid negative talk about yourself. Stop being so hard on yourself. When you make a mistake, don’t dwell on it. Acknowledge it, then let it go. See cups as half-full, not half-empty. If a project didn’t go well, what did you learn not to do? Now you’ll know what to do better next time.
Terry Cole-Whitaker, a motivational speaker I heard many years ago, always said, “What you think of me is none of my business.” What matters, I’ve always believed, is what you think of yourself. That’s what matters most.
Maybe it’s time to shift your attitude and make yourself your own superstar.