Self-confidence is a key determinator of your professional success. From your very first job, your self-confidence will dictate the impressions and relationships you make at work. Landing jobs, getting promotions, and advancing in your career will become easier as your self-confidence grows. With that in mind, let’s look at how you can boost your self-confidence and advance in your career.
What is self-confidence?
Your professional self-confidence determines your attitude toward your abilities and skills. It allows you to trust yourself and be in control of your daily life. With self-confidence, you’re able to know and accept your strengths and weaknesses. And, despite those, you maintain a positive self-image. Because you understand and accept yourself, you can be assertive, handle criticism, and set realistic goals for yourself.
Why is self-confidence important?
Self-confidence is the key to performing well in interviews and beyond. By being confident in your abilities and qualifications, you can decrease stress and relax. In turn, you will be able to focus on giving great answers rather than comparing yourself to other candidates. Apart from that, self-confidence can help you demonstrate your ability to handle stressful tasks and communicate effectively in the workplace.
But you will benefit from confidence even beyond the hiring process. With self-confidence, you will be able to solve tasks in a calm manner and think about the best solution even under pressure. And, when communicating with colleagues, managers, and clients, self-confidence will help you get your point across clearly.
How to boost self-confidence in your career
Having confidence in your professional self is as simple as understanding your best strengths and your true value. So if you’re struggling with self-confidence in your career, try following these four steps. They will help you refocus and shift your mindset to become your best professional self.
1. Develop a positive self-image
Constructing a positive self-image starts with self-reflection and a change of mindset. To create a positive self-image, imagine yourself as the person you want to be. For example, visualize yourself already having the position you’re about to interview for. Imagine having all the skills needed and building a network of colleagues and friends.
Next, challenge any negative thoughts you have with self-affirmation. Self-affirmative activities include saying or writing positive statements about yourself to improve your self-image. By repeating these uplifting statements often, they will replace any negative thoughts in your mind.
For example, before an interview, you may state your biggest accomplishments and skills to yourself out loud. Or, before a promotion, you can try repeating self-affirming statements such as “I am qualified” to put any worries to rest. Practicing self-affirmative activities will help you build self-confidence that can lead to further professional success.
2. Strive for progress instead of perfection
It’s important to realize that you will never be perfect. At any given moment, there will always be something to improve upon. So rather than striving for perfection, recognize and appreciate your progress.
According to research, the more positions you fill, the more self-confident you will feel in your career. There is no need to question yourself and your value when you fail or change jobs. Instead, recognize that each career step will make you better, more self-aware, and stronger. Most importantly, each professional experience will serve as a boost to your self-confidence. Everyone makes mistakes, but often the mistakes bring valuable lessons that will help you along the way.
So, the next time you face a challenge or make a mistake, don’t beat yourself up over it. Instead, focus on what the situation taught you and how you can move forward and better yourself.
3. Identify and write down your career goals
Identifying your goals and writing them down will help you figure out the steps you should take to achieve success. More importantly, these goals will become your everyday motivation to work hard.
When defining your goals, make sure they are S.M.A.R.T. – specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and timely. For example, instead of writing down, “make more money,” you should write, “increase sales by 30% next year”.
Make sure to set realistic goals and celebrate each milestone. This will boost your motivation, help you focus, and increase your sense of dedication. Also, having your goals written down will make it easier to continue going in the right direction even if something goes wrong or you feel like giving up.
4. Spend time on your passions
Boosting your self-confidence sometimes means taking a step back from your career and making time for your passions. You don’t need a week off – even 15 minutes a day is enough to do the things you feel passionate about.
Typically, people feel most self-confident when doing the things they love. This is because we like doing things that we’re good at. So, spending even a few minutes every day doing things that boost your confidence will help you in all areas of life. For example, you can take the boost of confidence and a positive attitude and apply it in your workplace to perform even better.
Finally, the more passions and hobbies you have, the better. They will help you relax, clear, and expand your mind, and you will be able to get back to work refreshed and full of vigor. In turn, you will do better in your job, and your self-confidence will rise again.
You can go through these four steps every day or whenever you’re struggling with self-confidence in your career. Most importantly, remember that self-confidence is a skill like any other. So practice it regularly, and never stop trying to improve.