Maybe you’ve suffered through a string of sales calls where all you hear is “No.” Perhaps you were passed over for a promotion you felt certain you would get. No matter the reason, it probably seems easier to lose confidence than to restore it. Yet restore it you must. Why? Well one study suggested that confident people earn more money than those who lack the quality. Confident people are also more likely to get better deals and do better in relationships. You didn’t think a problem that affects at least one-third of your weekdays wouldn’t bleed into the rest of your life, did you? So here’s what to do when you lose confidence at work.
It’s a common complaint among professional actors. Whenever they play a character battling an illness, the actor catches a cold in real life. That’s because as powerful as the mind is, we can trick it. Standing up straighter, making eye contact with others –– adopting superficially confident characteristics can lead to genuine confidence. If you often speak quietly or notice that your voice gets higher when you’re nervous, vocal coach Anne Walsh points out that it’s because during stress, “we breathe high into our upper chest areas through fear and tension and this interferes with our capacity to connect breathing to speaking effectively.” To counter this, she advises to breathe more deeply which will allow your voice to be “open, warm and resonant.”
Start volunteering valuable information at meetings rather than assuming that no one wants to hear your voice. Put in for a promotion. Take on more responsibility. Act like a leader and others will get in line to be led. Fake it ’til you make it is terrible advice for surgeons and pilots. For the rest of it it can be the boost we need.
Dress For Success
Last year’s lockdowns sent many of us into a remote worker’s uniform of sweats and t-shirts. Be honest. There were times you did your job in your pajamas or even less. Whether or not you’re now in-office, your wardrobe likely could use a refresh. Get a more professional outfit. Take a chance on a color you rarely wear or a cut that’s more fitted or contemporary than usual. Pay attention to tailoring –– it really makes a difference. Dress for the job you want, not the job you have. It’s a surefire solution for when you lose confidence at work. Even a new hairstyle or shoes can give you a shot of self esteem. It could be enough to make a difference.
Besides being a proven booster to your physical health, good diet and fitness habits can help your mental state as well. If you have the means, hire a personal trainer. The added expense and scheduled workouts may be enough to insure you actually exercise. Plus, working out with someone else will likely give you faster results. Feeling sluggish from eating too many simple carbs is a guaranteed confidence drainer. If you’re not into cooking, consider a healthy meal delivery. Having tasty alternatives that are also good for you will help you meet your goals. Feeling good about yourself will definitely help your confidence at work.
Some of us get nervous speaking in front of others. Maybe you’re a natural introvert, maybe you just don’t like everyone looking at you. The sad truth is that wallflowers rarely get top jobs. The next time you’re planning on presenting an idea at a meeting or speaking with your boss about an innovative solution, practice beforehand. Write down what you want to say (just bullet points is fine). Then say it in front of a mirror or make a video of your presentation. Even better, try it with a friend before you speak to your boss. Being confident is often a matter of being comfortable. A trusted bestie can help you get there.
By gaining confidence, you’ll likely find that you enjoy your work more. If you’re still unhappy at your job, you’ll be better equipped to pursue new opportunities.
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