Life

5 Tips to Help You Become More Confident at Work

confidence

Believing in yourself is half the battle.

Confidence is absolutely key in all aspects of life – whether it’s navigating the weird world of Tinder, moving to a new city or negotiating a price on a car. Self-assurance makes all the difference.

Excelling in the workplace is no exception. Locating your backbone can be the deciding factor in landing your dream job, earning a promotion or being asked to lead a major project. And you want all those responsibilities, right? Of course you do, you’re an adult now.

If you want to be your boldest, most confident – and thus most successful – self, consider these five tips that I’ve learned through trials and many tribulations in my own career path.

 

Build Confidence Gradually

Developing confidence is not something that will happen overnight. You won’t wake up tomorrow suddenly capable of marching into any situation with unshakable self-assurance, powered by will alone. If you make that work, I want to hear from you. Seriously – email me.  If you’re like the rest of us, however, building confidence will take time.

Build confidence in increments. Start by discussing one of your strengths – communication, putting together a perfect outfit, creative writing, baking cupcakes, whatever you excel in. Openly giving yourself a pat on the back is a small step toward recognizing and acknowledging even more of your skills.

 

Be Honest About What You Want

 

If you’re not open about what you want, you’ll be way less likely to get it. Confident people understand this, and you should, too. Don’t hide behind a fear of causing trouble for others. Don’t be scared of being shot down.

If you want something specific – to go to a certain restaurant or see a particular movie – express that interest. Maybe your company has no preference, and putting yours out there will get you exactly what you want. These examples are small steps, but they’re steps nonetheless. Eventually you can boldly demand a raise or tell that sexy stranger you want to date. For now, start small.

 

Be Open to Criticism and Failure

When you take the leap and openly discuss what you want, you’re going to meet rejection, failure and criticism. It won’t happen every time, but it will happen at least once. It’s inevitable. While these things can cripple one’s self-assurance, you should learn to appreciate them instead. Like my girl Cate Blanchett once said,

“If you’re going to fail, fail gloriously.”

Process and accept criticism. Better yourself from your failures. Consider them learning experiences and move on. Don’t linger in the negatives for too long. Instead, turn the negatives to positives by putting what you learn to good use.

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Take Risks

Staying rooted in your comfort zone will get you nowhere. Making your dreams come true, or acquiring any sort of success, requires taking risks. It requires accepting positions and projects you aren’t totally comfortable with. It requires expanding your qualifications and not hiding in your comfort zone.

Apply for jobs that may seem like a stretch. Move to an unfamiliar place. Purchase that bold-ass blazer you’ve been eying. Wear that even BOLDER shade of lipstick. Honestly, human beings exaggerate the potential consequences of our risks. Even if everything goes terribly wrong, we’ll be fine. If anything, you’ll look back and regret not taking those risks. So take the leap. You’ll survive.

 

Relax

Finally, recognize that not everything is worth worrying about. Don’t give your decisions more weight than they’re worth. That crazy outfit you’ve wanted to wear out for months but never had the gull to do so? Putting it on for a Saturday night out – even if everyone else hates it – won’t ruin your life. Even bigger decisions – like the one to ask your boss for a raise – won’t ruin your life. Worst-case scenario you’d end up without a job, but there are other positions out there for you. This outlook will help you to embrace risks and take chances. So just relax.

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The moral of this story is YOLO. YOLO at every opportunity.

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5 Comments

  • Reply Kristyn H. August 13, 2015 at 2:20 pm

    I think being open to criticism and failure is huge…and one of the hardest things. I hate to hear when I’m not doing well or something right, but I’d rather hear it and learn from it than not know I’m doing it wrong at all. I also think feedback/criticism is essential to helping you grow professionally. I thrive off feedback that I get from job interviews or from others in the company…it’s hugely important.

    • Reply SavHemmings August 13, 2015 at 6:12 pm

      I completely agree, Kristen! Turning criticism and failure into a learning experience is definitely a hard thing to do, although well worth it in the long run! Most times when receiving criticism or feedback, I learn something new about how I work. I also learn more about how I like to give and receive feedback, which I believe is also really essential.

      I recommend Thanks For The Feedback by Douglas Stone if you’re ever interested in doing some more reading about giving and receiving feedback and criticism. It’s an amazing read!

      • Reply Kristyn H. August 13, 2015 at 8:30 pm

        I will have to check that book out! Sounds interesting and something we can all learn a little bit more about.

  • Reply Emily August 20, 2015 at 4:18 pm

    These are such great advice and will help someone become more successful at work. I think it’s so important to be able to give and receive feedback because it helps us grow, but it’s also important to work with supportive people as well. Thanks for sharing!

    xoxo Emily
    http://www.ditchtheheels.com

    • Reply SavHemmings August 24, 2015 at 4:11 pm

      Glad you liked the post, Emily! Your blog is adorable, BTW!

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