Confidence has the power to improve your performance at work in many ways. With greater confidence, you’ll make a better first impression on the new clients and coworkers you meet. You’ll be able to deliver more effective presentations and speeches. You’ll even feel better about yourself internally, enjoying the benefits of higher self-worth and self-esteem, which means you’ll be able to work more productively.
The easiest way to increase your confidence long-term is to get good at your job; with enough practice and repetition, you’ll be able to master the specific skills associated with your career and feel confident about your abilities. But what if you need a more immediate boost?
There are a few tricks that can help you.
How To Boost Your Confidence at Work
Try using these confidence-increasing tricks to muster more confidence when you need it most.
- Practice visualization. First, try leveraging the power of visualization. Imagine a scenario playing out in your head. If you’re nervous about something going wrong, think about all the bad things that could happen, and how you might overcome them. Then, visualize yourself performing optimally. What would it be like to be your best self in the coming moments? A detailed visualization can give you the confidence you need to move forward. For example, you can visualize yourself asking for a raise, and visualize your boss agreeing to it.
- Improve your smile. Smiles are powerful, and if you know you have an appealing, radiant smile, you’ll feel much more confident and capable in the workplace. Spend a few minutes smiling in the mirror, and carry that smile with you in your next situation. If you’re not happy with your smile, consider working on it; short-term, you might brush or quickly whiten your teeth, but long-term, it may pay to invest in dental implants or other procedures to give you the smile you want.
- Exercise. Physical exercise offers a number of positive benefits for the body and mind. Immediately, you’ll be provided with some measure of stress relief. You’ll also feel a rush of energy and excitement. It can also rid you of distracting thoughts, and make you feel more powerful (depending on what you do). Consider going for a brisk walk or doing some quick pushups if nothing else is available. If you exercise consistently and get in better shape, you’ll become even more confident on a regular basis.
- Strike a power pose. There’s some evidence to suggest that taking on a “power pose” can instantly make you feel more confident. A power pose is one of several postures designed to make you feel bigger, stronger, or more present. For example, you can stretch out your arms or put your hands on your hips with your elbows flared. Doing this in front of a mirror (or even by yourself) can give you a confidence boost before a major presentation, or leading up to an interview.
- Engage in healthy self-talk. Many people experience a decline in self-confidence because of negative self-talk. They repeat negative sayings to themselves, describing a challenge as unbeatable or a situation as oppressive. They also repeat negative thoughts about themselves, putting themselves down. You can overcome this debilitating habit by practicing healthier, more positive self-talk. For example, instead of saying “I don’t know how I’m going to get this project done by the deadline,” say “This deadline is challenging, but I can meet it.”
- Fix your posture. It’s easy to underestimate the role that your posture can have on your confidence, especially when you’re sitting at a desk all day, so be mindful of yours. Are you standing straight, with your shoulders back and your chest out? Or are you slumped over, with your shoulders hunched? Are your arms loose and relaxed on your sides, or are they tensely in your pockets? The best practice here is to pretend you’re feeling confident, and let your body language reflect that. Then, your body language can help you feel confident in a reversed effect.
- Get used to the idea of rejection. Confidence often gets shaken because we fear rejection; we don’t want to get turned down by a superior, and we don’t want our coworkers to think less of us. It’s much easier to feel confident in one of these situations if you’re fully prepared for rejection. So what if these people aren’t interested in what you have to offer? There will always be more opportunities.
- Help other people. Next, consider going out of your way to help a coworker or peer. Giving someone assistance, like helping them with a project, or even something simple, like giving them a compliment, can instantly make you feel like a better, more capable person.
- Listen to your favorite music. Do you have a song that always makes you feel energized like you can do anything? Most of us have at least a few tracks that always fill us with confidence and enthusiasm. Consider playing them in the moments before you do something that makes you feel uncomfortable or unconfident.
- Be comfortable with discomfort. This point may seem like an inherent contradiction, but it can help you more than you realize. Most of the time, we feel unconfident because we’re not comfortable; we’re handling a new responsibility, or we’re not sure of ourselves, or we’re doing a task we haven’t practiced. The best way to overcome discomfort is to be comfortable with it. Acknowledge that you’re feeling uncomfortable, that it’s okay and natural to be uncomfortable, and that this discomfort will pass. This level of emotional acceptance can instantly make you feel more comfortable in the moment, which can give you the confidence and power you need to move forward.
Building Confidence Long-Term
Most of these tricks are fantastic short-term plays to help you feel more confident and get through a tough situation at work. But long-term, you’ll need to invest more into your confidence if you want to feel it consistently. Work to change your habits, like eliminating negative self-talk, and keep a journal so you understand the triggers that make you feel more or less confident. It takes significant effort, but you can shape yourself into a much more confident version of yourself, and reap those long-term benefits in your career.
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