The moment you doubt whether you can fly, you cease for ever to be able to do it – J.M. Barrie
Self confidence definitely helps improve the quality of work we do and the things we tend to achieve. For how then can we get others to agree with our plans, give us more responsibility if we clearly lack the belief in ourselves.
To advance in your career you must be seen to possess the innate self confidence that all achievers have. That belief that you can surmount challenges and produce results has a way of reflecting in interviews and during meetings with your boss.
Self confidence as described by the Counseling Center of the University of Illinois is an attitude which allows individuals to have positive yet realistic views of themselves and their situations. Self-confident people trust their own abilities, have a general sense of control in their lives, and believe that, within reason, they will be able to do what they wish, plan, and expect.
What self confidence is not
Being self confident is not equivalent to being arrogant and proud. It also does not mean one can actually do everything. A self confident person has also to be realistic and when they fail to achieve something or meet expectations they continue to be positive and be themselves.
The value of self confidence in one’s career and professional life
The relationship between self confidence or rather the lack of it with performance or achievement in business and career has been established severally.
When you fail to step up to lead a project it may not be just because you feel you are not qualified. It probably is because you do not believe you have the capacity to succeed and so are afraid of failing at the task.
Many people pass up opportunities for actualising great things in their career because of self doubt or low self esteem. They prefer to remain in the shadows where they are not discovered.
Self Confidence Building Steps
To become more effective, successful in your chosen line of work self confidence is a key attribute to have. Here are some tips to gaining solid confidence in yourself which in turn will show in the quality of your work.
Psyche and Personality
There’s hardly anybody that comes into this world insecure or afraid of taking steps but as we grow the interactions and realities begin to shape how we see and believe ourselves.
Key to working on your self confidence is to work on your personality and psyche. What type of person are you and what shaped your perception and current personality. Asking the right questions about the development of your psyche is the beginning of chiselling away the issues that masked your innocent confidence and absolute lack of doubt at birth.
Man Know Thyself
As you learn who you are, you gain confidence in your strengths and also learn your weaknesses. ~ Angela Birt
Studying and discovering what makes you tick as a person is important. Take a SWOT analysis of your strengths and weaknesses. If you are obviously not strong in or fond of an area and you try to do a good job there it doesn’t help your confidence at all. When you focus more on your strong areas and pursue a career along your areas of strength you are likely to have a bit more confidence, drive and believe.
Know yourself and you will win all battles – Sun Tzu
Real Positive Thinking
Confidence comes from success…But confidence also combines another quality because you can be successful, yet lack confidence. It requires a mental attitude shift to an expectation of success. And this alone, can bring about more success, reinforcing the confidence. It spirals from there. ~ Jason Hihn
Positive thinking isn’t just an academic exercise; it’s something successful people have come to master. They actively believe and expect to succeed and while they may fail several times they eventually do succeed.
Conventional wisdom suggests it’s smart to expect the worst because you won’t be disappointed if you fail and you’ll be pleasantly surprised if you succeed. But research suggests this isn’t universally true. Pessimism can undermine your performance creating a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Sometimes you get addressed the way you dress. It helps the confidence of most people when colleagues commend on how they look. When you take great care of your appearance the approving looks and respectful manner you are talked to by strangers invariably contribute to a positive confident feeling.
On the other hand when you dress and look poorly you may notice that you find it difficult to pass people’s first seconds of scrutiny. There is a reason most successful professionals and business people look great when going for work.
Taking care of your physical appearance to project confidence includes; having good hygiene, dressing good, maintaining good posture and being in good physical shape.
When you barely have a social life, good caring friends etc you may tend to have more confidence issues. To become better at dealing with people, scenarios and handling rejection you need to build your social life and cultivate the right social habits
Do Something Good for Others
Treating others respectfully or doing something good for a less priviledged fellow has a way of affecting your mood and self belief. When you make someone else happy by your actions you also discover you become happier and more willing to take on your duties.
Find a Cause You Believe in
Many of us have energy bottled up within waiting to be released. It won’t get released until you discover that cause or issue that you have so much passion and belief in. There are many excellent and great humanity issues that you can take time to find which of the causes strikes up your passion.
When you begin to do something meaningful for that cause your self confidence takes a boost.
Avoid Places, People That Put You Down
It goes to say that if you are really working on bringing up your sense of self worth you do not have to hang around people who put you down.
Most issues of low self esteem or lack of confidence we have today, especially in this part of the world, comes from the settings at home. Early in the life of a young person the parents do not hesitate to shower abuses on you for any little mistake. Some go further to call you names like ‘dunce, good-for-nothing etc’ Subconsiously the child begins to withdraw and shy away from assuming responsibility. Failure becomes not something to learn from but something to dread.
So as you grow into adulthood the best thing you can do for yourself is to keep away company that always acts or speaks in a way to adversely affect your self belief. Have a friend who always tells you how you cannot do this or achieve that? Keep him at an arm’s length. Of course you need realistic friends around you but you certainly do not want someone to rub off their abject negativity and low self confidence on you.
Explore; Meet New People
Sometimes exploring life and getting about will bring you in contact with people that will inspire you to be better and improve. This also boils down to changing your social habit to ensure you meet more interesting people. Your self confidence improves the more you learn to network and meet the right persons.
Do this sincerely and not as flattery. Tell your colleague how good she looks. To make your compliment even better be specific and show you actually noticed a particular good thing about them or their looks.
These are not magic rules but little steps that ultimately improve your life and help strengthen your sense of self worth. The important thing to note is that your self confidence depends on you. You should never think or expect that it will come from other people which is why you should never hang on people’s approval to have a healthy sense of your self worth.
Join other career individuals and professionals in discussing any career issues you may have on our fast growing discussion community. Go here to start10 Ways to Instantly Boost Your Self Confidence by Paul