It’s normal to lack confidence when starting a new job, or even years in. You are not alone. Confidence isn’t a trait that everyone is born with and isn’t learned overnight. It really comes down to forming new habits, the right habits.
Here are 5 tips to help you get started:
1. Ask for feedback.
I know this might seem far-fetched but try to ask for feedback on your work. No feedback is worse, and your mind will wander to dark places. Make a trusted work buddy and share your work with this friend. It will usually lead to compliments, boosting your self-esteem. It can also allow for constructive criticism but on your terms. You will have a chance to take the feedback and change the work accordingly. It will help you learn what you need to work on and grow into a stronger employee.
2. Look the part.
Firstly, it’s not only about dressing for your position but also about what makes you feel good. Being comfortable in your own clothes is a game-changer, so find the balance of professionalism and comfort within your style. Secondly, the way you conduct yourself matters. Your behavior will help to reframe the mind. Make sure to stand up straight, use appropriate gestures, and have a positive attitude. Thirdly, the way you speak is important. Use respectable language. Get rid of the qualifiers (“I’m just a newbie but I think” or “This might be a dumb question…”) and just start sharing your ideas. Don’t discount yourself before you begin.
3. Be prepared.
Do your research, rehearse your presentation, plan for your meeting, put time into learning a skill and become an expert. Don’t be afraid to practice at home, ask yourself questions, and get comfortable with whatever it is you need to prepare. As we all know, practice makes perfect (and loosens the nerves). Preparedness might also take the form of self-care. Self-care might look like your morning shower, packing comfort food for lunch, or yoga on the roof. Taking the time for these relaxing activities allows your mind and body to get prepared.
4. Focus on your strengths.
Don’t forget you were hired for your strengths – use them! If you are starting something new, use your strengths to your advantage. Your strengths make you unique and a powerful part of the team. Offer your assistance whenever you can, and it will increase your sense of pride.
5. Move around.
Feeling comfortable in your workplace is key. Getting to know everyone at work is a great way to do this. This doesn’t mean you need to make friends with everyone but knowing the right people to ask for something will make you more comfortable. Also, knowing the space you work in reduces stress. Go for a walk - taking breaks is good for renewed thinking. Having others in your corners helps you feel less alone.
Good luck out there! Let me know if you try any of these tips or if you have any more ways to help build confidence :)