Confidence and wellbeing in work
Believing in ourselves and our abilities is central to our sense of wellbeing and feelings of achievement. Feeling confident influences the way you present yourself, how you perform, and can help you overcome challenging situations. Being confident is something that can be learned and practiced.
So what do we mean by confidence?
Confidence is a combination of how much you value yourself and how capable you feel. We all have the ability to direct our own way of thinking and therefore improve the way in which we view ourselves, increasing our confidence.
Three tips on how to be confident at work
1. Change how you talk to yourself
It can be very easy to think of ourselves in a way that undermines our confidence and affects our behaviour at work. An effective way to counter this negative chatter is by challenging ourselves with positive reminders. One way to achieve this is by looking into the mirror each morning and saying a positive affirmation aloud, such as "I will do a great job at work today!" Whilst this in itself may not immediately transform our confidence, it will set you up to use more positive affirmations throughout the day. Further research suggests that using a third person perspective can be effective with helping you boost you confidence throughout the working day. So instead of thinking, "I'm not sure I can handle this situation", you can challenge this and say "Lucy, you can do this - you've done it before and can do it again." Using a third person perspective gives us a little emotional distance and enables us to offer a 'pep talk' to ourselves when we need it.
2. Change how you carry yourself
It is not just our inner thoughts that can shape our confidence – our physical behaviours can shape our confidence too. Body language can have a big impact on how we feel about ourselves. For example, if we hunch our shoulders and make ourselves smaller, we are likely to feel less confident. If we stand tall and pull our shoulders back, we are more likely to feel positive and confident. There is a lot of research showing that body language can affect how we judge people, how we decide to interact with someone and how we perceive ourselves. In other words, our bodies can change our minds. Next time you may feel like you are lacking confidence at work, take a minute to strike a confident pose before you go into a challenging situation. It will affect how you feel and should give you a boost to feel more confident.
3. Change how you describe yourself
Nobody is perfect and we all make mistakes. We all have strengths and areas for improvement. Sometimes trying to describe the strengths in ourselves can be difficult and this can leave us feeling less confident. Being aware of your strengths focuses you on doing more of what you are good at rather than what you are just capable of doing. The key here is to aim to be your personal best. One simple technique to explore your strengths is to ask your friends and family to name three of your strengths. Being able to hear your strengths from a different person can go a long way to improving your outlook and being able to describe yourself in a more positive and confident way.
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