Being confident is about trusting yourself, and by trusting yourself means that you believe in yourself and your abilities. So if you’re saying to yourself “I’m not a confident person” I would like to know, are you confident about that? We all have confidence in us, but when it comes to speaking up at a meeting, asking the boss for a request, saying no and speaking up to a customer, and taking on a different job role, some may feel that they don’t have the confidence to do so. To build your confidence at work, you need to build your self-esteem. But you may ask, how can I build up my already low self-esteem?
First thing you need to do is to take a good look at your assets and liabilities. You may feel that you have so many flaws or liabilities that in actual fact are small and petty. Your self-esteem will grow if you concentrate on making small improvements all the time to your more serious flaws, which may be laziness or a quick temper.
Unfortunately most of the time we are quick to forget about our valuable assets as a person and as an employee, for instance you might think that being compassionate and empathetic is not that important. But a customer who is upset about a faulty product and looking for some acknowledgment will admire you for having such attributes! You might actually find that your qualities and skills outweigh your flaws.
Let’s look at a few suggestions to help you improve your self-esteem.
Set SMART goals for yourself
Smart goals are those which are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timed. Your goals should be specific ie. To increase performance by 10% over the next month, not to get better at my job. They should also be attainable and well within your reach. Solving customer issues immediately may not be attainable that easy, but asking more questions to find out how you can resolve customer issues is more in your reach. They should also be realistic and timed. You might not be able to accomplish all your goals in a couple of days, but you will be successful at attaining them over a few months.
Do your best work
If you don’t try hard at work, cut corners or deliberately work slow, you’re less likely to feel any better about yourself. If you put earnest effort at work and try your hardest, although not immediately, you will see the benefits of your hard work. You will then feel better about yourself, and your self-esteem will grow.
Do things for others
There may be instances at your workplace where you have the opportunity to do something good for one of your colleagues. It might be sharing some of their workload or helping them out with a work-related issue, whatever it is, you will get a lot more satisfaction by going out of your way to help others then being concerned about your own well being. You will even find that your colleagues will see that you are doing more for others and they are likely to start doing things for you in return.
Find a mentor
A mentor at your work is somebody who you feel close to on a professional level and that you can confide in. Usually after being in a job for a few months we naturally start building relationships with co-workers. Some colleagues may be closer to you than others. The good thing about a mentor is that they will understand exactly where you are coming if you are trying to sort out a work-related issue.
Avoid unrealistically comparing yourself with others!
A big reason why we can start to feel worthless about ourselves is because compare ourselves in an unrealistic manner to others. They may be a colleague who tends to excel in everything they do and always get praised for their high performance, without mentioning our name! But despite pressures to perform at work, should we really compare ourselves to others? The answer is no. Every one of us has different skills and abilities, attributes and traits, some better, some worse. But learning to accept failures and disappointment is part of life. Not all of us are going to be the best at everything.
Trying to compete with others at work will end up making us feel even more worthless and less confident. Instead by being cooperative, considerate, patient and peaceful makes us feel more better about ourselves rather being egotistical and trying to constantly compete with others and envying their performance and success.
But if we find ourselves really struggling to do well in a certain area, or have a genuine desire to perform better without the competitive motive, then would be a good time to seek help from a mentor as discussed earlier. Even approaching the individual who is performing well and telling them how you really want to improve in an area that you feel they are doing really well in. This shows humility on your part and will impress your colleague and make them feel better about themselves. They are more then to want to help you improve.