This is a guest post for Skills You Need.
Want to contribute? Find out how.

How to Boost Your Confidence at Work

See also: Setting Personal Goals

In business, and in the world in general, confidence is essential.

Confidence can help you in negotiations and ensure you get ahead in your career or grow your business.

Think about an example—if you were to hire an attorney to represent you following a car accident, what is one of their main roles in that? They negotiate with the insurance company, and as part of negotiations, a good attorney will show unwavering confidence. You’d likely want to find a new attorney if you didn’t see confidence in action, right?

Why is confidence so important?

When you’re confident, it means that you know your worth. When you know your worth, and you’re able to convey that to other people, they’re similarly going to value what you bring to the table.

If you own a business and you don’t value your work, or you come off as lacking confidence in what you offer, why would anyone want to buy from you? When you’re confident, you can not only close more deals, but you can also often charge more, and you’ll develop long-term relationships with loyal clients.

With that in mind, what if you aren’t someone who’s inherently confident? The following are some things you can do to give yourself a boost at work, whether you work for someone else or you own your own business.

Put in the Effort

One of the things that’s going to help you start increasing your confidence almost right away is being someone who works hard and puts in the time, energy and research needed to be successful at whatever it is you’re doing.

When you’re prepared, this in and of itself is going to facilitate a sense of confidence.

If you want to learn a new skill, then dive in headfirst to it.

The more you learn and prepare, the more you’re going to be able to speak on a variety of topics and do so from a place of true knowledge.

Beyond learning and researching, simply giving yourself the time to adequately prepare before a meeting and focusing on time management can be integral parts of building your confidence.

Identify Triggers

If you’re working to build your business confidence, there may be areas where you don’t feel confident. Start identifying what these triggers are, including both people and situations. Then, you can start to break those situations down and figure out exactly what’s keeping you from being confident when you face them.

You can start to break cycles of ruminating thoughts that might come with these triggers. For example, when you know you’re going to face a trigger that tears down your confidence, maybe you start to reframe how you think about it. Don’t let anything be a self-fulfilling prophecy that diminishes your confidence.

It’s often beneficial to face some of your triggers proactively.

For example, maybe a trigger is making phone calls, so you prefer to email. Start preparing and make some phone calls instead, even though it makes you feel uncomfortable. The more you can face the situations that make your confidence decline, the better.

Be an Active Contributor

Someone who’s passive in meetings and conversations is going to come off as lacking confidence. One way to build your confidence is to be an active contributor in your workplace. That doesn’t mean you’re a contrarian just for the sake of being argumentative or that you dominate conversations.

What it does mean is that you have a viewpoint that you articulate. When you have something of value to add to a conversation, speak up.

Stop Striving for Perfect

One of the reasons so many people feel like they lack confidence in the workplace is because they think they need to be perfect, and when they don’t achieve that, it causes them to feel like they’re not measuring up.

Perfectionism doesn’t exist. A confident person understands that. That doesn’t mean you don’t strive to achieve at your highest level, but you need to give up on perfection because it’s ultimately holding you back from achieving more. You’re actually limiting yourself in your quest to be perfect.

Make Decisions Quickly

When you’re faced with decisions in your workplace or your business, if you’re someone who takes a long time to make them, it’s just giving you more of a chance to second-guess what you ultimately settle on.

Being confident means that you make a decision, and while it should be one guided by facts and, in some cases data, it should be definitive, and you should make it relatively fast.

Action is better than inaction in many cases.

That doesn’t mean that it might not end up being the wrong decision, but nevertheless, you can learn from that and grow.

Celebrate Your Success

No matter how big or small, when you have success, you should celebrate it. Don’t minimize it.

The more you celebrate your success, the more you can validate your growing sense of confidence.

Also, when you have success, and you fully recognize it, it helps you stay stronger when you’re facing times of adversity. Even if it’s a minor achievement, don’t just brush it as aside as nothing when it’s something you’ve done well.

Shift Your Perspective

When you lack confidence, you often think more about how people are affecting you. You might let someone’s mood toward you derail your entire day. Work on shifting this and instead focus on how you impact other people. It’s what you do that is ultimately important in business, rather than what other people do to you.

Finally, work on making a distinction between being confident and cocky. Your goal is always confidence, but you want that to come from a place of preparation and a shift in your perspective. Confident people don’t have to dominate the conversation or bully others because they know how to constructively add their input to any situation.

Building confidence doesn’t happen overnight, but it’s one of the most important things you can work toward for your career or your business.

Further Reading from Skills You Need

The Skills You Need Guide to Life

The Skills You Need Guide to Life

This two-part guide is an easy-to-read summary of the essential skills you need for a healthy mind and body.

The first eBook, Looking After Yourself, covers some of our most popular content and will help you to live a happier, healthier and more productive life.

The second eBook, Living Well, Living Ethically, considers how you can live your best life all the time. It helps you to answer the question: how can I avoid having too many regrets about my life?

About the Author

Susan Melony: I am an avid writer, traveler, and overall enthusiast. Every day I create a life I love.