Confidence is intangible and, at times, feels extremely difficult – if not impossible – to define. But if you want to be successful and satisfied in your career, it’s something that you must grow and groom over time.
Why Confidence Matters
It’s helpful to think of confidence as knowing what you’re good at – how you add value to others – and acting in a manner that’s reflective of this assurance. It doesn’t mean you think you’re the best in the world. It simply means you’re okay with who you are and believe you have value to offer those around you.
Confidence is something you have to purposefully cultivate in each area of your life. (For example: Just because you’re confident in your job, doesn’t necessarily mean you’re confident in your love life.) But it’s especially important in the workplace. Here’s why:
- Confidence makes you more assertive. It empowers you to go out on a proverbial limb, take a chance, or say something when most would shy away. These are traits that get you noticed.
- Confidence helps you do more. When you’re confident, you’re able to take on projects and get to work (without wasting time and energy worrying about whether you’re properly equipped to handle it).
- Confidence helps you communicate better. You’re much more likely to persuade and influence others with your words if they come from a place of deep-seated assurance.
Ultimately, being confident is about being happy. If you want to be happy in your career and life, discovering confidence will give you the tools you need to thrive.
How to 2X Your Confidence
We all tick differently. What sets you up for a mindset shift might not have much influence on the next person. However, the following tips and tactics are pretty universally effective. Take a look:
1. Celebrate Little Wins
In life, there’s a tendency to focus on mistakes and negatives, while quickly glossing over wins and positives. Give yourself freedom to celebrate wins – no matter how small. Take time to enjoy the moment and focus on how good it feels to succeed. This will cause a shift in your mindset.
2. Take Advantage of Training Opportunities
Don’t view workplace training as a boring box that HR is making you check off. Instead, look at training as opportunities for equipping.
In certain industries, training has a significant and direct impact on both confidence and skill. For example, pediatric residents use ECG simulator training to practice how to resuscitate critically ill newborns in the neonatal unit. And while this is something nobody is fully prepared for until they’ve done it in person, the training instills confidence to perform when these residents are thrown into the fire for the first time.
3. Be Mindful of Who You Spend Time With
There’s a theory that you become the sum of the five people you spend the most time with. For many of us, those five people are coworkers. So be mindful of who you’re spending your time with at work.
As much as you can, try to surround yourself with positive and confident people. Their thoughts, beliefs, and actions will rub off on you.
4. Learn Outside of Work
In addition to taking advantage of training opportunities offered by your employer, you can also pursue personal training and professional development on your own time.
“Personal training helps build confidence because it goes right to the source of the problem,” entrepreneur John Brandon writes for Inc.com. “You might feel ill-equipped at work and hesitant because you don’t have the proper training. Fortunately, that’s easy to correct. Find online courses in your field or go to a seminar and start growing in your capabilities to counteract any feelings of inadequacy.”
Take Control of Your Success
Confidence alone isn’t enough to be successful. A kid can walk into the batter’s box in a little league baseball game with his pants rolled up, bubble gum in his mouth, fresh uniform on his back, and sunglasses perched on his nose, but all of this confidence won’t do him any good if he’s never swung a bat in his life.
Confidence requires some amount of skill and some natural talent. But copious amounts of confidence can help you overcome slight deficiencies in these areas. (On the contrary, no amount of skill or talent can override a glaring lack of confidence.)
Work on grooming your confidence this year and see what it does for you. You’ll almost certainly like the results!