How confidence can help you succeed in the workplace

There are many attributes which will help you succeed in the workplace, but arguably the most important is confidence.

Confidence enables you to put yourself forward for more opportunities – and to say yes to those offered to you. Confidence also changes how you present yourself, and the trust that others have in your abilities.

And the good news is that, while some people naturally appear to have more confidence, it IS something you can work on if you feel you are lacking in it.

How can confidence help you at work?

It’s not that difficult to spot your colleagues who are more confident. They’re the ones who speak up at meetings, ask questions, and will proactively talk to people who can help them.

They’re also the people who more naturally network with people around your office, and who shine in presentations.

Confident people are also more certain about their abilities, and know when a piece of work is completed adequately, and are able to talk with confidence about their achievements.

People who lack confidence, on the other hand, while being possibly just as talented and experience as their colleagues, are less able to tell people about their abilities and achievements, more unwilling to speak up and more likely to be overlooked as a result. They’re also far more risk averse as a whole.

How to overcome a lack of confidence

So how do you overcome a lack of confidence in the workplace? Firstly you need to recognise that confidence may be something holding you back – and consciously decide you’d like to feel more confident in the office.

With awareness and a determination to make changes, you can look for wards to develop your confidence. These can include:

  • Finding (and doing) things you’re good at.
  • Getting coaching to help you with specific issues.
  • Taking small steps outside your comfort zone – and gradually increasing them.
  • Embrace the idea of failure, rather than fearing and avoiding it.
  • Surround yourself with positive, confident people.
  • Smile – the happier you look, the happier you’ll feel (you’ll also appear more approachable).
  • Practice a firm handshake for good first impressions.
  • Visualise success, rather than picture failure.

Work on a confident appearance

If you want to feel confident then you need to look the part. It’s going to be tougher to work on your inner confidence if your outer image still reflects the old you – especially if there are parts of your appearance you aren’t happy with.

So stop hiding away in dull clothes, and ditch any outfit that you feel frumpy or dull in. And instead, invest in a wardrobe that makes you feel – and look – good.

Watch your body language too. Do you slouch and avoid eye contact? If so, try these seven body confidence tips instead:

  1. Use meaningful gestures.
  2. Maintain strong eye contact.
  3. Make sure you stand comfortably and confidently firmly on two feet and without shifting your weight from side to side.
  4. Use a firm, dry handshake (be aware of cultural differences).
  5. Show good listening skills, by taking an interest in others and using open-ended questions.
  6. Use open and empowering postures.
  7. When gesturing to others, use open hand gestures with your palm facing up. This communicates acceptance, openness and trustworthiness.

And finally, check your physical appearance. Does your hair style and colour flatter you? If so, book yourself an appointment at the salon. And do you avoid smiling because you don’t like your teeth? If so, you might consider a solution like cosmetic veneers. Veneers costs can be reasonable, and can transform your look – and confidence.

Confidence is such an important factor of success, so please don’t let a lack of it hold you back. Work on your inner and outer confidence, and allow your true talent to shine.

Photo by Freshh Connection