There are times in everyone’s lives when they feel like things aren’t going as well at work as they would like. Maybe it was that promotion they didn’t get, the committee they weren’t included on or the restructuring that shook up all the departments. Whatever it is, there is always something that can be done to shore up a shaken confidence and gain a new perspective. Try these three things:
1. Look down the mountain.
So often we are occupied with the next task, the achievement we haven’t yet unlocked or the position we want but haven’t gotten. It’s easy to get into the weeds on what you’re doing and forget all you’ve done. Feeling down? Take a minute or 10 to list some of your key accomplishments to help you remember that you didn’t get here on nothing. You’ve got many and varied experiences. Even if you’re a beginner here, you’re not a beginner everywhere. Think of the things you’ve done and use those skills to build your confidence for doing whatever it is you need to do now at work.
2. Check your feelings.
If you’re feeling unsure of yourself or insecure at work, you might want to see what feeling is behind the insecurity. It could be that you’re angry about something but aren’t sure of how to change it. You could be sad that you’re missing out on a cool project and don’t know why. Your fear of getting passed over or let go could be getting in the way of your work today. You could even be simply tired, hungry or lonely. You might need some connection and some perspective from friends or coworkers on what’s really going on. The feeling underneath the insecurity can help guide you to the next right action.
3. Remember the difference between confidence and courage.
Confidence comes from completing an action many times to give you the certainty you can do it. When you’re feeling insecure, see if you can identify the source of the insecurity. Is it a lack of knowledge? Is it analysis paralysis? Did you fall into the trap of comparing yourself to others? Is it a totally new task? If so, you may not need confidence at all, you may need courage to try it instead, or to find out the information you need to get started.
Remember that everything gets done in baby steps – what small step can you take today, perhaps out of these tips or perhaps around something else, to help you move from insecure to confident? Let us know in the comments.