If you’ve ever met someone with self-confidence, you’ve likely wished you had that trait yourself. But self-confidence is not something we’re born having. In fact, the most self-confident people you know likely developed it over time.
When you’re self-confident at work, the people around you can easily see it. You’ll find you inspire the rest of the team to follow your lead, and you may even be considered for promotions and other job opportunities you wouldn’t get otherwise. Luckily, you can work on developing your self-confidence and assertiveness at work.
Know Your Stuff
The first step toward confidence in your chosen field is gaining the knowledge necessary to be seen as an expert. Spend some of your free time studying what you need to know to be better at your job. Keep up with news related to your industry so that you’re always prepared to hold your own in a conversation. Not only will this help others see you as an expert, but it will also boost your own confidence.
Use Interrogative Self Talk
Over the years, there’s been a popular misconception that self-affirmation is the way to build self-confidence. Unfortunately, if what you’re telling yourself doesn’t match what you feel, it will never make it into your unconscious way of thinking. Instead of saying what you want to be true, ask yourself questions to make yourself aware of any weaknesses you need to repair. “Can I tackle this new challenge?” will lead you to explore whether you can, as well as what steps you need to take to reach your goal.
Fake It Until You Make It
You won’t gain confidence overnight. However, there are body language signals you can send that will make you appear more confident than you are. Make a concerted effort to stand tall, look people in the eye, and always aim your body toward the person with whom you’re speaking. Closely watch people you see as confident and try to emulate their behaviors in your daily professional interactions.
Ready to get started? A new course, Assertiveness: How to Maintain Balance, will walk you through everything you need to do to assert yourself at work while still respecting others. If you sign up now, you’ll get one free 30-minute executive coaching session upon completion of the course. The lessons are led by OnTrack Coaching’s Dr. Maggie Sizer, who has more than 15 years of experience in working with executives and professionals as a coach.