7 quick ways to boost your confidence at work
Let’s face it, even if you love your job, there are bound to be days where you just don’t feel very confident at it. Perhaps someone gave you a negative comment, your kids keep interrupting (if you work from home!), or it’s just ‘one of those days’. No matter the reason, low confidence at work can really impact on your overall wellbeing and stress levels. Some people spend more time at their job then they do anywhere else, so feeling confident in the workplace is incredibly important!
Here are 7 quick ways to boost your confidence during the work day.
1) Power pose
This TED talk by Amy Cuddy went viral a few years ago, showing the fascinating research behind body language. The basic idea is that “power posing” — standing in a posture of confidence, even when we don’t feel confident — can affect testosterone and cortisol levels in the brain, making us feel more confident and powerful.
Power posing is simple. Stand or sit in an open, confident manner for a few minutes. Examples include the ‘Wonder Woman’ pose, hands behind head with feet up, anything that exudes power and openness. Hold the pose for a few minutes each day, particularly before a stressful or important situation.
2) Write down your strengths
If you are feeling down, stressed, or unappreciated at work, take a few minutes to write down what strengths you do have. Trust me, EVERYONE has things about themselves that they should be proud of, that they excel at, that makes them a great person and employee.
Get a piece of paper and write down 5 things that you like about yourself, or consider to be strengths of yours. Consider the following questions;
-what do I do well at work?
-how would people describe me?
-which types of things do I get compliments on?
-what am I passionate about?
-what am I proud of at the end of the day?
3) 5 minute meditation
Mindfulness can have great benefits for improving mental health, lowering stress levels and producing positive emotions. Regular mindfulness meditation activates areas of the brain involved in emotional regulation, as well as stimulating the brain’s relaxation response. Taking 5 minutes out of your work day to meditate can improve your confidence by producing positive emotions, and increasing compassion to others and yourself.
4) Go for a walk and practice gratitude
This serves several purposes; a break from the desk, some fresh air to clear the mind, and gratitude to increase positive emotions and wellbeing. Expressing gratitude light up parts of the brain that make you feel good, and these effects are actually quite long-lasting and have a self-perpetuating cycle. This means that the more gratitude you practice, the more attuned you are to things to be grateful for, and the more benefit you find from it.
While walking, breathe in the fresh air and ask yourself what are 3 things that you are really grateful for.
5) Visualise an accomplishment
Visualisation can be a great tool for lowering stress levels, setting goals, and triggering the relaxation response in the brain. It can also boost confidence by helping you feel a sense of accomplishment and focusing on the positive rather than the stress in your work day.
The trick to visualisation is to be as specific as possible, use the 5 senses when imagining your future situation, and imagine yourself achieving the outcome you want. So take a few minutes to think of a goal you really want to achieve. e.g. completing a task, getting an award, receiving praise for your work, figuring out a difficult job. Use the 5 sense to get as much detail as possible (what do I feel, see, hear in this event), and really try to imagine what that feels like.
6) Repeat a mantra
Self-affirmations or mantras are positive statements that can help you develop a more positive idea of yourself and your self worth. If you find yourself spending your whole work day in a negative mindset, you definitely want to practice this.
Pick a present focused, positive, empowering statement e.g. “I am successful” “I am creative” “I have skills I can offer other people”. Repeat it to yourself several times, really feeling the statement. Better yet, make a positive mantra your work screensaver! That way you can see it all throughout the day.
7) Listen to empowering music
If all else fails, remember the power of Beyonce. Seriously, if you are feeling down at work, take a few minutes to pop in your headphones and listen to your favourite empowering anthem. Tell yourself that you are a GODDESS and you are hustling to make it all work.
One more thing: If you find that even with all of these tips you are still struggling to feel confident at work, perhaps it is time to have a frank conversation with your boss. Every job has its ups and downs, but perhaps there is something that can be done to help you feel more acknowledged and valued in your workplace.