Saturday, July 26, 2014

3 Tips to Building Workplace Confidence

Anchor your confidence to the belief that you will get better with practice.  Expect great things from yourself and make them happen.
J.D. Meier


Confidence comes from competence. It is not a gift that you can wish and hope for. I define competence as the ability to acquire and put to constructive use our strengths, skills and knowledge to achieve desired outcomes. The level of competence we have towards a goal or overcoming a challenge in life influences our success in life.

When we feel competent enough to accomplish a task, we approach the task with greater confidence. Our confidence generates a quiet assurance in our ability which in turn reinforces the belief that we are capable of taking on the task or challenge at hand.

Insulating ourselves from challenges or new experiences because we don’t feel comfortable fails to develop our competence and confidence to be more, do more and have more in life. Life throws curve balls. Hoping and expecting life to always be a bed of roses sets us up to fail at handling disappointments, frustrations and adversity. We do ourselves a disservice when we hold unrealistic expectations about life.

You have to recognize the importance of developing perspectives and behaviors that fuel your confidence at work. If you allow yourself to succumb to limiting beliefs and accept the “status quo” of less than your best performance, you are self-sabotaging the level of success that you are capable of achieving in the workplace.

Like many people, you may have a tendency to undervalue what you can do because you've had few people to rally behind and support your success. That may be the case, but, you have a choice. You can make a decision that you will be your own cheerleader. You will believe in yourself. You will become all that you can be. You will become a fuller expression of your knowledge, experience, talents and strengths. You will dwell in possibility. This perspective have the power to increase the measure of confidence that you demonstrate in the workplace.

The following tips will help build your confidence at work.

  1. Develop Realistic Expectations: To develop realistic expectations about life you have to develop a proper perspective towards your life and yourself. To do this, you must challenge the assumptions you have about life that continue to create frustration, disappointment and setbacks in your life. Why? The assumptions you have influence the perceptions or lens by which you see yourself and the world. If the assumptions you have about yourself at work are a result of limited perceptions influenced by social conditioning you are more apt to approach your workplace opportunities and career with a limited or scarcity mentality. Challenging the validity of your assumptions will expand your awareness of who you can become, what you are smart and strong enough to handle at work and the level of success that you believe you are worthy of experiencing in your career.
  2. Cultivate Personal Excellence: It’s not enough to know what to do, the power of personal excellence is a result of what you do with what you know. What is the quality of your reputation as a result of your actions? Have you ever considered asking those closest to you what they think about your personal integrity and commitment to excellence? Each of us has blind spots about ourselves.

Keep your finger on the pulse of the perception others have about you. No, I’m not expecting for you to care about the opinions of everyone, just those that matter most to the life you are creating. This may seem harsh when you first read it, but give it some time. You will recognize that being overly concerned about what everyone thinks about you can become a full-time job. Everyone and their mother has an opinion. You’re not going to stop people from having an opinion or sharing it. What you can do is focus on producing high quality results, one after another. After a while, even the cynics won’t have much to talk about and when they do people with integrity won't pay them much attention because the excellence of your results will speak for you.

  1. Network Beyond Your Comfort Zone: Success leaves clues. The company you keep, meaning the five or ten people you spend the most time with, says a lot about your values and the direction your life will go in. Their personal character, values, goals and habits will influence you over time. Much research has been conducted to prove that we are susceptible to social influences, especially within our inner-circle.

For this reason, it is important that you network beyond your comfort zone. Pursue experiences that require for you to regularly interact with new people and new ideas. These enriching experiences will expand your knowledge of a variety of subjects, including life and develop your social and emotional intelligences. Feeling competent that you can handle the unfamiliar enlarges your confidence.

In life, as well as your workplace you will experience disappointment, frustrations and heartache. It comes with the territory. If you develop realistic expectations, cultivate personal excellence and network beyond your comfort circle, you can deliberately develop greater confidence in your ability to manage tasks and challenges, while positioning yourself to express more of your ability in the workplace.


Jackie Capers-Brown is CEO and founder of Next Level Training Solutions located in Columbia, SC. She is the content curator and editor for her blog, Grow Forward & Flourish. Jackie is the author of Success Becomes You, Lead to Succeed and her newest book Get Unstuck Now