Having high self-confidence can benefit your professional life from your very first to your last job. Demonstrating self-confidence can help you make a positive impression in the workplace, whether it is with your interviewer, supervisor, coworkers or other individuals you interact with in professional settings.
In this article, we will explore why self-confidence is important in your career and give you examples of how to develop this quality.
Why is self-confidence important?
Self-confidence prepares you to perform at your best in interviews. When you approach an interview with confidence in your skills and personality, you focus less on comparing yourself to other candidates and place more emphasis on answering questions effectively and delivering your prepared responses. With self-confidence, you can better demonstrate your ability to accomplish tasks and achieve goals in the workplace.
Self-confidence can also benefit your work well beyond the interview. By building your confidence, you can approach problems in a calm and focused manner that allows you to clearly think through possible solutions. Self-confidence in the workplace also helps you more effectively communicate with supervisors and colleagues and others.
How to build self-confidence
Building self-confidence requires reflecting on your current self-perception and developing habits that promote a positive self-image. Here are a few ways you can build this trait:
- Focus on yourself.
- Construct a positive self-image.
- Do something challenging every day.
- Prioritize self-care.
- Rethink rejection.
1. Focus on yourself
While you may be competing against other candidates for job opportunities, it’s important to focus only on the qualities and experiences you bring to the workplace to avoid comparing yourself to others. Consider listing all of your positive qualities, unique experiences and helpful skills to remind yourself what you offer. Recognizing your individuality can help you see the advantages of your particular experiences and perspectives.
Also, identify the goals you want to achieve in your career and current or future roles. As you prepare for an interview, begin a new job or complete your daily tasks, use those goals to remind you of what you want to accomplish. You can build self-confidence by identifying the goals you’ve already achieved and the ones you’re close to reaching.
For goals that are further in the future, consider listing the steps you have to take to reach them and what steps you’ve already taken to get closer to your goal. These reminders can help you see the hard work you’ve already completed and how far you’ve already come.
2. Construct a positive self-image
Developing a positive view of yourself can begin with limiting comparison to others, but this process also requires further self-reflection and actively adjusting your mindset. Start constructing a positive self-image by imagining yourself as the person you want to be. Visualize yourself in the position you are interviewing for, with the skills you want and the network you are building.
Once you have crafted a positive image of yourself, consider engaging in self-affirmation activities. Self-affirmation involves saying positive and uplifting statements to yourself to challenge whatever negative thoughts may be in your mind.
For example, if you are nervous about an interview, state to yourself the skills and accomplishments that you will bring to that discussion. In the workplace, if you take on a new project or apply for a promotion, you might make self-affirming statements like “I am qualified” or “I am a successful person.” Self-affirmation helps you build a confident version of yourself that can likely lead you to professional success.
3. Do something challenging every day
Directly confronting your fears can help you build confidence to face the unknown. Be self-reflective about the things that discourage you, and try to confront one of those things every day. Even if those challenges do not directly relate to your career development, the confidence you can build by confronting them can transfer to the workplace.
You can also try to directly face the apprehensions you may have about your interview or job. If, for example, you are concerned that you will struggle to answer certain questions, practice answering those questions with a friend or family member. If you’re nervous about meeting new people in your workplace, make it a point to introduce yourself to someone in another department.
4. Prioritize self-care
Since both your mental and physical health can affect your confidence, you should prioritize caring for yourself. Make a habit of exercising, eating a healthy and balanced diet and getting plenty of sleep. Take time to do something you enjoy every day, like taking up an old hobby or starting a new one. Consider also finding ways to practice self-care while at work by stretching at your desk and taking brief breaks throughout the day.
In addition to maintaining strong mental and physical health, you should also prioritize your social health. Spending an evening with good friends or going to dinner with family can strengthen interpersonal skills that could help you work better with colleagues. You can also make an effort to invite coworkers out for social gatherings outside of the workplace to further improve your working relationships.
5. Rethink rejection
Rejection is sometimes part of the interview process, but adjusting your view of rejection can help you have confidence as you approach future interviews. If you are not offered one job, try to focus on the ways in which you improved or succeeded in the interview. Perhaps you had confident posture and answered a tough question thoughtfully. You can also view this “no” as a learning opportunity to better understand how you can improve your interviewing skills. Consider reaching out to the hiring manager to thank them for their time and consideration as well as to ask for constructive feedback.
Changing your perspective of rejection to view it as something often out of your control can help diminish the fear of being told “no.” This mental shift can help you be more self-confident as you approach other interviews because you understand that rejection is not necessarily a reflection of your experience or character.