Heartbeat quickens. Palms clam up. Breathing becomes shallow. Mind fills with a thousand and one thoughts that only lead you to second-guess every decision you’ve made in the past.
No, you’re not having a heart attack, but you figure you might as well be because anything else would be better than being at work right now.
How many of us can actually attest to feeling that same way or at least something close to it? Whether it’s your first day on the job or you’re a few years in, sometimes work has a way of making you feel less-than; like you don’t belong or you’re simply not good enough. No matter how many pep talks you’ve given yourself in the tiny bathroom stall that you snuck away to, you just never seem to measure up.
I know this because I’ve been there, and not too long ago either.
After months of searching, I finally landed the position I had long been dreaming about. It was the first day at my new position and I can you promise you that all the experience gained through education and other hands-on training felt like it was not enough to build my confidence to where it needed to be. There I was working at place I love, hired by a great team that actually wanted what I had to offer, yet for days I would come in to work and start the day already defeated.
So how come I just couldn’t shake all the doubt? How come it is so easy for all of us to accept negativity than it is to hold on to compliments and praise? I still don’t know the answer to those questions, but I do know I took active steps into rebuilding and finally conquering that little Negative-Nancy voice in the back of my head.
How can you conquer that self-doubt and build your confidence in the workplace too? These bits of advice below are like medicine; they only work when you actually use them. It’s not a one-time thing but a lifestyle change:
1 | Surround yourself with the right people
Honey, ain’t nobody got time for surrounding themselves with the wrong people, especially if you’re a company who’s paying those said people to stick around and work for you. Sorry to ruin the big surprise, but if they hired you, they actually like you and your skills. If you’ve gotten the position, they honestly do believe that you are the right type of person for the job. Remember that: you are worthy of hiring, of keeping, and of contributing good ideas.
2 | Know that you have what it takes
In the off chance you don’t get the position you were hoping for, the fact that you applied for the job shows that you know you have what it takes. Continue to believe in that.
3 | Give and then take
Give every task all you’ve got and then take on some more. Once you’re done take on something you know very little about. All the “easy” tasks you just completed should be enough of a mental boost to help you tackle something new, which will grow you and make you feel more confident.
4 | Pep talks are great but prep talks are better
Sometimes it’s easy to get scared of a task because it looks larger than life. If you look at it as a series of little tasks you can do rather than one big impossible tasks, that’s half of the job done right there.
5 | Confidence is made
Remember that Oprah, Bill, Regis, Kobe, DVF, and even the senator from the movie Maid In Manhattan, all felt how you did or do. Confidence isn’t given, it’s made and needs to be exercised in order to grow. You got this.