Self-confidence is one of the most important factors to having a successful career.
In fact, boosting your self-esteem can lead to more positivity, happiness, and resilience. Believing in yourself can also lead you to taking more risks, which can lead to more rewards. When speaking about your career prospects, those risks could lead to new jobs, more benefits, or even a higher salary.
One example: if you wanted to go after your dream job but didn’t believe you could get it, you wouldn’t even apply. That guarantees you won’t get it. But with a little belief and some courage, you can apply and give yourself a chance.
That’s why improving your self-confidence is a huge professional step to take. Because when you defeat that imposter syndrome, when you realize what you’re capable of, and when you can share that confidence with your coworkers and your bosses, they’ll have no choice but to recognize how capable you are – and compensate you accordingly.
Even beyond money, speaking with authority, a good posture, and eye contact are signs of confidence that can help you work more effectively, get along better with your coworkers, and enjoy your work day more.
So read on for 7 ways to get yourself ready for a better career.
1. No Negative Self-Talk
“I could never do that.”
“I hate how I talk when I present.”
“They’ll never consider me for the promotion.”
Do any of those sound familiar? Unfortunately for many of us, we’ve all had moments of weakness where we talk badly about ourselves. But as Lifehack mentions, no one gets better at something by beating themselves up about it.
Depending on your situation, it can be difficult to catch and stop all instances of negative self-talk.
Instead, what you might try to do is break down your day into parts that you’d like to improve, and work on one at a time. Here are a few examples:
- Office presentations
- Office meetings
- Group work
- Pitch meetings
Focus on one and see how you can transform negative ideas into positive ones. Instead of “I hate how I talk when I present” you could try “I can make my points more memorable because no one presents like I do.”
Then as you start to become more comfortable in one area, you can work on addressing some of your beliefs and negative self-talk in other areas, too.
Instead of “They’ll never consider me for the promotion” you could try “I’ve done great work since they hired me, so they have no choice but to consider me for the promotion.”
And instead of “I could never do that” you could try “Life’s full of things I haven’t tried yet. Then I try them! Let’s add another to the list.”
It all works in steps. Don’t worry about feeling like you need to solve everything at once. Pretty soon you’ll be walking about your day and beaming with positivity.
2. Ask Questions
One thing a lack of confidence can do is make us quiet down. It always seems like the confident people speak the loudest, command attention, and have all the answers.
Not having the information you need to do your job can leave you feeling powerless and ineffective.
That’s why you should use that insecure or uncertain feeling to spring into action and start asking questions.
As long as you’re not repeatedly asking the same question over and over again, it’s a great sign of initiative to want to know more.
Besides, not always having the answer is okay. As William Koehrsen writes, saying “I don’t know” is a great way to become smarter and more skilled in our daily lives.
Asking questions is also an essential part of being curious. Think right now about the people at your workplace who are confident. Likely your boss is one of them. Maybe some of the other higher-ups.
A lot of their confidence is coming from a place of knowledge. They know how the business works. They know their role in the business. And when they interact with other teams and people, they have an idea what their jobs are, too.
Because if they don’t?
They’re sure going to ask questions and find out.
3. Get Feedback
Handling criticism is one of the harder parts of being an employee. When we’re students, there were plenty of days when we could just sit back and listen while the teacher explained an idea.
On the weekends, we can live our lives how we want.
But at work, if we want to make an impact and improve, we have to get ready for feedback.
So how can you use feedback to improve your self-confidence?
Stop taking it so personally.
When you can separate yourself from your work, you can look at it objectively. That way, if your boss criticizes something about the project, it’s not you that’s being criticized.
Because when we take the criticism personally, it can be hard to feel good about ourselves.
But with professional criticism and feedback, we learn what to do differently in the future. We learn more about our professional environment. And we know what to work on for ourselves to become even better.
Through that process of growth and improvement, confidence is a natural side effect.
4. Look The Part
When you look good, you feel good.
It sounds cliche, but it’s absolutely true – and yes, the science backs it up!
Psychologically speaking, the following colors of clothing directly affect your mood:
- Red: positive feelings, power, passion, romance
- Yellow: happy, cheery, creative
- Blue: relaxing, calming
- Black: a more serious and professional look
- Purple: a more sophisticated look.
- Green: calming, stress relieving
Each of those moods can be tied to confidence, so the takeaway is to look at what you’re trying to project. When your mood matches the colors that you’re wearing, you’re more likely to feel comfortable in your outfit.
Beyond color, there are a few guiding principles to picking clothes that will make you feel better about yourself:
- Wear nice-fitting clothes – these can help to flatter your shape and will leave you feeling more comfortable and put-together
- Dress for the season – After you’ve gotten a sense for the level of formal attire in your place of work, try to match it to the weather.
- Dressing for the occasion – When you’ve got a big client pitch or presentation, feel free to step up your game. If it’s a casual Friday, tone it down.
But sometimes what we wear can do even more to impact our self-esteem.
5. Feel More Confident With Elevator Shoes
For many men, their height can be a sore subject.
Some men might exaggerate their height. Others might just wish they were taller because there are significant earning differences over the lengths of a career (as physical height is correlated to self-esteem and success).
But there’s no use in just wishing to be taller, in wishing you could look your boss eye-to-eye, or wanting to walk more confidently around the office.
Instead, consider investing in elevator shoes like those from Shoes That Make You Taller. These shoes, available in athletic styles, work boots, formal dress elevator shoes, and even height-increasing sneakers, can help you stand up to 10 cm taller.
And with their creative, modern designs, you won’t be left looking out of place. Each comes with an elevator insole which is built inside the show, providing a sloping base that boosts your height without adding visual clues to the outside.
If you’ve ever wished that you could stand taller, these shoes can help make that wish come true.
Plus, it’s useful that they’re available as both formal elevator shoes and more casual elevator shoes. So even if you meet up with your coworkers and colleagues outside of work, you can still feel your most confident.
6. Focus On Your Successes
Sometimes imposter syndrome gets the best of all of us. We think that we don’t deserve to be where we’re at. We wonder if other people could do this job better than we can. And we can’t help but compare ourselves to other people – maybe in the same job, of the same age, or from where we grew up.
Like negative self-talk, focusing on others is a recipe for feeling less-than and defeated.
Instead, focus on your own successes. You’ve made it as far as you have for plenty of reasons. Maybe it’s the work you put in as a student that enabled you to get this first job, or it’s a career’s worth of acehivements that elevated you to the top of your field.
Either way – when you focus on the good work you’ve done, you’re sure to feel empowered and ready to keep that good work coming.
7. Pick Up New Skills
Part of not feeling confident can come from not feeling equipped to take on the task at hand. If your boss asks you to try using a new software, for example, it can be tempting to give up.
For one, you’re not as immediately good at this new skill as you are with the ones you’ve spent your whole career working on.
For another, you’re not as quick. Tasks that should be simple take longer than they should.
Instead of framing it like that, though, consider how you’re widening your horizons. You’re adding a new ability. And just like your boss is confident because of how much he or she has learned throughout their career, you’re simply going through the same learning process that’ll take you there, too.
Putting the time into learning skills and mastering them is a surefire way to feel better about your role in the office.
Where To Get Elevator Shoes To Boost Your Office Confidence
For many of the above ways to boost your confidence, it’s a mental shift.
Once you recognize the habits and patterns you have, breaking them down and creating new, positive ones is just a matter of time.
Depending on the type of work you do and where you work, you’re likely to find an appropriate style (or styles!) that can help you to stand taller and boost your self-esteem at work.