Why do I lack confidence at work?

5 Workplace Confidence Killers and How to Beat Them

Keeping your self-assurance at a high level is essential if you want to be successful in your work. Here is a guide on maintaining your self-assurance and achieving your objectives.

Confidence-diminishing factors, both internal and external, are abundant in the typical place of employment.

Employees who lack self-assurance may be less likely to contribute their ideas to their teams, which may result in their company missing out on opportunities for innovation.

Improve your professional performance and overall sense of well-being by honing and using tactics that have been shown to boost self-confidence.

This essay is geared for working professionals who want to improve their confidence at work by addressing some of the most frequent issues associated with confidence.

Some folks always appear to have everything under control. You are familiar with the type: the enthusiastic worker who is always eager to offer their ideas or take on additional responsibilities. Their self-confidence and positive outlook on life persuade people around them, as well as themselves, that they are an asset. They embody confidence, a state of being that many of us strive for but often fail to achieve.

An unacceptable number of workers suffer from poor self-confidence and allow their own self-doubt to prevent them from contributing their ideas and realizing their full potential on the job. Confidence, on the other hand, is not only an attitude but also a set of skills. You can learn to be confident just as you can acquire any other ability if you put in the effort.

In this article, we will discuss five of the most common factors that might undermine one's self-confidence, as well as strategies for overcoming these factors.

5 factors that might erode one's self-assurance in the workplace

It is necessary to avoid or overcome confidence-killing attitudes, behaviors, and events in order to achieve success in business as well as in life in general.


According to Helene Lerner, author of The Confidence Myth (Berrett-Koehler Publishers, 2015) and founder of WomenWorking.com, a career website for women, high-performing employees frequently put unnecessary pressure on themselves to achieve ridiculously unrealistic standards, and they can become disheartened when they are unable to meet those standards.

Everyone has their own unique set of talents and shortcomings. When you find yourself falling short on a project, you should always ask yourself whether you gave it your best effort. If you did, acknowledge the fact that you are a human being who is incapable of doing things flawlessly and make peace with that fact.

Lerner said that "we must put an end to the negative discourse and persuade ourselves that our best is good enough." "Make it an inner mantra."

Bosses who are micromanagers

Being micromanaged might leave you with the impression that you are not up to the task at hand. Why else would the boss be so picky and give you such specific instructions on how to do a task?

You are probably not doing anything wrong in the vast majority of situations. Lerner made the observation that fear is often the driving force behind dominating conduct.

She told him, "The micromanaging that [your employer] engages in probably has more to do with how that individual thinks about [themself] than it does with you."

If you have true self-assurance, no one will be able to bring you down. A poor supervisor has the potential to bring out your fears, but you should focus on how far you've gone and where you want to go instead.

Disengagement at work

One of the most prevalent causes for experiencing feelings of disconnection at work as well as a lack of confidence in one's own talents is the fact that one's task does not adequately utilize their expertise. Lerner recommended that if you aren't making use of your skills and capabilities in your current position that you look into alternative options. Everyone has skills and capabilities that they can contribute to the world.

One other choice you have is to have a positive outlook about how well you are doing in your job. If you're not interested in something, try looking at it from a different angle or taking a different approach. It's possible that you've been stuck in a rut or a pattern that's draining your energy. Make a change; choose an alternative strategy that will help you refine your interests. What are some things you might change about the way you conduct your work that would make it more enjoyable? Don't be scared to broach the subject of increasing your level of participation in the workplace with your boss.

The dread of falling short

Fear is a universal emotion, yet some people are more susceptible to it than others. However, it is essential to confront one's fears head-on.

"Fear can be so crippling that it holds people back in ways that they don't even realize," said Heather Monahan, founder of career mentoring group #BossinHeels and author of Confidence Creator. "Whether it be fear of speaking up in meetings, so the employee is seen as someone who doesn't contribute much value, or fear of being yourself, instead of trying to emulate a boss and never learning to really own what is unique and special about you," said Heather Monahan (Boss in Heels, 2018).

It is natural that you want to "succeed" in your professional life, but you shouldn't let your fear of "failure" prevent you from exploring new avenues of possibility. It's possible that a project won't go according to plan, and that you'll make some errors. According to Lerner, you haven't really failed if you're able to take anything positive out from the experience.

Colleagues who are uncooperative or who are critical

Having coworkers that are rude, arrogant, or otherwise unpleasant may lead to a decrease in job satisfaction. This is particularly true if the negativity of your coworkers is aimed towards you. As is the case with micromanagers, Lerner encourages professionals to avoid taking the conduct too personally, but she also recommends making an effort to sort things out with your colleague and try to heal the friction that has arisen in the workplace.

Techniques to create confidence

Increasing your self-assurance may be accomplished via a variety of deliberate and purposeful strategies.

1. Eliminate any expressions of pessimism.

Monahan gave the piece of advice to pay attention to both what and how one speaks. Saying "Excuse me" or "Thank you" is a better alternative than apologizing in many situations. When presenting a concept, rather of stating "I have a feeling this will work," try saying "This will work because..."

"Eliminating certain idioms from your vocabulary will produce a swift change for you," Monahan said, adding that there is no need for using comedy that is self-deprecating. Even while laughing at oneself may seem to be harmless and even beneficial, doing so might really damage your confidence. When you show yourself to others as innocent, you are sending a signal that you regard yourself as lacking in experience that is important to the situation, and it is risky to expose these beliefs since they might have potentially negative consequences.

Instead of doubting your value or trying to minimize your intellect or contributions, you should offer your thoughts and deeds without minimizing them. Rather of attempting to score a joke, such as "here comes another proposal from a less qualified individual," deliver your concept in the same way that an appreciated coworker would, which is to say, without any qualifiers or self-deprecating humor.

Position the fact that you have a knowledge gap as an asset if you believe that you should recognize your relative lack of expertise. You may say something along the lines of, "My new viewpoint on this subject has provided me with an unconventional notion, but I am quite optimistic that it may prove to be the answer we are all looking for."

Imagine that the thing that is giving you anxiety may really be an asset rather than a barrier to success. Your assurance will soon catch up with you.

2. Get in the habit of practicing your presentation.

"Dress for success" is a phrase that everyone is familiar with. Your self-confidence may be affected by how you style yourself, including how you do your hair and what you wear. When they look their best, many individuals report that they also feel their best.

This does not imply that you should always go about your day dressed in a business suit. Self-expression may come in many forms, including the use of clothing, cosmetics, shoes, and other accessories. You should adhere to the dress code that is in place at your workplace; nevertheless, you should seek for methods to include your own style, and you should spend a few additional minutes getting dressed in the morning to improve your confidence.

A confident demeanor may also be conveyed by your posture and tone. When you are seated, make an effort to have a good posture, and be sure to project your voice when you are speaking during a meeting. When we are anxious, we have a tendency to shrink, both physically and with our speech. However, this conduct demonstrates a lack of confidence thus further undermining your confidence while also displaying your lack of confidence.

3. Give some affirmations of the positive a try.

It may seem corny to engage in the practice of positive affirmations, but getting into a good mentality before you start your workday might assist you in experiencing an increase in self-assurance. Classic positive affirmations may be practiced by staring in the mirror (maybe in your vehicle before coming into work) and repeating words like "I am clever and competent," "My thoughts and ideas count," or "I am ready to conquer this day." For example, "I am ready to conquer this day."

Make a list of five of your strengths every morning to help you reflect on the areas in which you thrive in your current work. Some individuals even prefer to write their strengths down on Post-it notes and stick them to the side of their computer or the desk they work at. When they begin to experience feelings of self-doubt, they quickly review the things that they excel in.

4. Establish personal objectives for yourself.

The development of self-assurance is an ongoing process. It's unlikely that you'll show up for work one day and find that all of your worries and concerns about your abilities evaporate. Instead, you should focus on setting objectives that will assist you in making progress along your trip.

If you tend to be reserved and silent during meetings, a commendable goal for you to strive for would be to make at least one remark, question, or suggestion at each meeting that you participate in. Begin with a more intimate gathering, such as a meeting of a team or department in which everyone is already familiar to you, then work your way up to gatherings of the whole workforce.

One other possibility for a goal is to make a new connection with a different person every week. Employees who have a healthy dose of self-assurance are more likely to be outgoing and engaged in their job. At work, you may also have the opportunity to develop some beneficial contacts or perhaps new pals. Introduce yourself to a stranger in the breakroom and strike up a discussion with them. Compliment someone on their most recent endeavor or congratulate them on a significant victory by sending them a message on Slack and going out of your way to do it. Getting to know the individuals you work with and developing a friendly relationship with them might make you feel more at ease and boost your self-confidence.

Tailor your objectives to your individual difficulties. You may always begin on a modest scale and work your way up to more challenging behaviors.

5. Allot some time to relax and unwind.

Work may be stressful, and as a result, many individuals experience burnout in their jobs. Throughout the course of the day, be sure to stop and check in with yourself periodically. Try some soothing breathing techniques, like the 4/7/8 breathing method, if you're experiencing the impacts of stress brought on by your work environment, such as when you're having trouble sleeping. In order to apply the 4/7/8 method, you should take a breath in for four seconds, then hold it for seven seconds, and then let out your breath for eight seconds. Relaxation techniques such as deep breathing exercises may assist reduce anxiety and help you regain concentration.

Practicing progressive muscle relaxation during the workday is yet another effective method for reducing stress levels. This is a sort of meditation in which you go around your body, focusing on one muscle group at a time, and tensing and relaxing that area. When you tension and relax different muscle groups, it's important to pay attention to how each one feels. People who work in offices often carry a great deal of strain in their shoulders and neck. When you let go of this stress, you may find that you have more serenity as well as confidence.


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