Be fearless in the workplace by exuding confidence
Wednesday, August 17, 2016
Have you seen this picture of Usain Bolt? It's currently trending all over the internet, showing how superhuman the Olympic runner truly is.
Is he superhuman because he exudes the confidence everyone desires or because he's the fastest man in the world? Obviously, the second is true, but I think in some ways the first is, too. Confidence doesn't come naturally to some of us, but it's something that can be worked on — especially in the workplace.
Whether it be fear of losing your job, not completing a task on time or not understanding something, there's no doubt we all lack some confidence in the workplace.
"With work-related fears, as with any fear, people's imaginations tend to run wild," psychotherapist Jonathan Alpert writes. "The last people you would expect to be afraid" including your boss and high executives can lack confidence when dealt with a challenging task.
Shocking, right? You wouldn't think of higher executives lacking confidence, but why shouldn't they? We're all human, and no one is perfect.
Confidence is something everyone wants because it's said to lead to better careers, positions, salaries, teams, etc. So how can you can exude the confidence of a superhuman — one who can become fearless in the workplace?
Let's take a look at what leading industry experts say:
Keep you in mind because "confidence emerges from time-honored good work combined with a great attitude," says Lynn Taylor, author of "Tame Your Terrible Office Tyrant."
Know your strengths and weaknesses because "one of the best ways to build confidence is to get clear on your strengths and find ways to integrate those strengths into what you do every day," personal branding expert William Arruda says, "If there are weaknesses that are affecting your confidence, make a plan to reduce or eliminate them."
Believe in yourself because affirmations should always be said on a daily basis. You can do this. You are the best.
Keep track of your success because you'll be more aware of your achievements. I keep a file on my computer of when my articles go trending and keep a list of external sources that share them. Trust me when I say it's a great confidence booster.
Ask people for advice and encouragement because you can be confident and still seek out strength compliments from others. "Sometimes other people see more talent in us than we recognize ourselves," Dr. Katharine Brooks says.
Challenge yourself because when you complete that challenge it will enhance your confidence. Even if you're unsure of the outcome, "try to refrain from judging your performance too early in the process, or comparing your performance to someone who has been doing that activity for a much longer period of time," career coach Deborah Brown-Volkman says.
Positivity is power because "workers are drawn to those with an upbeat attitude, especially when challenges emerge," Taylor says, "It's contagious, even when your boss, and it will project confidence as you make this part of your 'personal brand.'"
Take time to process before you react because "one of the most effective ways to gain confidence is elevating your emotional radar in the workplace," Taylor says. "Read through the actions of your boss and coworkers, especially when they affect your self-confidence." If a co-worker or boss is lashing out in some way, he/she may be under a lot of stress from a project he/she is working on — something we are all a little familiar with.
In the end, it all comes down to believing in yourself. Confidence will continue to be an important factor for advancing ourselves within our respective industries, but you can't let that bring you down. With the help from the experts above and a little practice, you'll be on your way to becoming a superhuman — and fearless.
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