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Overcome Self-Doubt and Become More Confident at Work with these Insecurity-Busting Tips

It’s only normal to feel self-doubt in our daily lives, especially at work. That doesn’t mean that you can’t fight and overcome those negative thoughts that are holding you back though.

There are many ways you can defeat your insecurities and set yourself up for success in the workplace. Here are some useful tips you can follow to improve your self-confidence from Ellen Taaffe, director of women’s leadership programs at the Kellogg School of Management.

Acting over Observing

fizkes/Shutterstock: Don’t be shy to make your thoughts and ideas known

When you’re still at the adjustment period in your new position, it can be tempting to settle into the role of the observer. This can happen even with high-achieving people as they often only act with 100% certainty.

Thus, there is a tendency to hold back from acting in favor of thinking things through. While this habit can end in positive results, Taaffe emphasizes the importance of ditching it once in a while in favor of taking small risks like sharing your ideas.

Acting early, in turn, makes you more comfortable in your new job whether it’s a leadership role or that of a team member.

Look to Other People

fizkes/Shutterstock: The experiences of a female boss may give you an idea of how to overcome similar gender-related obstacles in the workplace

It’s also helpful if you have someone else in the workplace to look up to. You can start overcoming your own insecurities by feeding off the confidence of co-workers or a boss that’s accomplished a lot at work.

While you may only see these colleagues as fearless individuals, know that they likely had to overcome their own set of fears to get to where they are today. It’s also important that you become aware of other factors that may affect how you and your co-workers are considered for promotions.

For example, men are likely to go after a promotion with fewer skills than what is listed while women would often hold themselves back thinking they aren’t ready for the position yet.

Stop Tearing Yourself Down Start improving your self-confidence by recognizing and improving the negative language you use

Self-confidence starts from within, so bombarding yourself with diminishing and qualifying language every day would only halt the progress you’re making.

For example, she shares the story of one junior colleague who was sharing about some of the good she’s been doing. But after noticing that nobody was responding to her, the worker started losing confidence in what she was talking about and it became evident in the way she was speaking.

To prevent a similar thing from happening to you, Taaffe suggests that you start asking questions like ‘What are your thoughts?’ instead of questions or statements with qualifiers like ‘This may be a bad idea but..’.

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