We all have days when you don’t feel your best — when you start questioning and doubting yourself. In fact, many psychologists will agree that self-doubt is a normal part of the mind’s psychology. But what if your self-doubt starts interfering with your ideas at work? The importance of self confidence at work is the key factor that will keep pushing you upwards in the trajectory of your career. It is tied into your self esteem, and how you value yourself — and if you don’t value your own opinions it will be difficult for your professional peers to do the same. We talked to self confidence consultant and podcaster Sheena Yap Chan of The Tao of Self Confidence , to get her insights for tips and tricks on ways to boost your self-confidence at work — and how to could start working on these strategies today.
Self acknowledgement — recognizing your own work
Pro-tip:Sheena recommends keeping a “success log” which is a journal of all your work-related accomplishments and successes, no matter how big or small. “I’ve written down simple successes that I’ve done, whether it was sending an email that I was scared to send, or it was an article that I’ve written,” Sheena says. “I go back to that and I read what I’ve done in my work history, and I realize ‘okay, I’ve done all this so far, now what else can I do?”
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Ditch the negativity
Pro-tip:To cut out the negativity, try shifting your negative thought and re-framing it in a positive way. “If I say, ‘I look ugly today’, I’ll switch my thought right away and say to myself ‘no, I look great today.” Sheena continues, “the more I can practice doing that, the better I can cut out that negativity and switch it to a positive feeling right away, just by thinking the opposite.”
Bring the positivity
Pro-tip:“One of the things that I do to stop negative self-talk is I think of affirmations and say them to myself. Because it’s true, you can’t be confident all the time. Everyone has their good days and their bad days,” says Sheena. What are these affirmations? “I say three things to myself: I am loved, I am worthy, and I am enough. And I keep telling myself that until I feel good,” Sheena explains. Sheena also acknowledges that positive self-talk doesn’t come easy. “When you first start saying these affirmations, it’s going to feel weird because you’re not used to it. But the more you do it the better you get at it, and the more it will help combat those low-confidence nerves you have inside.”
Practice your passion
Pro-tip:Whether it’s your side-hustle or just a hobby you like to keep, Sheena agrees that doing something you love outside of work generates more confidence in you. “When you work on yourself outside of work, it translates to all aspects of your life,” she says.
Feed your curiosity
Pro-tip:There are so many resources online, from short how-to videos from Lynda.com, or an inspirational class from Masterclass, or an online-course at an accredited school — make for easily fitting further education into any busy schedule.
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Adjust your attitude
Pro-tip:We asked Sheena whether she believed in faking it until you make it. “Depends on each person," says Sheena. "Some people can fake it and use that type of confidence. And for others, it’s just very uncomfortable. I do believe that it depends on the situation and how you go about doing it.”
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Pro-tip:“You know, it’s like we’re in school and we’re so afraid to put our hand up and say something stupid. You’ll never end up saying anything at all," she says in response to fear of failure in the workplace. "And most of the time your idea is actually better than you think. So just go for it, and share your ideas and your thoughts at work, because taking a risk is better than not knowing at all.”
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Start prioritizing yourself
Pro-tip:Start to employ the “1 Minute Rule” by Gretchen Rubin, where you complete those work tasks that will only take you a minute to finish (think, answer an email, fill in a form). By doing this you start freeing up your time to dedicate longer windows to bigger projects, and you create a manageable workflow for your day.
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Dress to impress…yourself!
Pro-tip:Sheena shares a fun trick when it come to style, “I have a confidence colour, which is red.” Sheena goes on, “I only wear three colours, which are black, grey and red. But red is my primary colour. If I have a headshot to take, or I’m going to a party, I gravitate towards my confidence colour because I know that I feel my best in that colour.” What's your confidence colour?
It’s a process
Pro-tip:Sheena weighs in, “having self confidence is like a journey you take — you are always going to have various challenges that you have to face. Life is not linear, it’s more of a roller coaster ride where sometimes we’re up and sometimes we’re down. And I especially believe that you need to be okay in your own company to get to that confident space in your life.”
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