18 Tips to Build Bullet-Proof Confidence at Work

Confident worker looking out window

Confidence – that thing that most of us are full of as young adults, sailing through life without receiving any criticism. Yet your first blow at work can make that sky-high self-confidence crumble, leaving you as a timid and stripped version of your previous self. It’s easy for your self-esteem to be knocked but so challenging to build it back up again.

Don’t fret, as there is a way to return to your former, happy self with these life-changing tips.

1. Confront Your Fears

Do you fear public speaking? If so, offer to hold the next team meeting so you can get used to talking in front of a crowd of people. It’ll help you build up your confidence and belief in yourself to know that you can speak in front of people. It’s also wise to consider training classes to help boost your self-confidence.

2. Make an Achievement Log

When you lack confidence, it’s easy to dwell on what you haven’t achieved instead of thinking about what you have managed to accomplish so far in your life. Make a log of all your achievements, whether this is in the form of a printed folder in your draw, a folder on your outlook or your desktop. I once saved all my great feedback from clients in my inbox to remind myself why I aimed to go above and beyond every time I completed a task – it truly worked!

3. Think about Your Strengths

Many professionals use the SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) analysis to improve themselves within the workplace. This can help you put into perspective what you are really good at and what you can advance on – therefore, building your self-worth in the process.

4. Increase Your Knowledge

It’s a scientific fact that the more you learn about a specific topic, the more confident you’ll be when discussing it. After doing your SWOT analysis, select a few areas you really want to work on and use this as a way to regain your confidence again.

5. Accept that Mistakes Happen

I can assure you that even the best of the best will make a mistake now and again, so there really is no use sitting there beating yourself up about it! The most important thing is to admit that you made a mistake, learn from it, and move on.

6. Push Yourself Out of Your Comfort Zone

A big project has just been put on the table, and no one has put their hand up to take charge because you are all afraid that it’s too much work. This is your perfect opportunity to push yourself out of your comfort zone, take charge and prove that you have got what it takes as long as you put your mind to it.

7. Have Others Instil Confidence in You

Is there someone close to you that can help boost your confidence? Someone that is honest enough to tell you when you’re being stupid and to stop overthinking? Find that person and cherish them as they can retrace that loss of confidence.

8. Dress to Impress

It’s so easy to underestimate the effect that clothing has on our self-assurance. A recent study, jointly conducted by Columbia University and California State University, found that wearing formal attire changes people’s thought processes. In other words, when we put on formal clothing, it makes us feel more powerful and can change the way coworkers see us.

9. Adopt a Positive Attitude

When you lack confidence, you generally have a negative attitude and think that everyone is judging you before you even open your mouth. A good way to shift this soul-destroying thought process is to adopt a more positive approach to everything and try to see the best in a bad situation.

10. Be Assertive

There’s no harm in being assertive about what you believe in and what you want to achieve. If you have a point to make in a meeting, raise your hand, and say it loud and proud. The more you do this, the easier it will get and the more confident you will feel.

11. Fake it Until You Make It

It’s normal to feel under-confident when you’re dealing with a new task. You might have just received a promotion and are in charge of team meetings, presentations and training sessions – something that you haven’t been involved in previously. To take charge and do the best you can, put on a confident front and embrace the position. You’ll soon notice that people will trust your abilities because you haven’t shied away.

12. Smile

A simple smile can go a long way. It can make you appear more composed to others and will also relieve feelings of stress in the process so that you can feel happier and more relaxed.

13. Ask for What You Want

If you don’t ask for something, you’re likely not to get it. Have you been at your company for two years without receiving a pay rise? If you’ve been putting the work in, you have every right to ask for a bonus.

14. Learn from Constructive Criticism

Let’s face it: any criticism can be hard to swallow. However, if you take the constructive feedback and use it to do better next time, you’ll discover ways to develop your skillset and increase your confidence in the process.

15. Sit Up Straight

According to a study from Ohio State University, sitting up straight can give you more confidence in your own thoughts. Have you ever noticed that people with good posture they appear more poised? Someone can think that of you, too, if you make a conscious effort to work on your body language.

16. Exercise

Another study, led by Russell Clayton from Saint Leo University, found that ‘individuals who exercised regularly were more confident, they could handle the interaction of their work and home life, and were less likely to be stressed at work’. And if you don’t have time to exercise outside of work, why not try a few desk exercises instead?

17. Don't Compare Yourself to Others

Comparing yourself to others is just going to make you feel depressed. Maybe your colleague Karen is better at Excel than you – but you, too, have qualities that Karen doesn’t possess. What’s important here is to focus on what you can do and what you can achieve. A workplace isn’t a battlefield but an environment where teamwork is essential - where everyone’s key skills matter.

18. Believe in Yourself

The final step is to believe in yourself – because if you don’t, who else will? You’re in the position you are because someone saw something in you and believed in your abilities. Don’t let a few bad comments change the way that you see yourself!

Everyone experiences periods of insecurity and anxiety but overthinking and allowing it to affect your every move will only harm you at work. With these tips, you can learn to be confident in who you are and your ability to accomplish your goals.

Do you have any other additional tips that can help fellow workers? If so, drop a comment in the section below to let us know what they are…