Woman standing in front of a tall building

How to feel confident at work, RIGHT NOW.

Confidence

Do you struggle to feel confident at work? I’ve been there. And the constant second guessing that comes with it can be exhausting and time consuming.

Sometimes this means rereading an email about 17…billion times before sending it. Or proofreading that report so many times that you have the thing memorized. Or defaulting to everyone else’s opinions instead of trusting (or even voicing) your own. Or double checking with others on even the most minuet decisions just to make sure you’re not missing anything.

If this sounds familiar, you are not alone. And, if you crave the confidence that others seems to have so effortlessly, you are also not alone. And you can have it, too.

We often think that confidence comes from our experience, how many times we’ve done something, our accomplishments, our years on the job, knowing the right answer.

So we are in this weird holding pattern.

Where we don’t feel confident because we don’t have any of those things, so we just keep second guessing ourselves, and then we think that is what is causing us to feel even less confident – and the treacherous cycle continues.

But here’s the truth about confidence.

It comes before you take the action. Not after it. And it comes from how you think about yourself – not what you’ve done or how long you’ve been on the job. Sure – it may seem like those things cause your confidence, but it’s a misattribution.

To demonstrate – you could have two people, both having been in the same role for the exact same amount of time – let’s say, 5 years. And both having performed a certain task, let’s say, facilitated that team discussion, the same amount of times. And one feels confident about doing it. And the other – a nervous wreck of insecurity, low self-esteem, and deep self-doubt.

What’s the difference here? It’s not the level of experience, it’s not the amount of time, it’s not the role itself. Nope. It’s how they are thinking about the role. One person is believing in themselves. The other is not.

Which one are you?

If you’re on the side of the not believing in yourself – then I invite you to consider, why are you choosing not to believe in you? You see, we can forget that this is our choice. It’s not like some fact or data point that happens to us – that is exacted upon us by the gods above – that your coworker shall believe in themselves and feel confident, and you got the short straw and therefore shall be riddled with insecurity and self doubt. It doesn’t work like that.

It’s your choice – and insecurity, and feeling unconfident, those are all feelings stemming from your thoughts about you. They have nothing to do with your abilities. And the only reason you think they do is because your brain has set up some threshold rule that in order for you to believe in you, you have to meet X, Y, Z criteria. But those are all just thoughts too – the rules themselves aren’t even objective.

Which means that you can change the rules whenever you want to.

You can just decide to believe that you will figure out how to get through whatever comes your way. You can be the person facilitating the team discussion who just decides to believe that they can do it – that they will figure it out, and that whatever happens will be okay, because they know they can get through it.

You think you need to have all these years of experience or all this education to show you that you’d an do it. But instead, try asking your brain to find the evidence, right now, for why you already can. For how you are already the perfect person to do your role. For why you can already feel confident at work – right now. And trust that your brain can find the answer. Because you can.