Does the mere thought of work make you start feeling that creeping sense of self-doubt? Do you feel like you’re not good enough at your job, or that you don’t deserve to be there? It could be possible that you are suffering from work-related anxiety, or even imposter syndrome, which 66% of women have experienced in the last 12 months.
It’s no secret that workplaces can be incredibly stressful environments. With so much of our lives spent there, it can sometimes feel hard to escape. Workplace stress can often go hand in hand with low self-confidence, and low self-confidence can often bring negative thoughts which can be very hard to control. It’s okay to have off days – you’re only human after all.
Here are our top tips for increasing your self-confidence at work:
1. Remember that you got hired for a reason
Take a step back and think how you got here, you didn’t get here by chance! You may have studied relentlessly for years to get where you are today, you may have slaved away putting together a portfolio of your best work, or even been picked from hundreds of other people to get the role you have today. Just remember that you shone through all the other candidates for the position, somebody recognised your potential, spirit and talent and chose you specifically as the best person for the job. You absolutely deserve to be where you are today.
2. Communicate with your colleagues
Although it can be hard to open up to others about what you’re experiencing – it may be the case that one of your colleagues feels exactly the same as you do. Although it may not feel very natural, it can be very rewarding to open yourself up and let people help you when you are indeed, after all it’s human nature to want to help others. You may find comfort in ‘getting things off your chest’ or even a sense of empowerment by speaking to your co-workers about your concerns.
3. Practice Mindfulness
This ancient practice is thousands of years old and comes from the teachings of Buddhism and Hinduism, it has more recently become widely adopted in the west as a useful tool for relaxation and grounding. Mindfulness is defined as a non-judgemental awareness of the present moment, and allows you to find relief from the pressures of daily life. Mindfulness has been shown to improve our ability to focus, to regulate our emotions, and to cue our stress response system to slow down.
4. Get out of your mind and into your body
A change of scenery can be a useful way of resetting your mind. Take a moment to leave your desk or workstation and get moving! This could be a few laps around the office, up and down the stairs a few times, or even outside. Moving your attention to your physical body will help to gain clarity and create some space inside your mind for positive thoughts. An added benefit of moving around is that your body releases endorphins which are the feel-good chemical found in your brain.
5. Take a moment to refocus
Set a series of alarms on your phone or computer throughout the day to refocus and remain calm. Each time the alarm rings, take a few minutes to yourself, remind yourself to be present in the here and now and align your mind with positive thoughts. Make sure to take a series of deep breaths – these activate the body’s parasympathetic nervous system which reduces the production of stress hormones. Use this moment to remind yourself that you are in control, your feelings will pass, and they are only temporary.
Remember – the most confident people still have anxieties and worries, so you’re not alone.