By Perminus Wainaina
Do you wish you were more confident in your workplace? Do you have an idea that could help your company grow but you keep it to yourself? Do you wish to get promoted to a senior position, but you cannot hold a conversation with your bosses or fellow colleagues? Do you struggle to articulate your ideas even in a social gathering?
Self-confidence! It can be defined in different ways by various people. The definition that strikes through is ‘an internal emotional force that enables you to execute your strengths and abilities.’
You and I both have our abilities. We have countless of abilities, some tend to shine, while others dim in comparison. Most –if not all, of these abilities manifest themselves when properly exercised.
Here are some of the effects of having low self-confidence;
1. You’ll find it hard to take action
If you wish to grow in life, action is required.
However, if you lack self-confidence, you will likely end up thinking of how you’ll fail if you act on something new.
At your workplace, you could be worried your ideas are not good enough, or your bosses might not like your input. This could paralyze you from speaking or acting.
To add insult to injury, your colleagues might perceive your lack of action as laziness or passiveness.
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2. You’ll find it hard to relate with others
If you have low self-confidence, you might find yourself struggling to create meaningful relationships. This is majorly because relationships need both parties to play an active role. When you lack confidence, however, you might take a more passive role, leading the other party to feel as though you’re uninterested.
When you do finally manage to be in a relationship, the other party could easily take advantage of you as they know you can’t openly speak out.
3. You’ll have little motivation
A large chunk of our motivation comes from inside. More often than not, you have to push yourself and believe in yourself to accomplish a goal.
If you lack confidence, you might struggle to motivate yourself.
At work, this lack of motivation can lead you to underperform.
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4. You’ll be anxious and fearful
Fear and anxiety will always deter you from giving your best in a task. If the constant thought of, “what if I mess up?” clouds you before a task, you’ll be shaky through it. This, consequently means you won’t be able to give your very best.
What are some of the effective ways you can use to increase your self-confidence?
i. Avoid comparison – We live in a world where our achievements and failure are measured against those of our peers. If you wish to increase your self-confidence, you need to stop comparing yourself to your colleagues and peers. If you have dreams and goals, set out a realistic plan to achieve them, then work on it. Also, remember we all operate under different speeds, your speed might not be the speed of your colleague or boss.
If for example, you’re an accountant at a startup, you shouldn’t compare your salary to another accountant working in a multinational company.
ii. Accept yourself – There’s a false perception about being perfect. Each day, professionals are trying to attain perfection both in career and life. Perfection is an unattainable illusion. If you wish to increase confidence in self, you should accept yourself as you are. We all have strengths, and we all have weaknesses. Once you accept this fact, you can begin to work on areas you feel you’re weak and showcase more of your strengths. For instance, if you have a hard time giving public speeches, you can take up a public speaking class as you focus on showcasing your strengths.
iii. Celebrate every milestone – One of the ways to boost your self-confidence is by celebrating your achievements. Once you attain a goal, it reminds you that you’re capable of even more. Do not overlook any achievement –big or small. An example is if you have your efforts recognized in the workplace, that calls for a celebration. You do not have to wait for a grand milestone.
iv. Attend a short course – There are targeted short courses that are geared towards helping you grow your self-confidence. Courses such as How To Speak With Confidence, Leadership Training, or even Emotional Intelligence Training can help you increase your confidence. Enroll in our course today and begin improving on your confidence.
Mercy, a recent graduate of the How To Speak With Confidence class, says this about the class; “I work in a competitive workplace, and only the active and overt people get heard, only their ideas get implemented. Though good at my work, I had always been pushed to the back. Since I started the course, I have found it easier to communicate with my colleagues, and to actually give my input during meetings. My colleagues can now see am a force to be reckoned with.”
All things considered, you have to understand that having increased self-confidence can help better your career. Having low confidence, however, does not have to be the end, using the above remedies, you can improve on yourself and watch your career and life blossom.
Perminus Wainaina is the C.E.O and Managing Partner at Corporate Staffing Services, a leading HR & Recruitment consultancy firm based in Westlands. Through personalized career coaching he assists mid-level and senior professionals get solutions to complex and challenging career issues that they are facing.