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5 Solid Strategies to Boost Your Confidence at Work

5 Solid Strategies to Boost Your Confidence at Work

Let me be honest with you: I was never a straight-A student.

Sure I had good grades, but they certainly weren’t anything special. And, because of this, my self-esteem and confidence levels were lower than many of my high-achieving friends.

However, I later discovered one of the keys to abundant confidence.

This discovery came about what I started to become interested in computer coding. As I began to learn how to code and to create programs, something unexpected happened — my confidence started to soar.

What was behind this sudden boost in confidence?

It was the self-reliance I was developing by overcoming issues and bugs with the code I was working on. By learning how to solve difficult coding problems, I learned the little-practiced arts of persistence and creativity; which led to a tangible uplift in my self-confidence.

As you can see from the above, confidence must be found from within. It can never be found from outside.

Working through difficulties is one of the best ways to develop your self-confidence. Each time you overcome a challenge or break through an obstacle — you’ll push your confidence a little higher than it was before.

So next time you find yourself struggling with a deadline at work or facing a financial challenge, be sure to meet them head on. With a positive mindset, you’ll be able to find ways to overcome these and other challenges. And, as I’ve already mentioned, you’ll be rewarded with a tangible boost to your self-confidence. You’ll also open the door to opportunities that can help you reach and exceed your goals.

Of course, as well as overcoming challenges, there are other ways that you can increase your confidence levels.

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1. See Yourself as Equal to Everyone Else

Do you see yourself as equal to your line manager? How about your company’s directors? Do you see yourself as equal to them?

If you allow yourself to feel less than others, you’ll never reach your full potential. You’ll lack the necessary confidence to do the things you want and need to do.

But, it doesn’t have to be this way.

Instead of seeing others as more important than yourself, start seeing them as equals. One easy way to do this is to keep in mind that your manager, your company higher ups and even their leaders — are all on the same team!

You all want your company to succeed, and each person (including you) has their part to play.

Shift your mindset to team-playing, and watch your confidence levels soar.

2. Do the Right Thing

Have you noticed that when you do something morally wrong, you feel bad inside? But, when you do something good (perhaps helping someone out of a difficult situation) — you feel great!

So guess what?

The more bad things you do, the lower your self-esteem and confidence levels will drop. But, the more helpful and useful you are in your life, the higher your self-esteem and confidence will rise.

That’s why I recommend that you should always strive to be kind, compassionate and helpful. This will allow you to benefit the greater good — as well as benefit yourself.

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3. Dress for Success

Imagine turning up to a job interview in T-shirt and jeans, only to find that the other candidates are all smartly attired in suits or dresses. I’m guessing you would feel a little embarrassed, a little out of place, and perhaps… a little deflated!

That’s why it’s always best to dress smarter than you might think is needed. This will always be better than looking underdressed.

But, how about your day-to-day appearance? Do you make an effort in a morning to make sure you look your best?

If you don’t; you should.

When you dress and groom well — you’ll feel good about yourself, too.

And, others will pick up on your confident manner and appearance, and will inevitably treat you with more respect (further boosting your confidence.)

As Friedrich Schiller once wrote:
“Appearance rules the world.”

4. Celebrate All Your Victories, Both Big and Small

You’re 15 years old, and you’ve decided you’d love to become a medical doctor.

To make this goal a reality, you discover that you’ll need to train for at least 11 years before you can gain your medical license.

Yes, 11 years!

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Clearly, this is a HUGE commitment, and will take intense persistence, focus and energy on your part to reach your end goal.

Now, let me ask you a question:

“Would you throw a big party when you finally got your license?”

I’m sure you would. And, you’d definitely deserve it.

But to keep you on track throughout your years of training, I’d suggest celebrating each milestone along the way. For example, throw a few parties… one when you complete your undergraduate degree program, one when you complete medical school, and one when you complete your residency training.

You could also reward yourself for the small but important steps that you take to achieve each of these milestones.

When you celebrate the big and small victories in your life, you’ll keep yourself pumped up, confident and enthusiastic for success.

Try it and see!

5. Always Be Prepared

Do you always expect the unexpected?

From my experience as an entrepreneur, I’ve learned the hard way that even our best and most precise plans can be blown out of the water in an instant!

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For example, I remember many years ago pitching my Lifehack idea to potential investors. At one meeting, I whipped out my laptop to launch my prepared presentation, only to find that the machine was completely unresponsive. My impressive charts, data and business plan were trapped within a dead metal case! Fortunately, I was able to talk at length without notes about my idea, but I have to admit that I was knocked off balance by the laptop issue.

This experience and others taught me the value of always being prepared.

While it’s impossible to know exactly what’s going to happen in the future, you can at least be mentally prepared for things to go wrong, differently or even completely crazy!

So prepare for the worst — but expect the best!

As you can hopefully see from the strategies above, there are several simple ways to begin boosting your confidence right now.

But, it all starts with your mindset.

Shift this into positive gear, and begin seeing obstacles as opportunities for growth. Do this, and your self-confidence levels will hit the roof. You’ll no longer feel downtrodden and left behind. Instead, you’ll have the spark of life that allows you to achieve whatever you set your mind on.

Featured photo credit: Dylan Gillis via unsplash.com

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Leon Ho

Founder & CEO of Lifehack

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Last Updated on October 22, 2020

2 Transformational Ways to Spark Your Creative Energy

2 Transformational Ways to Spark Your Creative Energy

Good things come in twos: Peanut butter and jelly, Day and night, Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers. The same is true for what sparks our creative energy: our thoughts and actions.

Creativity is an inside job as much as it is about a conducive schedule, physical environment, and supportive behaviors. By establishing the right internal and external landscape, creativity can blossom from the abstract to the concrete and we can have fun along the way.

Sparking creativity is all about setting up the right conditions so a spark is ignited and sustained. The sparks don’t fizzle out. They are allowed to grow and ripen.

Think of a garden. Intention alone will not produce the delicious red tomato nor will the readiest seed. That seed needs attention at its nascent stage and as it grows a stalk and produces fruit. If we want to enjoy more than one fruit, we keep at it, cultivating the plant and reaping multiple harvests.

Creativity lives in each of us like seeds in the earth or encapsulated in a nut. Seeds of ideas, concepts, designs, stories, images, and even ways of communicating that surprise and delight await activation.

By sparking our creative energy, we activate these unique seeds. Like snowflakes, they are of a moment and always without a match. The smallest sparks encourage even the smallest, most dormant seeds to sprout.

The good news is that our creative energy wishes to be sparked—to be invited to play. It wants to be our regular playmate.

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1. Be Childlike in Your Thoughts, Attitudes, and Approach

Being childlike in our thoughts, attitudes, and approach is an easy way to internally have our thoughts be gracious prolific gardeners to our creative energy. If we want it to come out and play and hang around as our regular companion, then let’s return to our 5-year-old selves.

Our childhood selves are naturally curious. We still have that curiosity! All we have to do is remind ourselves to get curious. We can do that by simply observing and being with what is in front of us instead of making up a story about what won’t work or why something can’t be done. So, it’s about cultivating curiosity instead of jumping into judgment.

Move Your Inner Judge to the Sidelines

When we get curious, creativity percolates and, ultimately, takes its place in the world. To give a hand in choosing curiosity over judgment, we can move the judge that also lives inside us to the sidelines. The judge squashes our creative urges, even when they are as small as sharing a point of view. It’s that pesky voice that causes us to doubt ourselves or worry about what others will think.

The judge is also risk-averse. The judge likes things to stay the same. Change makes the judge nervous.

Creativity is all about risk and changing things up. It needs risk, even failure, to be its naturally innovative, dynamic, impactful self. The judge likes to convince us failure is something to be avoided at all costs.

To move the judge to the sidelines and let curiosity reign, we can pay attention to who we are in conversation with and who is calling the shots.

Is it the voice of fear, doubt, or anxiety (the inner-critic—the judge’s boss)? Or is it the voice of wisdom, courage, strength, and non-attachment, and of course curiosity (the inner-leader)?

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We can easily tell the difference by how each makes us feel. The inner-critic depletes and slows us down, putting roadblocks in the way. The inner-leader energizes and a natural rhythm develops.

It’s all about who we spend time with. If we wish to exercise, we will seek out our friends who go to the gym or hike. If we want to lose some weight, we will opt to eat dinner with someone who prefers a healthy spot over fast food.

After getting curious, we can honor what our curiosity prompts us to do. The spark can do its job and a fire starts to glow when commitment enters. Our childhood selves were fully committed to being creative. That level of commitment is still something we are very capable of exercising!!

Again, we need to let go of the judge. We can ask ourselves, what do we want to commit to—negativity that depletes our creative energy, depth, and output, or the understanding that our thoughts and attitudes matter and that right thoughts and attitudes are the sparks that really let our creativity come alive?

Learn to Recall Your Childhood Self

To get in touch with that unabashedly committed childhood self, recall your childhood self. If you have a picture, pull one out. Keep it around so you can remember to activate that innate creative nature that was prominent then and wants to be prominent now and always.

Soak in the essence of that being. Commit to their commitment to brave and dogged trial and error because it is yours as well. You are that person.

Remember how tenacious you were when you wanted to build that sandcastle. You kept at it as the waves came in. You built with fury or reconfigured the walls. Also, remember that there was a willingness to fail since you were as invested in the process as well as the outcome—but less with the outcome. You were willing to experiment and start again. There was vitality—the main lifeline of your creative energy—instead of a rigid attachment.

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When you notice you are in conversation with your inner-critic or being held back by it, simply acknowledge, name it, and then switch to your inner-leader by taking a few good deep belly breaths, rubbing two fingertips together, or listening to ambient sounds in the background.

Physical movements shift our negative thoughts over to the positive domain of the inner-leader. As our judge continues to sit on the sidelines, our ability to quiet the inner-critic becomes stronger. We taste freedom. A simple taste emboldens us to say no again to the judge and yes to what makes our hearts and spirits sing—our creativity.

We begin to spark creativity to the point it no longer needs to be invited to play. It becomes our regular playmate—the younger sibling or the kid next door ready to have some fun, maybe even make some mischief by shaking things up.

When we align with our inner-leader and think and act from its promptings, creativity flows up and out with ease, as it needs to!

Letting those initial sparks generate a creativity fire that keeps burning is something we can all do! That’s the inside job.

2. Listen to Your Inner Leaders of Creative Energy

If we listen, our inner-leaders will let us know just what we need to set-up and do in our physical world to maximize that gorgeous, hungry creativity we now have flowing freely in us.

The seed has been unlocked! So, now what?

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To enable our creative energy to take its form and place outside of us, there needs to be spaciousness! Spaciousness in our physical worlds impacts our internal one. It lets the voice of the inner-leader be heard. It lets creativity have room to be sparked and acted upon.

With a little discipline, we can easily create spaciousness in our daily lives—spaciousness that will spark our creativity and let it take shape.

So, no matter who you are and what conditions help your creativity thrive, check-out these easy-to-implement basic suggestions:

  • Reduce or eliminate multi-tasking.
  • Say yes to what matters and what aligns with your big values and goals.
  • Say no to all else.
  • Say no again.
  • Schedule time in your calendar as you do with other things in your life to just be, to ponder, to let ideas percolate, and to create.
  • Spend time doing the things that bring out your creative energy. It could be walking, singing, or simply looking out the window.
  • Meditate.
  • Breathe—long breaths in and long breaths out through the nose.
  • Invite your body and heart into your experiences so your mind is a part of you and not all of you.
  • Try a new thing to spark your creativity. If you spend time running, try a different route. If running feels stale, cruise around a museum, or go for a bike ride.
  • Play a game. Indoors out or outside. Think of what makes you happy that you haven’t done in a while. Is it a physical game like badminton or cards? Maybe it’s storytelling? Play is creative, and it sparks the creative energy, too.
  • Spend time in the places that bring out your creativity. What spot in your home could be your spot for entering into that mode? Do you need to get out? Maybe a park bench is the right spot, with a book of poetry, or even nothing at all.
  • Spend time in nature. Nature brings us to a place of calm and awe and through that our creativity is easily sparked.

Final Thoughts

These are all habits—habits of mind and habits of doing. Experiment with what works for you. Have fun. If you give even 50% to altering your thoughts and actions, then you will begin to spark your creativity. It takes a lot of curiosity and commitment, but it can definitely be done.

Our innate creative energy is a deep source of all that we seek—joy, connection, renewal. It deserves and looks forward to the changes you will make that will let sparks fly and ignite!

More Tips to Spark Your Creative Energy

Featured photo credit: Kelly Sikkema via unsplash.com

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