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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 August 6, 2020

Why Working 9 to 5 Is Outdated

Why Working 9 to 5 Is Outdated

Bristol is the most congested city in England. Whenever I have to work at the office, I ride there, like most of us do. Furthermore, I always make sure to go at off hours; otherwise, the roads are jam-packed with cars, buses, bikes, even pedestrians. Why is that? Because everyone is working a traditional 9 to 5 work day.

Where did the “9 to 5” Come From?

It all started back in 1946. The United States government implemented the 40 hour work week for all federal employees, and all companies adopted the practice afterwards. That’s 67 years with the same schedule. Let’s think about all the things that have changed in the 67 years:

  • We went to the moon, and astronauts now live in space on the ISS.

  • Computers used to take up entire rooms and took hours to make a single calculation. Now we have more powerful computers in our purses and back pockets with our smartphones.

  • Lots of employees can now telecommute to the office from hundreds, and even thousands of miles away.

In 1946 a 9-5 job made sense because we had time after 5pm for a social life, a family life. Now we’re constantly connected to other people and the office, with the Internet, email on our smartphones, and hashtags in our movies and television shows. There is no downtime anymore.

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Different Folks, Different Strokes

Enjoying your downtime is an important part of life. It recharges your batteries and lets you be more productive. Allowing people to balance life and work can provide them with much needed perspective and motivation to see the bigger picture of what they are trying to achieve.

Some people are just more productive when they’re working at their optimal time of day, after feeling well rested and personally fulfilled.  For some that can be  from 4 a.m. to 9 a.m; for others, it could be  2 p.m. to 7 p.m.

People have their own rhythms and routines. It would be great if we could sync our work schedule to match. Simply put, the imposed 8-hour work day can be a creativity and morale killer for the average person in today’s world.

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Productivity and Trust Killer

Fostering creativity among employees is not always an easy endeavor, but perhaps a good place to start is by simply not tying their tasks and goals to a fixed time period. Let them work on their to-do list at their own pace, and chances are, you’ll get the best out of your employee who feels empowered instead of babysat.

That’s not to say that you should  allow your team to run wild and do whatever they want, but restricting them to a 9 to 5 time frame can quickly demoralize people. Set parameters and deadlines, and let them work at their own creative best with the understanding that their work is crucial to the functioning of the entire team.

Margaret Heffernan, an entrepreneur who previously worked in broadcasting, noted to Inc that from her experience, “treating employees like grown-ups made it more likely that they would behave the same way.” The principle here is to have your employees work to get things done, not to just follow the hands on the clock.

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A Flexible Remote Working Policy

Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer famously recalled all her remote workers, saying she wanted to improve innovation and collaboration, but was that the right decision? We’ve all said that we’re often more productive in a half day working from home than a full day working in the office, right? So why not let your employees work remotely from home?

There are definitely varying schools of thought on remote working. Some believe that innovation and collaboration can only happen in a boardroom with markers, whiteboards and post-it notes and of course, this can be true for some. But do a few great brainstorms trump a team that feels a little less stressed and a little more free?

Those who champion remote working often note that these employees are not counting the clock, worried about getting home, cooking dinner or rushing through errands post-work. No one works their 9-5 straight without breaks here and there.  Allowing some time for remote working means employees can handle some non-work related tasks and feel more accomplished throughout the day. Also, sometimes we all need to have a taste of working in our pajamas, right?

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It’ll be interesting to see how many traditional companies and industries start giving their employees more freedom with their work schedule. And how many end up rescinding their policies like Yahoo did.

What are your thoughts of the traditional 9-5 schedule and what are you doing to help foster your team’s productivity and creativity? Hit the comments and let us know.

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