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Is Your Self Confidence Affecting Your Job Performance?

Is Your Self Confidence Affecting Your Job Performance?

When was the last time you doubted your own judgment and abilities, or didn’t feel self assured? For most of us, it might be a few minutes ago, a day ago or maybe a week ago, but we all know what it feels like to be weighed down by our own insecurities. It might not be surprising to hear that 95% of us experience a lack of self confidence or belief at some stage in our life, but what might surprise you is how much influence your self confidence has on your job and how you perform at work.

As individuals, we don’t usually perform beyond the limits of the way we see ourselves, whatever those limits may be. As we go about our daily actions at work, there is a stronger, hidden force driving the actions that we take. Somebody with low self confidence doesn’t normally accept challenges beyond their comfort zone, whereas somebody who has high self confidence doesn’t feel the desire to stay in their comfort zone. To grow in your career normally requires moving out of your comfort zone and breaking through the limits to get to the next level in your career.

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Doubting your abilities, believing that somebody else is better than you, or not thinking you can do the job well, are common examples of low self esteem at work. The way you feel about yourself directly affects your productivity and job performance, which in turn affects your career success. Why is this? As you grow up, you start experiencing and learning about the world around you. You are very influenced by your parents, friends, your surroundings and experiences, and over the years, most of their beliefs about the world become your own. These beliefs then influence your thoughts, the way you see and think about things, and your feelings about them. The actions you take in life are dictated by these feelings and emotions, and so your actions lead to the habits you have and the results in your life. If you are lacking self confidence in an area, there is almost always a limiting belief hidden somewhere that keeps holding you back.

Changing Your Thought Patterns

Not all the things you come to believe and think make you feel good, however, and this is where the biggest danger is. You need to challenge the way you are thinking if it is not supporting you now, because it is undoubtedly affecting your work.  Of course it is normal to doubt yourself sometimes, but if you know that the voice in your head sounds more limiting than supporting, building your self esteem is essential for you and your work performance.

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There are many ways to start building your self esteem and if you want to see how quickly your results can change, put in the time and effort to do this—I guarantee you will be amazed at how your external world starts to change based on your internal world.

Here’s how you can get started:

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  1. Become aware of your thoughts and beliefs. If you are not feeling the way you want to, stop in that moment and ask yourself “What am I thinking that is making me feel this way?” and “How is this way of thinking helping me?”
  2. Consider another way you could think about what is happening that would make you feel better. How do you need to change the way you think to get what you want? You must start to master your thoughts if you want to master the results in your life; it is your mindset that creates your reality.
  3. Change limited thinking. Another technique is to catch yourself when you are thinking something limiting; stop and tell yourself that it is not true, then repeat the negative sentence in a positive way a few times and then move forward. There is a science behind this suggestion and that is called neuro-plasticity, which is your brain’s ability to start forming new neural connections, such as the way you think habitually.

Lastly, stop comparing yourself to others—it is a disillusioning comparison and a bad habit. There is only one of you, so be the best you can and start to support yourself more, like you would for a friend.  Surround yourself with people who make you feel good, who don’t put you down or make you feel less worthy, but rather those who hold you up and champion you on.

It doesn’t matter what career you are in; having confidence in yourself is necessary to be happy and achieve better results. The biggest difference between those who climb the corporate ladder and those who stay at the bottom is having high self confidence. Working towards building your self confidence now is a lot easier than living with the results of low self confidence later.

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More by this author

Kirstin O´Donovan

Certified Life and Productivity Coach, Founder and CEO of TopResultsCoaching

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Last Updated on November 19, 2018

How to Find a Suitable Professional Mentor

How to Find a Suitable Professional Mentor

I went through a personal experience that acted as a catalyst for an epiphany. When I got fired from a job, I learned something important about myself and where I was headed with my freelance career. I realized that the most important aspect of that one rather small job was the influence of the company owner. I realized that I wasn’t hurt that the company and I weren’t a perfect match; I was devastated by the stark fact that I needed a mentor and I had almost found one but lost her.

Suddenly, I felt like J.D., the main character in “Scrubs,” chasing Dr. Cox and trying to rip insight and wisdom from someone I respect. The realization that a recognized thought-leader and experienced entrepreneur severed ties with me felt crushing. But, I picked myself back up and thought about five ways to acquire a mentor without having the awkwardness of outright asking.

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1. Remember, a professional mentorship must be mutual.

A professional mentor must agree to engage in a mutual relationship because, as the comedy T.V. series showed us, one simply cannot force someone to tutor us. We have to prove that we are worth the time investment through persistence and dedication to the craft.

2. You have to have common interests with your mentor.

Even if a professional mentor appears at your job or school, realize that unless you and this person have common interests, you won’t find the relationship successful. I’ve been in situations where someone I respected had vastly different ideas about what was important in life or what one should spend his or her free time doing. If these things don’t line up, you may find the relationship won’t be as fruitful, even when the mentor knows a great deal about one industry.

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3. Thought-leaders will respect your passion.

One of the ways you can prove yourself worthy to a professional mentor is through your passion and your dedication. No one wants to spend time grooming and teaching another who will not take advice or put the effort in to improve. When following thought-leaders on Twitter and trying to engage with higher-ups in a work setting, realize that your actions most often speak louder than your words.

4. Before worrying if he respects you, ask if you respect him.

On the other side of the coin, you should seriously reflect on those common interests and make sure you respect your professional mentor. Just because someone holds a title, degree or office does not mean that person is trustworthy or honest. Don’t be swayed by appearances and take the time to find a suitable professional mentor.

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5. Failure is often the best way to learn

I honestly have made more mistakes than I can count. I know I’ve learned a great deal from poorly organized businesses and my own poor choices. The most important quality I’ve developed is an ability to swallow my pride and learn from my mistakes. If life knocks me down nine times, I get back up 10 times. One of the songs Megadeth wrote, “Of Mice and Men,” resonates in my mind when I pull myself up by my bootstraps and try again for a goal I’ve set: “So live your life and live it well. There’s not much left of me to tell. I just got back up each time I fell.” Hopefully, this brief post can act as a professional mentor to you in your quest to find not only a brave leader but also a trusted adviser.

Featured photo credit: morguefile via mrg.bz

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