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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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Kirstin O´Donovan

Certified Life and Productivity Coach, Founder and CEO of TopResultsCoaching

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Last Updated on September 20, 2018

How to Be Happy at Work and Find Fulfillment in Your Career

How to Be Happy at Work and Find Fulfillment in Your Career

If you’re going to spend 1/3 of our life at work, you should enjoy it, right?

Trust me, I know that’s easier said than done. Difficult coworkers, less-than-desirable tasks, or even just being in the wrong position can all lead to a lack of enjoyment and fulfillment in your work.

But what if I told you it doesn’t have to be this way? Or better yet, if you struggle with all of the above (and then some), what if I told you that enjoying your work and finding fulfillment regardless of those obstacles is possible?

Don’t believe me? I don’t blame you because I was there too. Before implementing the tips below, I struggled to get through each day, much less find real fulfillment, in the office. Now, even after the toughest days on the job, I still come away with feelings of pride, accomplishment, and fulfillment. The best news is, so can you.

If you’re ready to make those hours count and find happiness and fulfillment in the office, then read on to find out how to be happy at work and find fulfillment in your career:

1. Discover the root(s) of the problem

For this first step, we’ll need to think back to 8th-grade physics (humor me). We all know Newton’s 3rd law, “for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.” When you think about it, the same can be said outside of physics, and we see this law play out in our daily lives, day after day.

Simply put, all the issues we deal with in the office (and life in general) affect us in a noticeable way.

If you’re appreciated at work, like the work you do and receive frequent praise, promotions, or raises, then this will probably have an altogether positive effect on your life in the office.

But what if we reverse this? What if you feel under appreciated, get passed up for promotions, or get denied raises? This is sure to affect the way you feel at work on a negative level.

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So, before you can implement the steps of feeling happy and fulfilled at work, we first have to discover the reasons why you don’t feel that way already.

Think about it, write a list, or make a mental note. Run through all the reasons you’re dissatisfied in the office, and don’t hold back. Knowing the exact obstacles you’re facing will make overcoming them that much easier.

In fact, as a side-challenge to this article, I recommend picking the top three reasons contributing to your dissatisfaction at work and using the following tips to tackle them.

2. Practice gratitude for an instant uplift

Did you know the simple act of feeling grateful can increase your happiness and make you more fulfilled at work?[1]

Well, it’s true, and it’s scientifically proven.

Dr. Lisa Firestone notes that practicing gratitude “reminds us of what we lacked in the past.” Meaning, it serves as both a boost to happiness and a bit of a wake-up call that things have been or could be, much worse.

Trying to conjure up feelings of gratitude can seem almost impossible when your work situation seems bleak, but hear me out: There are incredibly easy ways to get started and it doesn’t involve trying to “force” yourself to feel grateful about things that stress you out.

For an instant pick-me-up, try this:

Find a loose piece of paper, a blank sticky note, or anything you can write on, be it physical or digital. List just three things that you are absolutely without-a-doubt thankful for in your life.

Now here’s the trick: Don’t just list what you’re grateful for, you have to list why you’re grateful for them, too.

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For example, simply saying “I’m grateful for my kids” will probably make you feel good, sure, but what if we could amplify the warm, fuzzy feeling into real, lasting motivation?

Instead, write the reason you’re so thankful for your children. Is it because they make you laugh and forget about other stressors? Or maybe they help to remind you of why you go to work every day in the first place?

Whatever your reasons may be, jot them down and keep your list somewhere you can see it while you work. A quick glance at your gratitude list throughout the day can provide powerful, positive motivation to keep going.

Bonus:

If you can find just three things to be thankful for that specifically relate to your job, and list why those things make you grateful, your list can also help you find fulfillment in your work itself which can give you an even bigger boost of positivity throughout the day.

3. Take meaningful time for yourself

We all know creating a strong work-life balance can be crucial to feeling satisfied in our jobs, but rarely do we ever address how we’re spending our time outside of work.

Many of us survive a 9-hour work day and commute home only to find ourselves busy with our personal to-do lists, running a household, and taking care of a child (or 2 or 3, and so on).

If you spend all your time working, whether in the office or within your household, you’re going to feel drained at some point. This is why setting meaningful time for yourself every day is highly important.

Look, I get it: I don’t know anyone in the working world who can shun all responsibility for a 3-movie marathon or happy hour with friends whenever they feel like it. But finding time for yourself, be it just 30 minutes to an hour, can really make a difference in how you feel at work.

This works because you’ll have time to actually relax and let the day’s stress melt away while you enjoy something just for you. The to-do lists and stressors will still be there after you’re refreshed and ready to tackle them.

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No time for me-time? Try this:

If you have a busy household, you’ll need to capitalize on a block of time you know will be completely uninterrupted. The easiest way to do this: try waking up 30 minutes to an hour earlier than usual (or push bedtime back an hour if you’re a night owl, like me) and take time to do something you enjoy.

This could be reading with a cup of tea, catching up on Facebook, spending time on a passion project—anything! As long as it’s meaningful to you, it works!

Bonus:

Starting your day with meaningful time for yourself can set you up to have a positive mood that lasts well into office hours, and having your me-time in the evening can give you something positive to look forward to during the day.

4. Get productive and feel accomplished

Don’t you just love the feeling of checking the last item off of a hefty to-do list? That’s because self-motivation can be a huge driver of positivity and success.

When we accomplish something, no matter how small, it makes us feel good, plain and simple. Applying this tactic to your daily work can be the motivator you need to find fulfillment during the daily office grind.

While there are tons of steps to get more done at work, I’ll share my personal favorite: Prioritizing.

Now, many people handle prioritizing differently. Some like to tackle the little tasks first so they can spend focused time on the big to-dos. Others like to knock out the big items first and get to the smaller ones when they can.

No matter which camp you’re in, you may be missing one crucial step: Time management.

So how’s this work? When you factor in the amount of time your priorities will take, it can transform your productivity ten-fold.

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Say you have three top priorities for the day. You might jump into the smaller ones or the bigger ones depending on your preferred method, and then find yourself out of time and bringing work home with you at the end of the day.

This is prevented when you factor in time. Knowing how long each item will take, or deliberately setting specific blocks of time for your priorities can help you accomplish more in the same 8-9 (or 12) hours that you typically spend at work.

Try this:

Take a look at your priorities and consider how long they should take. Pop into your Google calendar (or Filofax, whatever works for you) and schedule time to work on your priority items around any important meetings or events of the day.

The most important thing to remember is to stick to your dedicated time.

Often, when we know exactly how long we have to work on something (and honor this time limit), we’re motivated to get more done on time to avoid taking work home at the end of the day.

The bottom line

There’s no need to waste 1/3 of our lives feeling unsatisfied at work. Luckily, you now have the tools to get started, take back your time, and become happy and fulfilled at work again.

The only question is — which tip will you try first?

Featured photo credit: Ellyot via unsplash.com

Reference

[1]Psychology Today: The Healing Power of Gratitude

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