Fake it Until You Become It: How to Combat Self Doubt at Work

It is so easy to assume that the most successful, confident people that we come across in the workplace are able to breeze through life without ever having to deal with self-doubt or fear of failure… But, in all honesty, that could not be further from the truth!

This week on Episode 075 of Productivity Paradox, I talk about how our inner-critic can affect us when we give it the power to grow. And, here’s the thing: We all encounter moments of self-doubt, especially when it comes to our career and our performance at work… And it can be incredibly debilitating when we allow our inner-critic to take over when it matters most.

Today, I’m going to talk about a few ways that you can “Fake it Until You Become It” at work and banish self-doubt when it comes to progressing in your career and with any goals you have set for yourself along the way.

 

HOW TO COMBAT SELF-DOUBT & BOOST CONFIDENCE AT WORK:

 

Remember: You Are Not Alone!

It’s important to first acknowledge that everyone doubts themselves from time to time… And that’s okay!

Self-doubt is an incredibly normal human response to the challenges that we face each and every day, and it’s important to recognize those moments when that tiny little voice inside your head starts to whisper negatively in your ear.

By acknowledging that you are not alone in your experience, not only you be able to rid yourself of the isolation that self-doubt can bring… but you will banish yourself from feeling like an outlier, and in return, you’ll set yourself up for success in the future.

Self-doubt is often all in our mindset, and it’s important to keep close tabs on it when it creeps in so that you can prevent the negativity that it brings from spinning out of control.

 

Distract Yourself (Actively!)

In a recent post, I discussed how active procrastination can often be beneficial in terms of boosting your productivity and efficiency at work – and the same rings true here when it comes to combating self-doubt in the workplace.

If you have an important presentation coming up, I recommend stepping away from the presentation during the prep stage (or for a few moments prior to presenting) to actively distract yourself with someone else. This could be as simple as listening to a few uplifting songs, reading a few pages in a motivational book, or taking a short walk.

Anything you can do to quiet your mind before it comes time to get to work is incredibly beneficial when it comes to ridding yourself from doubt and anxiety that often comes along when we are faced with big challenges. Not only that, but the more relaxed you are… the more confident you will appear when it’s time to present!

 

Dress for Success

Believe it or not, dressing for the job you want can not only be a powerful tool for yourself in terms of boosting your overall confidence (and banishing self-doubt), but research has shown that wearing specific clothing associated with certain positive qualities helps to improve one’s performance while on the job!

If you’re vying for a promotion at work, or simply interviewing for a new career altogether… I recommend investing in yourself by “dressing for the part.” If you present yourself in a way that suggests you have your eye on the prize, so to speak, you will appear much more confident and will make a lasting impression on those around you.

 

Strike a Powerful Pose –

According to Amy Cuddy’s TED talk, non-verbal communication makes a huge difference not only in how other people perceive our confidence, but also within our own performance.

To demonstrate this idea, Amy’s team conducted a study to see how people performed during job interviews with and without the addition of what she calls striking a “power pose” prior to the interview.

The power pose itself is done by placing your hands on your hips, your feet flat on the floor, and by forming a V shape with your arms at the elbows (think of how Wonder Woman or Superman pose before they fight bad guys)… Based on Cuddy’s research, those who struck a power pose just two minutes prior to their interview came through with increased ratings on what their interviewer perceived as enthusiasm, authenticity, comfort and confidence compared to those who did not strike a power pose.

The important takeaway here? Body language is HUGE when it comes to boosting how confident we appear to others… And it can be just as important when it comes to ridding self-doubt from our mind.

The next time you have an important interview, presentation or other big challenge at work… Take a deep breath and strike a powerful pose before you get started!

 

Smile – and Mean It!

It’s true what they say that a smile goes a long way… This is especially true when it comes to boosting happiness!

The simple act of smiling has been proven to make us happier, so why not do it more often during those moments when we may feel a little uneasy? If you smile during meetings, your colleagues will think you are more approachable and are feeling empowered, which leads to appearing confident on the surface… And if you notice that those around you believe in you, you are more likely to put doubt in its place and start to believe in yourself, too.

 

Face Your Fears

This one may seem a bit obvious, but it’s important to not let self-doubt or fear control how you lead your life, whether it’s at work or at home.

When you’re feeling self-doubt creep in, I suggest that you evaluate the worst-case scenario as well as the risk-reward ratio of what you’re afraid to act on… And face those uneasy feelings head-on.

Those who are afraid to fail never move forward or grow, and this is especially true in the workplace. The more you face your fears, the more you’ll realize exactly how much you are capable of, and the less likely you will continue to doubt yourself in the future!

What helps you to relax when you find yourself wracked with self-doubt on the job? Be sure share your own tips and tricks in the comment below and tune in to Episode 075 of Productivity Paradox to learn more about where self-doubt comes from, and how to quiet your inner-critic when it matters most.

 

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Tonya Dalton
Tonya Dalton