As we’re discussing the idea of designing Your Future Self over on Episode 107 of Productivity Paradox this week, I thought it might be helpful today to talk about two important ingredients of any sort of ‘recipe’ for the future, which are courage and confidence.
To me, having courage and confidence are essential when it comes to tackling any goal and any obstacle that life throws your way… and this is especially true when it comes to goals and obstacles specific to the workplace!
But what happens when you find yourself lacking in either (or both!) areas? How might you pick yourself up after a setback or a loss at work, and begin to build your courage and confidence up again?
If these questions sound too familiar, then don’t fret… Because today I’m sharing just a few of the best ways that you can build your courage AND your confidence in the workplace.
Let’s get started!
One sure way to build confidence at work? Get your priorities straight!
If you’re constantly looking down on yourself or wishing that you could get ahead of the game by clearing more tasks off of your plate each week before those deadlines approach, then one of the best things that you can do to build your confidence and get yourself back on the right track in the office is by seriously buckling down and making your productivity a priority.
Remember: Confidence is built on accomplishment! The more you begin to focus on your productivity and start to achieve small (and even big!) goals, the better you’ll feel about yourself and your performance at work… and the more confidence you’ll be able to build in the long-run.
We have talked a lot about the importance of mindfulness on the podcast, and what it all boils down to is this: Negativity breeds insecurity! And not only that, but it wreaks havoc on your confidence and how you view your abilities in the workplace.
Whenever you’re experiencing a particularly trying day, make it a point to remind yourself to breathe and to let any and all of the negative thoughts racing through your head fall to the wayside.
Treat your thoughts as tools… Use and strengthen the tools that you need (see below!) and discard the tools you don’t.
Mindfulness is a great practice that can not only remove the negative energy from your headspace, but it can also clear the air for the positive thoughts and emotions that are a precursor to building confidence.
Even if you aren’t feeling as confident as you would like to at this point in your career, then a great practice to employ is positivity. Treat your positivity like a mantra.
In terms of confidence, perhaps your mantra could simply be: I am confident! The more you repeat it and the more that you allow yourself to believe it, the more it works.
This. Is. Huge.
In our world today, it becomes so easy to fixate on what everyone else around you is doing, to the point where you become so focused on their accomplishments (and the confidence that they’re putting out into the world) that you start to doubt yourself.
I’ve got a secret for you, though… Other people don’t matter! When it comes to building confidence in yourself and focusing in on your goals, what other people around you are doing is the least important thing to consider.
Each and every one of us has our own mark to leave on the world, and each and every one of us was born with skills specific to our own person.
Don’t let other people diminish the shine that you have on the inside by making useless comparisons… It isn’t necessary, and it definitely isn’t worth it!
Considering where you are right now, I want to encourage you to identify any area(s) of your life and your performance at work in which you feel a level of dissatisfaction or unhappiness.
What would you do differently in order to turn that dissatisfaction on its head so that you’re able to gain a deep sense of purpose and satisfaction instead?
Focus on the feeling that you think purpose and satisfaction would give you… Is it a job that you find rewarding and challenging? Is it a sense of leadership in your career?
The more you dive into what you really want in your career, the easier it will be to find the courage you need to map out an action plan that will bring you closer to those goals.
Now, so many of us get wrapped up in the idea that fear is a bad thing… But guess what, it really isn’t!
When it comes to your deepest fears, it’s all about determining whether or not those fears are actually serving you.
Are your fears real, honest-to-goodness threats to your well-being? Or are they simply ideas that you’ve planted in your brain that are holding you back and keeping you stagnant.
Unless you begin to own your fears, it should come as no surprise that they’ll own you for as long as you allow them to.
To build courage, it’s important to acknowledge your fears (what is it that’s holding you back?) and to face them head-on. I promise it won’t be as painful as you think!
If you never take a step forward, then you will never reach your destination.
Just as much as fear can hold you back, inactivity can be even worse. In fact, some researchers have identified a psychological phenomenon that causes us to discount the cost of our choices, even when it’s apparent that our choices (in this case, choosing inaction) aren’t truly benefiting us.
What it boils down to is that we are in constant denial over reality. For so many of us, our current reality isn’t what we would consider to be “pretty” by any stretch of the imagination, or even ideal when we consider our long-term career goals… but we continue to tell ourselves that everything is fine no matter what.
To avoid inaction, I encourage you to pause and sit with the discomfort that you experience when you’re feeling stagnant or stuck, unsure of which direction to take in order to make your dreams happen for yourself.
By acknowledging reality when we’re feeling stuck or unhappy, we’re able to tap into some of the courage that we might be missing otherwise. Give it a try!
We have talked about the importance of surrounding yourself with encouraging individuals before! And we have also talked about the importance of investing in an accountability partner.
This tip to building courage works in essentially the same way… The people that you surround yourself with have a huge impact on how you see yourself, your challenges, and the world in general.
If you want to be courageous, have confidence, and shoot for the stars… then you need to make it a point to surround yourself with others who ‘think big’ and who will encourage you to do the same.
Need some help with finding those people? Try researching some networks, associations and other communities of like-minded people whom you could connect with for collaboration, education, or encouragement.
Reach out to people in your field that you admire and ask them for a few pointers in terms of your career and the life you want to see for yourself in the future!
How do you give yourself a dose of courage or confidence when you need it most? Share any tips and tricks you have up your sleeve in the comments below… And check out Episode 107 of the podcast where we’re talking all about Your Future Self and how to define it!
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