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5 Insights to Build More Confidence at Work

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How to Build More Confidence at Work

Would you like to know how to build more confidence at work?

Sure, from the outside, it looks like you have it all.

But on the inside, you feel anything but confident. 

As a Sensitive Striver, you’re a high-achiever but your successes don’t always come easily. 

At times you find yourself overthinking, people-pleasing, sweating the things that most other folks call “the small stuff”. Your confidence isn’t what it should be and speaking up for yourself in the workplace can be challenging for you.

As a fellow Sensitive Striver, and having coached countless other high-achieving professionals over the past ten years, I understand these challenges.

In fact, that’s precisely why I created my coaching program: RESILIENT.

We always see significant breakthroughs during the three months of the program and the last cohort of Sensitive Strivers was no exception. 

So I’m going to share with you the five biggest insights that helped them build more confidence, more resilience, and become more empowered in the workplace.

I hope they help you, too.

How to Build More Confidence at Work 

1. You are the creator of your time.

Sensitive Strivers tend to be very responsive to the demands of others. They put others’ needs — their family, co-workers, boss, clients – ahead of their own. In a crisis, they’re typically the ones who swoop in to lend a hand or try to fix things. They don’t treat themselves as valuable and don’t respect their own time.

Many of our RESILIENT members recognized themselves in that description and were aware that they’d been neglecting their boundaries. Through our work together, they came to realize that the ingrained habit of people-pleasing often led to burnout, exhaustion, and resentment towards others, which then turned into guilt.

By spending much of their valuable energy beating themselves up over the past, or worrying about the future, they knew the present was slipping by. Not only were they not enjoying their success, but they also weren’t able to work towards goals that were fun and meaningful to them.

But two of the pillars in the program are Confidence and Habits, so our RESILIENT members worked to take ownership of their time and to regain control over where they directed their energy. Just like building anything takes time and energy, it takes the same to build more confidence.

With a greater understanding of what it means to be a Sensitive Striver, they uncovered what they needed to work at their best. And so they were able to figure out how to be more intentional and forthcoming in articulating their limits and preferences and create the exact conditions they need to thrive in their workplace.

Make this insight work for you

One member decided to block off 45 minutes every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday so he could go for a 5k run. Not only has this given him a ton of confidence concerning his time management skills, but it has also made him realize he really is the creator of his own time.

Another member decided to prioritize rest during periods of low energy and says, “I’m pleasantly shocked by my own ability to get things done now and by how much I’ve learned to embrace and amplify my sensitivity as a strength, not a weakness to apologize for.”

Where are you putting other people’s needs ahead of your own? How do you need to start taking back control of your time? 

2. Other people’s opinions don’t invalidate your own.

When someone disagrees, we Sensitive Strivers think it’s because we did something wrong or that we’re inadequate and incompetent in some way. That leads us to second-guess ourselves and questioning our judgment, which undermines our confidence.

One member had a huge breakthrough here. She came to realize, “dissenting opinions don’t invalidate my own. Everyone’s opinions are valid and they’re allowed to share them — but I’m allowed to have my own too. And they can be different and neither one of us is WRONG. This is transformational.”

She also talked about a huge reduction in the all-or-nothing thinking that Sensitive Strivers are prone to. 

She said: “I see now that there are so many ways to do things; everything works differently for everyone, and ‘room for improvement’ or ‘could do better’ doesn’t mean ‘this is all terrible.’ This has left me feeling more flexible & more sturdy, much more able to relax, set things aside, and make exceptions….while also being much more principled, able to adhere to big picture thinking, and being more true to myself.”

Make this insight work for you

Be aware of the perfectionist mindset that leads you to think there’s no middle ground between perfection and failure. That middle ground is a great expanse of space. Learning to live there will reduce anxiety and give you the freedom to concentrate on other important aspects of your work.

3. Embrace feedback for growth.

Taking feedback to heart and living in fear of it doesn’t just undermine your confidence, it inhibits growth. When you learn to embrace feedback, it can unlock a world of opportunity.

I’ll give you an example.

One RESILIENT member was frustrated by a lack of constructive feedback from her manager and the fact that her long-time career at the company had stalled. So we worked together to help her gain the courage to proactively and assertively seek out feedback.

When she got that feedback, she chose not to view it as criticism. Instead of letting it hurt her feelings or dismissing it, she acted on it — quickly. She unapologetically stepped into the value she was bringing her company.

The result? A promotion! And she wasn’t the only one. The last round of the program saw two promotions and other major wins like public speaking engagements, publishing in academic journals, and the launch of exciting new products and services.

Make this insight work for you

How do you react to feedback and is your reaction holding you back? Don’t be afraid to seek feedback out and act on it as you would any other piece of data. Remember that feedback isn’t designed to tear you down — it’s meant to build you up. You just have to let it add to your effort to build more confidence. 

4. Let go of trying to be the hero.

Let me guess…you’re working harder and putting in more hours than you ever have before?

How do I know? Because surveys are showing that over 69% of people are experiencing burnout while working from home. They’re logging 10 hour days, opening their laptops at night and on the weekend, and the boundaries between work and downtime are increasingly blurry.

If that sounds at all familiar, the next major insight from RESILIENT will strike a chord:

Overworking backfires.

Of course, there are more obvious ways overworking is detrimental to your well-being  — your stress levels increase, you might have trouble sleeping, and trouble maintaining your weight.

But you might not have realized the negative perception your overworking is also creating. 

Many RESILIENT members were shocked that overworking can send the signal that you don’t know how to manage your time. Instead of looking like a dedicated employee, you come across as someone who lacks essential leadership skills like prioritization and problem-solving.

And if it looks like you’re having trouble handling the workload you already have, you can kiss advancement goodbye.

Make this insight work for you

If you’re consistently logging crazy hours in the hope of proving your dedication to your organization, it’s time to rethink. Try to re-establish the boundaries between your work and home life and prioritize activities, safe in the knowledge that getting enough shut-eye, exercise, and time to relax will actually improve your ability to produce great work — and increase your chances of promotion.

5. Self-compassion is the truest form of motivation.

If you’ve ever told yourself that you’re useless, that you’re not cut out for your role, or that you’re inadequate, this is the “aha” moment you’ve been waiting for.

Sensitive Strivers often fall into the trap of using self-criticism as a motivator. But, just like overworking, it backfires.

Stanford professor Kelly McGonigal claims, “study after study shows that self-criticism is consistently associated with less motivation and worse self-control.” In fact, it shifts the brain into a state of inhibition, which prevents us from taking action to reach our goals.

You have probably experienced this first hand if insecurity, imposter syndrome, or self-doubt has ever stopped you from advancing in your career.

So what’s the alternative?

Self-compassion.

The biggest misconception about self-compassion is that it undermines motivation and many people fear that being kinder and gentler to themselves will make them lazy. They fear losing their ambitious drive and competitive edge.

What RESILIENT members have found is that the opposite is true. Self-compassionate people are more likely to take action and reach their goals. Self-compassion is strongly associated with emotional resilience and is a powerful form of motivation.

One member says, “RESILIENT has been hugely impactful on my life. It helped rattle me loose from my cruel inner critic that felt so ingrained and immovable”.

Make this insight work for you

Know that self-compassion isn’t about letting yourself off the hook. It’s about having a growth mindset that gives you authentic confidence. It’s about approaching yourself with understanding. It’s about having awareness and being mindful to shift your self-talk to be more constructive.

The Common Thread

You might have noticed that there’s a common thread running through each of these lessons: internal shifts lead to major external results.

Just imagine what your life will be like when you’re able to embrace and implement these lessons for yourself. What will that look like?

A promotion? Healthier boundaries? Feeling more confident, more productive, and more empowered at work? The relief that you’re finally getting out of your own way?

That’s exactly how RESILIENT members feel and I want you to experience the same thing. To discover how to build more confidence using the RESILIENT program, click here.

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Hi, I'm Melody

I help smart, sensitive high-achievers overcome insecurity and overwhelm so they can thrive in the workplace.

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