Finding your inner boss: 8 strategies to enhance self-belief at work

Cultivating self-confidence in both your work and professional life can present so many benefits. If you have a positive attitude, you’re far more likely to produce higher-quality work. Not only that, but you’ll be improving your reputation within your industry and helping yourself towards achieving your career goals.

But, you may be surprised to learn that self-belief is something that’s lacking in many workplaces. According to a recent survey, as many as 79% of women and 62% of men experience a lack of confidence. There is good news, though. We’re actually already equipped with the tools we need to successfully tackle this – we’re just not sure how to put them to use.

In this guide, I’ll share eight powerful and proven strategies that’ll help you tap into your inner boss and boost your self-esteem at work. Prepare yourself for some self-discovery…

1. Learn to accept yourself, the good the bad and the ugly

Do you like who you see when you look in the mirror? It might sound cliché, but being able to accept who you are as a person is the first step to increasing your self-image. Being content with yourself can really boost your job satisfaction and help you handle any challenges.

Self-acceptance shouldn’t be seen as a weakness, either. We’re all individuals and making the most of your unique qualities is a strength that will assist you greatly in your career. 

You may have heard of imposter syndrome before, it’s quite common, especially when we’re aiming for the best in our careers. When we learn to truly have faith in ourselves and our abilities, we’ll naturally find ourselves rising above any negative sense of doubt.

2. Think about your clothes and outfit choices

I’m a big believer that when you feel good about the way you look, it shows on the outside, too. So, try planning all your outfits at the start of the working week. Dressing for success will put you in a positive position to build your self-belief.

Have you changed up your work wardrobe recently? If you’re able to do so, it might be time to invest in some new attire. Choose professional outfits that are also comfortable – there’s nothing worse than feeling fidgety or overheated when you’re trying to give off a good impression.

3. Give yourself some achievable tasks

There’s no better confidence boost than achieving a goal you’ve set for yourself. No matter how small this might be, setting yourself something to achieve for the purpose of your job will also help you to feel more motivated and give more organisation to your to-do list.

Tip: Set SMART goals (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound) this will make it far easier to track how you’re doing and make any adjustments that might be needed for success.

4. Step out of your comfort zone

We’re all guilty of loving a routine but this can sometimes lead to getting stuck in a workplace rut. This has the potential to stop us from exploring new opportunities and seeking out career progression. 

Taking on something new and pushing yourself out of your comfort zone might seem intimidating to begin with, but you can start by just pushing your boundaries gently. For example, why not try putting yourself forward for a public speaking opportunity? This idea of this can be something that a lot of people dislike and dread, but it really is a great option for pushing yourself. You don’t have to start with a huge audience or get on a stage. You could try holding a small meeting with your co-workers to begin with and build your confidence up from there.

You’ll be increasing your confidence levels, and gaining something valuable at the same time.

5. Get yourself a good support system

Do your colleagues support you? You’re much more likely to feel confident if they do. There is research that proves having positive support around you can reduce your stress levels and increase your motivation.

A solid support system can really help you to shift your mindset to a much more positive place. This will also provide you with a valuable source for gaining constructive feedback when overcoming any challenges, you might face.

Try fostering these tips to cultivate a supportive environment in your workplace:

  • Actively listen to colleagues when they need support.
  • Offer help to other individuals and teams when needed.
  • Foster open communication for a collaborative and supportive environment.
  • Help each other and navigate challenges by setting up a buddy system.

6. Take a breather

If you’ve got a smartwatch, it will regularly remind you to take a break and breathe (and I bet you ignore it). But, you really should start paying attention to these notifications. 

Mindfulness can really help us to observe ourselves in the present moment without judgement and also reduce negative self-talk. Meditating can reduce the worry and anxiety that fuel this negativity. 

If we take a moment to truly pause and tune into ourselves, we’ll get a deeper insight into what we’re thinking and why we’re acting the way we do. So, take a moment to focus on your self-awareness – it’ll help you gain a better understanding of your thoughts and behaviours.

7. Think about your body language

Our facial expressions and posture can make a huge difference to how others perceive us, without having to say a single word. Stand in front of a mirror and adjust your posture – stand tall and make direct eye contact with yourself. Doesn’t it make a huge difference? This won’t just make you look more confident to other people, but it will also send these same signals to yourself.

8. Learn something new

Have a think about some ways you can develop yourself within your current role to expand your capabilities. On-the-job training will give you a chance to excel and learn even more about your job, and give you the valuable confidence to tackle anything you may be currently unsure of.

A LinkedIn study shows that 94% of employees would be more likely to stay with companies that offer training and development opportunities. But don’t sit around waiting for these development opportunities to come to you. Ask your manager if you can take on more responsibility or even seek potential mentorship from a senior member of staff.

It’s well-proven that having more self-assurance can have a positive impact on your performance at work. And the good thing is that boosting your self-belief at work doesn’t have to be scary. 

All it takes is investing a little time into building up your confidence, and you’ll be much more likely to take on challenges and be more confident when faced with change. If you actively work on self-development and take into account just one of the strategies above, you’ll be well on your way to exuding confidence in your role.

If you’re struggling with confidence and self-belief, a coach can give you a helping hand. Find support today.

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Written by Hannah Walters
Hannah is a content writer who recently took the scary leap into the world of freelance, after years at a marketing agency. Writing mental health and well-being content that helps others is her true passion.
Written by Hannah Walters
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