It’s a sad fact that women struggle more frequently with self-confidence in the workplace than men. Studies show that women are far more likely to underestimate their potential and performance, ask for less money during salary negotiations, and self-select themselves out of hiring processes entirely by not applying for promotions.
If you’re dealing with a case of imposter syndrome, it’s time to work on your own confidence. Here are three ways you can gain the self-assurance needed to ask for a raise, a promotion, or speak up when it matters most.
1 Improve your presentation
We’re not talking about buying a bomb outfit or getting a trendy new haircut. In fact, you should show up to work looking how YOU feel best. You can, however, work on your body language and assertive behaviours. Physically, you should adopt a neutral body position and maintain eye contact during each conversation with your colleagues. Use appropriate verbal and non-verbal cues like head nods to show that you’re actively listening. Try not to overthink everything you say and remember that your perspective matters.
2 Find a mentor
While a mentor can’t teach you to be confident, they can lead by example. Find someone in your field who helps you identify your passions, focus on areas where you excel, and assess obstacles in your path. Meet with your mentor regularly to track progress towards new goals.
3 Practice positive internal dialogue
It’s easier to be confident at work when you think highly of yourself. Concentrate on your successes and don’t let a fear of failure stand in your way of seeking out new opportunities. Be mindful of how you speak to yourself. For instance, instead of telling yourself that you lack talent the next time you make a mistake, practice a growth mindset and remind yourself that you can improve with continued effort.
Remember that others will doubt you if you doubt yourself! A healthy level of confidence will make you more likely to engage in challenging but manageable tasks, get outside your comfort zone and achieve new personal and professional heights.