Good things come to those who are confident—especially in the workplace. Not only are you happier and heathier, but that self-esteem can also take your career to the next level: When you think highly of yourself and your work, your higher-ups will notice and might even think of you the next time a promotion rolls around. Yes, more money in your pocket—all for something that’s totally free of cost.
If you want to be a more confident version of yourself in the office but don’t even know where to start, here are 20 ways to take it to the next level. For more on boosting your career and your self-esteem, read the 25 Ways the Smartest Man Get Ahead at Work.
Perfect Your Space
When your house is a mess, you feel like a mess too—and the same thing goes with your office space. Take some time before or after work to liven up your desk and make it feel more like you. And, make sure it’s clean and organized so you can think clearly: You spend a lot of time at work, and your space reflects on you—so make it a good one. If you need any help decorating your workspace, check out 20 Things Every Man Should Have in His Office.
Create a List of Your Successes
And no—not to email around the office, or show anyone for that matter. Sometimes it’s easy to forget all the impressive things you’ve done, so keep a running list. Anytime you’re feeling down, scan it over and remind yourself just how great you’re doing—and keep adding to it every time you have another accomplishment.
Stand Up Straight
How many times have you been told to stand up straight during your life? (Probably a lot—thanks, mom!) Well, there’s a good reason for that. Having good posture instantly makes you appear more confident and put-together to those around you, which in turn makes you feel more confident and put-together. It’s a win-win. If you didn’t listen to your mom and your back is already an issue, check our Ultimate Lower Back Pain-Fighting Game Plan!
Give Yourself Daily Pep-Talks
Whether it’s in the morning before you head off to work or in the mirror in the bathroom during your break, there’s nothing wrong with giving yourself a pep talk. Sure, it sounds silly (and will feel silly too), but sometimes you need to be reminded just how great you are, and who’s going to do better at that than you?
Don’t Downplay Your Achievements
Sometimes it can be hard to navigate the line between being cocky and humble when it comes to talking about your achievements, but whatever you do, don’t downplay the impressive things you’ve done in your career. Sure, you don’t want to sound like you’re bragging—but if you downplay too much, your confidence will suffer. Plus, your higher-ups should be reminded why they hired you in the first place: You’re talented!
Prepare Things to Say
How can you be confident at work without knowing the ins and outs of what your job is? Instead of pulling a Creed from The Office—what did he do again? “Qua” something?—take some time to become an expert in your field and refresh what you already do know as often as possible. There’s always more to learn, and when you start dropping knowledge bombs on your higher-ups, they’ll surely be impressed. (And you’ll feel great in the process.) Speaking of, do you know What’s the One Skill All Successful People Share?
It’s easy to get caught up in a mindless flow of going into work, doing your job, coming home, and doing it all over again the next day, but that’s also the quickest way to lose excitement and eventually start to feel lousy about your career. To make sure you’re always feeling great at work, set goals that challenge you and work hard to reach them. You’ll never get bored, always have something to keep you busy, and you’ll feel more confident than ever when you crush everything on your to-do list. If you need help brainstorming, here’s 6 Ways to Become a Creative Genius.
Work the Crowd
The workspace isn’t a popularity contest, but doesn’t it feel so much better when you have a group of people who really admire you? Make an effort to get to know your co-workers—either during downtime in the office or at drinks after-hours—and you’ll have a friend everywhere you go. Thanks to those relationships, you’ll feel important walking around the office. And soon, you’ll become the go-to person your colleagues come to for advice or an opinion. For more ways to lead the pack, learn the 5 Secrets to Running the Perfect Business Meeting.
It sounds simple enough, but smiling really does boost your confidence—even if you fake it. The next time you’re feeling a little down or want to give your self-esteem an upgrade, flash those pearly whites. You’ll immediately look and feel 100 times better than you did with that frown. Don’t believe it? Just try—dare you.
Fake It Until You Make It
The best thing about confidence is that “fake it until you make it” truly works. Sure, you might have sweaty palms during your presentation—but no one’s going to know it when you’re standing up straight with a beaming smile. Eventually, all that faking it will turn into the real thing.
Yes, Dress to Impress
If you’ve ever gone into work wearing something you’re not a huge fan of, you probably felt crappy the entire day. Ditch anything that doesn’t make you feel amazing and restock your wardrobe with items that boost your confidence. When you walk into the office wearing something that fits you perfectly and makes you feel good in your own skin, you’ll feel like a new person—and people will notice.
Establish a Morning Routine
How many days have you woken up late only to throw on some clothes and rush off to work, barely making it on time? That jolt of bad energy in the morning isn’t going to set you up for success and might make you spend your entire day feeling off, and therefore less confident. Start establishing a morning routine where you have time to get ready, make coffee, eat breakfast, read the paper or watch the news, and maybe even squeeze in a workout. When you walk into work feeling like you have it all together, it shows.
Find the Perfect Mantra
People have been using mantras for thousands of years, and chanting a certain word or phrase—either in your head or out loud—before you go into work will give you a major boost of confidence. The more times you say something, the more you believe it—so think of something that will make you feel motivated and ready to take on the day.
Talk Yourself Up
It’s easy to talk down on yourself—even if that’s just venting to a friend after workout about all the things you did wrong during the day. Unfortunately, that self-depreciation is going to lead to a serious hit to your confidence levels. Instead, focus on the positives—and keep your head up. When you talk highly of yourself and the good things that you did, you’ll look—and feel—much more confident.
Step Up Your Game
Instead of just doing what’s required of you at work with minimal effort, go above and beyond. Whether it’s asking for new opportunities and taking on additional assignments or simply just getting things done before the deadline, your boss will love the initiative. And what feels better than being irreplaceable in your workplace?
Be a Role Model
Maybe it’s to your colleagues, or maybe it’s to your nephew. Either way, present yourself in a way you would have looked up to when you were younger. There’s nothing better for your confidence than being role model material.
When you work with multiple other people, getting overshadowed happens—especially if you spend your day in a cubicle or glued to your desk. Instead of just being another body in the room during meetings, speak up and let your voice be heard. When you’re sharing your ideas—and getting positive feedback on your thoughts—you’ll get a new sense of confidence that will make you keep wanting to do better.
Spend Time With Co-Workers Who Lift You Up
Everyone has been stuck at that job where all anyone does is either start drama or talk badly about each other. Sure, it makes for an interesting way to pass the time—but it also messes with your mental health. Instead of spending time with negative people, exclude yourself from those conversations and put your effort into building relationships with those who lift you up and inspire you to be better. Your confidence will be boosted just by being in their presence.
Ask for Feedback
It’s never fun getting critiqued, but think about this way: Shooting your boss an emailing asking for feedback not only shows initiative on your part, but it’s also a great way to become stronger in your position. And when you’re stronger and more knowledgeable, you’re also more confident.
Celebrate Your Achievements
When something great happens at work, celebrate it—don’t just brush it to the side. Even if it’s something small—like impressing your boss at a meeting or getting everything in before your deadline—any accomplishment deserves to be recognized. And giving yourself a pat on the back whenever possible will make you even more confident the next time you walk through your office doors.