5 Workplace Confidence Killers and How to Beat Them

Maintaining confidence is key to succeeding in your career. Here’s how to stay confident and accomplish your goals.

There are several internal and external confidence-busters in the typical workplace.
Employees with low confidence may be less likely to share ideas with their colleagues, which might prevent their organisations from benefiting from possible advancements.
Use tactics that have been shown to boost confidence to perform better at work and feel better about yourself.
This essay is intended for professionals who want to increase their professional confidence by overcoming typical confidence obstacles.

Some individuals have a flawless appearance. You know the one: the upbeat worker who is always willing to provide ideas or take on additional tasks. Their positive outlook makes them feel valuable to everyone around them and to themselves. They embrace confidence, a state of being that many of us find difficult to achieve.

Too many workers have poor confidence and allow self-doubt to prevent them from contributing their ideas and working to their full capacity. Confidence, though, is both a talent and a viewpoint. If you put in the effort, you can develop confidence just like any other talent.

We’ll look at the top five confidence-deflating factors and discuss how to combat them.

5 confidence killers in the workplace

Avoiding or overcoming conditions, attitudes, and behaviours that undermine confidence is crucial for professional and personal success.


According to Helene Lerner, author of The Confidence Myth (Berrett-Koehler Publishers, 2015) and founder of WomenWorking.com, a career website for women, high-performing employees frequently put undue pressure on themselves to meet unreasonable standards and sometimes become demoralised when they fall short of them.

Each individual has unique talents and shortcomings. Ask yourself whether you gave a project your all every time you fall short. If you did, embrace the fact that you are just human and cannot do every task flawlessly.

We need to quit talking negatively to ourselves and remind ourselves that we are doing our best, according to Lerner. “Make it your own slogan.”

micromanaging superiors

You may begin to feel inadequate if you are micromanaged. Why else would the boss be so picky and instruct you on how to do something precisely?

You’re probably not doing anything incorrectly most of the time. Lerner observed that regulating conduct is often motivated by fear.

She remarked that, rather than you, “[your boss’s] micromanaging probably has more to do with how that individual thinks about [themself].”

Nobody can bring you down if you’re sincere in your confidence. You could feel insecure because of a lousy supervisor, but keep in mind where you’ve come from and where you want to go.

Inactivity at work

The fact that your work doesn’t make use of your capabilities is one of the most frequent causes of feeling detached from your job and lacking confidence in your abilities. Everyone has skills and talents, and Lerner said that if you aren’t utilising them at work, you may want to look into other alternatives.

Another choice is to have a positive outlook on how well you do at work. Consider an alternate viewpoint or strategy if you’re feeling uninterested. Perhaps you found yourself in a habit or rut that drains you. Change things up; adopt a new strategy that focuses on your interests. What can you change to maybe make your work more enjoyable? Don’t be scared to talk with your boss about how to increase your engagement at work.

Anxiety of failing

Everybody feels fear, however some more than others. But it’s important to confront fear head-on.

“Fear can be so crippling that it holds people back in ways they don’t even realise,” said Heather Monahan, founder of the career mentoring group #BossinHeels and author of Confidence Creator. “Whether it’s fear of speaking up in meetings, so the employee is seen as someone who doesn’t contribute much value, or fear of being yourself, instead trying to emulate a boss and never learning to really own what is unique and special about you” (Boss in Heels, 2018).

Naturally, you want to “get it right” in your work, but you shouldn’t let your fear of “failure” prevent you from attempting something new. It’s possible for a project to go wrong and for you to make blunders. According to Lerner, you haven’t really failed if you learn from those experiences.

uncooperative or judgmental coworkers

It may be less enjoyable to work with impolite, haughty, or otherwise disagreeable coworkers, particularly if their criticism is aimed at you. Lerner cautions professionals not to take the conduct personally, as she does with micromanagers, but she does suggest making an effort to resolve the issue with your coworker and end the working disagreement.

She ordered them to tidy up their side of the street. “Are you doing anything to exacerbate the [unfavourable] situation? If so, proceed as necessary.

Techniques to build confidence

There are several conscious, actionable approaches you can take to build confidence.

1. Cut out negative language.

Monahan advised paying attention to your speech and what you say. Say “Excuse me,” or “Thank you,” for example, rather saying “I’m sorry,” or “I’m sorry.” When presenting a concept, use the phrase “This will work because” rather than “I believe this will work.”

There’s no need for self-deprecating humour, Monahan said, “Firing some terms from your lexicon will produce a swift change for you.” Even while laughing at oneself may seem harmless and beneficial, it undermines your confidence. Presenting oneself as innocent communicates to others that you believe you lack the necessary experience, and sharing these beliefs might be harmful.

Present your thoughts and deeds without doubting your value, rather than underplaying your intellect or contributions. Instead of attempting to make a joke by saying, “Here’s another concept from a less qualified person,” deliver your idea as a respected colleague would – without any qualifiers or humour that belittles yourself.

Consider positioning your relative inexperience as a positive if you believe you should admit it. Something along the lines of, “My new viewpoint on this subject offered me an idea that’s out of the box, but I feel genuinely convinced it may be the answer we all need,” could be used as a sentence starter.

Consider the things that make you uneasy as advantages rather than obstacles. Your self-assurance will come.

2. Practice how you present yourself.

The expression “dress for success” is well known. Your confidence may be impacted by how you look, how you arrange your hair, and how you dress. When they look their best, many individuals feel their best.

This does not imply that you need to dress professionally every day. Accessories, shoes, cosmetics, and clothing may all be used as means of self-expression. Follow the dress code at work, but try to add your own style. Spend a little more time getting dressed in the morning to feel more confident.

Your tone and body language might also convey confidence. In meetings, make an effort to sit with good posture and speak out when necessary. When we are anxious, we often physically and vocally shrink, but this conduct shows a lack of confidence and further undermines your self-assurance.

3. Try some positive affirmations.

Although using positive affirmations might seem a bit corny, beginning your morning with a good outlook can make you feel more certain. Looking in the mirror while saying affirmations like “I am clever and competent,” “My thoughts and ideas matter,” or “I am ready to tackle this day” is a tried-and-true method of practising positive affirmations.

To remind yourself of the skills you excel at in your position, make a list of five strengths every morning. Even some individuals prefer to write their strengths on Post-it notes and stick them to their desk or computer’s side. When they sense self-doubt beginning to seep in, they take a quick look at their strengths.

4. Set goals for yourself.

The process of gaining confidence is slow. It’s unlikely that when you enter the workplace one day, all of your worry and self-doubt will vanish. Instead, make objectives to guide you as you travel your path.

If you tend to be quiet and reserved at meetings, setting a worthwhile goal may be to contribute one thought, query, or remark at each one you go to. Work your way up to full staff meetings by starting with smaller gatherings like team or department meetings where you already know everyone.

Finding someone fresh to connect with each week is another potential objective. Employees that are confident are more likely to be outgoing and active at work. At work, you could also develop some useful relationships or perhaps meet some new people. Introduce yourself and strike up a discussion with someone in the break room. Send a Slack message to someone to express your appreciation for their most recent project or to congratulate them on a significant achievement. Developing a connection with the individuals you work with might make you feel more at ease and confident.

5. Take time to destress.

Workplace burnout affects many individuals, and work may be demanding. Spend some time during the day checking in with yourself. Try some calming breathing techniques, like the 4/7/8 breathing method, if you’re experiencing the impacts of job stress. The 4/7/8 breathing method involves taking a four-second breath in, holding it for seven seconds, and then taking an eight-second breath out. Breathing exercises may reduce anxiety and aid improve concentration.

The practise of progressive muscle relaxation is yet another fantastic method for reducing stress at work. One muscle group at a time is tensed and released as you go through your body during this kind of meditation. As you tension and relax each muscle group, pay attention to how it feels. People who work in offices often have tight shoulders and necks. You may feel more at ease and self-assured after releasing this stress.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *