“With each step I am more certain everything will turn out fine. I have confidence the world can all be mine. They’ll have to agree I have confidence in me,” so sings Julie Andrews at the beginning of the beloved musical The Sound of Music. Although the film celebrated its 50th anniversary earlier this year, the lyrics and message of the song are timeless: It doesn’t matter what you do; in order to succeed, you have to be confident.
Confidence is an important building block to a lucrative career. If you believe that you can do a great job, you may end up places you’ve never dreamed possible. But can a person cultivate confidence? According to Forbes, “With proper guidance and hard work, anyone can become more confident.” Here’s how you do it.
- Take an honest look at yourself. Know the difference between conceit and confidence. Confidence is earned through hard work. Be self-aware: “When your confidence exceeds your abilities, you’ve crossed the line into arrogance,” explains Travis Bradberry.
- Say no. Research shows that the more difficulty you have in saying no, the more likely you are to experience stress, depression, and burnout—all things that can lead to a lack of confidence.
- Get right with your boss. It’s hard to be confident when your boss is constantly nagging you and downscaling your contributions, so build a solid relationship with your direct manager.
- Seek out small victories. A series of small victories can boost your confidence; they deserve to be celebrated.
- Find a mentor. “Nothing builds confidence like a talented, experienced person showing you the way and patting you on the back for a job well done,” says Bradberry.
- Schedule exercise. Exercise is always good, and regular workouts over an extended period of time are scientifically proven to make you feel more positive and, in return, more confident.
- Dress for success. Looking good in a stylish outfit always makes you feel more confident, right? So dress well.
- Be assertive, not aggressive. Aggressiveness often comes from being insecure, and if you’re insecure, you’re not confident. Assertiveness, however, comes from being confident and knowing how to get what you want without being mean or pushy.
To learn more about this topic, read How to Be Confident and Get Anything You Want in Life.
When do you feel most confident?