Tips to improve your confidence

How confident are you?

Do you feel that a lack of confidence could be preventing you applying for jobs, attending interviews or finding employment?

In this careers article we explore how a better appreciation of your abilities and qualities, combined with a better understanding of your thoughts and emotions, could lead to an increase in confidence.

1. Appreciate what you are good at

People with low levels of confidence and self-assurance often undervalue their abilities and qualities. It can be easy to focus on what you are not able to do (or think that they are not able to do) rather than the abilities and qualities that you do have. For many this is because a particular ability or quality has always come naturally or because you do not find it difficult.  As a result you conclude that this ability or quality is not special and has little value.

For example, you may be an extremely caring person who is always happy to help others.  As this quality comes naturally to you it may be that you fail to put a value on this quality.  Instead, in your efforts to achieve something you view as impressive, or to gain a feeling of accomplishment, you think only of the abilities and qualities that you do not have (or think that you do not have). To be confident and self-assured it is important to appreciate and to place a value on your abilities and qualities.

2. Understand your thoughts and emotions

All of the time our brains are turning over thoughts and emotions. Just as we are not always conscious of the way we breathe, we are not always conscious of the thoughts and emotions that we have. Those looking to find employment can have unhelpful thoughts and emotions that they are not aware of and that can damage their confidence levels. These unhelpful thoughts include:

  1. Over estimating the chance of negative things happening e.g. “I will make no sense during the job interview”.
  2. Over estimating the cost of negative events e.g. “If I do not have a perfect interview I will not get the job “.

Identifying unhelpful thoughts and understanding the root causes of these thoughts can help you to increase levels of confidence and self-assurance.  In the case of the above scenario we would ask:

  • Why do I feel that I will make no sense during the interview?
  • Does not having a perfect interview mean I will not get the job?
  • Will not having a great interview mean that I will be successful in the future?

We can then examine the root causes of our concerns and take steps to address these concerns. For example, by preparing and practicing for interviews in advance you could become more confident about your interview ability. Similarly, if you find think that you lack confidence because you fear you lack a particular skill you can produce a plan to develop this skill in order to improve your confidence in this area.

You may also want to take a look at another article from PhilCareers entitled: 5 ways to overcome interview nerves

Find out more

We hope that this information will be of assistance to you. To find more useful articles from PhilCareers please visit: Careers Advice

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