7 Steps to Build Confidence and Self-Worth as a Professional

Natalie Lemons | Project Heard | Woman of Power

Each and every one of us is unique in our way.  We were each raised a different way, and each have our own hopes and dreams.  Yet most of us spend a great deal of our time questioning ourselves – as individuals in general, and as professionals.
Women, in particular, are guilty of downplaying our own talents and unique features.  We give to others, but are reluctant to give the same credit to ourselves.  Society makes us question whether we are smart enough, educated enough, pretty enough, or thin enough.  We are concerned about how we are perceived more so than if we are happy with ourselves.  

This is not healthy or productive for anyone. 

What is the secret that highly confident professionals have discovered, and what steps do they take?  We will explore some of the most tried-and-true steps to attaining the confidence and self-worth you have always desired.

How Professionals Build Self-Worth and Confidence

You’ve seen this person before:  she truly believes in herself and emits an aura of success everywhere she goes.  People respect her, and for good reason.  She is positive, intelligent, and bold.  What is her secret, and what method did she use to become this way?

Remove Yourself from Negativity

We all have some negativity in our lives, regardless of our personal story.  Each of us has to weather the storm of our own ups and downs.  But a highly confident individual removes herself from the negativity that exists in her life.  It doesn’t mean that she ignores it or doesn’t care.  It simply means that she sets herself aside from the negative occurrences and refuses to let it define the other aspects of her life.  The difficulty can be dealt with in its own time. 

Be Honest with Yourself

This is often the most difficult part of making a change in yourself.  According to 7 Habits for Managers, by Stephen Covey, being honest with yourself first is necessary to effectively lead anyone else.  This does not mean being critical of yourself.  This means to identify your opinions, likes, and interests.  Don’t be afraid to express them, even if they aren’t consistent with the norm.  You don’t always have to follow the crowd.  Pave your own path.  This is the first step to being comfortable with who you are as a person.

Be Decisive

Once you are honest with yourself, decisions will be much easier.  A successful, confident person may consider all of the options before making a decision, but will be firm in their stance once the decision is made.  The only bad decision is indecision!  According to Psychology Today, if you commit to being present and engaged in whatever you are doing, and if you approach your decision with curiosity and openness, you have never chosen wrong.

Be Grateful

Individuals with strong self-worth realize all of the blessings that have been granted to them in life.  We all walk down different paths, and have been given different gifts along the way.  Money isn’t the only item in life to be grateful for.  Confident individuals know and appreciate this.  They express gratitude for opportunities, for health, for a strong support system, and for family.  Some of the most important blessings in life are things money can’t buy.  A wise person once told me to take the time and think of one blessing to be grateful for every day.  When you open your eyes and realize everything you have been given, there will never be a day that you are at a loss to be grateful for something.

Don’t Expect Everything to Be Perfect

There is nothing wrong with being a perfectionist.  It shows great attention to detail, as well as the fact that you care.  But don’t unravel when things don’t always go your way.  There will be bumps in the road, and sometimes, imperfection is better than what perfection was supposed to look like.  Having the adaptability to go with the changes that come your way will provide more personal and professional satisfaction in the end – even if it doesn’t seem that way at the moment.

Don’t Be Afraid to ASK

Asking for the opportunity involves calculated risk – and a little bit of bravery.  If you believe you can accomplish what you are asking for, don’t be afraid to ask the question.  You may hear “no” the first time (or even the first several times), but don’t let that discourage you.  Very few people achieved great success without some failures first.  However, most of those people had to ask for the opportunity that catapulted them to the next level.

Believe You are Successful

There is a very old quote by Henry Ford that always resonates with me.  It says “if you think you can, or you think you can’t – you’re right.”  YOU have to believe you can achieve great success.  Waking up every day with the belief that you will do great things reinforces the inevitable outcome.  A sense of confidence and self-worth does not just fall into you lap.  You have to believe in yourself to be successful.  Block out the noise.  There will always be critics, no matter how successful you become.  But you cannot become successful without believing that you will.

Take charge of your life, and set goals – every day, every month, and every year.  Once you have surpassed them, set new goals.  The sky is the limit if you believe that it is.

Natalie Lemons is the Founder and President of Resilience Group, LLC, and The Resilient Recruiter and Co-Founder of Need a New Gig. She specializes in the area of Executive Search and services a diverse group of national and international companies, focusing on mid to upper-level management searches in a variety of industries nationwide.
 

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