7 Signs You Lack Confidence at Work and How to Overcome Them

Confidence is a powerful thing. It can help you perform better at work, make new friends, and even get a date. But it can also be an elusive quality that’s hard to come by.

According to the 2018 State of Confidence Report, only 9% of Americans report feeling confident all the time. And while we know what confidence looks like on paper–confidence means feeling good about yourself and your abilities–the reality is that there are many different ways to feel confident in the workplace.

Here are seven signs you might lack confidence at work and how you can overcome them:

Confidence speaks to the feeling of trust and belief we possess in one’s abilities, qualities, and judgments. Confidence impacts so many areas of our lives including the way we interact with other people and the decisions we make in our lives.

A lack of confidence can thereby influence us in detrimental ways when it comes to how we engage with others and the choices we decide to make. Thus, being aware that we are battling low confidence is important so that we can deal with it and embrace more healthy patterns and behaviors as a means of improving confidence and improving outcomes.

1. You Avoid Conflict

One sign that you may be dealing with a lack of confidence is a tendency to avoid conflict. When you are in a constant state of questioning yourself, it can make it hard to believe that you have something valuable to contribute, especially in scenarios that seem tense. You might feel that your opinions or insights are going to contribute to more conflict rather than solve the problem, thus you remain silent or distant in response.

2. Doubt Your Decisions:

Another signal that could alert you to a lack of confidence is doubting your decisions. When you don’t believe in yourself and your abilities, you will naturally doubt whether you’ve made the right choices. This is often fueled by a fear that your choices will lead to mistakes, failure, or problems.

3. Take Criticism Personal

People who struggle with confidence also tend to take criticism personally. Generally, criticism that is offered by others is designed to help us improve in some manner or area of our lives.

 Many people have the ability to take critiques and apply them in a way that helps them get better and improve. However, when confidence is low you will take the critique and internalize it. This makes it hard for you to learn from it because you see it more as an attack than a learning tool.

4. You Don’t Advocate For Yourself:

A failure to stand up for yourself might also highlight a lack of confidence. When you are unable or unwilling to advocate for what you want or need, especially in situations where you are being mistreated, it might mean that you don’t think highly enough of yourself to do so. If you doubt your own value and worth, you won’t see it as worthwhile or meaningful to pursue what you want/need because you won’t see yourself as worthy.

5. Always Defending Your Decisions

Another sign that you could be dealing with low confidence is if you constantly feel the need to defend the choices you make. If you question yourself and your abilities you will often doubt whether you made the right choices. These doubts can make you feel as if you need to explain yourself to others, though this is often not required or even desired by other people.

6. Inability To Handle Compliments

It can easily be disguised as humility, but sometimes an inability to accept compliments can hint at low confidence levels. When you doubt yourself and your own value or worth, compliments can feel so uncomfortable to the point that you don’t even want to receive them.

This is because the compliments can feel like a lie as compared to the truth you’ve created in your own mind about the minimal value/worth you have. When you doubt the truth of the good things being said about you, your desire to hear and receive them will be greatly diminished.

7. Indecisiveness

A final way you might be able to tell if you are dealing with a lack of confidence is struggling with indecisiveness. As mentioned above, low confidence can make you doubt your decisions because of a fear that you will possibly make the wrong choice. This can cause you to simply become paralyzed and fail to make any decisions at all so that you don’t face a negative outcome.

How to Overcome Your Lack of Confidence in the Workplace

Many people face the same problem of lack of confidence in the workplace. It is a major issue that can lead to low self-esteem and low productivity. However, there are some ways to deal with this problem.

Some people find that it is helpful to have a mentor or coach who they can talk to about their problems and help them get over their lack of confidence. Others find that they do better when they take on more challenging tasks, which helps them break through their limitations and gain more confidence in themselves.

Embrace Your Flaws at Work and Shine Anyway

The first step is to accept that you are not perfect and that is okay. You should be proud of your strengths, but also be willing to work on your weaknesses.

The second step is to find a way to make the most of your flaws. For example, if you are not the best public speaker, then you can use other skills like writing or creating graphics for presentations.

The third step is to find a support system. This can be done by finding people in your life who are there for you when things get tough and cheer you on when things are going well. This will help you get through the tough times in your life and provide you with someone who will be willing to listen, no matter what is going on.

The inner doubts we have about ourselves go on to impact our outside choices and behavior. A combination of the signs listed above could mean you need to pause and assess your feelings about yourself and your abilities. When you are able to address low self-esteem, you are able to improve your inner beliefs which ultimately means an improvement in behavior and outcomes.

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