Everyone wants to have more confidence. Especially at work. We want to feel our contributions are appreciated and valued. Our perceptions of self-confidence and the way we go about pursuing it can be colored by our preference for Introversion or Extraversion. According to Carl Jung, the direction that we focus our energy determines whether we prefer Introversion or Extraversion. Extraverts focus their energy and attention outward and are very interested in the world around them. This can conflict with having healthy self-confidence at work. Here are some concepts specifically for Extraverts to start improving their self-confidence today.
Shifting from Approval to Self-Acceptance
An Extravert’s focus is external. When it comes to self-acceptance, we tend to look outside of ourselves for this as well. We look for approval from others and engage in comparisons. The shift is to develop an internal locus of control. How do we do that? We start asking ourselves how we feel about our achievements and contributions instead of talking to others. Begin to nurture an inner guide who is by your side and in your corner. Kick out the critic who compares you to others and puts you down. Resist the temptation to find self-love from others. Journaling is a great tool to help you make this shift.
Accept Where and Who You are Today
One major obstacle on the road to self-acceptance for Extraverts is thinking that something needs to be different before we can fully accept ourselves. We have to get a promotion or a special project (not to mention lose weight, get in a relationship, etc.) before we can truly believe in ourselves. That kind of thinking gets in the way of self-acceptance. Trust you are on a path and you’ve been doing the best you can. Today’s a new day and you will do your best today and that is all that matters. It’s good to have goals and dreams but not when they make you feel lousy about yourself.
Develop Your Calm Side
Extraverts often plunge into the day without checking in with themselves. We bring this energy with us into work. Being talkative and sociable folks, when something goes wrong we often expose too much to others which leaves us feeling self-conscious and vulnerable. Extraverts tend to need to talk things out, but this can be counterproductive in the workplace. Begin each day calmly with some uplifting reading and meditation. Journal out your problems before bringing them into work. This sets a calm tone for the day and provides a feeling of self-reliance that contributes to having the confidence we crave.
Deal with the Elephant in the Room
This is for anyone, not just Extraverts. Is there an addiction to food, tv, wine, social media or something else that is nagging at you? These are confidence drainers. We feel awful after any kind of overindulgence and begin to doubt and question our self worth. These kinds of addictions can carry over into work but ultimately just keep us down. Cleaning up an unhealthy habit can be a huge bolster to your self-esteem. Do what you need to do to take care of yourself and not going into your negative habit. If it includes seeing a therapist or looking into your organization’s EAP, so be it. Get the support you need so you can be healthy inside and outside of work.
Know the True Meaning of Career Self-Confidence
Extraverts often have a misperception of the true meaning of self-confidence. Sometimes we imagine self-confidence to mean being on top of the world and having everyone’s acceptance and admiration. Some of us long to be the center of attention with small doses of worship from others administered throughout the day. True self-confidence comes from within. It’s trusting ourselves and letting go of our inner narcissist. In fact, when we are truly confident, we can be humble. Yes, that’s right- true self-confidence is filled with humility. We can let others shine because we know inside we’re OK and don’t need the outer glory to be worthy.
The 5 Things You Can Start Now to Increase Your Confidence in and out of Work
The best way to develop our confidence is to start doing something about it. Here are some things I suggest to my clients who are struggling with their confidence (and things I do myself).
Develop a daily ritual that centers the day in calm. Start with reading, journaling and meditation. When you do this for several weeks for even just 10 minutes a day, you will see an enormous improvement in your ability to deal with challenging circumstances at work. Giving this time to yourself every morning is an act of self love and the results of it will bolster your self-confidence as you manage your emotions and words more thoughtfully. You may think you don’t have the time to do this, but I guarantee you will be far more productive at work following these principles.
List your accomplishments. Go back through your life and list every single thing you have achieved; any project, creative or otherwise, schooling, service, personal triumphs, hobbies, things you’ve learned, written, etc. I find it best to do this by thinking of each year of my life and what I was doing. You will be amazed with what you have accomplished.
Do your best today. Don’t live in the past or the future. Focus your attention on today. You can start the day over at any point. Bring your best to the moment and you’ll feel better .
Write down your values and live by them. Having a set of guiding principles or standards to live by can be enormously helpful. Be sure your values are based on realistic rather than perfectionistic standards. Call them values or beliefs or faith- having a code of honor and living by it helps you to feel good about yourself.
Allow yourself to be human. You’re going to make mistakes. Reframe them as “learnings” and move on. Practice compassion and acceptance with yourself everyday, especially at work when things get tough.
For a career you love, contact Pam at Careerfulness. www.careerfulness.com
Written by Pam Farone. www.careerfulness.com