How to Stop Selling Yourself Short & Find Your Confidence

August 5, 2014 Abby Herman

The right attitude at work - Sokanu

It happens so often, we don’t even realize that we’re doing it. Breathing, blinking and…selling ourselves short. We talk ourselves out of being good enough for that promotion or taking a chance. We think we aren’t good enough, we don’t have enough experience, the risks are too high or we don’t deserve it. As a result, we can end up stagnant—personally and professionally—and the feelings of inadequacy remain.

Society teaches us that we are measured by our appearance, test scores, the size of our house, the make of our car. You name it. When you apply for a job, you have to sell yourself in your resume and cover letter—and many often have a difficult time pumping themselves up to stand out above the rest.

Life is one big lesson, and we focus on past experiences as what will happen in the future. Case in point: If you’ve had a bad relationship, does that mean every relationship of yours will fail? You were likely with the wrong person, or the right person at the wrong time. That doesn’t mean you should give up on relationships entirely.

The trick to success is to stop the negative talk and start valuing your professional worth. Learn from your past experiences, but then leave the negativity behind and move forward. Here’s how:

Know what you want

Do you know what it is you’re after? A promotion? A raise? A lead role on an upcoming project? Figure out what you really want and set a goal. Write it down and look at it daily. When opportunities at work come up, think about how they can help you reach your goal. If you don’t see a connection, don’t sluff off. Put your nose to the grindstone, do the best job you can and wait for the next opportunity to come around. But keep your goal in mind; there will be other opportunities.

Act as if you already have it

Will you behave differently if you achieve your goal? If you get that promotion, you will have additional responsibilities and be expected to lead a team. So act as if you already have that position. I’m not suggesting that you become smug and order people around. Instead, offer to do the research your supervisor needs to do (but likely doesn’t want to) and be the go-to person for your coworkers. Your supervisor will surely appreciate someone stepping in to help out, and you will gain the self-confidence needed to help boost your career.

Exemplify confidence

There’s a saying, “Confidence is silent. Insecurity is loud.” When you feel insecure about yourself, your work, your body, your relationships…it speaks volumes. It gets noticed, and not in a good way. Your lack of confidence makes others doubt you and your abilities. Even if you’re not feeling up-to-par, there are many simple exercises you can practice at work to help you feel and appear more confident. The Simple Dollar offers 10 great tips—from duct tape on your back to carrying a flask with you. Seriously, give it a try. No alcohol needed.

In the end, it’s okay to fail. We’d never succeed if we didn’t learn lessons along the way. So stop beating yourself up, find your confidence and go after your goals.

If you're still looking for your calling in life, come on over to and take our free career test. We want to help you find a career that's right for you!

About the Author

Abby Herman

Abby is a writer and editor in the Phoenix area and is always on the prowl for great ideas. When she’s not in front of her computer, you can find her running the streets or nearby mountain trails—usually way too early in the morning to be considered sane.

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