It’s easy to get bogged down by work and deadlines and place value on everything around you rather than on yourself. But I’m here to remind you that you can’t get to your next professional level without valuing yourself and building self-confidence.
Competition can be fierce and unrelenting in professional settings, and so you need to be able to stand up for yourself and show the world your worth. If you don’t learn to value yourself, then no one else will have a reason to value you either.
Even if you’re lucky enough to be surrounded by people who can rally for you, it is still your responsibility to stay focused and be your own champion. We do a disservice to ourselves when we rely on others to prop us up and give us value.
You can’t count on others to be there forever, and so you need to start valuing yourself and boost your own self-confidence instead of depending on others to do it for you.
If you’re struggling to champion yourself, then here are three ways you can boost your self-confidence today. Each of these three simple techniques will help you learn to value yourself by reflecting on your own greatness, giving you the fuel you need to keep going toward your goals while remaining grounded and positive.
Value Your Accomplishments
You need to value your accomplishments–from big to small–so that you can have the confidence to talk about yourself to colleagues, supervisors, and potential employers and/or clients. You are your best advertisement, and valuing what you’ve accomplished will help you shine.
More than anything, valuing your accomplishments provides you with a sense of pride in your work that can help push you through your next challenge and toward your goals.
No matter your professional position, know that you have accomplished a ton. In fact, you’ve likely accomplished a great deal more than you’re giving yourself credit for
We’re often so busy that we don’t give a second thought to how far we’ve come. But taking the time to reflect on your accomplishments allows you to gauge where you’ve been and celebrate the major strides you’ve made to get where you are now, boosting your self-confidence in the process.
To help build a stronger sense of your own self-worth, consider tracking your accomplishments. We’re moving so fast through our lives that it’s easier than ever to miss out on some of our smaller but still significant successes.
Tracking your accomplishments provides you with the opportunity to see your progress over time and forces you to pay attention to both the big and small wins you have along the way.
You can easily return to your accomplishment tracking whenever you need it, such as for a resume revamp, a LinkedIn profile update, a new professional website, or interviews with potential employers or clients.
Most importantly, you can access your accomplishment tracking anytime when you’re not feeling like your best self and need a reminder of your greatness.
There are a variety of methods you can use to track your accomplishments. You can set up a formal spreadsheet accomplishment tracker or you can keep a daily accomplishments journal, or a job journal. Try out different methods and then determine which works best for you.
By regularly engaging in this type of self-reflection, you’ll learn to value your accomplishments no matter how small. You’ll also be giving yourself permission to value yourself, championing what makes you great rather than relying on outside forces to pump you up.
Value Your Mistakes
You might think I’m crazy in saying this, but it’s just as important to value your mistakes as it is to value your accomplishments.
Mistakes can be embarrassing, and they can even get costly, but they are unavoidable. We all make mistakes, and I’ve been very transparent about many of mine in my recent book, Leader by Mistake.
While I’ve wanted to run straight home and hide after making certain mistakes, I’ve learned over the years that it’s incredibly important and empowering to acknowledge and value your mistakes.
At the end of the day, mistakes are just tools that can help you learn and improve. They’re tools that can help boost your self-confidence because there is power in owning up to your mistakes and harnessing them to grow.
Ignoring mistakes is a surefire way to stop your professional growth. And I know–our culture, and social media especially makes it so easy to get mixed up with negative chatter and compare ourselves to others. We might think people are coasting through life, but in reality they have had to work through their share of mistakes and hard times.
Comparison is deadly because it equates where you’re at to someone else’s highlight reel. But you need to get off that comparison bandwagon because the time you spend being jealous over someone else’s life is precious time that you can use to figure out how to get to your goals.
One way to move closer to your goals and value yourself for who you are–warts and all–is by valuing your mistakes as learning tools.
In your accomplishment tracking, consider adding a small space for the lessons you’ve learned from mistakes you’ve recently made. Like accomplishment tracking, this is another form of self-reflection that will help boost your self-confidence.
Using your mistakes to learn important lessons will help show you that mistakes aren’t so scary after all; they’re simply a part of living and working. So instead of dwelling on what this or that person has accomplished, set yourself up for your own success by championing your growth and learning through mistakes.
Value Your Uniqueness
Reflecting on your accomplishments and mistakes gives you a great formula to value your uniqueness. The mistakes that I’ve made and the accomplishments I’ve attained are my own–they tell a story about who I am as a unique human being.
I encourage you to celebrate what makes you unique and different even if you haven’t done so in the past. Use your accomplishments and mistakes to create a narrative about where you’ve been, where you’re at, and where you’re still going.
You can use parts of this story to share with others during presentations, at conferences, or even when engaging in office small talk. Your unique story is also something you can use to remind yourself that there is no one else quite like you in the world. Whip it out and use it as a pep talk whenever you need it.
Part of valuing yourself and building your self-confidence is about celebrating who you are no matter what. So take your successes, pair them with your lessons learned, and add in any extra flavor you’re missing (say, your obsession with sneakers or the color purple) and you’ve got a recipe for continued growth and success.
Until Next Time,
Jacqueline M. Baker