How to be confident

Confidence: a feeling of self-assurance arising from an appreciation of one’s own abilities or qualities.

How confident are you?

Do you feel that a lack of confidence could be preventing you applying for jobs, attending interviews or finding employment?

In the latest careers article from Go Zambia Jobs we explore how a better appreciation of our own abilities and qualities, combined with a better understanding of our own thoughts and emotions, can lead to an increase in confidence.

Appreciate what you are good at

People with low levels of confidence and self-assurance often undervalue their abilities and qualities.  They often focus on what they are not able to do (or think that they are not able to do) rather than the abilities and qualities that they do have. For many this is because a particular ability or quality has always come naturally or because you do not find it difficult.  As a result you conclude that this ability or quality is nothing special.  For example, you may be an extremely caring person who is always happy to help others.  As this quality comes naturally to you it may be that you fail to put a value on this quality.  Instead, in your efforts to achieve something you view as impressive, or to gain a feeling of accomplishment, you think only of the abilities and qualities that you do not have (or think that you do not have). To be confident and self-assured it is important to appreciate and to value your abilities and qualities.

Understand your thoughts and emotions

All of the time our brains are turning over thoughts and emotions. Just as we are not always conscious of the way we breathe, we are not always conscious of the thoughts and emotions that we have.

Those looking to find employment can have unhelpful thoughts and emotions that they are not aware of and that can damage their confidence levels. These unhelpful thoughts include:

  1. Overestimating the chance of negative things happening e.g. “I will make no sense during the job interview”.
  2. Overestimating the cost of negative events e.g. “If I do not have a perfect interview I will not get the job “.

Identifying unhelpful thoughts and understanding the root causes of these thoughts can help you to increase levels of confidence and self-assurance.  In the case of the above scenario we would ask ourself:

  • Why do I feel that I will make no sense during the interview?
  • Does not having a perfect interview mean I will not get the job?
  • Will not having a great interview mean that I will be successful in the future?

We can then examine the root causes of our concerns and take steps to address these concerns.  For example, by preparing and practicing for interviews in advance (and rehearsing answers aloud) you will become more confident about your interview ability. Similarly, if you find think that you lack confidence as you fear you lack a particular skill ,you can produce a plan to develop this skill and improve your confidence in this area.

Further Information

To find more careers articles visit: Careers Advice

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