How to Overcome a Lack of Confidence

build-confidenceEditor’s note: This is a guest post from Tim Handorf of Best Colleges Online.

Have you ever found yourself facing an unfamiliar situation that seems impossible to resolve?

Have you ever felt as though your previous experiences and current skills haven’t sufficiently prepared you for this newest task?

I ask because I recently faced my toughest challenge yet, and I want to share with you what I did to persevere.
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How Does Your Confidence Affect Your Work?

confidence-beautyI want to thank a reader (Melanie sent me a lovely email) for picking me up, giving me a pat on the butt and making me smile.

My point is this…

Confidence Affects My Work

“In order to recognize our self-image, we can no longer identify with it. In other words, we have to learn how to objectify our own mental processes.”
– Matthew Flickstein, Journey to the Center

When we have confidence in who we are, we feel like we are on top of the world. The problem is these fleeting feelings are all a big chase. I know that I’m advocating solid ideas on Work Happy Now, but sometimes I do give in to self doubt. I worry that I could be giving more value. I worry that people will get bored with the content.

These are natural feelings, but sometimes they are very hard to deal with.
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The Target in the Bull(y)’s Eye

* This is a guest post from a reader who wishes to remain anonymous.

I used to be really happy at work and looked forward to going into my office every day.  Most of the projects I worked on were challenging-in a good way-and engaged my interest and curiosity, I had a great bunch of colleagues, and we were even able to laugh when Murphy’s Law would strike with a vengeance!  Things started to change about six years ago when  a new director was parachuted into the position, despite the fact that it was supposed to have been posted as an open competition:  Therein marked the beginning of the end of the positive, upbeat morale and warm atmosphere that characterized our department.

It became pretty clear, fairly quickly, that this boss’s management style and interpersonal skills were going to be a challenge for all of us at times.  Specifically, we started seeing some “interesting” approaches to anger/stress/frustration management and increasing tendencies to back-bite others in the organization, as well as a reluctance to deal with an occupational health issue on more than one occasion, and periodic bullying of various staff members by our boss. (For the record, I encouraged these individuals to document and report their experiences but they were reluctant to do so, for whatever reasons.)
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How to Build Confidence at Work

What you do and how you do your work matters. If it didn’t, you wouldn’t care whether your job was done well. Since you care (most of you do), you probably try so hard sometimes that it can wreck your confidence if things don’t go the way you plan them. It’s up to each individual person to understand their strengths and not need to rely on other people to feel confident.

I still have moments of weakness, like most of you, but I always come back stronger. Every negative comment, weird look from a co-worker, or bad feeling can bring me down if I dwell on them. I just have to learn to separate people’s comments and actions from how I view myself.

Everyone has their own agenda, so one person’s comments might seem positive, but in reality they are negative. And vice versa. One of the best ways to build our own confidence is by helping other people become stronger and focusing on improving ourselves every single day.

No one is perfect, far from it, but we do have to enjoy the process. I enjoyed all 21 takes to get the right message across.


One of the best business blogs on the planet is Guy Kawasaki – How to change the world. He breaks the business world down so you can make the world a better place


If you liked this video post there are plenty more to come, so join up in my RSS feed via a Reader or Email.


Give these a try:

You Are Awesome

(If you have trouble viewing this video click here and watch it at Work Happy Now)

You have every right to be awesome. No scratch that, you are awesome. You just need to give that part of yourself a big hug and let it all out for the world to see and learn to love.


I met so many cool people at SXSW.

Havi of the Fluent Self – Such a quiet cool that just makes the people around her relaxed.

Naomi of IttyBiz – A rambunctious cool that just makes people want to agree with everything she said.

Gretchen Rubin of The Happiness Project – A curious cool who wasn’t afraid to learn from me, even though her audience is huge compared to mine.

Chris Brogan – A humble funny cool that makes everyone hang on his words.

Pam Slim of Escape from Cubicle Nation– A confident cool that lets you know she isn’t afraid.

Jonathon Fields of Career Renegade – A calm cool that made me feel like I could launch my career into something really exciting.

Guy Kawasaki – A smart cool that had the pulse on the people around him.

Tony Hsieh – A zen cool that made me feel awed by his presence.

Gary Vaynerchuk – An infectious cool that makes you want to kick the competition’s ass.

If you enjoyed this post then you’ll like these videos too:

How to Be a Man at Work

Working Men

Being a man in today’s workplace isn’t easy. There are always more unwritten and official rules that we must follow. What was okay a year ago might have changed, but I believe the core principals of being a man in the workplace haven’t changed.


The core principals of being a man at work are timeless. I’m not talking about honor and draping your coat across copy toner that spilled on the floor. I’m talking about values that every man should possess in the workplace.


Here are the 12 ways to live consciously as a man at work:


1. Thinks Outside the Box


A man is able to think outside of the normal range of choices to find the best solution. He doesn’t keep going back to the same idea well, using old resources to solve a new issue. He dedicates himself to constantly create and has a willingness to listen to other people’s ideas no matter what level they are within the company.


2. Not Afraid to Make a Mistake


A man who isn’t afraid to make a mistake will be more willing to take a risk and win big. To be a great co-worker or boss a man can’t just do what is expected; he needs to try things beyond his comfort level and fail. Then use those failures as a way to make himself and the company better.


3. Gives Others Credit


He won’t take credit for other people’s work. If he would he knows that it will come around to bite him in the butt (Karma). He makes sure that no matter how good the idea is, he informs the powers that be that he supported the idea, but didn’t come up with it on his own.


4. Regulates His Emotions


A man understands that emotions are a part of working life, but he never ever lets them dictate his choices. He knows how to control his emotions so he doesn’t blow up at a colleague or staff member. All emotions pass and there is no reason to take out frustrations on someone that deserves to be treated with compassion.


5. Trusts Others


A man knows he can’t do it all alone. Whether he runs a one man business or is a CEO of 5,000 employees, when he needs help he asks for it. He trusts that the person he asks will do a good job. If a person or company fails him, he lets them know and if it happens more than twice he lets the employee go if necessary or takes his business else where.


6. Confident


A man trusts his own choices. He uses logic to ascertain the situation then trusts his instincts to come out on top. If he fails, he acknowledges it and moves on to the next pressing thing on his list.


7. Believes What He Says


He makes statements he believes in. He won’t make up information to cover his butt and he sure won’t say that he believes in an idea when he doesn’t. He isn’t afraid to put himself on the line for a good idea, but refuses to go along with a bad idea because the rest of the group wants him to.


8. Looks People in the Eyes


A man always looks people in the eyes because of rule # 6. He is confident in who he is and isn’t afraid to show it.


9. Respects His Superiors but Never Kisses Butt


A man respects his boss’s choices, but never kisses his/her butt to get ahead. If the boss has a bad idea he may voice his opinion, but doesn’t pout as he continues to work on the project that he doesn’t believe in. He knows that he isn’t perfect and neither is his boss, so the boss must be given leeway to make mistakes too.


10. Makes Quick Decisions with the Information He Has


A man gathers the best information that is at his disposal and makes the best choice he can with the information that he has and never looks back. His choices are only as good as the information that he has, so if he makes a mistake he doesn’t beat himself up because he tried his best to make a good choice.


11. Listens to Co-workers Opinions


A man listens to his co-workers before he makes a decision. He believes that there should be input from all levels before a project goes into effect. The collective mind is smarter than any single individual. But if they don’t like what he says then he must weigh out their opinions. If he still believes in his idea then he must go with it; hopefully everyone else will understand his choice.


12. Increases His Wisdom


Every great man improves at work by researching better ways to do his job, whether it be through classes, mentors, conferences, or reading a book. He does it to constantly improve himself and become more valuable to the people who depend on him.



Steve Pavlina wrote an article “How to Be a Man,” which inspired this article. He also threw a gauntlet down on writing a post about “How to Be Woman,” so I took the challenge. You can read my article “How to Be a Woman at Work” right here and don’t forget to check out the comments where I got beat up by some of my readers and defended by others. It was a cool discussion.


With that being said, all of the traits could also apply to women. That’s the beauty of this day an age. The barriers and mental boxes aren’t as strict. We are growing as a working culture. We still have a long way to go, but I love the direction we are heading.


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Image courtesy of jpeepz