6 Daily Work Habits to Make You Feel More Confident
Are you one of those people who stay in their cubicle at work all day? Would you rather be surrounded by plants than people? Do those introductory meet-and-greets where you have to say a few things about yourself to a large group make you blush and cringe with embarrassment?
It’s one thing to like being alone, but maybe you wish you could change how you feel and how you interact with others at work. If you want to get to know others better but are afraid or unsure how, here are six ideas to help you improve your workplace interaction skills.
1. Get Adequate Sleep
Starting your day tired and crabby is not going to help you make positive social changes at work. When you don’t get enough sleep you lack focus, suffer mood swings and aren’t going to want to interact with others. This doesn’t make you feel like approaching anyone.
2. Exercise Regularly
Exercise is good for your physical health, but it also helps your mental health. Exercise is a good way to get rid of stress and will give you more energy. Also, when you exercise, your brain releases endorphins, a group of hormones that make you feel good physically and happy mentally.
Accomplishing your exercise goals gives you more confidence. A happy, confident, energetic coworker is going to have more success interacting with others.
3. Develop a Ritual
Mentally prepare yourself for your work day by listening to inspirational music, motivational speeches or prayer. Some people like heavy rock music to calm themselves, classical music or chanting monks. Try new things and pick whatever calms your mind and boosts your confidence.
Listen to this on your drive into work if that will make it more peaceful. Look up what your favorite athlete listens to before a game. See if that works for you.
4. Project Confidence
Your mom probably had a lot of sayings in place to boost your confidence, but the one that comes to mind is about the person who wins is the one who thinks he or she can win. You don’t have to actually be confident to look confident. Simply looking the part can increase your confidence.
It doesn’t take a lot of work to boost your self-esteem. Improve your self-confidence in only five minutes a day. Those five minutes will have lasting effects on your overall self-esteem and your ability to effectively communicate and interact with others. Here are other ways to look the part:
- Stand up and Sit up Straight
This is good for your posture and makes you appear more confident. Be aware of slouching and hunching. If you do it, fix it.
- Maintain Personal Hygiene
Don’t go to work unshaven or wearing a baseball hat because you didn’t wash your hair. Take time to make yourself appear your best, whatever that is to you. Wake up earlier if you like makeup or a specific hairstyle. Use a perfume or cologne that makes you feel good about yourself. Just don’t use too much.
- Dress for Success
Wear clean, ironed work-appropriate clothing. Dress up a bit more than your co-workers if it makes you feel more confident, and it doesn’t make you self-conscious. Dressing well will make you work better and will make you more confident. Your appearance will project competence as well as confidence.
5. Practice Social Skills
Smile when greeting others. Shake hands firmly. Maintain eye contact in conversation. Learn work social clues to avoid making common mistakes. You want to know what types of behavior will make you unwanted or unwelcome. In conversation, avoid taboo subjects such as politics, health worries, and religion.
Identify a coworker or two and make it a point to briefly interact with those people. Plan in advance what you will say, such as offering a compliment or sharing a common interest. You don’t have to talk to everyone, but always smile and say hello to everyone you encounter.
A smile will suffice for repeated interaction. Small talk is uncomfortable for many people, but it can often lead to a stronger bond with a coworker or even a lasting friendship.
6. Keep a Journal
Write down goals for yourself. Devise a way to put them into practice. Challenge your comfort zones and soon they will widen. Write down what worked and what didn’t. Relish in your successes and don’t dwell on failures. Writing things down will help you focus on areas of improvement and will make you look forward to the next opportunity to interact with others.
Change isn’t going to happen overnight, but it can start now. Be yourself, but be a better self by challenging your comfort zones and reaching for new goals. Enjoy how good it feels to succeed and how much happier work can be when you are comfortable interacting with your co-workers. Get out of your cubicle and show someone your smile.
Kayla Matthews is a self-improvement writer contributing to publications like The Daily Muse, MakeUseOf, Lifehack and The Huffington Post. To read more professional development posts from Kayla, check out her blog, Productivity Theory.
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