How to be confident at work? The best advice from a professional coach



“I don’t know why, but I’ve never had any confidence in myself. And it’s getting worse…”. “I could do so much if I had confidence in myself! Instead, I overthink and don’t take enough action”. “I’m uncomfortable at work, I always feel like I’m not up to the task”.


Have any of these thoughts crossed your mind? In any case, these are things I hear very frequently as a personal and professional coach! If the lack of self-confidence goes unnoticed, it can translate into a long vicious circle where self-sabotage becomes a bad habit. In this article, I will discuss what self-confidence is, as well as its causes and consequences. I will also tell you more about the keys to self-confidence and self-esteem.




Self-confidence is the ability to take action, to feel legitimate to act, to think, to choose, in certain situations of life. It allows us to affirm with strength and realism that we have the necessary resources to face certain situations.


One might think that self-confidence comes from a “general” state of mind, but in reality, it is always specific, linked to an area of life. One can be confident in a sport but not as a professional, for example. So, lacking self-confidence means not feeling capable of doing something in a given situation, and focusing on what you can’t do, rather than on what you are able to accomplish.




The lack of self-confidence is often rooted in one’s childhood. Parents, family and any person who supervises or interacts with a child (teacher, sports instructor, etc.) plays a great role in the development of self-confidence. There are five main sources of lack of self-confidence: lack of love, lack of experimentation, excess or lack of positive reinforcement, labels and/or constraining messages.


For an adult as well as for a teenager, the lack of self-confidence can have serious consequences and maintain “vicious circles”. In the professional world, this kind of vicious circle has a well-known name: impostor syndrome. This can lead to negative effects such as jealousy, sensitivity to criticism, lack of initiative, fear of doing the wrong thing and inability to make choices.


This can also lead to a lack of ambition and motivation: a person who lacks self-confidence underestimates his or her abilities and thinks that any new action is too daring for him or her by self-deprecation. This person can also feel constant uncertainty about his chances of success as well as negative feelings (resentment, remorse, regret, guilt, uncertainty, doubt, sadness, demotivation, trouble, spite, etc.).




Although childhood can explain lack of self-confidence, what matters the most is what one does with it as an adult. Good news is self-confidence can be improved no matter one’s age.


1. Experimentation and perseverance: the number one step to regaining confidence


First of all, to regain confidence in yourself, you have to experiment. If you don’t experiment out of fear, you will never gain confidence in this area. It is therefore necessary to get actively involved despite the difficulties in order to “gain experience”. Experimenting with a situation allows you to measure its pros and cons. For example, for a person who has never spoken in a meeting, if he or she has the courage to do so once, he or she will experience the stress, the questions, the attitude to keep, etc. and will therefore be better-prepared for the next time.


2. Analysis: the key to personal and professional development


Feedback is essential to building self-confidence. People who simply draw a negative conclusion from a failure will not develop their self-confidence. When you have a bad experience, you tend to lump it in with a negative, when in fact it is a learning experience. What was positive about it? What can be improved? It is by making a precise evaluation of your failures that you can understand their causes and thus learn from them. Once you understand your mistakes, you can correct them.


3. Courage at work: stronger than failure


Also, it is advisable to vary the experiences. When you always repeat the same gestures, the same things, you don’t improve your ability to adapt. It is therefore essential to get out of your comfort zone and dare to take risks.


4. Questioning: essential in the workplace


Each morning, I invite you to ask yourself: what new thing could I try to do today? And each evening, give yourself feedback on what you have accomplished. What did I accomplish today? What can I do better?


So, are you ready to become new you professionally-speaking? I hope you are, because the good news is that self-confidence issues can be corrected, regardless of your age or situation. Self-confidence can be conditioned, it’s up to you!


Need to know more about tips to be more confident at work ? Click here to contact Edwige on My Job Glasses.