How To Build Up Your Confidence At Work

Confidence is helpful in life, as there are many mental health benefits of having high self-esteem. When on a first date, in school, or working out at the gym, a confident mindset will help you thrive and succeed, while insecurities will only hold you back. Confidence will significantly help you at work, too. Whether you work as a business person, a chef, a teacher, a model, a dancer, a lawyer, or any other profession, confidence will likely improve your work experience.


Some benefits of being confident at work include having the courage to get out of your comfort zone in ways that can help you advance your career, such as presenting thoughts and suggestions (via Indeed). For instance, you might have an excellent idea that could lead to a promotion, a raise, or a better work environment. But if you're too nervous to tell your boss, you'll never experience those possible positive results. Luckily, there are many ways to improve your confidence at work.

Wear what makes you feel confident

If you don't feel good about how you look before you leave your home to go to work or log into a Zoom meeting from your laptop, you're automatically starting off on a negative note. Not feeling good about your appearance can lead to low self-esteem, which can hold you back from feeling confident around or in front of others. Of course, you should follow any rules your workplace has regarding what to wear. But within those rules, wear outfits and makeup that make you feel confident, per Business News Daily. For instance, if a chic blazer and clear lipgloss make you feel confident and beautiful, flaunt the blazer and lipgloss to look and feel good.


One famous example of a movie character whose attitude transformed along with her looks is Andy from "The Devil Wears Prada." In the fashion-focused film, Andy became significantly more confident and successful at work after she found confidence in her appearance (via YouTube). "The Devil Wears Prada" is an extreme example of this concept, and shouldn't be taken seriously or mistaken for real life. However, what you wear can still affect how others perceive you — and how you feel about yourself at work. It can pay to put some thought into your workplace ensembles.

Be friendly to your co-workers

An overly quiet, standoffish environment can make anyone feel awkward, preventing people from feeling confident in themselves and their work. To avoid these distant, too-dull atmospheres, it's a good idea to have a warm, kind presence at work — even if you're naturally shy. Friendliness can lead to confidence: not just for you, but for your co-workers, too. People tend to be more confident around their friends, so it can only help your confidence to make friends at your workplace. According to Monster, a couple of tips to help you make work friends include starting by making casual conversations with co-workers about fun topics. These might include favorite pastimes, movies, or celebrities. You could consider baking cookies or providing other snacks for everyone.


Believe it or not, you can still make work friends if you work remotely, too. If there's a group chat for the team, be active in the group chat to stay included and feel like you're part of something, which can make you feel more confident. Plus, depending on where your co-workers live, consider suggesting an in-person meet-up for coffee, lunch, a drink, or even a team-building activity like an escape room. Moreover, it can be more personal and friendly to talk to people via video chatting or conversing on the phone instead of communicating entirely through emails, per FlexJobs.

Don't compare yourself to others

Comparing yourself to others is a toxic, unhealthy habit that will make you feel less confident — not only at work, but in any setting. Comparing yourself to your co-workers or supervisors can lead to feeling insecure and a competitive attitude that will negatively affect your work experience. Some ways to prevent comparing yourself to other people include remembering that you don't know everything that's happening in someone's life, reminding yourself that someone wealthier than you isn't automatically happier than you, and being thankful for everything you have (via Psychology Today).


So, maybe it's your instinct to feel jealous when that one co-worker constantly talks about their vacations in Hawaii. Or, you might feel upset whenever you see that supervisor whose desk is covered in adorable framed photos with a spouse when you haven't even been on a date in a year. Or, perhaps you resented your assistant who always looks runway ready without wearing any noticeable makeup. At the end of the day, you don't know what these people could be going through outside of work. Besides, continuing to compare yourself to them will only lower your confidence, so try to stop. After all, envy green isn't flattering on anyone.

Eat healthy meals and snacks

Most people who work full-time — and even part-time — eat lunch, or at least some snacks, at work. But the foods you consume during your work day could affect you more than you'd initially think. We know how tempting it can be to grab a tasty, convenient fast food option for lunch or snack on some chips or cookies while you're typing. Once in a while, allowing yourself to indulge in those yummy yet unhealthy foods isn't too bad. However, making a habit of it will lead to unpleasant effects. According to Southgate Medical, some consequences of eating too much unhealthy food include headaches, pimples, higher chances of depression, and bloating. These results can worsen your mood and lower your confidence at work.


On the other hand, eating healthy lunches and snacks will give you the energy you need to stay productive and confident while you work. Some healthy snacks to consume to feel energetic and stay efficient include berries, almonds, walnuts, and bananas, per Inc. Moreover, eggs are also excellent for productivity, so consider starting your morning with some scrambled eggs or even eating an omelet for lunch if you feel unmotivated. Eating these nutritious foods will help you feel good at work. Junk food, on the other hand, can taste good as you're eating it — but likely won't feel so good later.

Try to have a visually pleasing work area

How can you expect to feel happy and confident while you work if you don't even like your workspace? We know you can't typically control the building you work in, what your co-workers do with their desks, or how your roommates keep their rooms, but most people can at least decide how they keep their specific work area. One way to feel good in your workspace is to prevent it from getting too cluttered. Having a messy work area with too much clutter can lead to less productive workdays and increased frustration (via Ultimate Home Life). So, it pays off to have a neat and clean workspace.


Once you have a tidy, clean space, you should add some decorations that will make you happy without distracting you. For instance, if you work at a desk, putting up some pictures of your family and friends can boost your mood. After a stressful moment, looking at those pictures of your loved ones can make you smile, helping you feel more confident. Or, if you're a teacher, consider putting up some colorful decorations on the walls and in the classroom to create a welcoming and cheerful atmosphere. Meanwhile, if you're a musician or artist, consider hanging up pictures of or work by your role models to keep you feeling inspired and motivated.

Remember that work isn't everything

Of course, work is important. It's how you make money, can be how you make a name for yourself, and is often where you spend most of your week. So, yes, we all know that work is a prominent aspect of life. But work isn't the only important aspect of life. Family, relationships, friendships, homes, mental and physical health, and hobbies are significant aspects of our lives. Thus, next time you feel like you lack confidence, remind yourself that work isn't everything. For example, maybe next time you feel stressed about an upcoming presentation at work, think to yourself, "I hope this presentation goes well. But whether or not it gets good feedback, my family and friends will still love me."


Unwinding and thinking about other topics when your work day is over can help you feel good, too. Some ways to unwind include reading, working out, calming baths, and meditation, per Indeed. Participating in these soothing activities can help get any negative, insecure thoughts out of your head, helping you start your next work day fresh with a lot of confident energy.