I hope this letter finds you well! But what I really hope is that this letter leaves you feeling a bit more self-assured by the end of it. I’ve been keeping my eye on you. I know that sometimes you struggle with making yourself heard or believing in your ideas and your abilities. I want you to know two important things: 1) It’s completely normal and okay to feel this way, and 2) Things can get better. I have some tricks for being confident in the office, and maybe they’ll be able to help you as well.
Make a Self-Assessment
Sometimes what you’re feeling has an obvious root cause; you stub your toe and you feel pain, or you drop an ice cream cone on the ground and you feel disappointed. However, feelings of low confidence and poor self-worth go way deeper than that. According to Psychology Today, a lack of confidence usually comes from a negative self-image. I hope you don’t have problems feeling good about yourself because you are wonderful! If you’re struggling to work through your uncertainty, it helps to break down what might really be causing it. I like to try journaling or even recording myself talking through memories of childhood, high school, and college to see if you can pinpoint where the feelings first began. If you’re interested in professional mental health assistance, a recent study by ValueOptions showed employees who one session with a mental health professional had lesser absenteeism and a noticeable improvement in performance.
Try Something New
It’s understandable to feel unsure about taking new steps into the unknown. You know, the feeling when you’re looking for something new to watch on Netflix, and you wind up watching “The Office” for the hundredth time? Our behavior is a lot like that. A study performed by Wendy Wood at USC found that 47% of all human behavior is habitual, meaning that nearly half of every choice we make is to do the same thing over and over. This can happen at the office anytime – I do it, the boss does it, and I know I’ve seen you do it, too.
The other day, we joked about how you were having the same sandwich from the deli downstairs that you eat almost every day. I know we had a laugh, but I could tell the joke was hitting a little close to home. It’s easy to assume the same role in group projects or to let others speak at the weekly staff meeting. But what might be even more useful would be to hold your breath and try jumping into something new. Offer to lead a project, or to organize an event. Offer to mentor new employees or do outreach with our internship program. You could even look into learning new skills like coding or visual design so you can add new roles to your job. It might be a little scary, but I know you’ll do great!
Ask for Direct Feedback
Confidence might be an internal feeling, but it can come from external sources. A lack of confidence is, at its root, just a lack of self-worth, and sometimes telling yourself you’re doing great isn’t enough to overcome that uncertainty. Believe me, I’ve been there, and it can be extremely helpful and reassuring to get an objective perspective on your work or behavior. Now, I know it’s scary to sit down with the boss and ask for their honest input on your performance. A study published on Officevibe found that 78 percent of employees said being recognized for their work motivates them to work and feel better. I would bet dollars to donuts that they’ll let you know how great a job you’re doing. Sure, they might let you know about something you could improve on, but this means you’ll know where work is needed and how you can excel even further.
You know I care about you, and that I just want you to be happy. Confidence is something that everyone struggles with, so don’t worry about being out of place. But if you try these three tips, I promise you’ll see change and start to feel better. Don’t forget, if you ever have any questions or just need a pat on the back, you can always reach out to me or any of your brothers Believe in yourself! I know I do.
Alpha Kappa Psi