I have a running joke with one of my friends about how my life is always incredibly easy. We tease around about how everything I do tends to work out, and I often have a way of getting exactly what I want out of situations, especially when it comes to school and work. (My personal life might be where I’m lacking a bit of grace and ease, heh.)
However, as much as it is fun to joke, the truth of the matter is that I’ve worked really hard for a lot of my life to carefully orchestrate everything in a way that works out. I have been setting big goals for myself since childhood, and it is important for me to either reach them, or revise them and turn them into goals that I will eventually reach and accomplish. Things don’t always come easily to me, academically or otherwise, but my motivation to work towards what I want is one of the qualities that I’m most proud of.
However, when things start to pile on and the pressure snowballs, it is really easy to lose sight of accomplishments. Example: I currently feel like I’m under a storm cloud of stress, responsibilities, broken computers, smashed cars, possible hurricanes (??? wtf weather) and other stuff that has truly thrown a dozen wrenches into my otherwise-meticulously-organized life plan. My mind has been in so many places over the past few days that I feel insanely guilty that not one of those places has had my full and undivided attention. The funny thing about this guilt is that it totally fuels this sad, self-fulfilling prophecy. When I feel less confident in my work, I don’t perform as well, and then feel even less confident in my work. Speaking both academically and professionally, when I’m feeling insecure about my intelligence or performance, I follow suit and start to screw up a hell of a lot more than I probably ever was originally.
But during this past (amazing, truly blessed, thank you sweet lord) long weekend, I realized I needed to seriously reset and try to power-up my confidence before jumping back into another hectic work and school week. Here are a few tips I always pull out when I’m feeling down, that are simple enough to do with just a liiiittle extra effort, and always help me feel like a stronger, more capable, and more confident worker.
1. Remind myself that I was hired.
It is really easy to forget this sometimes, but when you have a job, it is because you were actively selected to do the job. Other people most certainly applied, and were maybe just as qualified (or more qualified!) than you. But for some reason, you were chosen. You were wanted. Your work holds a lot of value for that reason alone. And that should also act as your motivation to keep doing well and working hard so you can continue being that person who was chosen out of the huge pool of qualified applicants.
2. Allow myself to humblebrag just a little, guilt-free.
In my communication program at school, we’re often asked to talk about ourselves in a way most of my peers and I don’t feel entirely used to or comfortable with. But starting my classes this semester and approaching every “icebreaker” activity by allowing myself to actually say good things about my life and my career goals has made me feel much more comfortable, and as a result, much more confident. It is really easy to get bashful when someone starts pointing out your accomplishments, but I’ve recently learned that it actually isn’t shitty to look someone in the eye when they ask what you’ve been up to and tell them about the work you’ve done that you’re really freaking proud of, or the goal you’re excitedly working toward.
3. Keep learning new things.
Even if you’ve basically made it where you wanted to in your career for the time being, it is always a good idea to keep trying to learn new skills or work on new projects. Consistently setting new goals and diligently accomplishing them makes you feel on top of the world, and reminds you of how much you can actually do just because you decided you wanted to, and worked hard to.
4. Constantly work to amp up my communication skills.
As a Communication student, I can completely attest to the fact that communication is arguably the most important aspect of almost any job. You’d be surprised at just how much you can accomplish by simply talking to the right people, saying the right things, and presenting yourself in the right way. A good way to start with this would be examining your work language, and seeing where you can cut out weak language and swap it with strong, decisive language that makes you look like you’re ~the shit~ even when you’re feeling totally unsure about what you’re saying.
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