Practice These 3 Confidence-Activating Strategies For Your Career

I’m thinking a lot about confidence these days.


I’ve been working with my clients on feeling more confident in various professional situations, like job searches, performance reviews, and their presentation and leadership skills.

While reflecting on this subject, I’ve come up with something:

The importance of practicing intrinsic confidence.

I say “practicing” rather than “building” to reflect that in each situation, in each conversation in each day of our professional lives, we have a choice to make—decisions that take us closer to confidence, embodying what we want from our lives professionally and personally. Like a muscle, we choose to use this confidence and grow it over time.

The word practicing implies that today you can do it, experience success, and then tomorrow you can choose to do the same. The end result may be a gradual building of success in the competency of having confidence, but the day-to-day experience is that the pressure is off—we are simply practicing, like we would practice yoga or piano.

By intrinsic, I mean emanating from within. Confidence is not something that you can project and sustain; true confidence comes from within you. It is cultivated through a variety of practices and mindsets, and is embodied. It is not something you can fake. It is most powerful and impactful for you and others when it comes from your core.  And that is the place that is immediately and always accessible to you, in the present moment.

What do I mean by confidence?

Confidence, to me, is a feeling of comfort with one’s message, one’s being, and one’s purpose. It is expressed in the way we walk, talk, and interact with other people and with ourselves. It is evident in the way we lead, follow, and commune at work and at home. It shows up in the contribution we can make, and what is possible for us in our lives. And, it is something accessible to anyone, at anytime, when we choose to focus on it and access it within ourselves.

How do we practice – and ultimately build – intrinsic confidence?

Three ways. We do it by getting:

  • Clear: We get clear by focusing the message we want to share, what we seek, and what is important to us.
  • Grounded: We get grounded by developing rituals that allow us to return to the breath.
  • Moving: We get into action by fostering a mindset of being a professional experimenter and taking action before we are ready.

I will be talking more about practicing intrinsic confidence in my Chat with Mer teleseminar this month, on May 15th at 5:00pm PT. Please join me and learn more about confidence!

Photo credit: tambriell via flickr cc

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