helenmckillen how can I build my confidence at work



How can I build my confidence at work was not something I thought much about. I thought that I was Ok in that department  –  that is, until things went beyond my control.  The nice secure working environment that I once enjoyed, began to change, and unfortunately it wasn’t for the better. I found myself putting in many sleepless nights and dreading going into work each day. This took its toll on my confidence and self-esteem. I felt very vulnerable.

What I couldn’t see was that I was not the problem.  Unrealistic expectations and standards were being imposed on all staff, with the threat, that if we didn’t like it, we could go elsewhere. Being bullied impacts anyone’s confidence.

Thankfully, at that time I was also attending Al-Anon meetings to help me cope with my sisters drinking problem. I was reminded at those meetings that I could apply  what I was learning into all my  affairs. So ,I took their suggestion and applied the simple acronym H.O.W to my work situation, and it made a huge difference to how I was feeling.

I share it with you, in the hope that it might inspire you to realise that lack of confidence and stress related symptoms will happen to most people.  You are not alone. Begin to boost your  confidence by  continually reminding yourself of what you can do, instead of what you can’t. Unfortunately, our mind is inclined to have a negativity bias, so this simple exercise can help to balance this.

The acronym is aimed at helping you to be HONEST – OPEN – and – WILLING.

Start by taking stock of where you are right now.

Be HONEST with yourself

You can’t change what you don’t know. Usually what lies beneath lack of confidence and stress can be some form of fear.  This is a normal human emotion and is nothing to be ashamed of. Fear is usually triggered when we experience any threat to our identity or sense of security. If you feel your confidence is being affected at present, there may well be some underlying belief that is triggering your thoughts of self-doubt. Ask yourself the simple question:

       What am I afraid of?

Be honest with yourself. Being afraid is not a sign of weakness or something to be ashamed about. Are you fearful of criticism, failure, or rejection? Or is it fear of disappointment, of being hurt, or excluded. When you can identify these unconscious fears you bring them into the light. Many of our fears are irrational, until we start to question and challenge them. Doing this can help you to minimise the impact the fear may be having on your confidence and stress levels.  Naming your fear is the first step to taming that fear.


You may also be experiencing a cascade of fearful thoughts running through your mind. While this is unpleasant, it is completely natural . Your mind will come up with all the “worst case scenarios” it can think of. Thinking about what might happen in the future. Or what might happen in the past. This is what is contributing to your feelings of stress and lack of of confidence. It looks like it’s the situation that is causing the feelings. But actually, its your thinking about the situation that’s causing most of the harm.

When your mind gets caught up in negative overthinking it becomes closed to possibility and positivity. That’s why it is important to notice when this happens.

This can be done by reminding yourself of some simple facts. “Its not happening now” or “Don’t trouble trouble until trouble troubles me”. This can help you to gain perspective and boost your confidence because you are choosing how to respond.

Practising mindfulness can also be a very helpful tool to alleviate this overthinking habit. Remind yourself, these are just thoughts, not facts.


When you are willing to take a step back from your situation it can help you to get some clarity . Unfortunately, there will always be people, places and things that you cannot change in the moment. However, you do have a choice on how to respond.

Having confidence is not always about being on top form, or  performing well, Its also about being willing to admit when you need help or support, when you feel vulnerable,  or when you don’t understand something or feel out of your depth.

Confidence is not something that you will always feel, but that doesn’t mean you can’t change, improve or create things in your life.

I believe confidence is a state of mind. Its allowing all our feelings and emotions to be present but we don’t let them dictate the outcome. That’s up to us.

You might also be interested in this post.https://helenmckillen.com/facing-your-fears/

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