What does having ‘confidence at work’ actually mean?

Confidence means something different to everyone but ultimately it could be explained as the feeling of being totally comfortable interacting with people, on every level. At work, at home, in public and in private with our own decisions.

It is also about how we feel about ourselves. When we look at ourselves in the mirror in the morning and how we mentally prepare for the day. Or when the day doesn’t go quite so well, do we beat ourselves up about it, or do we feel confident it was just a one off and tomorrow will be better?

There is actually a lot of psychology around how our day goes. There is something called Confirmation Bias, where our brains constantly search for proof that our beliefs are correct. So say we believe we will have a bad day and our confidence is low, our brains will constantly search for proof this is true. For instance, if someone blanks us in the street, or a customer is rude to us we will tell ourselves that’s because we’ve having a bad day and then believe our day will just get worse - and it will, as long as our brains are searching for the evidence this is true!

On the other hand if we were having a good day, we may just brush off the exact same situation and it wouldn’t be seen as a such a big deal.

If we can learn to recognise this ‘confirmation bias’ we can sometimes flip our emotions to coping with the bad situations with less emotional investment and move on quicker to a better day.

So, in general, when we’re feeling good, we’re feeling confident.

How can we develop more confidence at work?

There are really 3 elements to confidence when it comes to our jobs and/or businesses.

1) Planning

If we develop a great plan for ourselves with our work. And we know what we want, then we will have the confidence in ourselves to make the right decisions for us and for our business.

Example - My daughter said something to me which got me thinking, she said: “Why, when we go round and round and round do our heads get dizzy?” I told her “ Well, when we spin round and round our brains get used to going round, then when we stop they want to keep going round and round and they have to get used to standing still again”

This is the same in life, if our brains are used to something, like doubting ourselves, struggling with our emotions or living without a purpose or mission, it just craves more of the same.

Is this what we want? NO, that’s why we need to sit and develop our plan, our mission, our purpose. It’s only by knowing what we want that our brains will help us develop a way to get there.

2) Balance

We need to realise there are 4 core survival needs that every human needs to live a fulfilled life and when you’re emotions and needs are balanced, you are naturally more confident.

This is because you are not searching for reassurance and trying to get your emotional needs from external sources, like people or physcial things like buying that latest handbag!

Think about what you do in your life which gets you your 4 survival needs.


(Importance / Purpose) - This is usually someone's job or the meaning of their life. This would generally be what they do for the majority of their day, every day.


(Family / Sharing / Bonding) - This is someone's connection to their family, friends - even pets etc - and which gives support, love and a sense of belonging to that person.


(Security) - This is a persons routine, providing security in their surroundings, job, home and personal life.


(Diversity) - This is generally a hobby or activity which provides a bit of excitement and variety in their life. For example, pushing them to their limit and/or providing opportunities for self-development.

You need to consider if your needs are balanced? Once they are balanced, you will naturally have more self confidence in everything you do.

3) A robust support structure

To maintain confidence at work you need a support structure.

  • Who do you speak to when you’ve had a hard day?
  • Who picks you up when you’re feeling down?

Notice who these people are and make sure you meet with them or schedule time with them to download your day/week and develop your plan for the next phase of your business.

By verbalising how you’re feeling and what you want from your job or business, your brain processes it in a different way and you can more easily develop a clearer picture of your challenges and how to overcome them.

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Jenni Donato

Jenni is an Award-Winning Mindset Coach & Business Strategist, host of the 'Mindset & Method' Podcast and founder of Altitude - a 6-month immersive coaching experience with 30 business growth experts.