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Blog: How To Fix Your Confidence At The Workplace

According to clinical psychologist Vandita Dubey, "Belief patterns are strongly and deeply held thoughts or beliefs about ourselves, about other people, relationships, and the world at large. These may be negative or positive."

Blog: How To Fix Your Confidence At The Workplace

When 22-year-old Rana from Meerut, Uttar Pradesh, first joined a media company in New Delhi, he was intimidated by colleagues who appeared more confident. Despite his work being at par with his co-workers, he constantly doubted himself. You are not good enough, his Inner Voice said.

Rana noticed that the confidence of some of his co-workers exceeded their abilities.

"After weeks of observing my colleagues, I realised it wasn't their efficiency, but their inner confidence that made them stand out. Maybe it had to do with the fact that they were from well-to-do, educated families. I was the first to go to college in mine and I was embarrassed instead of being proud of it." Rana admitted.

"You don't stand a chance," Rana was told by elders in the family when he left Meerut. He knew he had a decision to make. He could let his upbringing either hold him back or spur him and transform his own limiting beliefs and thought patterns.

According to clinical psychologist Vandita Dubey, "Belief patterns are strongly and deeply held thoughts or beliefs about ourselves, about other people, relationships, and the world at large. These may be negative or positive."

We aren't consciously aware of our beliefs or thinking patterns. According to the 18th-century German Philosopher Friedrich Schelling, our 'unconscious mind' is where our early life experiences are stored but all of it lies beneath the surface of conscious awareness.

These belief patterns are formed in childhood, based on our temperament, personality, experiences of growing up in our families of origin, school, and interactions with significant adults. This forms a blueprint of what we believe to be true, how we think and respond to people and incidents.

The answer to many of our complexes, impulsivity, attitude, triggers, confidence (or lack of it) or even our deeply held fears, lies in unlocking what's stored in our unconscious mind.

Our belief and thought patterns, according to Dr Dubey, are intrinsically linked to our inner voice.

"Positive and negative beliefs are about whether you think you are worthy or not, whether you are capable of being loved or aren't, whether you're capable of loving others or not, is the world a scary place or is it largely a safe place? Do you feel entitled that everything should work your way all the time, are you 'other-oriented', or are you self-oriented? The next time you catch an inner chatter, which is negative and tells you that you can't do this or that, is exactly the belief pattern that we are talking about," the doctor tells me.

We reaffirm these beliefs daily and even self-fulfill them subconsciously. So, how can we break out of some of these negative patterns?

1. Become aware of your inner chatter. Keep track of it in a journal or as notes on your phone till you see a pattern. Identify whether this inner voice is negative or positive. If negative, whose voice does it remind you of? A critical adult? The realisation that it was their perspective and not a reflection of who you are now, is the biggest gift you can give yourself.

2. Reality vs Perception. Your perception of events and incidents in the past (which may or may not have been true to reality) could have led to certain limiting beliefs. Is it time to change your interpretation?

3. Knowledge adds confidence. Work towards becoming more aware of the world and your environment. Read as much as you can, whenever you can. Words add to your vocabulary.

4. Mastering a skill adds confidence. Try and master skills that are of interest to you, not just those needed at the workplace. Your interest makes you unique.

5. Writing adds confidence. It also helps you articulate better. We can master the skill of articulation faster than we know.

6. Understand that you are unique (just like everyone else) and have a rare skill to offer to the world. Embracing your uniqueness is empowering.

7. Physical Exercise. You may dismiss the connection, but your inner confidence is more physiological than you realise! Your hormones, and neurotransmitters in the brain, need to be involved in this transition otherwise mere positive reaffirmations simply won't work!

8. The brain is elastic and it is possible to build new neural pathways. At any age. Unlearn, learn and relearn as often as you can.

9. Build your inner confidence muscle in the gym of life. It will take a few months of discipline, consistency, and hard work, but is achievable.

10. Seek professional help if your lack of confidence starts impacting your daily life. There are specialists in CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) who could help.

Inner confidence at the workplace permeates to all other areas of our lives, including relationships, our attitude and how we interact with the world at large. An inability to address a lack of confidence may eventually lead to a person becoming overwhelmed and stressed. This could, in turn, lead to a plethora of other issues.

Remember, it is possible to get rid of negative and limiting self-beliefs and develop empowering thought patterns and inner confidence. Self-awareness is the key to unlocking secrets of the unconscious mind but taking conscious action is the answer.

Rana is now 35 years old, a successful entrepreneur, and employs over 1500 people.

(Shruti Verma Singh has over 20 years of experience in Broadcasting and is the Founder of Zen-Brain.com, an online content platform on neuroscience, mental and emotional health. She trains Corporate CXOs to become Media & Communication savvy through self-awareness techniques.)

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