Rewiring Negative Thoughts
Building confidence at work can sometimes feel like a battle. We possess the skills and abilities to succeed, yet we often find ourselves trapped in a cycle of self-doubt. We think things like, “I’m not good enough,” or “Nobody cares,” or even “The system wasn’t designed for someone like me.”
But here’s the thing: these thoughts are nothing but negative, self-limiting beliefs. While they might provide temporary emotional protection, constantly dwelling on them only holds us back from achieving our goals and desires.
According to the National Science Foundation, 80% of our thoughts are negative. The good news is, we can rewire our negative thoughts!
Below are three ways to rewire negative thoughts to build more confidence when speaking up for ourselves and our abilities.
1. Differentiating Factor
It’s no surprise that these thoughts often stem from challenging experiences we’ve had in the past. We can’t deny that these experiences were real and may have been tough to endure. However, constantly dwelling on them keeps us stuck in a cycle of negativity, preventing us from taking action and moving forward.
Consider the following:
- Differentiating Factor – Oftentimes, the activities that come naturally to us are also the ones that bring us fulfillment. Let’s paint a picture: Imagine being tasked with creating a video that showcases your company’s growth over the years. As you share this project idea with your colleagues, most of them feel overwhelmed by the idea of producing a video. However, to your surprise, creating the video feels like an exciting endeavor to you. The entire process doesn’t overwhelm you; in fact, it’s quite enjoyable. Creating videos emerges as your differentiating factor—an area where your natural abilities align with your passions. Embrace what you enjoy, for it often holds the key to unlocking your true potential.
- Value-Add – Once you’ve identified your differentiating factors, it’s important to recognize how these skills hold significant value in the workplace. How can you now take this differentiating factor and offer it to others as a value-add? This can be trading your skills for other peoples expertise. The key is to align your unique skill with the needs and goals of others to level-up. By doing so, you are not only showcasing your abilities but you’re also bringing value and creating visibility.
2. Apply Differentiating Factor
Once you know your differentiating factors, you need to figure out how to take those skills and apply them to projects that can elevate.
Consider the following:
- Area Of Career Growth – What area of your career do you aspire to grow in? Understanding your desired professional path can help you build influence. Let’s illustrate this with an example: Suppose your differentiating factor lies in your excellent accounting skills, but deep down, you want to become the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of a large company. You can begin by utilizing your accounting expertise in one particular area to support perhaps a non-profit with their accounting needs. This hands-on experience will allows you to broaden your skills while gaining valuable insights into the practicalities of managing finances within another area. By aligning your differentiating factor with your career aspirations, you are creating a clear path for growth and development.
- Connections – Here’s a crucial question you should be thinking of: who can I connect with to expand my knowledge and skills? Building meaningful connections with others is essential for our professional growth, as they can offer valuable insights and guidance. When approaching these connections, it’s important to demonstrate the value you can bring to the table. For instance, you can offer your design and communications skills to help with marketing projects or provide fresh perspectives on branding and messaging. By connecting with the right individuals, you can broaden your network and identify opportunities that you might not have known of.
Influence at work lies in your ability to take action. While negative thoughts may occasionally creep in, it’s crucial to acknowledge them without dwelling on them for too long. Instead, we should focus on being action-driven and proactive in our approach.
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