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6 ways to boost your career confidence

Career confidence does not come naturally to most people.  If you feel that lack of confidence might hold you back from progressing your career you are certainly not alone. Over the years I’ve worked with many people to develop their career confidence, whether it’s during a return to work, securing a promotion or new to a director or board level role.

Here are 6 of my favourite tried and tested strategies to boost your career confidence.


  1. Expose your super strengths

Knowing your strengths is universally agreed as one of the foundations to confidence building. There are many online tools to support with this such as or as well as asking friends, or colleagues with a simple questionnaire.  However, it’s not enough to know your strengths, you also have to be able to articulate them out loud with confidence, and be specific and evidence based. Knowing and articulating your strengths is integral to the success of any career development conversation, and one of the core pillars of inner confidence. Linked with your strengths is making a note of your proudest achievements, that is often where your strengths will reveal themselves. It’s a useful exercise to do in preparation for any CV update, interview and career conversation, and we work with many clients on this to progress their career development.

Coaching Questions:

  • What are you most proud of in your role?
  • What 3 successes stand out to you?
  • Think of one of your most challenging days at work, what did you learn and how did you get through/overcome the challenge?


  1. Get clear on your values and purpose

Values are a guiding compass and can help ground you when your confidence is taking a dip. When you ground your confidence in who you are, and what you believe in this gives you a guiding position when facing challenges and/or confidence knocks. Many leaders I work with are very values led, and draw on this when faced with tough decisions. It’s about placing value on your values, and how you approach difficult situations rather than what the outcome is. Leading with your values helps you build confidence in yourself and inspire confidence in your team. Your values are unique to you however some shared values as a team can bond you together, and likewise if you are working in a culture that does not fit with your values, it can chip away at your confidence. There are many exercises to discover your values, such as and if you would like some further ideas or worksheets to use individually and with your teams then please get in touch with us.

Knowing your purpose can also help with building confidence. Whenever faced with a difficult situation, a daunting presentation, or a job interview being clear about your purpose both broadly.

Some great coaching questions for helping you discover your purpose are:

  • What would you like to be remembered for having achieved?
  • What is the difference and impact you want to make in the world?
  • What can you uniquely do that the world of tomorrow needs ?
  • What’s your big ‘why’?
  • (And for specific situations) What’s your purpose/intention for this (interview, presentation, difficult situation etc)?

A lot of these might be difficult to answer right now but great for sparking thoughts and testing things out. Remember ‘purpose is not found, it is forged’ Eric Greitens.


  1. Dial up your inner mentor

We all have an inner critic voice, and an inner mentor voice. If you are someone who has a very strong inner critic, this can affect our confidence. As neuro-scientist Rick Hanson stated, “the mind is like teflon for the positive, and velcro for the negative.” It’s natural for us to focus on what we’ve not done well, compared with what we are proud of.  A little bit of inner critic is helpful, it helps drive us to be better but if you are someone who has an overactive and highly dominant inner critic, it’s helpful to learn how to dial it down and dial up your inner mentor voice. When you catch your inner critic loudly berating you, imagine what your inner mentor would say? Your inner mentor is kind and supportive. It’s what we mean when we say ‘be kind to yourself.’ We’ve all had the experience where something we’ve done at work hasn’t quite gone the way we wanted, we’ve made mistakes, and feel like we could have done better. We can analyse how we might do it differently next time however our inner mentor can say to you ‘what part did you do well’ ‘you did the best you can, with what you had on the day.’ Perfection does not exist, you had the best intentions


  1. Accept your inner imposter

Similar to your inner critic, your inner imposter often shows up when you are stretched out of comfort zone, in a new role that you don’t feel ready for, or when you struggle to find your place and voice in a role or team.

Firstly, whilst this is commonly known as ‘imposter syndrome’ many debate the use of the word ‘syndrome’ as it’s not a diagnosable mental illness. It’s preferable to call it ‘imposter phenomenon.’ Secondly, this is not something that uniquely women experience. Throughout my coaching experience I’ve worked with both male and female leaders to find their own strategies to overcome ‘imposter phenomenon’ at certain times in their careers.

One of the most memorable pieces of advice I heard from a psychologist colleague was to ‘accept’ your inner imposter first rather than try and shut it out and fight it. It’s helpful to acknowledge and reflect on why the imposter phenomenon is showing up, and how it might be serving you ? Quite often the ‘imposter’ in you can also serve to drive positive change in up-skilling, highlighting gaps in development to work on.

Knowing your values, strengths and achievements can all help when you are a feeling a bout of imposter phenomenon, as can the phrase ‘make believe it till you believe it’.  This is my preferred alternative to ‘fake it till you make it’ which can sound a little inauthentic. When you ‘make believe’ you are actually role-playing as your most confident self and as any actor will tell you, when you play a confident character some of this confidence starts to seep in until you start to believe it yourself.


  1. Courage to act

You can’t build confidence without courage to act and step out of your comfort zone.  Courage is what comes before confidence. I tend to correct people when I hear, “I need to feel confident before I…” in most cases what is needed is the courage to act first, and the confidence will follow.

Just taking action even when you’re not feeling confident will gradually help to build your confidence. What’s one small action you can take today to build your confidence?


  1. Renew your energy resources

This is such an obvious point but one that we neglect to work on. In order to feel at your most confident self you need to feel rested, nourished, in a positive mental state, and surrounded by people who energise you. rather than drain your energy resource. Over these last few years we’ve endured lockdowns, constant state of uncertainty, bad news and staring at screens all day  – it’s no wonder our energy levels are depleted. To quote Life Coach, and author of ‘Energize’ Simon Alexander Ong, “When we lack energy, we make poor decisions, easily get frustrated over the smallest of things and operate significantly below our potential.”  What are the ways you can improve the energy in your life?

Please do get in touch to see how we can help you gain further career confidence.