How to gain confidence to speak up at work and start taking credit

Written by
Julia Gumeniuk
Published on
June 25, 2021

Do you feel like you are not confident enough and afraid to speak up at work? Or do you have any doubts about whether the projects you’re delivering are not of their best quality? I have good news for you – with a pinch of self-reflection and self-love, you can learn how to stand up for yourself and finally start taking the credit you deserve! Are you ready for a change?

Look back and recognise all your wins

The first important step to start building up your confidence is to look back and recognise everything you’ve already achieved yourself. Take a paper and pen and start with your youth. Did you attend any extra activities while in school? Did you get into the university you wanted? Did you nail the job interview and get the position you wanted?

Write down all these wins, be it big or small—the more, the merrier. When you finish – look at the list. For sure, there will be more than ten bullet points why you’re already successful. It’s important to remember these wins every time you’re not confident enough or not sure you are worthy of leading a project or taking a position. You have already achieved so much, so why stop now and be afraid of more challenges coming up your way?

Address your imposter syndrome

Of course, just naming your wins wouldn’t solve the problem. Sometimes, it’s needed to dig deeper and understand whether you have so-called Imposter Syndrome. No, it’s not a medical condition but a psychological pattern when you think you’re not good enough. Do you believe that others know more, do their job better, present themselves better? If yes – you might have imposter syndrome and shouldn’t be afraid to address it. 

Imposter syndrome is usually blocking us from being better and doing more than what we could do. If you catch yourself thinking that your colleague did the job better than you – stop and consider whether it’s true or you’re just downplaying your skills and expertise. If you think that others deserve a raise and you didn’t work hard enough – is it true, or are you afraid to negotiate a raise and use your years of experience as your leverage? 

Accept yourself as a subject matter expert 

The last missing component to your confidence is belief; belief in yourself. Start small – take your current job position or a project, and analyse what you do the best. Are you good with Excel sheets and analytics? Or maybe you can describe complicated projects in two clear sentences? Identify your strength and be a subject matter expert on it.

Next time someone struggles with issues that are easy for you – suggest them help, offer a quick call, organise a workshop. As you share your expertise, you’ll see how you start believing in yourself and validate your unique knowledge. Don’t stop; grow your confidence, and offer your skills to more people around you. Be a subject matter expert! 

Speak up and start taking credit

As you recognise all your wins, address your imposter syndrome, and accept yourself as a subject matter expert, your confidence level will significantly increase. You won’t compare yourself anymore with your colleagues and won’t stay aside when providing feedback. From now on, you’ll be confident.

Your confidence will give you the strength to acknowledge yourself as a true subject matter expert, as a valued professional, and as a unique person. And knowing all this, why wouldn’t you speak up when you think it’s relevant? And why wouldn’t you take credit for a great job you’ve done? You are worth it!

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