Feeling confident in midlife
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How To Improve Confidence and Cope with Change at Work

As we enter our 50s, it's common to face change and transition in our work lives. Improving confidence and learning to cope with that change is key to understanding purpose and passion, and rediscovering how to thrive. Here’s how you can build your confidence and become more resilient during times of change.

Comparison: The Confidence Killer

When we’re in uncertain situations at work, it’s normal to look to others for clues on how to navigate the change. But often, this turns into comparisons between ourselves and those other colleagues, which are usually unfavourable and unfair.

This can look like:

“That person is better at their job and coping with change than I am.”

“Maybe I’m not good enough.”

“I should be more like them.”

These negative thoughts can easily spiral and our confidence can be seriously affected – and that can leak into our lives outside work. To counter negative thoughts with positive thoughts and to remove the comparison element altogether, it is essential to build confidence.

Try asking yourself questions such as:

“What am I good at?”

This doesn’t have to be related to the negative thought you’re experiencing; it can be anything. The idea is just to show yourself some appreciation.

Another good question is:

“What have I achieved this week that I’m proud of?”

Again, this can be anything! Your answers are totally private and personal. So if tidying your desk, for example, is an achievement for you, then it’s the right answer. What other people might consider an achievement is irrelevant.

Try to question negative thoughts about yourself by asking:

“How can the negative judgment I’ve made about myself also be considered a positive?”

This is a great one to help you realise that your thoughts are just opinions, and can easily be interpreted in a different, more positive way.

Also, remember that the versions you see of people at work are the ones they choose to present. You don’t have access to their inner lives, issues and insecurities the way you do your own. That means any comparison you make between yourself and others is always going to reflect badly on you. So, try to be kind to yourself and you might see your confidence improve.

Rising to the Challenge

Improving your confidence can help you feel less overwhelmed by challenges. But we can also approach it from the other side: what if we can see transitions as less of a threat, so we are better able to cope with change at work when it inevitably comes along?

The world is uncertain by nature, and we are often presented with situations we aren’t expecting. It can be difficult to cope with change as we get older but every challenge presents an opportunity, if we can adjust our mindset to see it as one.

Is this change you are facing at work actually something you can embrace? Can you learn new skills and build resilience as a result? Could it be that you were a little stuck in your ways, and a new challenge might help you to get back in touch with what you want from your work life?

CS Lewis once described human life as being like an egg: “You cannot go on indefinitely being just an ordinary, decent egg. You must be hatched, or go bad.” You don’t need to "hatch" overnight, but you can use small opportunities to embrace change and make differences in your life to become more satisfied, resilient and confident.

The Power of the Fingerprint

Take a moment to pause and look closely at your fingerprint. There are more than 7.8 billion other people on the planet, and nobody has a fingerprint like yours – not even identical twins’ fingerprints are the same. Try to use this as a reminder that your contribution is as unique as you are, and you have valuable strengths to bring to the table.

Read our inspirational Redefiners stories to see how change can be positive, and lifelong learning is something we can all embrace.

Sign Up to Our Six-Month Career Coaching Programme

Sometimes, navigating change and building confidence means you have to look within yourself. Our six-month Career Coaching Programme will help you learn about yourself and what you want to get out of your career, whilst boosting your self-belief. You’ll have access to six one-to-one coaching sessions giving you the tools you need to succeed – whether you’re looking for a career change or you’re embarking on a new entrepreneurial journey. To find out more about this programme, read the full programme description.