I think it is safe to say that a majority of students that are joining the workforce have some lack of self-confidence when beginning their first real job. The unsure feeling about your skill set is completely natural when starting something new, but constant self-doubt and having a negative self-image can hinder performance in the workplace. In his book, 10-Minute Toughness: The Mental-Training Program for Winning Before the Game Begins, Jason Selk discusses that self-talk is one of the most influential ways to increase your self-confidence. A majority of a person’s thoughts are negative and filled with self-doubt, so it is crucial to reclaim those thoughts and turn them into positive self-talk to boost confidence and performance.
Selk claims that dominating self-talk will help you stay focused on what it takes to be successful and will help boost your self-image and self-confidence. Dominating self-talk begins with thought replacement and ending “don’t” thoughts. Though replacement occurs when you realize that you are having negative thoughts about yourself or a goal you want to achieve and you replace them with a thought that is most helpful for performance. This process allows you to focus on what it takes to succeed, rather than all the ways you could potentially fail. Focusing on success almost always leads to being successful. “Don’t” thinking is when you focus on what you do not want to do rather than what you should do; such as, “don’t jumble your words during this presentation” or “don’t mess up this deal”. “Don’t” thinking directs the mind on what is not supposed to be done which increases anxiety and stress. Replace your “don’t” thoughts with positive thoughts and affirmations, such as “remember to relax and take your time during this presentation” or “I can close this deal”. Having positive thoughts will decrease your stress and anxiety and will increase your self-image which leads to an increase in self-confidence and performance.
Entering the workforce can be nerve-wracking and there may be times where you question whether or not you are prepared or qualified for a job, but practicing self-talk can help you overcome your nerves. Remember, you can do anything that you set your mind to!