Career Trends: 7 Ways to Tap into Your Personal Power for Professional Success

4 min read

Edition: August 12th, 2021
Curated by the Knowledge Team of ICS Career GPS

How you imagine yourself at work can make a big difference in your career success. (Image Credit: Shutterstock)

Feeling deficient at work can throw us into a cycle of career disappointments, which in turn lower our self-worth. On the flip side, high self-worth increases job engagement, beefs up productivity and performance, and improves relationships with coworkers. 

A body of research shows that the value we place on ourselves has a direct link to our job performance and career advancement.

But sometimes we get so focused on building our careers, we overlook this inner fuel — our self-worth — that propels us up the career ladder.

Employees who value themselves tend to have a better focus and make effective leaders because they trust their judgment.

They make sound decisions in such matters as assuming autonomy on projects, managing teams, hiring and promoting personnel and overall communication with colleagues.

Here are 7 tips to reinforce your self-worth and strengthen your career:

1. Practise positive self-talk to counter negative thoughts

  • Talking to yourself in a positive way might sound odd, but it’s not. 
  • Scientific studies have shown that first-name self-talk is a self-regulatory mechanism that creates psychological distance from negative thoughts.
  • When you do this, the negative voice isn’t the only story you tell yourself.
  • Once you engage this way in dialogue with your inner critic, you start to recognise your self-worth and value yourself more.

2. Develop a wide perspective to see the big picture

  • You always have a choice in how you view your career trajectory.
  • Keep your eye on the big picture, which allows you to build on the many positive aspects of your workday.
  • Get into the habit of:
  1. Looking for the upside of a downside work situation
  2. Avoiding blowing disappointments out of proportion
  3. Underscoring positive feedback instead of letting it roll off
  4. Focusing on solutions instead of problems
  5. Recognising the opportunity in a work challenge
  6. Refusing to let a bad work situation influence your overall outlook
  7. Creating positive emotional experiences that uplift you

3. High-five your ‘tallcomings‘ to boost your confidence

  • When your thoughts constantly focus on your shortcomings, you become blind to your strengths and talents.
  • To offset this imbalance, learn to high-five your ‘tallcomings’ (as opposed to your shortcomings).
  • Listening to our critical voice on a regular basis, we get into the habit of ignoring our positive attributes.
  • It’s important to have a critical eye, accept constructive feedback and recognise our strengths and limitations without dropping our head in our hands.

4. Cultivate self-compassion and move closer to your goals

  • Self-compassion is like a best friend that talks you off the ledge, bounces you back when you feel disheartened and propels you closer to your goals.
  • Pep talks, affirmations or an arm around your shoulder are good medicine to co-exist with your inner critic’s oppression.
  • When you self-soothe through letdowns — instead of attacking yourself — you feel better and cultivate the confidence and courage to face workplace challenges.

5. Define your career goals; align your skills accordingly

  • Name your strengths, assign worth to your work skills and make a plan for achieving your goals.
  • Make sure your skills and goals are aligned and set boundaries so you can stay on your path to success.
  • Be able to say no when you’re already overloaded and practise ‘radical self-care’ so that distractions don’t detour you from your career destination.

6. Recall past victories when down and out

  • The human mind is hard-wired to automatically go to the negative, but when you reflect on what you’ve already achieved, it brings a more realistic balance.
  • Studies show when we’re confronted with a challenging work situation and recall a time we mastered a similar hardship, it boosts our confidence and self-worth, and helps us scale career obstacles.

7. Be open to feedback for self-improvement

  • Request feedback from coworkers whose opinions you value.
  • After a performance review from a manager or supervisor, take the constructive feedback, instead of getting defensive, and turn it to your advantage.
  • Asking yourself how constructive feedback can improve your performance is in itself a building block to self-worth.

(Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in the article mentioned above are those of the author(s). They do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of ICS Career GPS or its staff.)

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