You’re probably already aware that confidence plays an enormous role in business success. When you exude confidence, you naturally attract others. People listen to you, follow you, and even buy products from you. Displaying confidence assures people that you know what you’re doing.

Even people with the highest levels of self-esteem feel unsure of themselves at times. Consider how difficult it is to be confident when you first start a new job and you don’t know exactly what you’re doing, you don’t feel fully comfortable with the routine, and you haven’t developed strong relationships with your co-workers yet. You probably don’t appear very confident.

There are a few simple tricks though that can help you boost your confidence at work, even when it’s down in the dumps. Whether you’re new to a job or just suffering a momentary fit of self-doubt, give these tips a try:

Fake it till you make it

Remember that confidence is all about perception. Acting confident is the first step to feeling confident. In the process of convincing others, you may actually convince yourself. Have you ever felt really down but you had to pretend like nothing was wrong? What happened?

Most of the time, you’ll find that demonstrating a positive attitude (whether or not you really feel it inside) will actually help lead you to feel the same way. Project the confidence you want to feel and it will come to you. It’s all about your thought patterns. See yourself as a self-assured, outgoing, successful professional and eventually, that is exactly what you will be.

Soak up knowledge and don’t be afraid to ask questions

I believe confidence comes very naturally when you have a great deal of knowledge. Some of the best sales people are those who know their product inside and out. They feel secure with even the tiniest details. Soak up knowledge and don’t be afraid of showing others that you’re doing it. Don’t be shy about asking questions & you’ll usually find that others respect your inquisitiveness. It shows that you’re thinking, not just going through the motions.

Delete negative self-talk

Nothing brings you down quite like an inner monolog that says “you’re not good enough”. Take a moment to listen to that voice and see if you’re guilty of negative self-talk. When you’re faced with a challenge, do you hear yourself saying, “There’s no way you can do that”? When you make a mistake, do you hear yourself chide, “There you go again, you dummy”?

If so, you need to reprogram your brain. And lucky you; the Life Coaches Blog is an amazing resource to help you do it. It takes a lot of time and some dedicated, thoughtful activity, but the first step is to recognize what’s happening in your head. Go ahead and listen to the voices; take not of negativity and stop yourself. You and your brain are in this together and don’t let your inner critic run the show.

Avoid saying “I can’t”

Just saying these words makes you that much closer to failing. These words scream; “I don’t believe in myself! I see my limitations! I am afraid of failing!” Those are not the words of a confident person.

Confident people look a challenge in the eye and say; “I can.” Just saying “I can” makes you that much closer to success. These words scream; “I believe in my abilities! I am capable of achieving anything! I am not afraid!” Remember that failure is not a crime, but not trying is. Give yourself the benefit of the doubt. Again, a mindset is half the battle. In the famous word of William Ward; “If you can imagine it, you can achieve it. If you can dream it, you can become it.”

Look the part

This is a fundamental rule of confidence. When you dress for success, you feel much stronger, more powerful. Also, how you present yourself has a big impact on how people perceive you. When you feel confident about the image you are projecting, you automatically project that confidence with it. It’s not vain to take pride in your appearance; it’s just good business sense.

For more articles on professional and personal development, check out The Executive Assistant’s Tool Box, where popular articles include Energize Your Work Day and How to Speak Your Mind (and Keep Your Job)