How confident you feel at work often has profound knock-on effects on performance. Often the most confident people can get into a state of “flow” relegating tasks to their unconscious minds, and blocking out all distractions, including the little voices in their heads telling them that they can’t do it.

The problem with low confidence is that it takes up a lot of your energy. Instead of focusing on your work, you’re worried about whether you’re doing your job well enough, and that can lead to lower performance and self-fulfilling prophecies.

So why is your confidence low at work? And what can you do about it?

You Only Emphasize Failures, Not Successes

People who have low confidence at work almost always exclusively focus on their failures rather than successes. They forget about the dozens of times that they have provided an excellent service and instead concentrate on the one or two instances in which their work was not up to scratch. These are dangerous mental habits and can lead to inaccurate self-appraisal of performance, leading to chronic worry.

Keep tabs on your successes at work. And make sure that the people around you recognize them for what they are.

You Aren’t Computer Literate

Today’s workplace requires that people be computer literate, able to use a whole host of software tools in the course of their work. But for people who lack the skills, it can be a nightmare. You’re always worried that you won’t be able to do the next digital task.

The best way around this is to get an IT qualification. You don’t need a degree in computer science: just an education that will provide you with the basics for how to use standard work-related programmes, like Outlook, Access, and Excel. As soon as you understand these programmes, you’ll begin to feel more confident in your ability to do your job.

You Don’t Challenge Yourself

The problem with avoiding challenge is that eventually, your skills will suffer. As human beings, we need resistance to hone our skills and improve. Left to our own devices, we’ll take the path of least resistance and never develop as people.

Challenging yourself at work is scary when you don’t have confidence. But if you get the difficulty of the challenge right, then you can both build your skill set and change how you view yourself at the same time. Don’t be afraid to take baby steps, to begin with, and then build difficulty from there.

You Focus On Your Boss, Not Your Work

In general, there are two kinds of people in the workplace: those who focus on their boss, and those who focus on the quality of their work. As you can imagine, people who focus on the former are always in a state of anxiety because they can’t control what another person thinks or feels. But people who focus on doing their work to the best of their ability do have control over their situation and can feel powerful in their role. Which type of person are you?