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Five Steps to Professional Confidence

07/07/2015 15:10 BST | Updated 06/07/2016 10:59 BST

No matter how unconfident you feel about your own abilities, when you tune into what is needed in a given situation, you can elevate yourself above your fears. Once we stop focusing on our own needs we step up to being what's needed. This is very true when going through that painful learning curve of a new job. We might want to be liked or to fit in, but the best way to do that is to come from a standard of inner professionalism.

No matter what you don't know, when you come from a place of professionalism you can create a perception of confidence. Professionalism is a standard of service. Once you are clear on your standard of service, you can create a role that delivers that standard of service. What then happens is the people around you trust you, and through that trust you start to confidently believe in yourself. However don't lie about what you don't know, but also don't fall into outwardly looking slightly like your about to freak-out!

This 'act as if' technique comes from a creative idea of what you believe is correct service in that situation.

So here is a list of tips to look confident in any situation in which you haven't a clue what you're doing!

1 - Listen to what is required - What is needed in this situation? What is lacking and how can you step into that role. Listen and don't be afraid to ask questions.

2 - Always react from the best of yourself - Stress makes an ass of us all. If someone acts rudely towards you, decide they are unconscious of their actions. Even when you're sure it was a deliberate undermining pop at you, react with the professionalism you see lacking in them.

3 - If you're unsure ask questions, but never put yourself down or say sorry. Everyone is allowed a learning curve. If you embrace your lack of knowledge you won't look like a numpty.

4 - Act from service first and freak out later. Be professional in the moment and make a deal with yourself to fully embrace your 'OMG WTF' later. When you do freak out, do it in an empty toilet with full body actions. Shaking is really good for you and a fantastic way of getting rid of pent up flight or fight stress.

5 - Don't bond through bitching - Try really hard not to gain alliances by bitching about anyone else. It's a great way to make friends with the wrong people. We build tribes to feel confident in numbers. But when you do this you'll only ever be part of a herd and never been seen as a leader of the herd. You make yourself impossible to promote.

Confidence is over-rated; self-faith is greater. Confidence can be knocked, whereas self-faith isn't about what you do, it is a deep belief in who you are. That comes from your standards of professionalism.