We know that working in pressured health care systems can be testing. Those who enter their chosen health care profession, do so with enthusiasm and passion. But these feelings can quickly wain, as healthcare workers are faced with 'wicked problems' that hold no easy solutions.
We also know that negative healthcare cultures can promote bullying and other unwanted, cultural behaviors, where healthcare staff begin to feel bruised and battered as a result.
Health care staff are only human, they make mistakes, and their emotional reserves can run low. This in turn can erode the confidence of a once passionate and enthusiastic fresh face.
So how can we boost this confidence and ensure that our health care workforce remain strong and productive?
1. Acknowledge your strengths and your weaknesses. Count 5 on each hand. This will help you to see that you are human, just like everybody else...and it is physically impossible to do everything yourself. Once you realise this, you can start to release any guilt you may feel over tasks you are unable to complete.
2. Notice everything. The good, the bad, the ugly. Once you can distinguish between the positive and negative things around you, you can begin to distance yourself from the negative and embrace the positive. Others will begin to follow, and you will then be able to lead by example.
3. Embrace a positive body image. You can do this by walking taller, take meaningful steps, holding your head up high and making meaningful eye contact with those around you. Even if you do not feel confident, this will give the impression that you are, and so people will start to respond to you as a confident person. This in turn will make you feel more confident.
4. When we don't feel confident we tend to stumble over our words or not say anything at all, even if we know we should speak up or have a great idea to share. Therefore, to boost your confidence in speaking, take an unnecessarily big breath before each time you speak. Not only will this give the impression that you are pondering deeply upon what you are about to say, but it will calm you and your thoughts enough to slowly and strongly form the words you need to say.
5. Acknowledge the negative thinking. Lets face it, it will happen, you will doubt yourself and have negative thoughts pop up from time to time. That's OK, its normal...it will happen. So once you acknowledge that negative thought..let it pass and then move on. Once you stop being frustrated by the negative thoughts, acknowledge them and move on, you will find that there is no need to give them any time or credence, allowing your confidence to grow.
We see confidence in our students grow as they invest in their own growth in learning. Once they begin to discover how they can make a difference in the workplace, they see how they can grow confidence as a valued member of the workforce.