7 Steps to Take When You Feel Like You Are Lacking Confidence

Confident woman standing in street smiling
Repeated mistakes.
Drop the ball.
Failure.

Sometimes you just can’t seem to get it together. And for some, you stew over these missteps and errors. You start to feel inadequate, you start to feel less confident.

What do you do when you feel like you are lacking confidence?

Confidence is a key component in your day-to-day activities. If you are feeling less than confident, it shows. The way you act, behave, and even your posture. You project what you feel.

Luckily, there are some easy steps you can take to give yourself a boost.

  1. Celebrate small wins. You might have missed the mark on a recent big project, but don’t let that one misstep overshadow your smaller victories. Set little marks along the way and as you achieve them, be proud. Small wins along the way are building blocks and they can really boost your confidence.
  2. Revisit past successes. You aren’t always going to fail at all your endeavors. Want proof? Revisit your past successes. Look at your track record.
    Quote by Jenny Foss about confidence
  3. Learn from the failure. Increase competence. What did you learn from the experience? Great, now, how can you improve? Determining where you went wrong is ineffective if you do not learn and grow from it. Failure leads to success. You learn from mistakes and you learn about yourself. Top CEOs failed before they became successful. Does Bill Gates ring a bell?
  4. Clear the clutter. Get rid of hindrances. Messy workspace, procrastinating a task, constantly checking social media? Rid yourself of needless distractions and get to work. Stop making excuses.
  5. Dress nicely. Stand Tall. Your appearance has an impact. Not just on how others perceive you, but how you perceive yourself. One of our previous articles (Dressing For Success) spoke on just that. How you dress matters. And so, does your posture. Adopting a commanding posture can immediately help you feel confident and empowered. Stand tall. Sit up straight. Hold your head high.
  6. Empower yourself. Arm yourself with tools to improve. Read. Study. Learn from others. Gather as much as you can get your hands on to catapult you to the next level.
  7. Think positive. Good things cannot come from a negative mindset. You control your attitude. Get rid of negative outlooks. Envision great things that are yet to come.

Confidence definition from dictionary


What has been helpful for you? How can we help? Contact us at TheClarks.Consulting@gmail.com or connect with us on social media! We look forward to hearing from you.

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Do You Want Success? Then You Need to Dress for Success, and This Is Why.

Black cut out figures in suits with a blurred background

It’s what’s on the inside that matters…not in this case.

It takes 7 seconds to make a first impression. 7 seconds for someone to look at you and make a decision that is based completely on appearance. And, that first impression is hard to change. There is a lot that goes into first impressions, but we are going to focus on attire.

You might be a good person and a hard worker but your appearance matters.

Whether you like it or not, you need to dress the part or better.

What do you think of when you see someone with stains on their wrinkly clothes? What message does that send? Now think about someone who is always looks put together. What message does that send?

You do not need to buy designer clothes to look professional. You do need to dress appropriately though. Your clothes need to be clean. There should not be any holes or stains. Your shoes should be shined. Items should not be low-cut or skin-tight.

Dress the part.

to dress the way that people in a particular role usually dress

If you want people at work to believe that you’re a professional, you have to dress the part.

That is straight from Merriam-Webster.

Take note, you have to dress the part. Even Wiki How has a step by step on dressing professionally.

If you want to be taken seriously, you have to present yourself in that manner. Have you ever heard of the saying “dress for the job you want, not the job you have,” or “you feel as good as you look”? There is truth to those quotes.

Dress for success.

In an article by Scientific American, they speak about how “what you wear can influence your thinking and negotiating skills, and even hormone levels and heart rate.”

That the way we dress can actually affect our mental and physical performance!

Another article by Business Insider touches on what we have already discussed, “wearing nice clothes in the office can affect the way people perceive you, how confident you’re feeling, and even how you’re able to think abstractly.”

If you want to do well, there is a list of things that can help you, but one thing is for sure, the way you dress matters.

Your office, whatever that may be, has standards. Some work environments are casual, others ask that their employees to wear suits. Know what is and is not acceptable and be aware of the culture. If jeans are allowed, make sure they are clean and don’t have holes in them. Every dress code has standards. Know what those are and represent yourself appropriately.

It makes a difference.

Don’t think no one cares about your unwashed hair or wrinkled shirt. You might not receive immediate feedback, or any feedback at all, but that doesn’t mean people aren’t making judgements. You do not want to send the wrong message. The way you present yourself, your personal brand, that is what others view and make subconscious decisions on.

If you truly want to excel in your profession, and personal life, skillfully package yourself.

If you have to ask, “is this appropriate,” chances are, the answer is no.

Don’t miss out on opportunities because of a poor choice in attire. You have control over this area. Stand out, in a good way. It really makes a difference.


If you found this helpful or have any questions, we would love to hear from you. Contact us at TheClarks.Consulting@gmail.com.

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This is Why You Need to Network at Every Stage in Your Life.

Outline of group of people intertwined in a network of lines

Not a new concept.

Networking continues to be effective because it works. It continues to be worthwhile because of the successful outcomes. Another plus, it is not reserved for an elite group of individuals. Networking can be done, and should be done, by everyone. It does not matter if you are still in college, or a well-established CEO, networking is valuable.

You are not too young or too inexperienced to network.

Just because you are still in school doesn’t mean networking is not useful to you. On the contrary. That is one of the best times to start making connections. Those interactions that might not seem like much at the time have the power to produce results later down the road.

You also don’t have to have an official title to your name. It is not necessary to have a Ph.D. to mingle.

We find that those just starting out in their professional career do not view networking as an important step of the process. That networking doesn’t apply to them because they don’t have a detailed LinkedIn profile.

Man with beard and laptop at wooden table talking with woman in suitOne of the best decisions you can make for yourself is to get face to face with other individuals that have the capability to introduce you to others in the community. You want to grow your network. And as you grow your network, you will gain invaluable connections and information along the way.

There is a vast amount of knowledge that you will never learn from books or webinars. Don’t delay networking.

You are not too old to network.

Another tip – don’t stop networking.

You have heard the phrase, “you’re never too old to learn.” There is always so much that can be learned by meeting with others and finding out about new trends. Stay abreast on current affairs.

Another phrase, “you are never too old to reinvent yourself.” Don’t discredit yourself because of your age. You can keep learning and reinventing yourself as much as you want. You are not held to one role.

The power of networking.

We have discussed the importance of networking, but we wanted to show some statistics that back up our advice.

  • 70% – 85% of jobs come from networking and referrals
  • Seventy-two percent of people say their impressions are impacted by how someone appears and their handshake
  • One in four don’t network at all
  • 68% of entry-level professionals value face-to-face networking more than online
  • Nearly 100% of people say face-to-face meetings are essential for long-term business relationships

It’s not only about jobs, is it?

You hear a lot about how networking helps in finding jobs and applicants. While this is true, networking is not only about job searching and recruiting.

Networking brings groups of people together, who wouldn’t normally be in the Woman at table with coffee writing in notebooksame room, and encourages the exchange of ideas, solutions to obstacles, brings forth insight, and develop relationships that sometimes last a lifetime.

So, while networking does help immensely for finding a job, don’t limit the only time you participate in functions to when you are looking for employment.

Networking and job searching.

Now to the part about how networking can help you with finding a job.

One of the major reasons that networking is such an effective way to get a job is that there is something of a hidden job market out there. Some estimate that as much as 80 percent of new jobs are never listed but are instead filled internally or via networking. -PayScale

That is a large number of jobs people are potentially missing if they are not networking.

There is also something to be said about a respected individual giving their personal endorsement on your behalf. Companies are more likely to hire a referred candidate than spending time and resources doing it on their own.

If you are on the hunt for a new job, don’t forget connections you have made or can make.

Suggestions and advice.

From those who have been networking for some time now, we bring you a few suggestions and advice.

  1. Be aware of your online image. Once you start meeting people in the community, they will check out your online presence. Your posts will be reviewed. Your photos will be looked at. All your social media platforms will be inspected. Make sure you are representing yourself accurately.
  2. LinkedIn. Your LinkedIn profile has immense power to influence. This is acts as your virtual resume. Manage accordingly.
  3. Personal brand. You are a walking brand. What image do you want to project? Dress the part. Look sharp. Know your audience.
  4. Follow up. Did you meet someone you admire and respect? Follow up! Don’t just request to follow them on LinkedIn, follow-up with an email or note. Stay in contact. Meet for lunch. Keep your connections close.

We would love to hear from you on any success stories you have or questions for us. Contact us at TheClarks.Consulting@gmail.com or comment below. We look forward to hearing from you.


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Sources:
Hubspot.com
LinkedIn.com
PayScale.com

You Are A Brand. How Do You Want to Be Seen? You Are A Brand.

You Are A Brand wording in a gray box with pink background

Did you know you are a brand? An actual walking billboard advertising yourself. Eek!

Your personal brand is important.

This goes far beyond the way you dress. It is how you hold yourself. It is your lifestyle. It is who you associate with. It is what you post on social media. It is every nook and cranny. It’s things you might not even think about. It is how clean you keep your car!

According to Wikipedia: Personal branding is the practice of people marketing themselves and their careers as brands. While previous self-help management techniques were about self-improvement, the personalbranding concept suggests instead that success comes from self-packaging.

2 circles connected in the middle with the words "Your Personal Brand"Your brand matters because it is what you are projecting to the world. It is what you are telling people about yourself. It is what people think about when your name is mentioned. So, what do you want to be known for? What do you want to improve? What steps can you take to make a mark and developing your brand?

What You Can Do to Develop Your Brand.

First, we suggest setting a clear goal. Know exactly what you want and what you want to be known for. Do you want others to come to you for advice about finance? Do you want to be regarded as confident and a thought leader? What image do you want others to have of you and then find ways to make that happen?

Make it happen. Our next point. Once you have figured out what you want and who you want to be, do it. Stop making excuses. Make plans. We have found it helpful to have a list.  Also, give yourself time frames. Goals are merely words if no game plan is established.

In your face. Ok, maybe not in an obnoxious way, but don’t sit in the corner and keep to yourself. Start becoming an expert in your area of interest. And it is worth repeating, be aware of your online image. There is power in the world-wide web, and that power can ruin your image fast. Make sure you are projecting what you want to be known for. Be mindful of what you are posting.

Knowledge is power written in pink and black letteringKnowledge is power. Read. Study. Educate yourself. As mentioned before, become the expert. Please note, this does not say become the know it all. There is a difference. You don’t want to be that person who monopolizes every conversation. There is a lot to be learned by listening.

Rebrand. Never stop growing. Never stop learning. And if you continue to improve yourself, you will need to rebrand yourself. With growth comes necessary changes.

Dress the part. We said earlier that the way you dress is not the only part of your brand, but it does plays a large role. Make sure you are always presentable. It will just happen to be that day that you phone it in when your biggest client or opportunity comes up and you aren’t presentable.


Tell us what you think! TheClarks.Consulting@gmail.com.

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Career Moves I Wish I Would Have Known Then. 10 Tips that Work!

Drawing of business woman holding a clipboard. No face. In suit. Yellow background.

Three years ago, I started my career completely over. I literally started from scratch. I have learned so much over these last 3 years that I wish I would have known fresh out of college. Seems to me colleges, and high schools are missing some fundamentals in preparing young individuals for the real world, but that is a discussion for another time.

To keep this short and to the point, I have decided we should dive right in. So, here are 10 specific things I have learned these last 3 years that have made monumental impacts in my career.

10 Tips:

  1. Network. Do not get in a rut staying in your cubicle. Meet new people. Go to seminars. Attend workshops. Accept a happy hour invite. Utilize pockets of time to meet others and gain knowledge from their experiences. You never know where connections will take you.
  2. Read. Immerse yourself in current affairs, industry news, personal development, Oprah book club logo. Black circle with white "O" in middle. etc. Some of the wisest and most powerful individuals will tell you that reading is the gateway to growing yourself. Don’t believe me? Here are a few name drops: Oprah Winfrey, Bill Gates, Sheryl Sandberg, Warren Buffet. All avid readers.
  3. Interview. Find people you admire and ask them if they have time to meet with you and tell they why. There could be many reasons why you admire that individual but let them know why you would like to speak with them and have a list of questions ready. And always thank them for taking time out of their day to assist you in your growth.
  4. Try something new. Don’t think you are “qualified” to handle a project? Why not try? Volunteer to help with an initiative and learn. You will never grow if you don’t take on new adventures. Aspire for more.
  5. Put emotions aside immediately. Having a bad day? Leave it at the door. Everyone has a battle they are facing. Everyone is going to have a bad day but if everyone let that affect them, nothing would get done. This does not mean you need to be a robot, this just means work is not your personal soap opera.
  6. Be confident in yourself. You are in your position for a reason. Recognize your Confidence quote in black letters with orange background. amazing capabilities and use those to your advantage – every single day. And be proud of your hard work.
  7. Are we friends? You are not at work to make friends. You are not at work to sit around and gossip. Your job is not to be best liked for the yearbook. Be nice, be cordial, but remember, you are in a professional setting. There is a time and place for everything. And please know this, crying at work doesn’t get you empathy, it gets you a spot very low on the professionalism totem pole.
  8. Slow down. Unless you are an Olympic runner, slow down. Do it right the first time. Have all materials needed before pitching the idea. Proof read before sending the email. Gather all the facts before making a decision. And really take time to think of the outcome of those decisions.
  9. Handshakes. Never underestimate the power of the handshake.
  10. Don’t chew gum. No explanation needed.

Let me know what you think. I would love to hear feedback and other suggestions! TheClarks.Consulting@gmail.com.

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Career Advice: The Importance of the Handshake. Advice, and a Few Tips.

Woman and man shaking hands over paperwork at a table

Do Not Underestimate the Power of the Handshake.

We are certain the incoming generation is unsure about this action. It seems to be confined for those of a certain age, dressed in business attire, working in an office.

People’s hands are so full these days, and a large culprit – cell phone, and eye contact is lacking – looking at cell phone.

Well-Known. Historic. Established. 

What we find delightful is that no matter what language you speak, the handshake is for the most part universally known with very little explanation needed.

A stone carving of King Shalmaneser III of Assyria with a Babylonian King shaking hands“Archaeological ruins and ancient texts show that handshaking was practiced in ancient Greece as far back as the 5th century BC.” You could say it’s been around for some time.

Nowadays, the handshake is a form of a greeting or farewell, an introduction, a well-intended gesture, business transactions, or possibly a truce. Some people are even taught how to have just the right grip and shake. If you look up tips for having a good interview, the handshake is part of that list. And, for your reading pleasure, here is a link about proper handshake etiquette around the world.

Career Advice.

Here’s the advice part, don’t reserve it for interviews only. Handshakes make a very good first impression but also a lasting impression. It has such history, power and importance.

Our suggestion is to make this part of your personal brand. Be known as an individual who conducts themselves respectfully and professionally. The handshake is usually accompanied with a name inquiry and eye contact. If you ask someone their name, remember it. And always look others in the eye. Stand up tall. It doesn’t matter what your job title is, hold yourself as if you command authority.

Handshakes – simple and yet immensely significant.

Woman and man shaking hands - arms only with visibility of suits


Contact us at TheClarks.Consulting@gmail.com for more information or your personal success stories!

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Women – Stop Saying “I’m Sorry”

Black and white comic drawing of woman winking and words saying "sorry not sorry"

“I’m sorry.” How many times a day do you think you say those two words? Ever stop to think about it? I am going to challenge you to a little experiment. Take notice of how many times you say you are sorry. I guarantee it you apologize for things you don’t even need to apologize for! I am serious. Try it tomorrow and report back.

Generally speaking, every time you say you are sorry, you are admitting a fault, right? You have made some sort of error that now warrants an admission of wrongdoing. But what about things that are just flat-out ridiculous to apologize for? Below is a list from Greatist of 7 things you should absolutely stop apologizing for and I agree with every single one of them:

  • Telling the truthwomen say i'm sorry too much
  • Your feelings
  • Appearance
  • Me time
  • Asking a question
  • Other people’s behavior
  • Not responding immediately to a text, call, or email
  • Circumstances you can’t control

Hey, if I accidentally bump into you while you have your drink in your hand and you spill it all over your shirt, I honestly do feel bad, and yes, I will say I am sorry. And if I have wronged you, I will own that. But apologizing for not having a great hairdo that day, no. And don’t even get me started on being made to feel guilty for having some me time. Do you know what message you are sending by always saying “I’m sorry?” You are saying to others that you are not confident, you are unsure, you are timid. Ugh.

By the by, would you like to know who the biggest culprit is in all these apologies? Women. It’s like women have this need to apologize, thinking that by doing so, people will like them better. Here’s the mentality: “If I say I am sorry, then it makes me look sincere and caring, and not too bossy, then I will be accepted and liked.” Heaven forbid women don’t play the dainty, polite, little lady, who sits quietly in the corner as to not disturb anyone. Amy Schumer nailed it in a sketch titled I’m Sorry. “For many women, our default is to apologize without even realizing it.” Which brings me to my earlier question: How many times a day do you think you say “I’m sorry?”

stop saying sorry

The flip side to this epidemic is it is fixable. You just need to rewire your way of brain a bit. Tweaks here and there. Make yourself aware. Listen to yourself in conversations. Replace “I’m sorry for bothering you, but…,” with, “When you have a free moment, can we speak?” Replace “I’m sorry.” Find other ways to communicate your message. Have some confidence in yourself!

No, you are NOT sorry.


Contact me at TheClarks.Consulting@gmail.com