Starting a new job is exciting but it can also bring on a serious case of the jitters even if you’re normally a calm person. You might feel a little out of your depth or experience self-doubt especially if you believe you aren’t quite ‘ready’ for the role. Here are 9 ways to give yourself a shot of confidence when you need it most.

1) Develop a personal mantra

When you take on a new role you’re taking your career to a new level which can trigger your self-doubt. A personal mantra can help you step into this expanded version of yourself. For example: I am an inspirational leader showing up with energy and confidence as I build a loyal high performance team that delivers outstanding results month after month. Tailor it to suit, ensure it starts with ‘I am’ and that you feel awesome when you say it (even if you don’t quite believe it right away). Say it often and you will see an impact I promise.

2) Focus on feeling good

Feelings are everything when it comes to self-confidence. So iron your best shirt. Wear the new dress. Get a manicure. Don’t save anything for best. Whatever it takes to walk a little taller every day make it a priority. When you concentrate on feeling great there’s less room for self-doubt.

3) Practice being kind to yourself

You can’t build self-confidence if you go around being mean to yourself all day. We all have an inner critic and it can get loud in there (I know). Be aware of any negative talk and remember that it’s not you saying those unkind things. Kindness and forgiveness are the best antidotes to the voice of your inner mean girl. You will also find it easier to be kinder to others.

4) Revisit your past

You will be stretching yourself in this new role and fear shows up when we charter new territory. It helps to remember that many of your biggest fears have already happened. Whether it was redundancy, a broken relationship, a demanding boss, a soul-crushing failure. Take a minute to remind yourself that you’ve coped with challenges in the past and you can easily handle anything this new job throws at you.

5) Invite love in

This strategy comes from spiritual teacher Marianne Williamson (I discovered it via Tara Mohr) and I use it whenever I feel anxious or fearful. You can phrase it any way you wish for example: I ask for help shifting out of fear and into love. Or: May I be the embodiment of love in the room.

6) Forgive yourself

Sometimes a lack of confidence can stem from shame or embarrassment about past mistakes. Make a conscious effort to forgive past transgressions that you think may be feeding into your confidence issues. You can do this any way you want. Write a letter of forgiveness and burn it in the backyard. Document the experience in your journal and state your forgiveness out loud. As Maya Angelou said: It’s one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself, to forgive.

7) Tap on it

As you know I love using emotional freedom technique (EFT) to clear negative beliefs. You can use your own script or do a search on YouTube to get some ideas. Here is a video to help you tap away your self doubt in minutes.

8) Get up earlier

It might sound like a small thing but getting up an hour earlier can have a big impact on how you feel. I like to meditate or have a cup of coffee and journal. You could also choose to review your intentions for the day so that you hit the ground running as soon as you get to work. However you wish to use the extra time, getting up earlier will help you feel mentally prepared instead of rushed and hectic.

9) Focus on small wins

Nervous about how you will perform? There will be a learning curve involved in any new role. Instead of feeling daunted by the challenge you could focus on achieving small attainable goals or ‘small wins’. As Chip and Dan Heath point out in their book Switch: When you set small, visible goals and people achieve them they start to get it into their heads that they can succeed. 

I hope these tips help you deal with your first day or first week nerves. If you need more advice here are some more ideas on how to mentally prepare for a new job.

What do you do to calm your nerves?