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confidence

As if going to work every day and punching the clock weren’t stressful enough, situations often arise that get our worry alarms wailing. These include, but are not limited to, job interviews, panel presentations, and meetings with prospective clients. The key to succeeding in these and other high-pressure situations is having confidence, but as Jill Jacinto writes for AOL Jobs, that’s easier said than done. Fortunately, she’s outlined “6 Tips to Raise Your Career Confidence.” Read on for a half-dozen snippets of advice that just might save the day.

1. Work At It — Attaining confidence, like anything else, takes practice. It’s something you’ve got to work on over time, so be patient — but also be diligent.

2. Find a Great Outfit — Even if you’re not a fashionista, chances are looking good makes you feel good. Before your next big meeting or presentation, choose an outfit that makes you feel like a million bucks. It doesn’t have to cost a million bucks, either. “It could be a dress, suit or even a blazer and dark jeans,” Jacinto writes. “Whatever you choose needs to make you look great while also feeling confident and influential.”

3. Face Your Fears — Your lack of confidence might be due to something specific, like feeling unprepared for the task at hand. As Jacinto writes, a good way to address this is to be prepared. Do the research for whatever project you’re about to take on, and put yourself in a position where failure isn’t possible. “Focus on using your knowledge and expertise to win over your boss, co-worker or client,” Jacinto writes.

4. Videotape Yourself — Unless you’re an actor, you probably hate seeing yourself on video, and even then, you might cringe. But it’s a great way, Jacinto writes, to pinpoint your weaknesses. Maybe you use “um” and “like” a lot or exhibit bad posture. Find out now and make adjustments accordingly.

5. Make Your Voice Heard — In business, being a shrinking violet won’t do you any favors. Speak up in meetings and become part of the conversation. Your coworkers and higher-ups will respect you for it, and as you become more than a face in the crowd, you’ll feel more confident about your abilities.

6. Embrace Stress — Usually, when we get stressed out, it’s for some reason. It’s the body’s way of telling us we’re headed into a challenging situation, and that’s not always a bad thing. The alternative is always taking the safe route, and that leads to complacency, and that leads nowhere. “Instead of thinking of that stress as a confidence buster,” Jacinto says of stress, “use it to your advantage.”