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work-confidence
Career expert Laura Garnett of Inc. has worked with hundreds of people over the years, and she’s come to one very important conclusion: “The easiest way to success is to believe in yourself.”

Easier said than done, right? Garnett admits that many of us get caught up in negative thinking and come to think we’re not doing enough to achieve our goals and push our careers forward. Fortunately, Garnett has penned a piece titled “3 Ways to Finally Start Believing In Yourself — and Change Your Life,” and it’s brimming with great advice on how to stop overvaluing others’ opinions and putting some faith in the man or woman in the mirror.

First up: “Begin to see disappointments and failures as opportunities.” When a new project or endeavor brings failure or disappointment, view the situation as a chance to pivot and adjust your strategy. As Garnett writes, you should “trust that you are giving your best efforts to your business goals” and come to enjoy the process of chasing your dreams. It’s about the journey, not just the destination.

Second, Garnett says we should train our brains to be positive. Science shows that negative thinking narrows our thought patterns and programs our brains to operate one way. University of North Carolina researcher Barbara Fredrickson has championed the “broaden and build” approach, where you think positive and let those¬†emotions expand your thinking and help you build skills and move ahead in all aspects of your life — work included.

“If your negative thoughts are focused on not believing in yourself, it can overpower your ability to do anything else other than dwell on that notion,” Garnett writes.

Garnett’s final tip is an especially good one: “Use your core strengths in the work you’re doing.” There’s a perception among many that work should be “hard,” she says, but really, it should be “challenging.” If your work draws on your “innate talent,” and not your weaknesses, you’ll have an easier time believing in yourself. The key here is giving yourself the opportunity to shine and setting yourself up for success.