4 Moments When You Need to Be Brave at Work—Plus, How to Bring It!

brave at workLet’s face it, work isn’t always the most comfortable of settings. And, if you’re like the respondents of a recent IBM WorkTrends survey, it’s likely you’ve been in a professional situation that has made you feel as though you’re of your element more than once. According to the survey, 52% of workers report feeling tense, restless, nervous or anxious often or sometimes.

What do you do when you’re facing a shaky scenario at work? Rise above it and do something brave—or as leadership expert Kimberly Davis defines bravery, “be your best, real, and powerful self.” Here’s how:

When you’re interviewing for a new job: Presenting your resume and answering questions can be daunting. And in a recent survey, 92% of U.S. adults reported being anxious about job interviews. So how do you bring on your bravest and boldest self when you’re trying to impress your potential employer? Sit up straight. Research shows people with good posture tend to have more self-esteem and belief in themselves than those who slouch.  

On your first day: Your first day at a new office can stir up all the feelings you had as a kid on your first day of school—new peers, new responsibilities, and a new building to navigate can all be overwhelming. To ease your nerves and set your day up for success, put on a happy face. Literally. Research shows smiling can help you build stronger new relationships, and other studies have linked smiling to the release of endorphins that can help you feel happier and more confident. Still, there’s a balance to strike. Some research shows those who smile too much can be perceived by others as innocent, too nice, and even more naive.

During a big presentation: Before giving an important presentation, you might feel your palms starting to sweat, your face flushing, or your heart racing. But the right tactics can help you calm down and tackle work-related stress with a brave face. Research shows one of the most effective ways to combat stress is also one of the easiest—deep breathing. The next time you’re set to present, give yourself two to five minutes to breathe and center yourself.

When you’re on a tight deadline: When the clock is ticking to deliver a pressing project, consider spreading out a mat for an early morning stretch session. Research shows yoga can improve both stress and self-esteem, which can ultimately help you bring on the bravery. Kick off the day with calming yoga moves and meet that deadline head-on.

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