Tracy's blog

I’m Tracy Au and I have graduated from the Professional Writing program from university. I am an aspiring screenwriter, so this blog is used to promote my writing and attract people who will hire me to write for your TV show or movie. I write a lot about writing, TV, movies, jokes, and my daily life and opinions. I have another blog promoting my TV project at

Thursday, May 25, 2017

"How to build confidence at work"/ "How to rebuild your confidence"

Mar. 26, 2016 "How to build confidence at work": I cut out this article be Suzanne Bowness in the Globe and Mail on Sept. 24, 2014.  They mentioned the book The Confidence Code and I did see the authors on The Social.  There are really good and helpful tips to gain confidence.  The article is more aimed at women, but I feel like anyone can learn from this article:

Two women walk into a boardroom for a meeting. One sails in with her shoulders back, takes a seat at the centre of the table, and speaks up. Another quickly sinks into a line of chairs against the wall, and spends the meeting silently hunched over her notebook. Who is more confident?

While confidence may be hard to articulate, we know it when we see it. And those whose stock-in-trade is to help build it say the stakes could not be higher.

“More than anything I’ve ever seen as a therapist, confidence is the No. 1 factor in terms of success. It’s important to be smart and capable, but someone confident supersedes all of that,” says Toronto-based psychotherapist Kimberly Moffit of KMA Therapy Group.

With a new crop of books, such as Katty Kay and Claire Shipman’s The Confidence Code: The Science and Art of Self-Assurance – What Women Should Know, prompting renewed discussion of confidence, particularly as it relates to women, we asked experts for advice on how to improve yours.

Beyond physical signals like strong eye contact and open posture, confidence is also recognizable in a person’s behaviour. Signs that you lack confidence can include apologizing, not asking for what you want, being overly confessional, and taking on responsibilities that aren’t part of your job description, Ms. Moffit says. A lack of confidence can also carry over into relationships, your social life and even parenting.

So how can you cultivate confidence you’ve never had? Ms. Moffit uses cognitive behavioural therapy to encourage patients to think more positively. To start, she suggests coming up with a list of qualities you would like to project at work and then repeating them to yourself daily until they become ingrained. She also suggests creating a daily affirmation such as ‘I am confident and respected leader who people look up to and admire.’ It can take a month of repeating these mantras to internalize the message.

You can also turn to your inner circle for a boost when you’re feeling insecure, Ms. Moffit says. Ask your closest family and friends to write down what they love about you. “When you’re having an insecure moment you can open up an envelope and get boost of confidence from that.” Other suggestions include setting goals, volunteering, and hanging out with confident people.

By making a list of things that you want to accomplish, you can gain assurance by knowing your efforts are focused. Volunteering helps build skills and shows that you can take on new projects. The suggestion to network with confident people arises from Ms. Moffit’s doctoral research on entrepreneurship. “If women hang around with other successful women, that improves confidence a lot,” she says.

Work environments that are a poor fit with an employee’s values can also shake our confidence, says Sarah Robinson, a human resources executive turned leadership coach. “What happens is we enter organizations and quickly get caught up in their speed and environment and go along with what that is, rather than who we are,” she says. Ideally, you should find a workplace that aligns with your personal values, she says, and also keep your confidence up by developing a strong sense of your own values and competencies independent of your workplace.

MBA schools encourage students to become aware of when they’re exhibiting a lack of confidence, for instance constantly volunteering to be the note taker rather than the team leader in group projects, says Professor Beatrix Dart, associate dean of executive degree programs at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management. Ms. Dart is also executive director of Rotman’s Initiative for Women in Business, a program that offers workshops to help women become aware of the roots of their self doubt, develop leadership skills, and overcome other confidence barriers.

Another way to increase confidence is to focus on competence, Prof. Dart says. “Instead of thinking about self-confidence, which is self-oriented, think about competencies, which is more task-oriented.” If flagging confidence is rooted in a skills deficit, such as older workers who feels overwhelmed when surrounded by digitally savvy younger co-workers, then they need to take steps to upgrade their knowledge. “If [a skills deficit] is holding you back, then do what do you need to do to be competent,” such as taking courses, Ms. Robinson.

Almost as important as having confidence is putting it on display. “You have to feel confident but you also have to project that confidence,” Ms. Moffit says. Paying attention to your appearance by getting a great haircut and dressing above your job category are quick fixes that can help you feel more powerful. Taking small steps toward confident behaviour is another route. “Pay attention to your level of engagement. Are you aware of what you do in meetings? Do you sit there? Is there a moment when you could ask a question?” Ms. Robinson says.

Taking action is common advice to improve your confidence, and that’s what Confidence Code authors Ms. Kay and Ms. Shipman arrive at: “Confidence is the stuff that turns thoughts into action.” Confidence requires action and vice versa, or as they say, “If confidence is a belief in your success, which then stimulates action, you will create more confidence when you take that action.”

"How to rebuild your self-confidence": I cut out this article by Barbara Moses in the Globe and Mail on Jun. 15, 2012.  Here is a similar article with tips too:

Ask people about their worst career experience and you will hear many different stories. Some will feature bad bosses, toxic colleagues or greedy management. Others will centre on inordinate stress, excessive work hours or uncertain employment.

The key characteristics underlining most of these experiences are feelings of incompetence and powerlessness.

One man who was drowning in his job described the state succinctly: "I used to feel competent, but now I feel decompetent - not incompetent, decompetent - as if every day I go into work, a little more of my competence is eroded."

When jobs turn sour, the hardest hit are often those accustomed to being admired and successful.

I have witnessed several professionals who always seemed to go from strength to strength; they nearly had nervous breakdowns when faced with adversity such as a bad boss they couldn't win over, or a project that went spectacularly south, because quite simply, they had never failed. Core to their identity was: "I am successful at whatever I do." They had no coping strategies for dealing with something as foreign as failure and the assault to their ego was too great.

Perhaps even more worrisome are those who are so accustomed to being beaten down that they have no expectations of success. It is as if they are so numbed and inured to failure, they barely recognize their drift into feelings of incompetence. As a result, they develop a chronic sour and helpless disposition.

Feelings of incompetence spread like a virus, infecting everything we do.

It might start at work, but it will play out in home life, making us grumpy and morose at best, withdrawn and depressed at worst, as parents, partners, and friends.

So if you are suffering from such feelings - and in my experience almost everyone, by the time they are in their mid-30s, will have had one awful career experience leaving them dumbfounded and depressed - don't let it ruin your summer.

Here are some ways to restore your belief in your future.

Take stock

Do an inventory of your successes. What have you accomplished that made you feel good about yourself? Consider successes in all areas of your life - work, personal, community. Mine your history: Some people find important, confidence-affirming information when they go back to high-school experiences.

Learn from your accomplishments

Most of us drift away from sources of deep satisfaction without being aware of it. Identify the common elements in your successes, whether they involve leading, mentoring, writing, teaching, or giving back. How can you incorporate these themes into your daily life?

Neutralize the sting

If you think you are the victim of an unfair job loss, ask yourself: Is this the worst thing that could have happened to me? Will I recover from it? Or if your confidence-eroding experience is related to a bad supervisor, take the bite out your boss's power by imagining him or her in some compromised manner.

Be dispassionate

Don't catastrophize. Was the source of your confidence-crushing experience truly awful? Put it into perspective. How would others describe this experience?

Get support

Surround yourself with people who make you feel good about yourself. Ask friends and colleagues for feedback on what you are good at and what they like about you. Recite these attributes when you are feeling down. If you are depressed and are having trouble moving on, consider getting professional help. Often these experiences, while extremely painful at the time, provide fodder for insight and change.

Take, for example, a client of mine who was fired after a particularly nasty run-in with her boss. With therapy she realized that on the job her ego had been on constant high alert for slights to her competence and that she had interpreted everything he said as an attack. She now understood that her boss was interpersonally clumsy, but not out to get her, as she had presumed. This new awareness of her own sensitivities and distortions was sobering.

Reconnect with old friends

They will remind you of funny or clever things you have done. You will feel appreciated. You will also realize that you have unique attributes that you may have lost sight of.

Don't wallow

It is okay to give yourself a short period to indulge in self-pity and digest the experience, but then it is time to move on. Be judicious in what you communicate to whom and how you communicate it. People quickly tire of continuing laments about unfairness or victimhood.

Do something positive

Change your situation whether by looking for a new job, or having a heart-to-heart with someone who is making you miserable. If the latter, express yourself with care. Do not attribute blame. Instead of saying, "You always ignore me and go over my head," say, "I feel like you don't respect my competence when you (do such and such)."

Make summertime work for you

Do something inventive and different. Never gardened? Pick up a shovel. Never danced? Take a movement class.

Fake it

This is my most powerful advice. Research shows that if you act like you have the ability, the feelings will follow.

My week:

May 13, 2017 Productive: Yesterday was my day off and I did my usual things of looking for and applying for jobs, and reading the business section of the newspaper and the other news.

I also washed the front and back doors.  There are wooden and screen doors to wash.  My grandma wanted me to wash it so I did.

Then I went and passed out more resumes to restaurants that pays with tips.

May 14, 2017 Mother's Day: Today was so busy at my restaurant.  We all know it was going to be busy with all these reservations.  We were all prepared for it.  The day ran smoothly because we timed each reservation. 

Reservations at 10am, 11:30am, 12pm, and 1pm.

May 15, 2017 Clean Water Project Bar: I was passing out my resumes and I passed it at Purdy's Chocolates.  I was told to go the website and I found this:

You (and this special chocolate bar) can make clean, safe drinking water possible in rural cocoa-growing communities.

$2 from the sale of each chocolate bar goes towards raising funds for LifeStraw Community water filters. Read an update about the Clean Water Project.

Sweet and salty, the Clean Water Project Bar is made with crunchy salted butter toffee pieces and milk chocolate crafted from only 100% sustainable cocoa.

May 16, 2017 Song: This old song came to mind.  It's called "Original Skin" by Katy Rose.
She sings:

If I wait to run away
I will be trapped another day

I apply it to my job search.  I can't wait to pass out more resumes so I won't be trapped in having only 1 part-time job.

Law of attraction:

On Apr. 20, 2017: I was thinking about a Pussycat Dolls song in the morning.  At night, I was checking what's on TV and one of their videos come on for Throwback Thursdays. 

Apr. 24, 2017: I was thinking about Call Centre #1.  Later that day, they called me to do a survey.

Old actors:

Jenna Leigh Green: A couple of weeks ago I was watching Quantico.  I then see her name on the screen.  She played the mean girl Libby on Sabrina the Teenage Witch.  On Quantico, she played a rich woman who was at a party.  She looked the same and her voice was the same.  I haven't seen her since 2000.

It reminded me of funny scenes on Sabrina.  How about that time they go to the school field trip and they have to be dressed up in the 18th century?  The students are townspeople and one them is a witch by this card they were randomly given.  Libby accuses Sabrina of being a witch, because Sabrina supposedly threw Libby's shoes out the window and made her wear braids to look like a nerd.

Later Sabrina is on trial and she admits she's a witch right off the bat.

Mr. Pool: Well, then you can sign here.
Libby: Isn't there supposed to be more to this?
Mr. Pool: Well it's not like we're really going to burn her at the stake.

If you look at her credits, she didn't really got a regular part on a show after that.

Demore Barnes: I was reading an article in the newspaper about the TV show American Gods.  His name came up.  Remember, he was a host on the TV show Street Cents?  That was a pretty funny show.  I remember this time:

Cut to Demore and Anna Dirkson.

Anna: We're not doing a fantasy sequence.
Demore: Yes, we are...
Anna: Demore!

They go into a fantasy sequence.

Or this other parody:

The hosts Demore, Anna and Tanya are singing with Ken (Brian Heighton) from "Tell Me More" song from the movie Grease.

Demore, Anna, and Tanya: Tell me Ken, tell me Ken, can you forget about your car?
Tell me Ken, Tell me Ken
Ken: You can't push me that far!
Demore, Anna, and Tanya: Uh huh, uh uh, uh huh, uh uh

You guys are probably laughing at this part.

Haircut: Today I had a day off.  I read that it was going to rain in the afternoon, so in the morning I went to get a haircut in Chinatown.  I went on a Tues. morning and it opened at 10am.  I got there at 10:15 am and there were 2 customers already.  I waited by reading the newspaper.

Job search: After that I passed out 10 resumes to restaurants in downtown.  I was unable to get a job at a full service restaurant that paid with tips.  Now I'm looking for a food counter attendant job.

Words: Now I'm going through all the words I had written down when I'm reading the newspaper and I don't know what the word is:


a woman's loose-fitting, shirtlike undergarment.
(in women's fashions) a dress designed to hang straight from the shoulders and fit loosely at the waist, sometimes more tightly at the hip.
a revetment for an earth embankment.


verb (used with object), evinced, evincing.
to show clearly; make evident or manifest; prove.


commonly regarded as such; reputed; supposed:


a rock consisting of aluminum oxides and hydroxides with various impurities: the principal ore of aluminum.


a medicine that relieves or allays pain.

May 17, 2017 Gym job interview: I went to work in the morning and then to a job interview in the afternoon.


1. It was easy to get to.  2 buses that come frequently. 

2. I can do the job of being a receptionist at the front.  There is some selling of memberships.  There is lots of cleaning the gym, but it's not that big.

3. The hours are part-time and Mon.-Fri.  It's mainly 12pm-4pm or later.

4. The pay is min. wage of $12.20.  There is a gym discount.  However, I don't really care about the gym discount.

5. It's not busy during the day.  I was told it's busy at night.  I won't be stressed out. 


None really.  It seems there is more cleaning than receptionist and sales.

My opinion: The job is average.  It would look good on my resume to say that I was a receptionist at a gym.  If I get hired, I would work there.  If I'm not hired, I wouldn't be sad about it. 

May 19, 2017 TV: Right now I'm happy and excited about TV.

Season finales: There are lots of season finales and good episodes.

Renewed and cancellations: Of TV shows.

"Up fronts": New TV shows coming out this fall are being announced.


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