10 proven tips to build confidence and reach your big career goals

Sep 7, 2023

How often do you rush onto the next ‘big thing’ without pausing to reflect on how far you’ve come?

As a high-achiever, it’s an easy trap to fall into and one I’ve been guilty of in the past!

Which is why at the end of every year — or on significant events — I like to take some time to celebrate and contemplate the lessons learnt along the way.

September is one such occasion, as this month marks ten years for me in business. A decade since I left my corporate career, days before my 30th birthday, to follow my lifelong dream and launch my first consultancy.

As I approached another milestone birthday last week, I’ve been reflecting on my career and business journey. From the highest of highs, to the lowest of lows. It’s brought me far from where I started — and somewhere unexpected!

To celebrate both big birthday’s, I’m releasing a brand new ’40 under 40′ blog series. Through September, I’ll share my 40 best pieces of career advice to support YOU in your career.

From the best advice received in my own career, to the lessons learnt through my own lived experience — and common career guidance given to clients.

To kick-off the series, in this first post I share my top ten mindset tips to help you build career confidence. Discover how to conquer imposter syndrome, get unstuck and create the results you want in your career with confidence!


Every client I work with wants to ‘become’ more confident. Whether it’s developing the confidence to have a difficult conversation, ask for a pay-rise or promotion — or advance their career in some way.

But here’s the truth about confidence. Confidence isn’t a place you START from — it’s an outcome or result.

Confidence comes through courage — by doing the thing which makes you uncomfortable. When you have the courage to take action despite the discomfort, you build confidence over time.


Saying ‘no’ and setting boundaries comes naturally to me. But for many people with busy lives and lots of conflicting deadlines, it’s an area they struggle with. If you relate to this, you may feel like you have to justify your reasons for saying no and this is where I want to remind you: NO is a complete sentence!

Here’s a concept I picked up in my coaching certification program: For everything you say yes to, you’re choosing to say no to something else.

If you say yes to collaborating on a work project but your heart’s not in it, you’re saying no to the work you want to focus on. By accepting an invitation you’re secretly dreading, your foregoing other interests or time spent with family. When you realise YOU have the power to choose how to spend your time, saying ‘no’ becomes easy.


Creating changes and getting the results you want in your career is 80% mindset, 20% strategy. Strategy is one of my superpowers and I love helping clients break down their big vision and goals into an achievable, step-by-step plan. Yet it’s the deeper mindset work which happens in our coaching sessions which creates permanent change.

As Tony Robbins says, ‘what you do doesn’t matter without the right mindset.’ You can have the perfect plan — but if fear or self-doubt is holding you back from taking action, you won’t get results. Strategy is necessary, yet working on your mindset has the greatest impact on your success.


If you’re a current or past client, chances are I’ve shared this pearl of wisdom: You can’t control others or external circumstances, only yourself and HOW you respond. This is a big lesson I learnt back in 2019.

I was juggling post-graduate studies, building a new business, planning a wedding in 6 weeks (!) — and spending as much time as I could with a sick parent. And I realised: the overwhelm I was experiencing was coming from me and the pressure I was putting on myself. You see, I couldn’t control the situation, only my response to it.

I could choose to stay stressed and overwhelmed — or to come from a place of fun, ease and lightness, especially with wedding planning. Or I could concentrate so much on future focused outcomes, I missed out on precious moments and joy of the present. Because when you focus on what’s within your control to change, you stop wasting time on the things you can’t.


Fear is a natural response any time you’re about to make a big change or push yourself outside your comfort zone. But it also holds you back from what going after what you want.

And this is where I want to remind you fear is separate to you, not part of you. How YOU choose to respond to it is within your complete control. You can choose to stay stuck in the fear — or to step into the discomfort in pursuit of your dream.


Ever felt like you’re not enough? Like you’re not qualified enough, smart or successful enough. In short, you’re not enough.

I’ve coached many successful, high-achieving leaders — and through this work I’ve seen how widespread this ‘not enough’ is. There’s also been many moments where I’ve felt inadequate too — and building my self-worth has been one of my greatest growth areas. Finally, a few years ago it clicked like a light switch: I am enough.

I not only believed it, but I also embodied it. Sure, imposter syndrome still presents when I step outside my comfort zone. The difference is I lean into the fear and doubts, take imperfect action and show myself compassion.

Because when you realise you are enough, you will overcome imposter syndrome.


A client knew with certainty they didn’t want to continue down a particular career path. The problem was, the ‘thing’ they’d spent years studying and working hard for had become a big part of their identity. And when your identity is tied up in work, it’s easy to stay stuck in a career which no longer fits.

There’s a scene in the original Sex and The City series where the lead character quits her job to move to Paris. Her friend says, ‘You’re making a mistake. You can’t quit your job — it’s who you are.’

To which she responds: ‘It’s not WHO I am. It’s what I DO.’ BOOM!

After uncovering a clear purpose behind their work — and the reason they’d sought out this path in the first place — my client realised… They could have this impact in another way. It didn’t need to be this specific job.

Because a job is not WHO you are. It’s ONE expression of what’s important to you at work.


Are you ‘should-ing’ all over yourself? Ignoring what you want, in favour of what you think you should do. Or putting pressure on yourself to ‘be’ a certain way, rather than who you truly are.

Whenever you notice limiting language such as ‘I should‘, ‘must‘, ‘have to‘ or ‘can’t‘, focus instead on what you WANT. Commit to changing ‘I can’t‘ to ‘I won’t‘ and owning your decisions. Because when you ask yourself what you want, you will stop should-ing all over yourself!


In recent years, I’ve learned a vital lesson: to trust myself and have unwavering confidence in my decisions.

I’m independent — even stubborn! — but I began to notice I was looking for answers outside myself. Especially during unpredictable times which caused anxiety and self-doubt. However, by focusing on what I can control and embracing self-trust, I was able to navigate any uncertainty.

Conditioning can limit us to one path — such as following a traditional career or immediately searching for a new role in your existing field. Trusting yourself is about taking ownership of and designing your career, your way. To stop seeking out other people’s opinions without considering your own.

Because when you step into complete self-trust, you will find clarity, direction and create the career you want with confidence!


Because work is important to me and I love what I do, I’ve often prioritised it over other areas of my life. The overachiever in me has pushed myself to work excessively long hours and even burn myself out a few times. But everything changed in 2019, after losing my Dad to a 12 month battle with cancer.

As my world turned upside down, work was less important. Knowing we had limited time together, I wanted to spend as much time with him as possible. Through this experience, I learnt life is truly precious — and work isn’t everything.

It was a reminder family, important relationships, health — and having fun — are equally, if not more important. Sure, I’m committed to building my business, yet I now acknowledge there’s more to life than working hard and making money. After all, you can always make more money, but you cannot make more time!

So there you have it, my top ten tips to master your mindset and build career confidence. These strategies have supported my clients and I to beat imposter syndrome and reach our big career goals. I hope they help you too!

Want help to manage your mindset and build career confidence? 

Click HERE to book a free 30 minute consult and find out how coaching with me can support you!

Stacey Back is a globally recognised and certified Career + Leadership Coach. She helps high-achievers at a career crossroads find the work that lights them up, increase their income, impact and create a career + life on their terms. Stacey works virtually with individuals and organisations based across the globe.