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“It’s all in who you know…”
Does this sound familiar?
As a business owner, I don’t have to tell you how important networking, forging partnerships, and just getting out there in front of your target audience is. But, if you’re a natural introvert, this can be a bit challenging, forcing yourself to step outside of your social comfort zone.
but, here’s the hard truth… and even the most elite business school won’t tell you that… to be successful in business, you must have confidence (and a lot of it)!
Just look at the people behind some of the most successful businesses in the world, and you’ll notice that they are oozing with self-confidence. And, here’s the good news… you don’t have to be “born” with confidence. In fact, you can learn to be more comfortable and build your confidence over time.
Here are the top ways to improve your confidence.
Be committed to change. Awareness is part of the process, but action is what gets you results. Once you realize that your confidence is holding you back, you need to be committed to wanting to change this. Otherwise, recognizing a “problem” without being willing to fix it, is just a waste of your time.
Have a clear plan. Just like other goals, confidence improvement is best attacked with a good and clear plan. You need to be focused and dedicated to achieving your goal. But, you must first have one. And, if you really want to accelerate your growth, challenge yourself to “go big, or go home”. Write your plan down to make it easier for you to monitor your progress. Don’t be afraid to try something radically different, like giving a keynote speech, or registering to present at an upcoming business conference. Not only will this “force” you to actively work on your confidence, but it will be a great way for you to see how much you have improved (or what additional work you may need to do).
Stay positive. Sometimes, lack of confidence results from your mindset. Your mind can be your biggest critic, without you even realizing it. If you keep thinking (and telling yourself) that you will fail, then that is what you will manifest. This type of toxic thinking has to be replaced with giving yourself encouragement. Train yourself to be optimistic, to seek out the learning opportunities in situations that may be considered “failures”, and you will start to see your abilities and strengths in a whole new way.
Take care of yourself. When you make your health (including your mental health) a priority, you will begin to feel good. And when you feel good, you start to see your value and appreciate yourself more. You cannot grow your business or reach the level of success you deserve, if you are not well and have the energy to get up and go for your goals.
Check yourself. We all talk to ourselves, and this affects the way we see ourselves. Maybe you are overly critical and tend to put yourself down. If so, you have to change this ASAP! The more you do this, the more your confidence subconsciously sinks. Stop doing that to yourself! You should be your own cheerleader. But, stay vigilant and always seek to learn. Swinging the other way and being overly confident can set you up for a dramatic setback too.
Look to always learn and improve. One way to boost your self-confidence is by showing yourself that you can effectively learn from your mistakes and improve your work. When you are confident in your ability to make your mistakes work for you, you become willing to try new things and go for your goals. In case you fail, you know you can easily bounce back. And, it is 100% okay to be a work in progress – just stay focused on learning and improving.
Understand that mistakes happen. Part of improving your confidence is accepting the possibility of committing errors. Understanding that mistakes happen balances out the way you perceive opportunities and keeps you from feeling unnecessarily afraid of making decisions for your business. When you recognize that some things are outside of your control, you are more agile and able to adapt to changes. And, having a Plan B for everything is never a bad idea either.
Celebrate your achievements. Poor self-confidence is often partnered with disregarding your success. You berate yourself for your errors, but completely ignore the things you do well. Learn to pat yourself on the back for every achievement, big or small. Acknowledging your achievements is not a bad thing. In fact, it gives you the motivation to want to do even more and reach your lofty goals.
Do things that scare you. Fear and low confidence go hand-in-hand and form a vicious cycle. When you are afraid of so many things, your confidence suffers, which makes you afraid of change or making big decisions. Being an entrepreneur is not for the faint of heart. You will make mistakes. You will have to take risks. You will have to give up control. This is where getting out there and networking with other business owners can be a great resource, so you can get mentoring and advice to help guide you on your entrepreneurial journey. Remember… you will lose out on every opportunity that you don’t take.
Focus on one skill at a time. What are things related to your business that you are not good at doing? Focus on that (or those), and work hard toward improving yourself with respect to that inadequacy. If you need to, pick the most important area of improvement and focus on growing that skill. Doing so not only improves how you handle your business, but it also enhances the way other people (read: clients and investors) see you as a business owner.
Slowly eliminate your weaknesses. Just like everyone else, you have weaknesses – we all do! And, these “weaknesses” can get in the way of improving your self-confidence, if you don’t do anything to turn them into strengths. It’s impossible to eliminate all of your weaknesses, but it would help you strengthen your confidence, if you can begin to tackle a few of them head on.
Cut toxic people out of your life. Sometimes, your lack of confidence comes from what other people are telling you. Sadly, there are really people out there who just like putting others down. They do this out of insecurity, habit, and plenty of other reasons. Regardless of their reasons for hurting other people’s feelings, you have every right to shut them out, when they are not feeding you positivity and encouragement.
Here’s the bottomline…
If you want to make it as an entrepreneur, you will need to be confident in your decisions and confident in yourself. Even the best business idea, most advanced Internet marketing tools, or top-notch employees can´t help you, if you don’t invest the time in building your own self-confidence. Remember, it’s a marathon, not a sprint, so make a goal to improve and work toward it – no matter what!
What are some other successful techniques that you have used to help build confidence?
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