This week I’ve been reflecting on confidence and where it comes from. Confidence to start a business, run a company, ask for money, spend money, hire people, manage people… Do you trust yourself? Are you somebody who naturally feels able to back themselves or are you more likely to second-guess your decisions? Do you rely on other people’s inputs before feeling able to get off the fence? Whether you’re just launching a new business, thinking about starting or in a growth phase, understanding where your confidence comes from is key. Trusting your ability to achieve what you want and need is vital to building a business and a life that works for you.
“Everything you want is on the other side of fear. ” Jack Canfield
Where does your confidence come from?
Confidence is the feeling or belief that you can have faith in or rely on someone or something. Self-confidence is accepting and trusting yourself and feeling that you have a sense of control in your life. You know your strengths and weakness well and have a positive view of yourself, your abilities, skills and experience.
Whether you feel confident or not may depend on the situation you find yourself in. Some people need to feel that they know ‘enough’, that they can handle any questions that may come their way. Others feed off the energy of others to give them confidence. Greater self-confidence allows you to experience freedom from self-doubt and negative thoughts about yourself. You can experience more fearlessness and less anxiety. Trusting yourself makes you more willing to take smart risks and more able to move outside your comfort zone. It means that you can perform better under stress as when we’re confident we perform to our potential. It also makes you more able to influence others which is important when selling or negotiating.
Having confidence also impacts our presence – how we behave, how we carry ourselves, how we use our voice and our bodies and how we move. When we feel confident, people around us feel it and we are perceived as more positive. If fact confidence and positivity are closely linked. When you feel confident you believe you have an important and meaningful place in the world, which in turn makes you feel more confident. When we feel confident, we know what we’re good at and we know we have value. We feel liberated from what others think of us and we gain energy and motivation to take action. The more motivated and energised you are, the more likely you are to take action and achieve what you want and that comes from confidence.
Bottom line is that confident people are generally more successful. So it’s no surprise that the vast majority of people would like to be more confident! Many people think that confidence is inbuilt – something we either have or don’t have. But the truth is that confidence is gained through experience. So we take risks in order to build confidence – not the other way around. Confidence is built in both our minds and our bodies. It takes time and practice but it can be done.
Here are my Top Ten Tips for Building Confidence:-
🌟 Language. Become conscious of the language you’re using, especially when talking to yourself. Most of us wouldn’t dream of speaking to anyone else as we do to ourselves. Watch out for those ‘shoulds’! Words are powerful and you have a choice about the ones you use. Be kind to yourself.
🌟 Thoughts. Our brains, although devastatingly complicated and powerful, can only hold one thought at a time. They can also be ‘programed’. Look for reasons to be positive. Banish negative thoughts and focus on what you can control and achieve. Don’t over-think. One step at a time.
🌟 Change one word. When we’re panicking or under stress, our self-talk increases. If we change just one word, from ‘You’ve got this’ instead of ‘I can’t do this’, it changes the part of the brain we use, from subjective to objective. This means we’re coming from a place of logic rather than emotion.
🌟 Visualisations. The confidence ‘muscle’ can be worked. Thinking of a time when you were confident reinforces the memory pathways in your brain. Picturing yourself being confident connects the future place to that memory. Store each new experience of confidence and use it to help your future self.
🌟 Routines. They make us feel organised and in control. We know what to expect which reduces the exhaustive cognitive load of too many decisions. This leads to increased confidence which is why athletes use routines to enhance their confidence and therefore their performance.
🌟 Compliments. Learning to accept praise can be difficult. Most of us are not very good at it. We learn at a young age to protect ourselves from disappointment and failure. Learning to open ourselves up and fully take in the complements we receive increases our confidence.
🌟 Prepare. Nothing breeds confidence like knowing you’ve prepared. Practice doesn’t makes perfect, it makes confident. The more you do the things that scare you, the more confident you get. The only way to get better at whatever it is you don’t feel confident about, is to do it. And then do it again.
🌟 Use your body. The way you carry yourself, the way you stand, your posture – all convey confidence or the lack of it. Make yourself feel more confident by standing up straight or adopting a ‘power pose’. Movement also helps – nothing like some pumping music to improve your mood and increase your confidence.
🌟 Stop caring what others think. There will always be people who don’t believe, who have their own agendas or who project their self-doubt onto you. Don’t listen to them. Back yourself. Trust yourself and your ability to build the life you want. If you think you can do it then you can.
🌟 Do more of what you love. Create space for the things and people that makes you happy. Design your life around making you feel as amazing as possible for as much time as possible. When you feel good, you feel confident. When you feel confident you feel good. Life is short, live it to the full.
It’s completely unrealistic to expect yourself to know everything or be able to do everything. Please be kind to yourself and if you’d like to talk through the choices you’re facing or any blockers in your business, let me know.
Lisa Zevi – November 2021