Boosting your Self Confidence
As a business owner you need to be charismatic and at your best, even if on the inside you're screaming "I can't do this!"
You need to exude confidence in everything that you do, this will help clients believe in you and it will help your employees trust you.
You may feel like you're drowning in responsibilities and feel like you're a fraud and have no idea what you're talking about. These feelings are probably built on untruths. You do know what you're doing and you do know how to do it. You just need to believe in yourself.
If you believe the voice in your head it could lead to anxiety and even with you getting stuck and not following your dream.
We would rather see you succeed than give up, so here are some tips on how you can boost your confidence.
Confidence is Priceless
It's all well and good having a strong work ethic and dedication to the job, but if you don't have confidence in what you're doing how far will you really get?
Having confidence can affect other's belief in you, which can make all the difference when you are looking for a financial partner, a business partner or even a client. Remember: How are others meant to believe in you if you don't believe in yourself.
Also confident people often:
- earn more more money and gain promotions faster than their less confident colleagues.
- are more believable than less confident people.
- In fact it has been found that people are more likely to believe false information if it is presented confidently, than they are to believe true information that is presented less confidently.
So if confidence is such a good quality, why do so many of us struggle with it? And, How can we fix it?
Most Advice is confusing and unhelpful
We've all heard the words "You should be more confident!" but it's really unhelpful. It's not just the case that you can be more confident, if you could you wouldn't need to be told.
Imagine throwing a child into the deep end of a swimming pool and just saying "You can swim!" this probably wouldn't teach the child how to swim, they would sink like a stone. This is how it can feel with confidence. Everyone says "Be Confident" but no one says how you can achieve this. So we all end up sinking like stones when it comes to trying.
The good news? Research is beginning to show that confidence is a learned skill which you can consciously develop.
Practical ways to build your confidence
By no means are these quick fixes designed to turn your life around overnight. Take this a process of discovering a more confident and better "you".
Present the best image of yourself
You may not be able to change how you feel about yourself overnight, but you can change your appearance.
Yes this is a small change and sounds shallow but it can work. Dress for when you feel at your most confident, this could mean wearing a suit to work, or going without a tie. But when you feel your best, you are your best.
This sounds a little far fetched right? However, an American University study found that people who wore white doctor coats (clothes associated with competence and intelligence) during a test performed better than people who didn't.
If it can help students, why can't it help you?
Also when you look your best you're more likely to get feedback from others, if it's positive feedback it can help you to be positive and therefore more confident with the way that you look and act.
Pay attention to your speech, posture and body language
Think of the most confident person you know. How do they carry themselves? Do they sit straight or slouch at their desk? Is their desk a mess?
Think of how they talk. Do they talk fast and hurry as though afraid someone will cut them off? Or do they talk slowly and choose their words carefully?
Confident people tend to talk slowly and louder, so they don't have to repeat themselves, often using open, confident body language.
No matter where you personally stand with your confidence you can start to practice these things now.
What you need to look at.
- Look at your speech. Practice talking slowly and projecting your voice. If you struggle with this, Six Minutes have developed a useful guide on how to project.
- Look at your posture. A study published in the journal Psychological Science found that upright, expansive posture made people feel (and act) more powerful than guarded, closed posture. You can find the article here.
- Look at you body language. Do you make eye-contact? Are you struggling to keep still and keep fidgeting? Work on this. Seriously. You may feel as though you're faking it at the beginning, but as time goes on it'll get easier and you'll feel yourself growing more confident.
Sorry to say it but, Exercise
However, there are loads and loads of benefits of exercising. Most people know about the benefits to your body and your mental state. But did you know it can help you to become more confident?
Exercise releases a flood of endorphins into your system, these can improve the way you see yourself and can even ease the feelings of stress.
Don't worry, you don't need to be a health nut doing 2 hour sessions in the gym every day. Even 2 workouts a week can help you to improve the way you feel.
And if you keep up a regular routine, the changes to your body will help to boost your confidence.
Visualise the ideal
Most of us visualise the outcome of certain scenarios, but we only do "worst case scenarios", letting our stressed out mind run wild with what if's and negative thoughts.
But what would happen if we were to start thinking positively? Visualising the best possible outcome for all involved.
Why not give it a try?
Also the more detailed the vision, the more likely it will be to come true. Visualise what you're wearing, who else is in the room, what are you feeling at that exact moment? Try to think of it as already happened, this would be a nice confidence boost if it all goes well.
See the good in the small
Most people are so fixated on the overall outcome that they fail to see the small everyday successes that are going on around them.
This kind of fixation is really damaging to your self esteem and your confidence. Trying to look at goals that are years away will not help you get through today and tomorrow. It may be the overall goal you're aiming for but recognising the small steps along the way will also really help you.
Gratitude is important
You may want a better life and more successful business, but don't forget about the things you already have. Be thankful for what you have.
When you're caught up in trying to achieve your goals you can forget what you have and what it took to get where you are today.
By recognising all the things you've already accomplished you can boost your confidence greatly. Even if you're far away from your end goal, you're still part of the way there and you should recognise what an achievement that is compared to where you were when you started your journey.
This has been a marathon of a blog post but well done for sticking through it. By reading it you've gone through steps that will help you improve your life and you have committed yourself to being a better "you". For that you deserve a pat on the back. It takes a lot to admit that your life needs improving, but when you get to the end goal and achieve confidence you'll wonder why you were so nervous in the first place.