Before I say anything else in this post, I want to congratulate you for starting your own business. I know the challenges of being an entrepreneur, and I know that a certain level of confidence is needed even to begin the journey. So well done you! Give yourself a word of congratulations for having the courage and the self-belief to embark on this crazy, sometimes frustrating, always challenging and often highly rewarding entrepreneurial adventure.
But what happens when the challenges start coming thick and fast, and you feel your confidence slipping? We don’t often talk about the times when things are tough, and we don’t feel on top of our game. We expect ourselves to be confident all the time, and I know from experience that this is impossible. We’re human beings, and there isn’t a human alive who doesn’t have moments of self-doubt or days when all they want to do is hide in bed with ice cream and Netflix.
But it’s on those days when your confidence is wavering, when that voice of self-criticism and doubt is making itself heard, that you need to lift yourself up and move forward. It’s in those moments that you need to tell yourself that you will not let yourself off the hook. Every time you back yourself, every time you choose to overcome, those are the times you strengthen your confidence.
So in this post, I’m going to share my top confidence tips, so you know how to be confident when things get challenging.
1) Face Your Fears. Sometimes our fears appear more significant than they really are. You know that feeling when you’ve been worried about something, and you’ve played it over and over in your mind, and the more you think about it, the BIGGER it gets? The way to stop that thing getting bigger and bigger is to face it. The strategy that I use most often when faced with something that I’m worried or fearful about is journaling. Here’s what I do:
Make time in my diary to sit with my journal. I make myself a cup of my favourite hot herbal tea, sit down in a quiet place with my tea and journal and write at the top of my page:
What am I afraid of in this situation?
And then I just let myself write whatever comes to mind. Then I ask myself:
What is the worst that could happen?
And I let myself go to town on that question. I allow my overactive imagination to get lost in all the horrid possibilities until I’ve exhausted every single one. Usually, the absurdity of my fears will begin to show up, and I will be able to laugh at myself and move on, but if I’m still grappling with it, then I ask myself:
How will you recover if these things happen?
And then I take the time to think about each horror possibility and how I would gracefully and courageously face each of them if they were to happen. Facing my fears this way, and allowing myself to work through how I would deal with any mishaps always takes the sting out of the situation. It allows me to own up to my fearfully and to overcome it in my mind. This takes power out of my fear and helps me to understand that I can overcome anything.
2) EFT or Tapping. EFT stands for Emotional Freedom Technique. It works on the meridian points of your body. These points are like energy hot spots according to Chinese medicine. By tapping on these meridian points, you can restore balance to your energy which is believed to relieve symptoms that a negative experience or emotion may have caused. Tapping can help you relieve stress by accessing your body’s energy. There are some excellent resources online for tapping, I highly recommend Brad Yates.
3) Letting Go Of The Past. Often the things we believe about ourselves or situations come from memories that we hold from times that we feel we failed in the past. I remember the first time I tried to start a Pilates business after moving states, I launched a beginner Pilates course, marketed online in my usual way but no one, and I mean no one signed up. I was devastated, to say the least, and my embarrassment and sense of failure prevented me from trying again for a long time. But here’s the thing, I wasn’t a failure, I simply hadn’t given myself enough time to observe the market in my new town and was approaching things as I had in the big city. Once I had learned what worked in this new market, I relaunched and sold out not 1 but 2 courses.
You may have heard of the acronym:
In this situation, my fear stopped me from trying again because I felt like I was a failure at business, but the truth was, I hadn’t taken the time to understand the market. I had to let go of the past and the things I believed about myself that were holding me back. How did I do this? I used affirmations and positive self-talk.
Every time I found myself sinking into the big hole of self-doubt and reaffirming to myself that I wasn’t “good enough” to start a new business or “no one wanted what I had to offer” I reminded myself that I had previously run a wildly successful Pilates business and I affirmed that I had already been a successful business owner.
The more often I told myself that I had done this before and that I was a successful business owner, the more I began to reframe my self-doubt and started looking for ways to create what I wanted. I did not allow myself to wallow in my fear or self-doubt but began looking objectively at the mistakes I had made and knowing that I was capable of building a Pilates business allowed me to move forward.
How can you use affirmations to help you become more confident?
Start with 3 I AM statements every morning. Choose 3 statements that you feel may not be true right now, but you want them to be for example;
- I’m not confident to show up live on social media becomes I am confident on camera.
- I don’t have enough experience becomes I am growing in experience every day.
- No one case about what I am selling becomes I am a gifted entrepreneur offering a needed solution to my people’s problem.
Whatever statement your self-doubt throws at you, you counter with your own statement of reality.
My approach is to choose 3 I am statements and repeat them to myself every morning while standing in front of a mirror. Yes, it feels strange, but it works. If I’m still feeling challenged, I will also write those statements on a piece of paper every day and carry them with me, reading them to myself whenever my fear raises its head.
I hope these 3 confidence tips help you to face your fears, move past your limitations and become more confident. They work for me, and I’m sure they will work for you. And remember, you are enough, and you have everything you need within you to create the business and the life that you desire.
Cindy Johns is a Business Coach for shy, quiet and introverted people. She helps introverts & quiet people show up with confidence to create their business empire. If you would like to connect with Cindy, you can do so by visiting her at www.cindyjohns.net or subscribing to her free monthly eMagazine, carefully curated to bring you the latest techniques on how to be confident so you can grow your business empire The Confident Entrepreneur.
You can also connect on Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/cindy-johns-62aba5185/