Confidence is one of the most important skills for an entrepreneur to have. Your confidence (or lack of it) can make or break deals that come your way. The great thing is it is a skill that can be built up with experience, practice, and perseverance. So even if you don’t have confidence in yourself right now, don’t lose heart, today we are sharing our tips, tricks, and advice on how to improve your confidence. Both of us struggled with confidence earlier in our careers, it is something we have worked on and improved, so we have a lot of insight to share.
Why is confidence important?
Whether you are a business leader, a public speaker, an entrepreneur just starting out, or an employee inside of an organization confidence is something you need to have. Confidence gives you more opportunities in life, because it shapes how you present yourself to the world. If you sit in the very back corner of all of your meetings with your shoulders slouched down, your eyes facing the floor, and you speak in a quiet voice people aren’t going to take you seriously. They will probably think you don’t want to be there. Most likely you will not get any promotions or acknowledgments. You definitely won’t have any leadership opportunities.
You also have to have confidence in yourself for other people to trust you and buy from you. If you are selling a product or service and you don’t believe in yourself, why should other people believe in you and what you are selling? People are not going to buy into your content, your product, your business if you look like you have no idea what you are doing.
While confidence is extremely important, you also can’t forget about vulnerability. Confidence doesn’t mean hiding vulnerability, it means owning it. It may seem like vulnerability is the opposite of confidence, but that isn’t the case. You have to be honest and open with people to connect with them. Use vulnerability as your superpower.
How do we get confidence?
If you are struggling with confidence, you might be wondering how you can start building it up. Where does confidence come from? It starts with loving yourself first. If you don’t love yourself, it is very hard--and actually disingenuous--to try to get others to love you too. It is so easy to come up with negative things about ourselves, but it is extremely important when building confidence, that you focus on the positive things about yourself. One thing you can try, if this is something that is difficult for you, is everytime a negative thought about yourself pops into your head, stop and list five positive things about yourself right then and there. It is important to build up positive self-talk and shut out the negative self-talk.
Another way we get confidence is through meditation and movement. There are so many studies that show that exercise creates endorphins that improve your mood. Practicing meditation and adding movement into your day clears a pathway and makes you feel more calm. It can also give you more energy and focus. When you are tired, unhealthy, or stressed out it has an impact on your mindset and your mood.
Knowing your stuff can definitely improve self-confidence. The more you know about what you are selling, who your customer is, why what you do matters, etc… the more confident you will be. And people can tell if you know what you are talking about or if you are just making stuff up. Take your time and do your research. The more you know, the better. And if you have to give a sales pitch, if you plan to talk in a meeting or if you are giving a presentation--practice what you are going to say ahead of time.
Resilience is another key element in confidence. Don’t let one thing that happens or what one person says make or break your career. You can’t let things stand in your way. As an entrepreneur you are in the driver seat, it is what is inside of you that makes you successful. You can’t rely on one single person to bring you to the top. And you can’t let what one person says drag you to the bottom. Know your own value.
Confidence not only comes from what you say, but how you say it. Your body language speaks volumes--sometimes it is louder than what you say verbally. Pay attention to your posture, are you slouching, or are you sitting up tall. Do you make eye contact with other people or do you look down at the ground? Do you have a firm handshake or a weak one? Do you smile often or are you usually frowning? All of these things matter and they make an impact.
Steps you can take today to start building confidence:
Now that we’ve gone over where confidence comes from, here are some action items you can implement today to start building your confidence:
Confidence is something that can be learned and improved upon. Just because you don’t have confidence now doesn’t mean you won’t ever have it. Start working on it now. Use our tips and advice and build it up and as you gain more confidence people around you will start noticing and opportunities will open up for you.