How to grow your confidence

Ruth Kudzi35

Confidence is one of those elusive things and one of the key areas I work with clients on. Our own perceptions of our ability to do things and our self belief are often the things that have been holding us back.

The rise of social media has meant that many would-be and new entrepreneurs compare themselves to other more “successful” entrepreneurs and find their confidence is dented even more. Trust me, I have been there!

So, what is the trick of confidence or the magic sauce? Unfortunately I don't have a magic wand that I can wave and sprinkle confidence dust on you but there are some things you can start doing today to believe in yourself more.

Firstly spend some time thinking about what confidence looks like to you – what does it mean to be confident? Imagine yourself if you were confident – what would be different? what would you be thinking? feeling? doing? Come back to this visualisation as often as possible (at least every day) as the more we visualise the more likely we are to get there.

Then think about a time you were really confident – maybe it was when you nailed a job interview, or signed a new client or did a killer presentation. Spend some time reflecting on this experience – what did you do to prepare for this success? how could you act like this every single day? 

Many of my clients find that there are certain situations where they really lack confidence – it could be pitching for business, going to a networking event or even online. Keeping a journal where you reflect on your feelings helps you identify patterns and then you can start working through them. 

What is it about the situation that makes you lack confidence? What could you do to change your feelings? It could be as simple as connecting with people online prior to a networking event or rehearsing your pitch with your coach or partner so you are clearer on what you will say (and with time you probably won't even need a pitch!)

Fear plays a big part in our psyche and our self belief, we all have fears however we can choose to move past them. Again, the key is identification of what is going on – sometimes this can be hard for you to do on your own so reflect on how you are feeling, talk to your coach or a trusted friend and work through it.

For example, I used to be terrified of rejection so I didn't put myself in positions where I could be rejected – I played small. I used to only apply for jobs that I ticked every box for and then one day I didn't get that job, the one I was massively overqualified for. Something changed in me that day and I decided to go for what I really wanted within a month I had been accepted to a fast track leadership program.

I would never have done this if I hadn't had the earlier rejection and made peace with the fact that to get where I really wanted to be I would be rejected and it was okay. Rejection is still a fear for me but I acknowledge it and work through it.

Finally, I have found that one of the best ways of improving my confidence is valuing myself. As cheesy as it sounds when I have given myself time and focused on what is important to me and makes me happy my confidence has soured. This can be as basic as exercise and diet to spending time with those people that build you up and support you. 

Working at home this can spending 15 minutes getting ready – doing your hair and make up and putting on something that makes you feel good. I have taken to wearing my wedding shoes on days I feel a bit flat and they give me that boost straight away! equally I can barely walk in them so they are perfect when I am sitting at my desk working.

You are an amazing, unique person however the only persons opinion which matters to your confidence is you.

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