When running a business, some days you feel on top of the world. Other days you feel like the world is out to get you. The difference is often in the framing, and in the confidence you have in your own skin and ability. But is it possible to maintain 100% confidence, all of the time? Probably not. It’s likely going to waver during the day, and that’s fine.
Knowing how to top confidence back up when it goes awry will make sure it doesn’t stop you achieving your business goals. These entrepreneurs share how they instantly generate confidence during their working day, and all are things you can implement right now.
Remember your past wins
Tried and tested by entrepreneurs who have faced nerves and self-doubt, reminding yourself of what you have already achieved can give your confidence levels the boost they need. Create a metaphorical cookie jar of all your business and life wins and dip in for instant assurance. Samantha from ICI CARE keeps a list of her past wins and her big picture vision on the wall where she works, ensuring they are at eye level. “By having that reminder, I win over my brain before it spirals down,” she said. “Self-doubt is normal but I keep my focus and energy on achievement.”
Dana Marlowe from I Support The Girls does similar, but adds visual cues in the form of, “photos, videos or mementos from wins you had in the past, that remind you of your worthy accomplishments.” Medals, smiling photos, and videos of when it all went right could be the intervention that changes your trajectory right away. “Quick wins and small accomplishments build up to larger ones,” she added.
Elaine from Elaine Hughes Consultancy also reminds herself of her successes, and wants you to do the same. “Write all down the things you have achieved in your life, which can be academic awards, personal goals, or achievements. Include anything you once thought you couldn’t do, that you did in the end.” She said you should, “put this list somewhere you can see it and remind yourself just how awesome you are!” Hughes herself has, “a physical disability in a society where I am up against the odds,” and knows she has, “defied all of it to make my success against the backdrop of all naysayers.” Anything you overcame in the past will help you overcome more in the future, you just need reminding.
Embody your most confident version
Becoming a confident person starts with acting like one. When you’re feeling unconfident you’re probably slouching, looking down, subconsciously finding reasons to believe that you’re not built for this. But that doesn’t have to be the case. Louise Cox from Louise Cox PR leans into the physical components of confidence when she needs it. She advised you, “behave in a way that suggests you’re confident and self-assured, even if you don’t necessarily feel that way inside.” This might involve, “standing up straighter, speaking more assertively, or making eye contact or smiling more frequently.” Once you do this, your brain is tricked into confidence. It’s fake it until you make it, for the most positive of outcomes.
Become the person you need to be to get stuff done by having a conversion with future you. That’s exactly what Mario Sarceno from Founders PR practices, by “future tracing what someone with that desired confidence would do.” Sarceno, when experiencing low confidence from not knowing how to overcome an obstacle or create a solution to a problem, likes to, “step out of my current situation, envision a version of me that has overcome my situation, and list out what they’re doing and have done to get to where they’re at.” With those steps outlined, “it is a lot easier to see the path I should take and commit to it,” he added. Albert Einstein said you can’t solve a problem with the same thinking that created it. So find a way to think differently.
Confidence is a state of mind, which means it’s also a choice. Dr Amanda Foo-Ryland, founder of Your Life Live It, knows this well, explaining that it’s also, “about how you choose to see a new situation.” She knows, “I can either be confident or choose not to be.” Like Sarceno, she incorporates visualisation into the way ahead. “If I choose to be confident, I imagine the event and see myself in it being confident, being the person I want to be. I observe myself in the movie in my head.” Foo-Ryland thinks about what she wants in specific detail and allows the film to play out. “I actively choose to focus on what I want, rather than what I don’t.” The flipside is also true. “Focusing on what you think might happen that is negative will create a poor quality mindset, in turn this will create anxiety.” No one wants that. Visualise it all going right for an instant hit of assurance and optimism.
Utilize affirmations and positive self-talk
On the topic of tactics for instant confidence, affirmations and self-talk are heavy hitters. Mastering both can rewire your brain to a more helpful channel and keep it there through any crisis. Selena Rezvani, leadership development speaker and author of Quick Confidence: Be Authentic, Create Connections and Make Bold Bets On Yourself, repeats mantras or short soundbites to herself before a big moment. “They remind me that I am needed in that room and that I have the skills to serve the audience at hand. They also affirm my resilience in case things go wrong.” Rezvani’s mantras include, “I belong in this boardroom,” and “if it’s meant to be, it’s up to me.” Succinct and empowering mantras perfect for an important event.
Other fans of affirmations include Lydia Collins-Hussey, specialist paediatric allergy dietitian from The Milk Allergy Dietitian, who has created visual cues, with her list of ten “I am” statements on the notice board at her desk, “that I speak out loud every day.” She refers to them every time she needs to, and they include statements like, “I am an expert in my field, I am worthy, I am confident, I am grateful.” What’s on your list of ten? Grab a pen and paper and jot them down, then read aloud and feel them coming true.
Lauren Hope, executive director of the Second Service Foundation, has one simple phrase in mind, that she believes will help any entrepreneur in search of confidence. That mantra is, “I can do hard things.” She knows that, “Everyone has to do hard things, even people we put on pedestals. We can all do hard things but we have to believe in ourselves, and then we have to act.” Hope repeats this phrase to herself, “I can do hard things.” to her team members, “we can do hard things,” and her friends, “you can do hard things.” to remind everyone of, “the incredible power they hold within.” Less victimhood, more taking control. Less wanting it to be easy, more courage when it’s not. “The action is what separates the dreamers from the doers,” she added.
Remember your past wins to feel invincible in your own ability, embody your most confident version to start acting as they would, and talk to yourself to prepare well and keep jumping over hurdles that cross your path. Three powerful tactics for instant confidence, that entrepreneurs like you have tried and tested.