In business, confidence is everything.
The way you carry yourself with clients, with customers, even investors, can make or break your relationships.
Not only does confidence affect personal interactions with people, but we also need to keep our confidence in our thoughts and decisions in check.
Fearless entrepreneurs like Bill Gates, Elon Musk, or other millionaires and billionaires all have unwavering confidence in the decisions they need to make every day.
While your decisions will never be 100% right, it's important that you learn to make a decision, and have full confidence in it, no matter the outcome.
A lack of confidence can make you feel uncomfortable living in your own shell.
When you're in this state, it can feel as though nothing is going your way, and as if everything is closing in on you.
Being confident and holding your head up high gives you freedom and mobility within your life and business, in general.
The more confident you are in yourself and your decisions, the better you're able to proactively respond to situations and deal with them quickly.
Here's the ultimate guide to building unwavering confidence in your life and business.
Where do you lack confidence?
The first and most important part of being more confident is identifying where it is your lack of confidence stems from.
Without the root cause of any particular situation, it can be very difficult to tackle the problem at hand.
For a long time, I was petrified of getting on sales calls - sales is something I'm uncomfortable with, and it's the main driver for why my marketing agency failed.
This lack of confidence in my sales abilities rubbed off heavily on my chances of closing deals, which in return, had a negative impact on my prospecting and my overall happiness.
To get out of this rut, I had to first see what I was doing wrong, and what really led to my lack of confidence.
When you find yourself stuck, Sakichi Toyoda says that "by repeating why five times, the nature of the problem as well as its solution becomes clear."
Using this strategy, I asked myself why I lacked confidence in getting on sales calls, and I realised the problem stemmed from the fact that I had no experience with what I was offering my prospects.
Knowing the direct cause of your problem makes it much easier to tackle, as it's no longer a mystery.
While going on with your day, stop yourself whenever you feel as though your confidence is starting to take a hit.
Analyse the situation and ask yourself why (up to 5 times) you might be feeling as though your confidence is dropping, to reach the root cause of this lack of confidence.
Think about your goals
If you're reading my articles, chances are that you have unique goals and ambitions in life.
Each person's goals are different, and so everyone must think about how their own actions and habits affect their chances of accomplishing said goals.
A while ago, I wrote an article that talked about 'the only way to make good habits stick', which discusses a unique practice.
The article stated that you should look at yourself from a birds-eye view, and ask yourself:
"Is who I am today, enough to reach the goals I want to achieve?"
In most cases, the answer to this question will be no, and so the next step is to ask:
"So, who do I need to be in order to reach those goals I've outlined for myself?"
This question will get you thinking about the specific skills, habits, and traits you need in order to reach your goals.
If you feel as though you lack confidence, you'll want to think about your goals, and figure out whether your lack of confidence is sabotaging your success.
My dreams of building a successful business were sabotaged by the fact that I lacked confidence in my sales abilities and so I needed to make a change.
If you're serious about ever reaching your goals, you'd sit down and think about how you can start taking small steps to overcome that lack of confidence and become successful.
The first step in reaching those goals is to have 1000% confidence in the fact that you're able to reach them.
Step outside your comfort zone
Our brains are wired in a way to keep us safe and sound - away from any danger that might be out to harm us.
However, the issue is that our brains can't tell the difference between life-threatening danger, and danger to our emotions and confidence.
Whenever you might feel as though your confidence is deteriorating, your mind will try its best to keep you tucked away in your little castle, away from all the challenges you'll inevitably have to overcome.
Our comfort zones are fun, they're safe, and they're... well, comfortable.
However, to become successful and do things only the top 1% of the world ever achieve, we can't be comfortable, we must experience pain and adversity.
Whenever you become an entrepreneur, you're signing an invisible paper that says you'll do things you've never done, things you're not comfortable doing, in order to get to where you need to be.
Becoming successful is difficult, and so it's the reason 99% of the world never become as successful as they'd like to be.
They can't overcome the things they're uncomfortable with, they can't find comfort in uncomfortable situations.
When I became an entrepreneur around 2 years ago, I never thought I'd be in a place where I speak to strangers on the internet.
For a long time, I was scared and introverted, uncomfortable with the idea of speaking to people - I tried to avoid social contact at all costs.
However, I realised that my lack of confidence was stopping me from achieving my full potential and so I opened up to the idea of socialising with others and started to grow my network.
I stepped out of my comfort zone, by doing 1 on 1 zoom calls.
It got to the point where I was able to personally book and take over 40 meetings within a space of a single month, for one of my businesses (at the time), Condensr.
Learn to get uncomfortable, only then can you grow the confidence to do things you never liked to before.
It will be just fine
Touching base on the previous point, our minds create illusions, false realities where we start to imagine things that will, most likely, never happen.
This is a defence mechanism aimed at the task of stopping us from pushing ourselves further out of our comfort zones.
Some of the scenarios my mind created when I lacked the confidence to get on sales calls were:
'What if they get angry at me?'
'What if they reject me?'
'What if they laugh at me, or make fun of me?'
None of these things turned out to happen, at the end of the day. One of my favourite speakers of all time, Simon Sinek, once said "the people you think are judging you are too busy thinking about others judging them." (Something along those lines).
This made me realise that every negative outcome I ever thought would happen was actually all bullsh**!
99% of the time, the things we think might happen never end up happening, and that's why it's important you realise that it's going to be just fine.
Whenever you feel that you're lacking confidence, think about the *real* outcome - it's never as scary as it seems.
Cold calling a prospect isn't scary - you'll simply get a yes or a no, then you can go on with your day.
Rarely do prospects ever lash out at you, or shout at you.
Instead of creating all these false, negative thoughts in our minds, try to overpower them with strong, positive thinking.
Whenever you feel as though your confidence is falling, think about the positive outcome if you just did what it is you're afraid to do.
Stop being afraid of things that will never happen, instead, be excited for the things that will!
Change your outlook
Outlooks and perspectives are everything.
They can be the single leading factor to one's success in life - if you see success as evil, you'll never be successful.
However, if you see success as an opportunity to solve evil, or give back to the less fortunate, then you are much more likely to succeed.
While a successful person might see a challenge as a way to grow and develop their personal skills, an unsuccessful person sees a challenge as something standing in their way to success.
The successful person sees the challenge as a stepping stone to success while the unsuccessful person sees it as a barrier to their success.
To feel more confident, you simply need to adjust the way you look at the things that make you feel that way.
A lot of people have a 'yes, but...' attitude.
In order to change your outlook on a specific situation, you must stop seeing the bad in everything, and start to see the positives.
Take the 'but' out of your train of thought, and focus on the part that really matters.
The lesson here is to stop complaining, and always focus on the positives.
Try to see the good in every situation rather than the things that lead to a lack of confidence.
A lot of the time, we don't feel confident because we're trying to do things we're not naturally used to doing.
This involves being someone you're not.
Whenever I got on sales calls, I would put on a facade to hide who I really am, because I thought that I needed to be the person my prospects wanted me to be.
This made me very uncomfortable, and it was a big reason why I lacked confidence in my sales calls.
However, I stopped trying to impress others, and instead, started to act more like myself.
I started talking more like how I normally talk.
I stopped being a 'know it all' and embraced the fact that there are things I didn't know.
Not surprisingly, I felt much more confident on sales calls thereafter.
Not only was I more confident, but the prospects I had the chance to speak to were able to better connect to me and understand me.
I was able to build better, more rigid relationships with the people I came into contact with.
Don't ever feel as though you need to change who you are to fit in with others - do what makes you feel confident, and it will pay off.
Work on your physiology
While all the strategies we've discussed so far need to be applied over a period of time to see results, there is one thing you can do to see almost instant results.
Although you might not always feel confident, or at 100%, you can look confident on the outside.
There's essentially a way, and a simple one, to 'trick' your brain into thinking you're very confident.
The way you carry yourself, physically, has a massive effect on your overall confidence.
Factors that play into this include:
- The way you dress
- The way you speak
- The way you stand or sit down
- The way you walk
- Your eye contact
Your posture is very important when you want to act and feel confident.
Stand up straight and put your head back - whenever you slouch, you give off a less confident aura.
Next, you'll want to focus on the way you dress.
While it's important you dress appropriately and in a way you're personally confident in, research shows that wearing things like a navy-coloured tux gives off a much more professional and confident look to those around you.
A lot goes into physiology, so I urge you to do more research into it!
That was the ultimate guide to building unwavering confidence.
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