What do you think of when I say Under-Confident Businessperson?
For most, phrases like Eaten Alive might come to mind.
We’ve all encountered that businessperson who is so confident in his or her wares, that we’re tempted to make a purchase, product unseen. We’ve also met those who have something great, but whose lack of enthusiasm ruins the experience.
What begets confidence? Is it a track record filled with one brilliant success after another? Or is it a trait that some are born with?
The answer is None of the Above. Confidence is something that is learnt; something that is built up, like a muscle, as a result of exercise, practice and reinforcement. It doesn’t necessarily come as a result of success; however, success plays an important role in its construction. Confidence isn’t something you can wish upon yourself, or genetically pass on to your offspring. It is, however, something that a dedicated brand-builder can achieve with the right advice.
So let’s go.
Confidence: A Game Plan
You must feel confident in your brand. You must exude confidence in that brand—in everything you say and do. Part of the equation is creating something that you believe in; the other part involves convincing others that your confidence in your brand is something they should share in.
Here are some points to adopt as you build your confidence…and therefore, your brand:
- Choose something you believe in from the start. Your brand must be built around your passion: something you love to do, a problem you’re aching to solve, a joy you want to bring to others. Money-making is not a reason that will keep you in business for long. If you use your natural strengths, along with your interests and goals, to build a brand, you will feel confident in your skills and your reasons for pushing forward. Choose something for the wrong reasons, and you’ll risk authenticity and motivation—which will result in a drop in confidence as you see others doing what they love and doing it well.
- Choose something relaxing. This doesn’t mean that your hobby has to become your job. What it does mean is assessing those things that you do regularly, and focussing on those areas in which you feel self-assured. This is a seed of confidence...and will result in business confidence if properly nurtured. Caveat: Do not steer away from those things that initially make you somewhat nervous. This anxiety has the potential to be converted to forward momentum, if properly nurtured. Use the power of positive thinking: Can you see yourself being relaxed doing this thing, with practice? If so, then it’s worth pursuit.
- Practice being aware of confidence. Learn to feel delighted in confidence, rather than in your level of achievement—this is where real growth happens. In every daily task, begin to ask yourself if you feel confident or under-confident. Take note of the type of task causing this emotion, and encourage yourself to reward your confidence in every area that comes naturally to you and in all areas that you’d like to feel more confident.
- Study the body language and speech of confident people. How does that brilliant salesman carry himself? What words, tone and inflection does he use whilst speaking about his brand? Learn from these nuances. Practice them in a mirror, with your own unique Use them often. Not only will you begin to affect others in a positive way, your confidence will grow.
- Set achievable confidence goals. Are you under the assumption that confidence can only grow with the reaching of significant milestones…with the achievement of great success? In reality, the best kind of confidence grows slowly, with small steps and goals. Rather than leaping outside of your comfort zone and showing your lack of confidence in grand fashion, put just one foot outside of it. Take metred risks. Take note of your improvement each time, and know that you can rest your confidence on those small, but oh-so-important, successes.
- Be prepared. Invest the time and energy into being prepared before you take a risk, and you will naturally feel more confident. Not only will you avoid surprises (which can blow your confidence), you will learn and gain experience through that preparation.
- Silence all negativity. The voice in your head that repeats “you can’t do this” is not your own. It’s the bully, the teacher or the boss from your past who wanted to break you down. Be firm with that voice. Put it in a corner and silence it with authority over your own destiny. Establish a rule that you are no longer permitted to engage with that voice, and commit to speaking to yourself only as you would speak to someone you are mentoring.
- Welcome adversity. How do you become stronger? You challenge yourself. The same goes for the building of confidence. Prove that you can weather the storm, and you will begin to believe this about yourself. And when you believe in yourself, that confidence will drip from every interaction you have with those most important to your brand.
- Seek out support. An outside perspective is always helpful when it comes to identifying your own strengths and achievements. Ask for feedback. Ask someone to guide you. With the right person’s help, you will begin to believe in yourself...and so will others.
Are you looking for a more hands-on approach to building confidence? Then I invite you to attend one of our B.R.A.N.D. Building Bootcamps. Click here for more information and to register.