“You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, ‘I have lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.’ You must do the thing you think you cannot do.” ~ Eleanor Roosevelt
My four-year old has more self-confidence than me.
When he wants something, he goes after it with a certainty and determination I can’t help but admire – even when he’s driving me crazy.
If he wants a second cookie, he’ll ask me 20 times. And if that fails, he’ll use his ingenuity to figure out another way to get the cookie (which usually means helping himself as soon as I turn my back).
He’s committed to his goal. And he never gives up until he achieves it.
I envy my son and his preschooler friends.
He has something that I work every day to create more of. Something that can bring more happiness and success.
He has self-confidence. And that is key to getting anything done in life. Including making more money in your business.
When you know how to be more confident in yourself, you:
- Believe you can do things you’ve never done before.
- Set bigger and more exciting goals.
- Take more action and more risks.
- Achieve more in your business and make more money.
- Live into your full potential.
But how do we adults get more self-confidence?
What Is Self-Confidence
Before we jump into the “how” let’s pause and examine what self-confidence looks like.
It’s important that you don’t confuse self-confidence with arrogance.
Arrogance is seeking to make yourself better than someone else. Arrogance comes from self-doubt – a need to build yourself up and make yourself greater than you are.
This is the opposite of self-confidence.
There’s no need to make yourself better than others. In fact, trying is a waste of effort.
We’re all equally worthy. There’s nothing you can do to make yourself more or less worthy.
And this is good news. It means that all you need to do is believe in the worth you already have.
You don’t need to wait until you gain more experience, make more money, or achieve a big goal to have more self-confidence. You can start believing in yourself right now.
Self-confidence is being open to feeling the fear, anxiety, uncertainty, rejection, humiliation.
Self-confidence is not hiding.
Self-confidence is allowing yourself to feel all the bad stuff and take action anyway.
Self-confidence is doing it scared. Embracing the journey. And rejoicing in being human.
Why We Struggle to Build Self-Confidence
If this thing is so simple that even my four-year old can do it. Why do most of us adults struggle so much?
Why do we run away from the doubt and fear? And allow these feelings to stop us from going after our dreams?
The answer lies in how our minds work.
Our brains have evolved to keep us safe and help us seek connection.
Back when we lived in caves, it was important to be part of the tribe. Being outcast meant certain death. We needed the larger group to help us build shelter, stay warm, get food, and look after our young.
We sought acceptance and connection to other people. Our survival literally depended on it.
However, our human lives have changed quite a bit since then. Yet the primitive part of our brain hasn’t caught up to the modern world.
Every time we want to put ourselves out there – by launching a business, publishing a book, seeking clients, asking for money – our brains work overtime to stop us. They offer up thoughts like…
What if someone laughs at us?
What if people reject our idea?
What if they leave a bad review?
What if our friends and family don’t approve?
What if we end up looking foolish?
What if we fail?
Asking for money can be especially scary. Many of us have all kinds of fear around asking someone to pay us for our work.
Which isn’t a helpful line of thought when trying to build a business.
It’s not surprising most of us don’t take the steps to make more money. Doing so, means overriding our primitive brains and being willing to face our greatest fears.
How to Be More Confident In Yourself
So, what’s the answer? How can you feel more confident about asking for money and building your business?
There are three steps to building your self-confidence. The steps are:
- Become aware. Start by observing your thoughts and feelings. Notice what thoughts come up whenever you work on your business – especially your thoughts around making offers or asking for money. Watch how these thoughts make you feel.
- Allow the negative feelings. Practice allowing the doubt, fear, or anxiety. These are just feelings in your body. You’re not going to die. Don’t try to deny or avoid these emotions (you wouldn’t be human if you didn’t have them). Simply, allow them to be present.
- Generate new thoughts. Once you can see your default negative patterns, look for positive thoughts that generate a feeling of self-confidence. You want to build your business from a positive place and not from negativity.
Thoughts That Generate Self-Confidence
The last step takes intentional practice. You can’t instantly override your default thinking.
Be gentle with yourself and commit to the practice.
Below are some thoughts you can try. I recommend you also look for your own thoughts. We are all different. You want to find thoughts you can believe.
For example, one of my favorites is “I’m figuring this out.” When I think this, I become curious.
This works for me because I love a challenge. I’ve always enjoyed puzzles. And I have confidence that if I stick with it, I can solve any problem.
Find the positive thought that helps you be more confident in yourself. For example, it might be:
- I am figuring this out.
- What others think about me is 100% about them.
- I was made for this.
- The worst that can happen is a feeling.
- I have this.
- The better I fail, the more confident I am.
- So what?
- I know what I’m doing.
- Everything is exactly as it should be.
Next Steps for How to Be More Confident in Yourself
Keep practicing the three steps in this post to increase your self confidence. As you do, note how you show up differently in your business and life. Then keep on practicing.
As a final reminder, the steps are:
- Become aware of your thoughts and feelings.
- Allow the negative feelings.
- Generate new thoughts that create a feeling of self-confidence.
You got this.