A lack of confidence can influence business owners in various ways. Aside from personal well-being, it can affect sales and marketing and your business’s performance.
This five-step guide from business coach Jane Willmott is designed to help business owners, who are strapped for time, to increase their confidence so it doesn’t plague their day or business.
1. Understand why
It’s important to understand where the lack of confidence comes from. Lack of confidence can be there for different reasons in different people.
For some, lack of confidence stems from not feeling confident enough in knowing how to do something. For others, it might be because of what they tell themselves will happen as a result of them taking an action.
For example, a small business owner might struggle to use a Facebook page for marketing because they don’t feel they really know what they’re doing, or they lack confidence in picking up the phone and attempting a sales call because they’re worried they might annoy the prospect, or afraid the prospect will say no.
In the first example, it’s coming from the fact they don’t feel they know enough, in the second example they feel they lack confidence because of something they believe will happen as a result of them doing it, in reality that’s just a story
2. Take action
Once you’re aware of where the lack of confidence is coming from you can then take real actionable steps to deal with it. If we take a look at the examples above the actionable steps could be:
In the first example, they felt they didn’t know enough and therefore had a lack of confidence as a result, actionable steps for them could be growing their knowledge in this area, listening to webinars, reading articles, watching videos and the like. Growing their knowledge on the subject would then help increase their confidence.
In the second example, they lacked confidence because of what they believed could possibly happen because of them doing that action. The actionable things they could do is to first explore why it would bother them if that did happen and then ask themselves the question “what proof do I have that this would definitely happen?”
Nine times out of 10, there’s no solid concrete proof to be found as it’s simply a story that’s been created (created by fear in most cases). Then it’s a case of looking where the fear is coming from and then again you can listen to podcasts or watch some videos which help you in dealing with your fear but a simple thing to do is to simply remind yourself that you have no proof or evidence that this will happen and therefore it’s a story and not real.
3. Pep talk
You’re aware you have the lack of confidence, you’ve looked at why you have that lack of confidence, you’ve taken actionable steps to deal with it but that doesn’t mean you’ll never suffer with it again.
It’s likely it will raise its head for you, but, in the moment it raises its head, you have a choice. You can either listen and give in to it or you can give yourself a pep talk.
Remind yourself that you’re aware of why you really feel this lack of confidence, remind yourself that you’ve been dealing with it and remind yourself that you absolutely can do this—in fact you’re choosing to do this because you’re not afraid. Take some deep breaths and continue to remind yourself that you can do this.
4. Have someone there for you
Having someone there for you can make a big difference, not only can they keep you accountable but in the moment when you’re lacking confidence they can help you deal with your feelings and work through them with you.
You’ll also find that you’re not alone. Many people suffer with lack of confidence, so while having someone there as an accountability partner and brave buddy can help you, you can also help them in return for the times they suffer a lack of confidence.
Together you can help each other deal with the feelings, continue to take action and grow in confidence.
Many people find affirmations can be a great help when they suffer a lack of confidence. These affirmations can be repeated several times a day, or before engaging in the activity where one lacks the confidence. Some have it set as a desktop background image, phone wallpaper or even written on post-it notes around their space. Some popular affirmations for self-confidence are:
“When I breathe, I inhale confidence and exhale timidity.”
“Confidence is my second nature.”
“Self-confidence is what I thrive on.”
About the author
Jane Willmott is a business coach and owns a marketing firm. She also helps women overcome their mental blocks, empowering them to build businesses they love. Find out more about her work here.