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As a business owner, director or manager you are expected to be self confident by your peers, colleagues, employees, suppliers, customers and contacts. However, you may find that you do not always feel confident.
Your confidence may change depending on how your business is going or what is happening in your personal life. You may feel self confident in some areas of your business or personal life but not in others. You may have always had low self confidence.
Your level of self confidence can show to others in your behaviour, your body language, how you speak and what you say. It can also affect your thoughts, feelings and actions. People with low self confidence may avoid taking risks and stretching themselves and therefore will struggle to reach their goals.
If you want to build your confidence, here are some ideas to try:
Look at what you have achieved. Make a list of everything you have achieved and what you like about yourself. Consider your skills, experience, personality, what others like about you, what has brought you success and the challenges you have overcome. This will make you feel more confident as you will have a more positive view of yourself. Keep referring to this list especially if you feel your confidence falling.
Set achievable goals. Make a list of the areas of your business or personal life where you would like to have more confidence. Define an overall goal for each area as to what you would like to achieve. Break this down into smaller goals. This will help build your confidence as you achieve each goal.
Prepare an action plan. Think of what you could do to improve your confidence (e.g. attend a course, look how self confident people behave, do some reading, try out some different behaviours, change the way you think about things, look at when you have felt self confident in the past and what was happening then). Then decide which actions you are going to take and when.
Prepare thoroughly for each action. If you prepare well you will feel more confident. You may also want to rehearse the actions. The more prepared you are the better you will feel.
Don't procrastinate, just do it. Once you have identified what you need to do, don't procrastinate, just have a go. You will start to feel your confidence building.
Allow yourself to feel anxious and nervous. Feeling anxious and nervous is completely natural. Think back to past experiences when you have felt anxious and nervous but have come through the other side. If you start to think that these feelings are natural and positive you will start to feel more confident in difficult situations.
Learn from your past. Review situations in the past when you have felt confident and when you have felt less confident. Look at what went well, what did not go so well and what you will do differently next time. Keep reviewing each situation in the same way as you are building your confidence.
Imagine success. Think about successful outcomes to situations. If you think that something will be a success, it is more likely to be successful. The more success you achieve the more confident you will feel.
Manage your mind and choose what you think. How you think, impacts how you feel and what you do. Therefore, it is important to choose what you think and to think positively.
Learn to handle failure. If something does not go well don't look at it as failure, see it as a learning experience. In running a business there will be many things that don't work out. You need to learn from these experiences.
Mix with people who are good for you. Choose to mix with people who help your confidence, that tell you what you are good at, that you can go out and achieve it and ask you questions that help your thinking.
Act like you are confident. Identify people who you think are self confident. Look at how they act and behave and imagine how they think. Try acting and behaving like them and thinking in a confident way and see how it makes you feel.
Low self confidence may be impacting you and your business.
Author: Liz Makin
Published: July 2007
Makin It Happen has a range of personal development online courses to purchase, created by Liz Makin, including communication, resilience, time management, stress management and coaching. Liz Makin also provides personalised business coaching, business mentoring and stress management services to business owners, directors, managers and professionals.
Please call Liz on 01780 765270 or email Liz@makinithappen.co.uk
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