Why bother about confidence – isn’t that a bit fluffy given today’s business climate? Well, your level of confidence can have a big impact on whether or not you’ll actually do those business tasks which feel challenging, but which could really move your business forward.
Maybe there’s a business task ahead that you’re feeling anxious about, or perhaps you want to quiet that inner voice that says “I can’t do it”; if something happened that knocked your confidence; or even when everything’s going great guns – a terrific tool for success is to keep your business confidence high.
I’d like to share with you six proven methods for raising your business confidence and keeping it high.
1. Get Curious
Work out what’s reducing your confidence in the circumstances. Examples could be a similar situation a few months back that didn’t work out, or under-valuing your own experience and skills. Don’t beat yourself up – wobbling confidence is very common, especially when we’re forging a new path in life, like starting a freelance career or developing a design business.
So, note down what you learned from the experience that’s troubling you and how you will put that learning to good use now. Or list your related skills and experience, and how they’ve helped you achieve things in the past few months.
2. Review your past Achievements
Whether it’s finding a great new customer, finishing a personal project, or designing things you’re proud of, re-living a time you achieved what you wanted can raise your confidence. What talents and skills did you make use of, and how were you feeling — before and after?
List all the ways you could apply those skills and that feeling of accomplishment to your present situation. Sadly, too many of us tend to under-value, overlook or forget our victories, so how about ..
3. .. Keeping an Achievements List
Get a hip notebook and write down every success you have, and the date it happens. It’s up to you whether to include achievements from the whole of your life, or whether to focus solely on your freelancing successes.
You’ll be pleased at how quickly your record grows and what a confidence boost you get when you read it.
4. Find a Cheerleader
Get in touch with an encouraging person you know and have them: tell you why you’re excellent at what you do; help you remember your past successes; jog your memory about five things you’re talented at.
5. Start a Compliments Book
How quickly do you forget appreciative feedback and encouragement from clients and others?
Starting today, every time you’re given a compliment about your design work or your business, note it down! (Include the name of the person who said it and the date they said it.) You get to enjoy the good feelings again every time you look at your book.
6. Make a Film
Ok, perhaps not literally — but picture for a moment that you’re going to pitch to a potential new client: you start by imagining yourself in the room doing your thing. See everything going well: you’re on top of your game; your audience is smiling and nodding; they’re leaning forward intently listening, some of them are asking you great questions — you know the kind of thing. You can hear different voices asking you questions, you can feel the floor firmly supporting your feet, and you can hear the birds outside the windows. You feel really great that your pitch is going so well.
Now let’s apply that to your current situation — visualise things going great. Make your mental pictures detailed, include relevant textures and sounds, and experience the emotions, like I suggested in the example above.
I’d like you to re-run your visualisation, but rather than seeing the images in your head, see them running on a very big TV, adding your textures, sounds and great feelings.
OK, let’s run your images again, but this time on a huge cinema screen. Make them 3-D, try adding surround sound — and once again, enjoy your success.
Re-view your success movie frequently, as often as you want. It can be especially helpful if you feel a dip in energy or confidence.
How to apply these ideas to your life
The techniques I’ve shared shape your brain & your emotions in several ways, including feeling that you deserve success; being comfortable achieving in business; and seeing the past as something to learn from rather than something that defines your future.
Maybe you have a clear favourite or two from the ideas above or perhaps you want to give them all a go. Whichever appeals, doing them regularly in your business life will help your confidence get stronger — giving you an internal raincoat against business rain showers and hailstorms.