How to Cultivate the Confidence to Succeed

by Kim on January 1, 2010

Hibiscus flower

It’s a New Year!

And if you are like most people, you probably have created a long list of resolutions to start the year off right. I have too.

For many of my clients and readers, beginning or expanding a business tops their list of resolutions for 2010. That’s a great goal but how are you going to make it happen? Hmmm? Or hadn’t you gotten that far in your thinking yet?

If so, don’t feel bad. I see that with a lot of people I coach. They have all these grand ideas but get stuck when it comes time to actually make them a reality. In the end, it boils down to one main issue: confidence. Either you have the confidence to succeed and knock aside all obstacles or you lack confidence and wilt at the first sign of a challenge.

So what do you do if you aren’t one of the few people who are naturally confident?

Keys to Confidence

Fortunately, confidence can be learned if you weren’t born with it. Follow these easy steps, and you’ll be feeling like you can take on the world in no time.

1.) Change Begins Within: If you want others to see you as a successful, confident entrepreneur, you need to see yourself as that person first. This is so crucial. True confidence comes from within…you need to radically change your mindset if you want to succeed.

Stop thinking of yourself as someone who wants to run a business – you do run a business. You don’t think you’ll be successful, you will be successful. When someone asks you about your new venture, don’t hem and haw and apologize that you are just starting out. Instead, be proud and share your new business idea with confidence knowing it will be the success you envision!

2.) Consider the Negative: This may seem counter-intuitive, but I want you to dwell on everything that can go wrong for a moment. Yes, I know that I just told you to convince yourself that you’ll be a success. It probably seems a bit backward to now think about what could go wrong – but stay with me here. This is an important step to cultivating confidence. If you really want to believe that you can succeed, you have to consider what could go wrong and how you will cross that bridge when you come to it.

So let’s say that your business isn’t all you had hoped it would be. The sales just don’t happen right away, and clients aren’t flocking to you. What happens next? Maybe you have to endure Aunt Edna’s ‘I told you so’ sigh or the embarrassment of telling your spouse that your big plans aren’t working out. Then what? I’ll tell you what – you move on to Plan B. You don’t have a Plan B? Well, aren’t you glad you stopped to think about what could go wrong so you could create a Plan B??

Important Note: If you do this exercise and envision your family living in a cardboard box if your business doesn’t take off, you need to rework your business model. There is a difference between being confident and being crazy. If your business plan will jeopardize your family’s safety and stability if it fails, then it is time to rethink your Plan A.

3.) Focus on the Positive: Now, let’s flip back to what we discussed in the first step – creating confidence from within. By now, you have your great business plan and you have fully considered what happens if it doesn’t work out. And this is where true confidence should start to kick in. Once you feel good about your plan and know how you are going to handle any roadblock that might pop up, you can feel confident that you are prepared to succeed.

Remember: challenges are just opportunities to better yourself and your business.

4.) Play the Part: Think about someone who oozes confidence. How do they act? If I had to guess, I would say that they probably have decent posture, make eye contact, speak clearly and smile a lot. Confident people put others at ease because they are not concerned with trying to make a good impression. They are comfortable with who they are and what they do.

Not you…or at least not yet? Well, fake it until you make it. Look at the confident people you admire and follow their lead. Eventually, you will discover that you go from acting like you are confident to being confident.

And it’s as easy as that! There is no mystery behind confidence – all it takes is changing how you view yourself and then acting with confidence until it becomes second nature.

Now that you are hopefully feeling a little more confident about your plans, we’ll discuss setting and reaching goals.

Until next time!

Image via niceazurpassionpoesie on Flickr

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Fox April 11, 2010 at 3:36 pm

I have found that confidence is the major issue I need to work on for 2010. In every aspect of my life. Thank you for this article on steps to cultivate it.

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