Self-confidence is a must-have as a business owner, but many new entrepreneurs struggle with it. Finding the courage to take risks and act as a leader can seem overwhelming in the beginning stages of your company. However, that’s the most important time to have faith in yourself and your business.
To help, we asked members of Young Entrepreneur Council to share some simple ways leaders can build confidence in themselves. Here are their tips to start believing in yourself so you might reach your fullest potential.
1. Step Away from the Daily Business Grind
There are several ways to achieve optimal-level flow experiences (gym, sports, active hobbies, etc.). It’s helpful to step away from the daily business grind and have a place where energy can be focused and daily thoughts are removed from your mind immediately. Coming back to work-related items afterward clears the mind and indirectly brings up your confidence when attacking the next objective.
2. Stop Comparing Yourself to Others
If you’re looking to build confidence in yourself, stop the comparison game. Many people spend their time looking at someone’s decades of experience and comparing it to their own early beginnings. The less time you spend comparing yourself to others, the more time you will have to accomplish tasks and build your confidence by doing the things that will make you live your own version of success.
3. Seek Validation from Within
The very reason why we are not confident is that we ask validation from others when the only validation we need is from ourselves. We don’t need anyone’s approval for us to be confident, we only need self-love and appreciation for us to really care about ourselves. Once we understand that we need to love ourselves first before anything else, everything will follow.
4. Face Your Fears
The opposite of confidence is fear, and fear comes from holding back. The only way to become more confident, then, is to do what you’re afraid to do. At first, it may seem impossible, but sooner or later, you’ll find that you’re no longer afraid of anything.
5. Follow Through on Your Promises to Yourself
One way to build confidence is to consistently follow through on the promises you make to yourself. This will allow you to condition your mind for constant success and the knowledge that every win is a celebration. This boosts your self-esteem highly in a way where you validate yourself instead of seeking the validation of the outer world.
6. Visualize Your Success
Visualization is a great way to improve confidence in yourself. For example, if you have a public speaking appearance coming up and you’re nervous, visualize yourself delivering a great speech. If you have a tough conversation coming up at work, visualize yourself performing in a stellar fashion. Whatever it is you need confidence in, visualization can help you get there.
7. Celebrate Small Wins
Not every win has to be huge. A small win can be as simple as making the bed. Start your day with that positive energy and build from there. The more wins you get in a day, the more confident you will become and the bigger your wins will be.
8. Reward Yourself
Give yourself a reward each time a goal is achieved. The rewards can be anything from a fancy lunch, a new shirt or weekend vacation. The rewards will help to remind you of and reinforce your success. Therefore, it is important to make sure the benchmarks are appropriate to allow for frequent rewards.
9. Be Open to Feedback and Growth
Ask people you trust and who can be honest about how you can do better, like a mentor. I started a podcast and had a few people listen to it, and then asked for their honest feedback. They told me what I’m doing well and gave me specific pointers on how I can improve. It builds confidence to know how to grow. You might not get the positive answer you were hoping to hear. Use it to grow from there.
10. Spend Time With the Right People
The right people will be uplifting, positive and encouraging when you need it most. You want to stay away from people who only see things in a negative light and refuse to see the good in anything, as this won’t do anything positive for your self-confidence. Stick around people who encourage you to do your best and pay attention to the good in you that already exists so you can become even better.
11. Set Small Goals
If you want to build your confidence, set small goals and achieve them. Achieving goals will make you feel more accomplished and you’ll start to feel better about yourself. For example, if you want to get in better shape, make a small goal of taking a 15-minute walk every day. A small goal like that is easy to reach and sets you up for success.
12. Implement Self-Care Into Your Routine
If you struggle with confidence, perhaps it’s because you don’t take care of yourself the way you deserve. By implementing self-care, you’re showing yourself that you’re taking steps towards appreciating yourself and becoming a better person. This includes taking care of yourself mentally, physically and emotionally.
13. Practice Positive Self-Talk
If you want to build your confidence, remember to practice positive self-talk. So, if you’re self-conscious about your abilities at work, you might think negative thoughts about yourself like, “I’m going to get fired because I’m not good enough.” Instead, make a point to say to yourself, “I’m great at my job and I get better at it every day.” After you say it enough, you’ll start believing it.
14. Count Your Accomplishments
Feeling good about yourself requires you to think about the things you’ve accomplished in your personal and professional lives. I find that writing everything down helps reassure me and steady my mind when I’m feeling less than confident about a decision.
These answers are provided by Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most successful young entrepreneurs. YEC members represent nearly every industry, generate billions of dollars in revenue each year and have created tens of thousands of jobs. Learn more at yec.co.