Content provided by a guest contributor.
Being an entrepreneur is not only about having a good business idea or good business acumen. It is also about having a lot of courage. You have to build self-confidence and be able to trust yourself to do what needs to be done, no matter how uncomfortable it feels initially.
Self confidence is a vital entrepreneurial skill for success.
- It's the belief that you can handle uncomfortable or unexpected situations
- It's the absolute knowledge that you have the ability and skills to tackle any task - or that you can develop these when needed
- It provides the motivation to see any objective through to the end
- It enables you to make difficult decisions and explore new options
- It’s what stops you becoming demoralised, frustrated and resentful
Self-confidence is not something you either have or you don't, and people generally are not born confident about everything. A person can have high self-confidence in one situation and be completely insecure in another.
The most successful entrepreneurs often have feelings of inadequacy and self-doubt when they begin a new project. They just don’t let those feelings stop them. Instead they use the energy these feelings generate to keep moving forward.
Boost your self confidence
The following exercise works well for helping to building self-confidence. Find a few minutes to be alone and take yourself through the process, or you can ask someone to read it out to you while you do the visualisation – at your own pace:
- Think of a situation in which you are totally self-confident; a simple task you do confidently and easily all the time. Can you see yourself doing it? What do you look like? What do you say? How do you say it? How does it feel, being totally at ease and self-confident? Where do you feel it? Take note of what you see, hear and feel
- Then think of a situation you are much less confident about. Remember what you noticed when you were very confident? Now apply it to this new situation. See yourself doing it in the same way. Hear yourself saying what you say when you’re confident. Feel those highly confident feelings, in exactly the same place in your body. Build a “mind movie” with you in the starring role, being supremely sure of yourself in this more difficult situation. Stay with this for a while, as you make your movie bigger and brighter
When you're finished, notice the difference in your attitude towards this situation. How self-confident do you feel now? Can you do this with even more difficult situations?
Break out of your comfort zone
Don't be afraid to try something new. If you do this on a regular basis, you lessen your fear and realise you can manage any situation. Be courageous. Attend networking events. Sit as close to the front as possible.
Make eye contact, smile convincingly and be genuinely interested in what others have to say. That way they’re more likely to be interested in you. Going forward, keep comparing your confidence levels to your own previous results. Watch yourself getting better and better and acknowledge your progress!
Self confidence is beneficial in both social and professional spheres. Without it you are likely to miss out on many opportunities to be successful. Rather than allowing fear to lessen your personal power, draw on your strengths and trust in your abilities, and you’ll find yourself stepping out with confidence!
Barbara Walsh is a licensed and internationally accredited Meta-Coach. Her practice, MetaCo Coaching has a variety of specialised, highly effective and affordable coaching solutions for entrepreneurs. These include one-on-one Entrepreneurial Meta-Coaching, the Meteor® Programme and the popular Mindskills Performance Coaching Workshops. See www.metaco.co.za for more information.