Updated: Nov 22, 2019
Real talk. Something I occasionally struggle with as a business coach is the fear that I’ll let my clients down and they won't be satisfied with our partnership or their results. As a small business owner myself, I get that lack of confidence can come with the work you produce and the product or service you’re selling.
It’s normal. It’s natural. It’s something that we both can work on together.
Let’s start with being aware of your own inner narrative. You probably have an existing, specific story in your head about your level of confidence. Perhaps you see yourself as an introvert and someone who shys away from public speaking. Observing the personal dialogue you are telling yourself will help you determine what areas you need to grow your confidence in. Now find the places in your life where you are confident and explore what that feels like. No one lacks confidence all the time. Make a list of things you are good at however insignificant. Associate physical sensations with these tasks. Feel the feels!
Confidence is a skill, just like anything else, and it will take practice. Once you’ve determined the tasks you are confident in, understand the thoughts and feelings you experience when you have them. Write them down. Repeat a mantra. Create a character you step into. Practice in situations where you feel safe (like your friends dinner party or on the phone with your mom). Perhaps you feel vulnerable about an upcoming sales training with your team. Practice your presentation in front of your friends. Pick one thing that you lack confidence in and use the skills that you do feel confident in to practice gaining that assertiveness.
We’re never going to feel powerful all the time. Anytime we try something new, it’s going to be scary and we’ll feel vulnerable. But why is scary a bad thing? Look at the worst possible situation here. Am I literally going to die? Start to embrace the idea that it’s ok to be temporarily not ok. That’s not just an internet meme, it’s the truth. Your initial reaction might be fear, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t pursue whatever it is you’re afraid of. It just means you have a choice to see the situation as a valuable challenge. It takes practice to seek out these opportunities. It’s a misconception that people feel confident all the time and it’s up to you to break from your inner monologue about who you are and lean into the discomfort of tasks that aren’t your strong suit.
Because that’s where change occurs. And that’s when the confidence happens.