Whether you’re about to give your first presentation, start a new gig, or launch your start-up, here are the surefire ways to keep your confidence high and ditch self doubt, says guest blogger Jessica Huie MBE
Fact: Confident people get ahead. And it’s pretty much common knowledge that confidence and accomplishment go hand in hand. We also know that a lack of confidence can be a destructive force in our own career or business development, even if we have the talent and capability to achieve our objectives. As a business owner myself, I’ve had to learn and encourage the small buinesses that I work with why confidence is the one must-have tool they need to build success. There’s science and stats to back it up too: a study of more than 500 students, academics and workers, published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, found those who seemed more confident achieved a higher social status than their peers. Within a working team, higher-status individuals tended to be more admired, listened to, and had much more influence over group decisions.
However, the thing about confidence is that it is not a constant, it’s a mode which is affected by numerous variables, some within our control but most outside of it. Everything from our health (physical and financial) to our education and relationship status can have a bearing on our confidence levels. Even if we have achieved a level of success and fulfillment within our careers or built our business from an idea to reality, taking it to the next level and raising our game professionally, requires confidence as the fuel.
So how can we prepare to battle that niggling self doubt? Here’s my top three tips:
1. Get your head in the right mind frame
You need to believe and accept that you can handle whatever shows up, and if you get knocked down you’ll simply spring up and keep going. How so? Draw on your past experiences of coping through challenges (the times when you really didn’t think you were going to pull something off with a limited team or budget etc) to support this belief. Also, side note: stop saying “I think” before making a contribution. State your opinions with authority and don’t dilute them with uncertainty. Others are much more likely to buy into your ideas if you commit to them.
2. Take inspiration from The Scout Motto
Be prepared. Also, always do your research, because that knowledge inspires confidence. Then, once you know what you are saying, think about your delivery. Listen to your voice. Does it go up at the end of a statement? If so, this suggests uncertainty. Be aware of your tone, and once you have spoken become comfortable with silence. Don’t feel the need to fill perceived awkward moments. You have spoken, now let your team, your boss, or your business partner, digest your contribution.
3. Watch the confidence spread like wildfire
Once you’ve changed your thinking around how you perceive yourself, the beauty is watching others respond. How you are perceived by others will change very quickly. Watch as teammates and your network respond to the new you, seeing a more assured individual destined for success and capable of navigating the challenges of growth in their midst. They’ll be much more willing to travel with you on the journey, trusting that you are equipped for the ride – and most importantly recognising that you trust in yourself to arrive at your destination.
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Jessica Huie, MBE is Founder of JH Public Relations and Color blind Cards. She runs a monthly How to Raise your profile through media coverage workshop for small business owners and sole traders. The next workshop is Jan 28th 10am at The British Library https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/how-to-generate-pr-for-your-business-on-a-limited-budget-tickets-19947455376?ref=ebapi