by Danielle Andrews, President and Co-Founder of The Wedding Planners Institute of Canada Inc.
“Confidence is sexy!” This is a saying we hear over and over. But confidence is not just attractive in personal life, it is also very important in your professional life as well. Self confidence translates in to business success, and this is especially true for entrepreneurs. When your self confidence is low, you will feel less able to handle the challenges put in your way. Having low self-esteem will cause you to second guess your decisions and make you a less effective leader.
Here are some ways to build a strong self esteem and confidence in yourself and your abilities:
1. Set small achievable goals and challenges!
The high you get from accomplishing a task or goal will boost your self esteem. It could be finally purging your closet, a challenging hike, completing a fitness class, writing a blog, anything that gives you a sense of accomplishment.
2. Practice Self Love!
Self love = Self care. Maybe you don’t love everything about yourself right now, but that shpouldn’t stop you from giving yourself some care. Self love is truly one of the pillars of being confident in oneself. Take care of yourself, treat yourself with kindness. Treat yourself to something special even if it’s just a specialty coffee or baked good, take a luxurious bath, go for a pedicure, take a “Me Day” (or couple of hours), look in the mirror and choose 3 things you like about what you see and say it out loud, compliment yourself. Write down things that you like about yourself, list things that you are good at and then things that others like about you, and have complimented you about. Here are some ideas about Self Care/Love.
3. Change your self-talk!
Your inner self only believes the words you say, not the meaning behind them, so only say nice things to yourself. I’ve trained myself that whenever I feel like I messed up or am not happy with the way I look, I say. “I love me so much!!” This is so effective when a memory pops up of a time you embarrassed yourself or put your foot in your mouth, counter the memory and self-deprecating thought with “I love me!! I’m so awesome!” Never ever chastise yourself or think about something you don’t love about you. Give yourself nothing but love and watch how that self-confidence pours out!
4. Do something that scares you a little!
Overcoming a fear is an amazing confidence booster! This could be something like approaching a peer at a networking event, climbing a rock wall, eating a meal in public alone without a book or phone in hand.
5. Education truly is power!
Learn a new skill, the more you know, the less you’ll feel like an imposter. Confidence comes with knowledge, if you feel like you are properly educated and trained, you will be unflappable.
6. Set up a Branding Shoot!
This may seem like a strange tip, but it really works. A lot of people are nervous about taking photos, having a pro direct you and make you feel great during the photos is a wonderful confidence-boosting exercise. Then you can congratulate yourself on overcoming your fear. Then you can relish having a couple of fantastic photos to share with the world, showing a beautiful, confident strong business person (pay no attention to the photos that make you look like troll, just delight in those amazing ones! You wouldn’t share more than 2 or 3 photos of the same outfit anyway 😉 ). And post those darn pictures! Introduce yourself, don’t be shy. Even though I post a lot of photos, I always get a little nervous before hitting the button. Just do it! Here are some tips about planning a Branding Shoot for yourself.
7. Dress up!!
When you look good, you feel good. Wear a great outfit, and style yourself. I’m not just talking about at meetings or networking events, I’m talking about day to day. You can’t give your business card out at the grocery store if you look a mess. Being dressed nicely and professionally truly is a confidence booster! Don’t just take my word for it, psychologists have actually found a direct link between “Look good, feel good”, check out this link.
8. Start saying NO!
When someone comes to you with a new project or need, put the burden of effort on them to explain why it is worth your time and should be tackled before your own long list of other priorities and tasks. Once you start putting yourself first and realize that others’ needs are not more important than your own, you will feel empowered, and that will translate in to self confidence.
What are some things you have done to help build your confidence? Let us know in the comments!