How to Build Self-Confidence: 7 Strategies to Try
As an entrepreneur, outward confidence is critical to your business’s success. It allows you to network, raise capital, and grow your business. The key to outward confidence, however, is inner self-confidence. A 2006 study published in the Journal of Applied Psychology found that self-confidence is more important for entrepreneurs than for managers.”
A Harvard Business Review article about the study explains that entrepreneurs are less neurotic than managers because they require a greater sense of self-confidence to succeed.
It’s true — self-confidence is critical when building your own business. If you’re an entrepreneur with low self-confidence, you may find yourself frustrated and distracted by negative thoughts.
Fortunately, you can gain confidence in yourself and boost your self-esteem with a few proven methods and techniques. In this article, we’ll cover how to build self-confidence. We’ve provided seven methods that work well for confident people. Expanding outside of your comfort zone and implementing these tricks could help boost your confidence levels.
What is the Meaning of Self-Confidence?
If you were asked to describe self-confidence, you might say something like, “being confident in myself and my abilities.” There is no clear-cut answer as to what self-confidence is, and even researchers tend to have a hard time pinpointing what it means. Some focus on the simple act of believing in yourself, while others expand the definition to include things such as expectations, goal setting, and evaluations.
The definition that we find works well for entrepreneurs comes courtesy of Psychology Dictionary Online. Here’s their definition of self-confidence: “our self-assurance in trusting our abilities, capacities, and judgments; that belief that we can meet the demands of a task.”
For entrepreneurs, being self-confident means you trust that you have what it takes to not only accomplish small goals but to build your brand as well.
Why is Self-Confidence Important?
Having a high level of self-confidence is more important than you think. Low self-esteem and lack of self-confidence can impact more than just your business life. Below are some of the primary reasons why self-confidence is crucial.
Reduced Fear and Anxiety
One of the things commonly experienced by those who lack confidence is rumination, which is the tendency to run mistakes and worries through your head over and over again. Studies have demonstrated a connection between rumination and anxiety and depression.
Understanding Yourself and Your Self-Worth
Building confidence means having a connection with your deeper self. You know your strengths and accept your weaknesses. You know that your shortcomings don’t define your self-worth. You’re able to more closely align your actions with your principles.
Another way self-confidence can improve your well-being is by increasing your motivation. You practice positivity, knowing that you’re going to reach your goals no matter what hurdles get in your way. When you know that you’re going to succeed, you’ll find yourself much more motivated to reach your goals.
When you don’t have confidence in yourself, you find yourself consumed continually by self-doubt. This, in turn, can impact how others portray you. You may do things like carry yourself with poor body language or have trouble public speaking.
When you have self-confidence, though, you’re less focused on yourself. You’ll find yourself more invested in others, improving your relationships. You’ll also find yourself more present in the moment, as your thoughts don’t consume you. This can allow you to have more profound empathy for others.
How to Build Self-Confidence — 7 Things You Can Do
Now that we’ve established why self-confidence is so important, you may be curious how to go about increasing it. It probably sounds easier said than done, right? If it were so easy, you’d have done it already!
Improving your self-confidence is going to take time. But if you’re looking for a place to start, consider the seven tips we’ve listed below.
1. Establish Personal Boundaries
One of the best things you can do to build confidence is to know your self-worth. This means professionally, mentally, and emotionally. As an entrepreneur, you need to learn when to say no.
You may be tempted to take on every contract or opportunity that comes along. However, doing so could ultimately lead to burnout and frustration.
If you struggle with saying “no,” consider taking classes to learn how to be more assertive. This will also teach you how to ask for exactly what you want. At the end of the day, you’ll find that you have more control over both your personal and professional life.
2. Focus on Others
Another thing to build self-confidence is to help someone else. Perhaps you volunteer with a local charity. Maybe you tutor high school teenagers looking to start a career. Or maybe you help a friend with their budding entrepreneurial career.
Whatever it may be, assisting others allows you to forget about yourself and feel more appreciative of what you have. Helping them reach their goals will, in turn, help build your confidence in reaching your own goals.
3. Consider the “100 Days of Rejection” Challenge
Jia Jiang created the 100 Days of Rejection Challenge, which allowed him to “bust fear.” The 100 Day Challenge involved making one absurd request a day for 100 days, expecting to be rejected. The goal is to overcome the fear of rejection and desensitize yourself to it.
When you’re not afraid of being told “no,” you’ll become much less fearful of rejection. And when you’re less fearful of rejection, you’ll be more confident in your abilities. You’ll be able to say to yourself, “onto the next one,” knowing that what you have to offer is worthwhile.
4. Do Something That Scares You
Similar to the tip above, you should consider doing something that scares you every day. This is similar to the rejection challenge in that you learn to face your fears head-on. Every time you put yourself outside your comfort zone and conquer this fear, you’ll build your self-confidence.
Whether it’s making a cold call or going skydiving, overcoming fears will have you feeling that you can, indeed, do anything you set your mind to.
5. Give Yourself Positive Affirmations
Another component of building self-confidence is harnessing the power of positive thinking. One way to do so is by giving yourself positive affirmations throughout the day.
Self-confidence comes down to how you view yourself. Through affirmations and self-talk, you can end up looking at yourself in a much more positive manner. The more you hear something, the more you’ll believe it to be true.
Try phrasing the positive statements as questions. For instance, ask yourself, “Why is my business going to hit its Q4 goals?” rather than, “My business is going to hit its Q4 goals.”
This will trick your brain into accepting the positive statements. Our brains are hardwired to find the answers to questions, whether or not the questions themselves are valid.
6. Visualize Yourself Achieving Your Goals
Visualization is another example of why positive thinking can be so powerful. When you visualize, try imagining something that you’re proud of. Perhaps it’s a past accomplishment that brought you joy. Maybe it’s you envisioning a goal you’ve been yearning to accomplish. Visualizing success allows you to overcome the poor perception you have of yourself.
7. Face Your Inner Critic
When it comes to self-confidence, you’re your harshest detractor. Learning how to harness your inner critic and prevent it from inhibiting your potential.
Some of the techniques we’ve mentioned, like providing yourself with positive affirmations, will help you conquer your inner critic. But what can you do if you’re still battling your negative internal voice, even after trying some of the other options on our list?
Consider options like cognitive behavioral therapy, which will allow you to confront your insecurities. You’ll find evidence that will support or deny the things you’ve been telling yourself.
While working through this, you’ll identify your strengths and weaknesses. You’ll find ways to congratulate and compliment yourself while also learning to accept and handle your weaknesses.
Boost Your Self-Confidence Today
There’s a nice quote that says, “A flower does not think of competing with the flower next to it. It just blooms.” This sums up what you need to know about building self-confidence.
Your self-image is entirely in your control. Once you figure out how to be more confident, you’ll see the power of positive thinking take hold of your life. You’ll develop greater self-confidence, which will impact your health, your career, and your relationships with friends and family members.
Work in small steps, focusing on the simple things you can do to take control of your own life. Remember that getting there will take time and require self-discipline. With a focus on patience and determination, you’ll see your self-confidence and successes grow.