Confidence in Business: What is it? Do you have it? How do you get it?

When we use the word confidence we often suggest someone is or isn?t confident yet we don?t really explain what we mean by confidence. Some people who believe they are confident can be more on the arrogant or cocky side, and for others confidence is something which eludes them.

For most of us however it is someone?s characteristics, demeanour, communication style and general manner which makes us feel that they are confident. They make us feel safe with them as they put us at our ease due to their obvious capabilities. Obviously confidence levels can change depending on the situation, but some people seem to always be comfortable and confident no matter what the situation.

When I think of confident people I think of those who are:

  • Willing to try new things, step out of their comfort zone and do so with good grace
  • Able to accept constructive criticism
  • Able to admit to genuine mistakes and then move on without needing to keep apologising or re-living the mistake
  • Keen to support others as they don?t see them as competition or a threat
  • Enjoying life without always needing to second guess decisions, relive mistakes or situations and doubting themselves.

It?s easy for us to compare ourselves with others, believing they are better than us.

Yet this is a demoralising and useless activity. It will never make us feel better about ourselves or motivate ourselves to improve. It just makes us feel of less value and therefore less confident in ourselves.

Instead of considering what you can?t do and haven?t done…

  • Start reflecting more on what you have achieved, what you can do and celebrate your successes, however small.
  • Start reflecting more on what you have achieved, what you can do and celebrate your successes, however small. Its easy to get bogged down in what you still need to do to make your business a success rather than be pleased with what you have achieved.

The more self-confidence you have, the more likely it is you?ll succeed. Although self-confidence comes with time, experience and a belief in yourself here are a few ideas to help you instantly feel more confident.

  1. Take time to look the part, take care of your personal grooming and appearance. Its not about having an expensive outfit or the latest trends but feeling suitably dressed and not out of place can really help you feel more sure and more confident.
  2. Accept you are an individual, its good to be different it helps us stand out from the crowd. What?s more you can start to accept your own abilities, skills and experiences without always comparing yourself to others.
  3. Consider your communication style and general manner. By improving your social skills and feeling more in control when we are meeting people we feel more in control and therefore more confident in our abilities.
  4. Review when you have felt confident in the past when was this, what aspects of this situation can you learn from and replicate in other situations.
  5. ?Stop reviewing and re-living events that you have no control over. Instead live life, enjoy the great things you do and have, family and friends a business and control over your future.

The new confident you can accept that you have done your best, you are only human and you may make mistakes. Like everyone else you will have good and bad days. You must accept that this is the case without it affecting your self-esteem. The more confident you can rebound from bad days and be happy with what you have.

Don?t be afraid to try something new, it can boost your confidence

In business, we are often having to try new things explore new ideas and consider different approaches to ensure our business is a success. Stepping out of our comfort zones can make us feel vulnerable and unsure.

Yet by trying new things like attending a networking meeting or making sales calls or presenting to investors you can find that your confidence grows and these new situations no longer feel so scary and out of the ordinary. By becoming more accustomed to these new situations you begin to realise that there was no reason for self-doubt and that you?re more than capable of trying these new and exciting things.

If you find yourself anxious before starting a new thing ask yourself, what?s the worst that can happen? What are the real consequences of failure?

If you?re going to be presenting to a new client is it likely that they will laugh at you if you go wrong? If you go to a networking meeting will the other people really judge you and not like you? No not really.

You will be relieved to discover that on the whole, the consequences of the things we fail at are unlikely to make a huge impact on our life. That part of developing and growing confidence in business is about doing new things, and learning from the experience in order to develop our confidence for the future. By attempting new things and seeing that we can do it or that we are better at it than we had previously thought can really help to develop our confidence.

By attempting new things and seeing that we can do it or that we are better at it than we had previously thought can really help to develop our confidence in business.

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