Imagine for a minute that you’re a runner. If you were to guess, when would you think the best time is to train to build your endurance — once every couple of days in the months leading up to an event, or when you’re already in the middle of an event and you don’t have a choice? You know the answer of course: it’s much better to train and grow before you have to.
The same thing applies to your self-confidence
Just like any other quality, self-confidence can be learned, grown, and expanded. And just like any other quality, it’s much, much easier and more effective to work on before things get desperate and you’re forced to by circumstances beyond your control.
It’s time to take the bull by the horns
Start by choosing a challenge that’s going to stretch you outside of your comfort zone, because that’s the only way you’re going to grow. Maybe for you it’s making sales calls. Maybe it’s reaching a new revenue target. Or maybe it’s generating leads. Whatever feels challenging to you, make that your focus.
Then break it down
Now break that challenge down into steps or sub-jobs. Remember, the faster you can get momentum going, the more motivated you’ll feel, so even if you’re starting with a really small task, it’s fine. Just set yourself up to get a little win under your belt right away; the momentum you get started will see you through the later parts of your project when you feel really challenged.
Get your mind on board
Battles of any kind are largely won or lost in the mind, so make sure that you get your brain on board with whatever you’re doing before you get stuck in. One good way to do this is to think about a time when you pushed your boundaries before and felt rewarded with an increase in self-confidence (whether personal or professional) when you succeeded. Whenever you’re starting to doubt yourself, come back to that feeling.
Give yourself as much support as possible
— Dress for success
It’s been said so often that it’s become a cliche, but the way you dress really does have a tangible effect on the actions you take. Dressing for the part at work by wearing clothes that make you feel and look good will help you feel more confident, which will naturally bleed over into your sales performance.
— Take care of your biggest asset: your health
You can’t perform properly if you’re not feeling your best. Unfortunately, so many small business owners regularly push themselves to the point of exhaustion and don’t exercise as much as they need to. But this is a recipe for poor performance, and if you’re not careful, burnout. Make your physical health just as important a priority as any other business asset, because without it, you’re sunk.
— Keep an eye on your mindset
As we often say, your thoughts create your feelings, which influence your actions, which create your results. So guess what? If you’re trying to grow your self-confidence, but secretly (or not-so-secretly) think that you can’t do it, then it’s not going to happen. But the opposite is also true: take steps to create a positive mindset, and you’ll supercharge your efforts.
— Surround yourself with supporters
Any great success is built on a foundation of support, so don’t try to go it alone. Bring your network or your sales mentor in on what you’re doing and get them to support you. They’ll give you some extra accountability and be there to pick you up if you happen to stumble when you’re facing this new challenge.
— Track your progress
One of the easiest ways to get discouraged with this process is to ignore your progress. And yet, it’s all too common to get caught up in the day to day of things and forget to look back. So schedule in regular times to look back at what you’ve accomplished so far, and keep your progress visible — seeing how far you’ve come will help inspire you to keep going when things get tough.
Until next time,