Building confidence for entrepreneurs. The most important skill to master.

Confidence: A necessary skill for entrepreneurs

This is a 3-part series on building confidence for entrepreneurs. In this first part, I share with you the first step in building your confidence.

These steps stem from my own experience of working as an international lawyer alongside successful, and highly confident entrepreneurs, for over 15 years; my training and the results I get for my clients, as a leadership coach.

A little background on confidence

Confidence is often misunderstood yet it is a vital skill for all entrepreneurs to master.

The word confidence comes from the latin word ‘fidere’ which means “to trust”. 

Having confidence hence, is our ability to trust ourselves. 

It is important to note that confidence is a perception; it is the perception we have of ourselves, independent of external factors.

Let me write that again: independent of external factors.

Confidence does not rely on praises or accolades, cheers or applause.

Confidence resides within you and allows you to face life’s challenges head on, regardless of what they are and without letting them affect who you are.

The best thing about confidence is that it’s a skill, which means it can be learned.

You don’t need to be born confident or have a special degree or come from a lineage of successful and confident individuals. 

You can develop your confidence.

The question becomes, how? How do you learn to trust yourself? 

The first step in building your confidence: Self-Discipline = Self-Confidence

I need to make one thing very clear: without discipline and without confidence, you will never reach the extent of your ambitions. 

I know that sounds harsh. It is meant that way.

Think about this for a moment: how many times have you set out to accomplish something and got distracted or lost interest or lacked motivation to complete it? Were you satisfied with your results? How was your confidence level?

I’m gonna say you were probably disappointed, wondering if you have what it takes to succeed and maybe, just maybe, you started doubting yourself… when in fact, the missing piece has nothing to do with your talent or with your motivation. It has everything to do with discipline.

With self-discipline, there is no limit to what you can achieve.

Self-discipline is the key to personal greatness. With self-discipline, the average person can rise as far and as fast as his talents and intelligence can take him. But without self-discipline, a person with every blessing of background, education and opportunity will seldom rise above mediocrity.” – Brian Tracey.

Self-discipline allows you to organize and execute what needs to be done in order to reach your goals, ambitions and aspirations.

It helps you overcome laziness, procrastination and indecisiveness. It builds a protective layer around you that allows you to withstand external pressure and influence.

Self-discipline allows you to motivate and inspire others around you that wish they too could show up for themselves, honor their goals and have the standards to level-up to their aspirations.

In order to help you build your self-confidence, overcome imposter syndrome and learn how to handle rejection and failure with optimism, I suggest you start by building your self-discipline.

Let’s begin by implementing  the following 3 practises for the next 30 days.

Practice 1: Self-Control

Coined the “greatest human strength” (Baumeister & Tierney, 2011), self-control is the foundation of self-discipline and self-confidence. According to research, we battle temptations all day long.

Actually, we resist, on average, two impulses out of every five that we face daily (Muraven et al., 1999) – in other words, we spend more than half our time resisting, or desperately trying to resist our urges and impulses. 

Practise self-control by picking one thing you crave daily and delaying it’s satisfaction.

For example, if you crave something sweet to eat in the afternoon, delay the temptation until the evening. If you watch television every night for 2 hours, delay your watch time by one hour and only watch TV for that one remaining hour. 

Practice 2: Reduce temptations

Reducing temptation goes hand in hand with self-control and self-discipline (Hofmann, et al., 2012).

It is very hard to delay gratification of a warm cookie after a demanding day if the cookies are staring right at you as you walk into the kitchen.

Allow yourself the luxury of removing temptations (Patrick, V., & Hagtvedt, H. 2012).

For example, when you chose to work on a project, remove all other distractions and implement the 50-10 rule which dictates that you focus exclusively on your project for 50 minutes and then take a 10-minute break.

Another example, if you are tempted to watch television in the evening, place a book where the remote control normally sits as a reminder of your intention to read  and as an easy grab.

Practice 3: Morning and evening routine

Developing a daily routine will help build your confidence in your ability to accomplish what you set out to do, will anchor your self-discipline and can also help you to feel more in control and make room for all that’s important.

A daily morning and evening routine is also a great aid to your mental health as it can help you cope with change, form healthy habits, and reduce your stress levels.

Develop a morning and evening routine that has you waking up and going to bed at the same time every day. Include a time to relax, take care of yourself, meditate, exercise and read or journal.

This routine is about you and setting the tone for the day, reflecting on your day and getting yourself ready for what’s next. 

As an entrepreneur, you are your greatest asset and therefore, taking care of yourself, building your self-confidence  and setting yourself up for success should be your main priority.

In part 2 of this series, I will share with you the second step into building your self-confidence, overcoming imposter syndrome and learning to handle rejection and failure with optimism.

Don’t miss the second and third part of the series, subscribe to my newsletter HERE.

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