Oct
03

Keys to Growing Your Self-Confidence

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GROWING YOUR SELF-CONFIDENCE – 7 KEYS FOR  WOMEN IN BUSINESS

What is confidence?
One dictionary definition is: “a feeling or belief that you can do something well or succeed at something”.

Self-confidence seems like one of those things you either were born with or not.   That is mostly NOT true–great  news for all of us, and especially for women in any kind of business. Think of how confident you were when you took your very first step as a toddler: not very.   Yet, you stopped wobbling a long time ago. Now, do you assume you can walk or do you doubt each step?   No, you learned to be confident in your ability to walk.   You LEARNED by doing, by trying, wobbling, falling down and getting up again.

Lack of confidence makes us wobble in business and feel unsure of ourselves.   It also leads to the two P’s: Procrastination and Perfectionism.
“No, I can’t get that program out yet…I don’t have enough to offer.   I need more training, or better copy, or a prettier website.”   What’s your version of this? More importantly, when will you be ready, your offer good enough, your business polished enough?

Perfectionism rears its ugly head by insisting we need to get it right and ‘do the job’ ten times better than anyone else, just to feel adequate.     When your self-esteem depends on getting things right or being perfect, you will overwork—and probably undercharge as well.

Procrastination chimes in when it comes to taking a risk, like  putting your new program, product or marketing out there.   Lack of confidence makes you hesitate to take risks because “what if I’m wrong?”.   If, like most women, you were trained to be good, not make waves, and get the right answer in school–your self-esteem depends on getting things right, NOT on the number of chances you take!

The most successful entrepreneurs have confidence—not necessarily in their particular abilities, though of course that’s helpful—but in their ability to take risks and recover from challenges and set backs.   They are resilient and adaptable.   This is actually quite different from the kind of cocky self-esteem or bravado that we might associate with self-confidence.   I’ll tell you more about that later as it’s one of the 7 Keys to Self-Confidence in this current series of
blog posts.

Contrast that kind of hesitancy with how men are taught and raised….I still remember one of my coaches, Michael Port, saying “Ready,fire, aim!”.   I almost laughed because that was SO far from the way I and many women, operate.     Even the language was strange to me–shooting my clients is the last thing I ever want to do.   I realized Michael didn’t’ mean that literally, he was simply using the common language of business which was developed by men and is still the dominant mindset in the business world.   That aggressive, hunt-em-down language is a huge turn-off for me, and the women and men I serve, and in that moment I promised myself I’d  find and use new heart-based metaphors and language for business.

The main point he was making, which most women need to take to heart more, was “don’t wait to be perfect, get it out there, and then tweak it later. Get into action..!”

Where is your lack of confidence, perfectionism or procrastination holding YOU back from  promoting your business or taking inspired action?

Comments

  1. I am not so sure that it is a male/female thing as much as a sports/book thing. I was raised around books and not sports, therefore I am big on getting it right. It took me years and years to get to the “finish it and ship it even if it is not perfect” stage. (Then again, I have five sisters, so it may be a male/female thing, given that my two brother are much younger than me and my sisters–I was raised around my sisters, and very little interaction with my brothers.)
    Morgan Eckstein recently posted..Dead body under a lilac bush (31-HP Day 4)My Profile

    • Ellen Shapiro says:

      Good point, Morgan…I tend to think of sports and military expressions as male but some men don’t use that language, and some women do use sports analogies. That’s the problem with generalities, they are not specific 🙂 !

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