As an entrepreneur, it can be daunting to experience something for the first time or even do something again after a long time out of the game. It’s no secret that growing and operating a business is a juggling act. Every day you’re challenged with new obstacles and problems you may not be experienced in yet. For some self-doubt, stress and fear rob you of your confidence to strive for more significant growth and impact. Let’s break it down into three different pillars necessary for boosting your confidence to pitch your product or close that deal.
Pillar 1: Experiential Confidence. All of what comes as second nature to you now was at one point in your life a new experience like learning to ride a bike, driving a car, giving a speech. The great thing about building experiential confidence is that it’s all about taking action and doing the uncomfortable. Yes, sometimes, you will fail, get rejected, or feel anxious or embarrassed. That’s perfectly normal and all part of the process. The more you do, the quicker you learn and build upon what you have. Push those boundaries and go out there and try something new!
Pillar 2: Emotional Confidence. We are emotional beings, and as such, we often allow our emotions to get the better of us. This second pillar requires you to take more control of your body and mind resulting in greater confidence. Paying attention to the thoughts you have and the way you show up physically can create very different results. Ever wondered why athletes prepare mentally before a game?
During a study of muscle testing, a research group split into three different groups. The first group physically strengthened their hands by completing five one hour training sessions per week. The second group visualized themselves completing the exercise for the same amount of time as the first group, and the third group did nothing at all. At the end of the study, results revealed that the first group had a 30% increase in muscle strength. The second group had a 22% increase from visualization alone where their body changed without any real experience, and the last group had no change at all.
When you visualize, you are mentally preparing yourself, and you are training your body to carry out what you want to happen. Your mind doesn’t know the difference between what you’ve imagined and what is real. You are priming it for the results you want.
You are not feeling so confident, no problem. When you tap into your emotional confidence by controlling your body, you control your emotions; therefore, your body language plays a vital role. Amy Cuddy, a social psychologist and a professor and researcher at Harvard Business School, studied how nonverbal behavior, such as body language, facial expressions, handshakes, gestures, and eye contact, affect everyone. She noticed that feeling power in the animal kingdom is about expanding, making yourself bigger by stretching out and taking up space. Humans are known to do the same thing when they’re feeling powerful. Her study also revealed that even when you don’t feel confident, striking those poses can drastically increase your feeling of empowerment. So before you go into your next big deal or negotiation, pay close attention to your body language and look to expand rather than shrink.
Pillar 3: Self Esteem Confidence. The third and final pillar. This is what lies deep beneath everything else and is the ultimate level of confidence. It’s because it generated by yourself and your thoughts about who you are. It’s your sense of identity and the standards you hold to yourself. The keys to building this type of confidence are to compare yourself to yourself only and to identify any harmful internal scripts and dialogue that you may have running.
It’s important to remember that at the end of the day, confidence is situational. No one will ever be confident all of the time.
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