Do you remember those days as a child when we dreamt big and believed that we could do or become anything? Barriers, challenges, issues weren’t part of the vocabulary; anything was possible, and we were certain and confident it would all come true. Every time I get a big grin on my face when one of my grandchildren tells me who or what they want to become in life. Smile! How precious unbridled confidence is.
Wouldn’t it be perfect if we could, just for a moment, stand still in that time and place to carry us through our business challenges. Having a supreme and unwavering confidence in our ability to grow and build our business to become successful and thriving would be just such a perfect place. Unfortunately, we all know too well how the raw realities and experiences in life contribute to forgetting what it was really like as a child to believe and hope.
While I know how to be practical and thoughtful in thinking about the challenges and obstacles in growing and positively changing a businesses’ trajectory, the one thing that I often see missing with small business owners and leaders is the confidence to think big and differently, particularly when they achieved a certain level of success. The end result often is same-ole same ole; they continue to do over and over what brought them to their present level. Their confidence lies only in the comfortable and knowing what has worked so far. The noise of “what can go wrong” gets very loud when thinking about a new or different direction and ultimately becomes the reality of what will certainly go wrong. Uncertainty overwhelms confidence and belief in one’s own ability to move the business to the next level.
So what can you do to bring that confident self to aggressively growing your business and effectively changing plans and behavior to support that growth?
1. Learn to get yourself out of your comfort zone
Belief in the adage that “life begins at the edge of your comfort zone” will move you in a more confident direction. Talk yourself into taking a risk, doing something differently, or being creative.
2. Surround yourself with confident role models
Can-do, make-it-happen friends and peers will make you feel more positive, upbeat and willing to take action. The opposite is also true. Pessimism is like a bad cold – spend time with it and you’ll catch it.
3. Focus on the experience versus the outcome when you try something different
What you learn from an experience can be a valuable contributor to self-confidence. Obviously you can learn from success, but failure can also teach you what not to do, which can be just as valuable.
4. Just do it, as they say
Confident people take action and make things happen. Don’t let the fear of failure freeze you in your tracks and force you to stand still or worse yet, go backwards. Business growth doesn’t happen by itself – it takes leaders and business owners that have the self-confidence to strive, risk and make it happen.