A few thoughts on how to develop authentic confidence
Notice that money tends to flow to those who are most confident.However, fake confidence is too commonly taught in marketing. Fake it ‘till you make it. Appear to be bigger, or more polished, than you actually are. Use hype to get the sale. Offer huge guarantees to remove all their risk.
It does get some people to buy, but fake confidence is neither sustainable, nor does it produce a fulfilling business.
Thankfully, money also flows toward people with authentic confidence. How to develop this?
- Ease up on self-blame.
- Improve skills through practice.
- Notice the value you’re genuinely adding.
Ease Up on Self-Blame
When I make a mistake:
- I get curious: “Hmm… what can I learn from this?”
- and after a brief reflection (and note-taking as needed),
- I move on, knowing that I have the rest of my life to learn and get better!
- And I’ve learned that most people are forgiving, as long as I keep improving.
As soon as I sense self-blame coming on, I ignore it, knowing that it does more harm than good. It helps me to do my energy reboot practice. If it’s hard for you to ignore self-criticism or blame, I encourage you to rebel against it: use anger productively and say a stern “NO” against self-blame.
When it comes to marketing mistakes (of which I have many!) I remind myself to let go of trying to make a good first impression, because the practice of gradually improving future impressions is more effective for genuine growth (personal and professional) instead of stressing out about the first impression. Joyful long-term growth requires an experimentation mindset, rather than trying to be perfect.
Improve Skills Through Practice
The more you hone your professional skills, the more authentically confident you are.
To get better, you need to consistently practice. For example, creating content daily, and promoting your products/services weekly or monthly. These are excellent activities to practice in order to generate a stable and growing income.
The problem with most people is the inconsistency. If you can overcome that issue, you’ll be far ahead of most aspiring businesses. It’s often due to an inability to set and follow a schedule. Read more: Repair your relationship to your productivity tools.
With consistency, you grow much more quickly than if you only did things occasionally, or if you only wait for inspiration to strike.
The more consistent, thoughtful practice you put in, the more skillful you become.
What skills should we practice to grow an authentic business? Read more: The 7 Disciplines of Authentic Business.
Notice the Value You’re Creating
This is another important element for authentic confidence — observing how you’re actually adding value.
Value can be measured by one’s own standard: creating something you’re proud of.
Or, you can measure value by how much your customers/clients are benefitting from your products/services. For business, this is a better measure of value-created.
Learn to be observant about which of your content, and which of your products/services, are making the most difference for people. Notice the impact you’re making, and celebrate it. By doing so, you grow in authentic confidence.
What isn’t Confidence
Most of us think the opposite of confidence is shyness. This may be true. You might be scared to be visible in front of others. The best way I know how to cure that is to practice gradual positive exposure to more people. For example, first share your content with some supportive friends. Then with all your facebook friends. Then publicly on your facebook business page and boost the visibility with ad dollars.
Also problematic are neediness and desperation. Authentic confidence doesn’t hide, but neither does it nag others to act a certain way in a certain timeframe.
The more confidence you genuinely develop, through the methods shared above, the more grounded and reliable you become. People can sense it, and they’ll more often buy what you sell.
And they’ll feel good about referring you.
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