3 Mindset Shifts to be More Confident in Yourself

I have absolutely awesome clients. Not only do they achieve the most amazing things, they are my greatest teachers, offering me...

I have absolutely awesome clients. Not only do they achieve the most amazing things, they are my greatest teachers, offering me the most valuable lessons. Often those lessons come in the form of questions. Like the one I got from one of my business mentoring clients last week, a creative entrepreneur who will soon blow your socks off with her amazing audiovisual work.

When faced with the prospect of landing a big client, she felt a lack of confidence that made her doubt herself, as well as her capacity to do a good job. So she asked me how we can appear more confident in cases like this, you know when we don’t feel like it. I’m sure we’ve all been there. At least, I know I have. The bigger the opportunity, the smaller we feel.

I believe there are two ways of looking at this question.

The obvious one is to take on an external point of view. What can you physically or verbally do to appear more confident? After a quick search online it’s clear this is the way most people understand, and answer this question. The problem with this is that it doesn’t improve your confidence at all, it only emulates it for a limited amount of time.

I’m not a fan of fixing symptoms. I’m the kind of person that loves to dig a little deeper to fix problems. That’s why I think there’s another, more interesting way to address this question: what mindset shifts can help you be more confident in yourself? Because once you’ll feel more confident you’ll most likely appear more confident as well. So here are three mindset shifts to be more confident in yourself:

#1 People don’t see us the way we see ourselves

The way we think we behave when we lack confidence is not per definition the way others perceive us to be. We might be sweating, or feeling like our knees are made of cotton. Although that might be uncomfortable to a point that we’re unable to ignore it, it doesn’t mean that anyone else is aware of it.

Often (if not always) we feel afraid or insecure but it’s not showing at all. Keeping this in mind helps to relieve some of the stress we can experience when in an interview, a difficult meeting or important sales conversation. So remember that what you’re feeling or experiencing, even if it’s extreme anxiety, will probably not show.

#2 What type of confidence are you modelling?

This is a big one. When I started out with my first company I thought I had to appear as big, and as strong as the big boys in the industry. But of course I wasn’t. As a result I would feel less than when going into sales meetings, fearing that the potential client I was sitting in front of would see right through me.

The thing is though, there’s no rule saying a freelancer starting out, an online entrepreneur, a startup needs to be identical to bigger, well-established companies. In fact it’s quite the opposite. It took me awhile to get it, but once I figured that my differences were my strengths, I never pretended to be bigger than I was anymore, and I gained a lot of confidence from that. In other words: don’t model your confidence off anybody else’s. Instead be authentic, own who you are.

#3 Let go of the outcome

We’ve all heard this one before. Although I’m a firm believer of not clinging to the outcome of anything, in this case my take on it is a bit different. As I mentioned above, I believe our lack of confidence can come from how we think others perceive us, and how we think we should be perceived by others. Getting clear on this can help you to make powerful mindset shifts to become more confident.

There’s a third way we undermine our confidence in ourselves that I think deserves to be mentioned. It’s one that I believe is often overlooked, but that many of us deal with. It has everything to do with how we look at opportunities. In the light of opportunities it’s easy to link lack of confidence with a fear of failure. But what about big opportunities and fear of success? With the fear of success, rather than letting go of the possible big and successful outcome (which I would advice people with a fear of failure to do), my take is to downplay the outcome altogether. Hang on to the outcome if you want to, just make sure you see it for what it really is. What I mean by that is that too often we blow things out of proportion, make them so big that we can’t imagine what would happen if we actually achieved them.

But the truth is no opportunity will open all doors at once, propel you to super-stardom overnight. Big opportunities might be big wins yes, but there’s probably an even bigger road ahead of you before you get to where you think this opportunity will take you. Your life won’t change overnight, so there’s no reason to be afraid it will.

I hope these tips will help you to be more confident about yourself. In the comments below I’d love to know what your tips are, or what you’re struggling with when it comes to being confident. So let me know.

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