Feeling confident isn’t natural for everyone. In fact, if you’re shy or worried about how you might come across, confidence may be the furthest thing from your mind. However, there is a lot you can do to reduce that anxiety and become more comfortable in your own skin.
We asked members of the Young Entrepreneur Council for some ideas that could boost confidence. Try some or all of these tactics the next time you’re not feeling the surest that you can feel.
Q. Confidence is an important trait to carry as an entrepreneur. What’s one strategy you have found to be effective when working to boost your confidence in professional situations?
Their best answers are below:
Set Your Mindset Before Challenges
Before entering a tough meeting, contract negotiation, or presentation, take a couple minutes to get your mindset right. Have a clear picture of who you are (successful, able, intelligent, funny, confident). Centering yourself like this shields you from negative self-talk and the confidence challenges others may send your way. – Scott Yewell, Purpose Built Software
Practice Your Speaking with Toastmasters
When I found myself getting nervous about public speaking and sales meetings, I joined Toastmasters so that I could practice speaking in front of people without the pressure of my own business environment. The more I practiced in a safe environment, the more comfortable I became with giving presentations and running sales meetings in my own business. – Allie Siarto, Allie Siarto & Co. Photography
For myself, I have found that dressing well is an easy way to give myself a boost of confidence. Feeling that I am looking my best makes me comfortable and ready to tackle the challenge. It’s almost like a suit of armor that I have put on and will keep me protected no matter what comes at me during the day. Dressing well doesn’t have to mean dressed up, just in a way that feels great. – Matthew Bernard, Darex LLC
Rise Above Imposter Syndrome
When I’m looking for a confidence booster, I turn on the tunes. I stand up and jump around a bit. I may even talk to myself a bit, reminding myself ‘I’ve got this.’ I’m not the only one who sometimes suffers from imposter’s syndrome, the feeling that you don’t quite belong or you’re stepping out on a limb. I recognize that the simple fact I’m feeling this way means I’m pushing myself and succeeding. – Robby Scott Berthume, Bull & Beard
Know What You Are Talking About
Faking it until you make it is cool, but so is getting to the point where you don’t have to fake anything. The best way to be confident is to know your work inside and out. Usually, you can know more than most people after reading three books on your subject. Start there and keep building. Stay in your game long enough, and you will look around and realize everyone is coming to you for guidance. – Derek Broman, Discount Enterprises LLC deguns.net
Listen Instead of Talking
A lot of the time, when people feel nervous or self-conscious, they tend to overcompensate by talking too much. Instead, try to stay quiet, ask open questions, and let the person in front of you do most of the talking. Not only will you seem more confident, you might also gain valuable information about the person in front of you. – Duran Inci, Optimum7
One or two positive affirmations in the morning and evening, especially if said in front of the mirror, can help a person to improve their confidence. Repetition does create belief, and if this is something that you need to work on, then this little trick can work wonders. – Nicole Munoz, Start Ranking Now
Compare Yourself to Who You Were Yesterday
If you want to feel more confident, focus on being a little better at what you do today than you were yesterday and not on judging yourself too harshly. Everyone makes mistakes and everyone has doubts, but if you can do a little better each day, you will be more confident than if you waste time comparing yourself to other people. – Vik Patel, Future Hosting
Be Proud of Your Work
Your work speaks for itself. Your work ethic speaks for itself. A great entrepreneur knows what he is good at and what he is not good at. Build a team of people that can help deliver on the areas you lack. See how your company’s new well-roundedness boosts your confidence. – Andrew Namminga, Andesign
In order to present yourself as confident, you must visualize yourself as what you want to be. Knowing what you want your business to be, and pretending you are already there, will give you confidence in professional situations. – Solomon Thimothy, OneIMS
Act in the Moment
When I am doing something I’ve never done or am unsure about a new endeavor, I remind myself that we were all new to something at one point. Then, I act. I can’t remember a time when overanalyzing was a benefit; usually, it just makes me more cautious. If I just act rather than give my mind time to talk myself out of it, the confidence is natural. – Klyn Elsbury, Landmark Makers
These answers are provided by Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs.
Opinions expressed here by Contributors are their own.