Give Yourself the Gift of Confidence
*Update 2018—as I update my website and decide which old posts are still valid (and I should keep) I came across this one from 2013. I think it still holds up and it relates to a book I’m currently reading Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert, yes that LG!
It’s the one key attribute I’ve realized is necessary for success in anything. I struggled with this one for quite sometime, my whole life practically, and still do but the difference is now I know what the main ingredient is that was missing all these years.
I think everyone has a certain amount of confidence but also lacks enough. Then there are those people who seem to have too much. This post is not for them or about them. It’s for you and me, and most people.
Take the First Step and Build on That
I work frequently with people who need help building their businesses, mostly related to design of some sort and the one commonality with all of them is getting focused and following through with their intentions and fulfilling their dreams. This is the time for confidence building. I let them know that their ideas are terrific and they just need to take the first step and build on that. That’s really all there is to it.
I always thought one must have every T crossed before starting a business but an opportunity to work with a new business owner several years ago and still today, gave me key insight into her methods and she did not have everything figured out then or now. That was truly eye-opening and also key to being open to opportunities and nimble for quick change.
Just say, “no” to Negative Internal Dialogue
We all have life experience that shakes our confidence for one reason or another and it’s difficult to think you can succeed when you have deep-seated internal dialogue that says you’ll fail. Some people persevere despite this and some chase their tail for years, never quite getting to where they want in life or achieving what they hope to.
For me it was starting my own business. The biggest piece of negative internal dialogue was “…there are so many designers already and some vegan designers too. How will you ever make it!?” And a friend saying,”because it’s you it will be different,” that is to say we all have inherent differences that make us unique. That made enough sense to perk me up. It made me get past the hump of ambivalence. I took baby steps from there. I still had my day job and steadily reduced my hours over a span of one year until I was going into the office one day a week.
Do the Work
I started picking up projects from friends who became clients and friends of clients who became clients. Working as much as possible and saying yes to everyone who needed design help. If people are paying you, you’re doing something right. With each new client I gain, and each new project successfully completed, my confidence increases.
I don’t consider myself a fully confident person. I feel like it could all go away by the end of the current projects (and in reality that’s true—it really could go away) and this fact continues to make me grateful for the present but also hustling for the future.
And days like today, when I’m just not feeling it the only thing to do is work. Suppress negative thoughts and just do the work.
Tomorrow will be better.
Photo credit: Son of Groucho via photopin cc. Hand-drawn gift box by yours truly.