In a previous article I wrote about the five excuses I often encounter when my business coaching clients dig deep into what is holding them back from achieving their goals. For many of us, it is often a lack of confidence in our own abilities and fear of success. The reasons as to why we feel that way, and methods to shut off the voice that says, “Who are you kidding?” have been the subject of numerous books and articles. It is also one of the reasons therapists, healers, and coaches like me exist who can help others break through their barriers.
Here are three of my personal secrets that I use when working with creative entrepreneurs.
1.) Focus on your strengths
One of my favorite tools is Myers-Briggs. It is a personality assessment that gently identifies a person’s innate strengths. Because it is the largest and longest-standing program for this purpose, there are a lot of data that support its findings. All my private clients and leaders go through the assessment for two reasons:
a) For me to learn who they are and prepare information in a way that they will receive best; and
b) So my clients can understand themselves better.
For example, instead of focusing on why you are not an extrovert, let’s focus on how you can make your introversion a selling point. And instead of wondering why not everyone thinks the same as we do, we learn to shift our focus back to the people and find what works best for them. With awareness of what is and is not in our nature, we can present the best version of ourselves to the world.
2.) Recharge from your history
Let’s face it—shit happens. It happens to all of us at some point. That’s just life being full of unexpected curveballs, tests, and challenges. If you’ve ever been hurt before, welcome to the club because we all have. Here is when I ask my clients to tell me about a time when they have been successful and felt good about themselves. And then I ask a simple question: “If you have succeeded before, what do you think your chances are of doing it again?”
I ask this question because logically and truly there is absolutely no reason why you can’t repeat past successes! It makes zero sense for you to believe there are only failures in your future. Shift your focus to how you can get that positive mindset back so that your energy is directed toward your success instead of toward your worries.
3.) Feeling good comes from doing well
My favorite. I learned this a very, very long time ago. You have to push yourself to your limits—and sometimes beyond—to achieve anything worthwhile. It is virtually impossible to not feel great when you set a goal and finally reach it. Whatever that goal is for you, I want you to set it, stick to it, and do not give up until you are there. The trick here is to start with small goals, like a to-do list for today with only five tasks. Your objective is to have them all checked off by the end of the day. (This is Beate’s rule of 5.) Other ideas are to attend a single MeetUp, exercise one more time each week, or take one hour off for yourself. No matter what it is, set a small goal, achieve it, and pat yourself on the shoulder. Small steps lead to big leaps.
I hope you find these three tips helpful for boosting your confidence. And if you want to find out how to use the right language that will enlist more support from your family, friends, and co-workers, you will enjoy reading my book, Happy Woman Happy World. I am big on helping you to feel good about yourself. We are all just people, after all, and everybody needs a little help sometimes.
Your latest essay comes at a good time, as I just lost a regular client this week after working as a freelance photographer for them for seven years. So I am as you say, focusing on my strengths and moving forward.
Fortunately I am diversified and don’t have all my eggs in one basket. But I have become a casualty of the changing media and publishing landscape, as newspapers and books transition to an all digital format, caused by declining ad revenues and increased competition on the net.
I gave them good work, received plenty of accolades, but in the end, the squeeze was on, as they wanted me to work 15 hours on a job, and only pay me for eight. It was not the first time. Finally I drew a line in the sand and stood on my principles.
It’s best to look forward, and be positive. I’m feeling good, as you say, because I know I gave them my best. Life goes on. So it’s on to the next challenge. Nothing ventured… nothing gained, I say!
Cheers and thanks for your cheerful advice.
Frederic in Montréal