3 Ways to Have Confidence and Courage in Business

woman jumping over canyon

Many small business owners freeze up when it’s time to go to networking events, make cold calls, or pitch their business to investors. Doing these things is scary for people who aren’t used to them, and sometimes it takes a lot of energy to push forward.

Sometimes, business coaches, friends, and other people who are trying to help tell the frightened business owner to “have confidence.” While this is well-intentioned advice, it can make things worse instead of better. Confidence inspires thoughts of fearlessness, of being sure that you will succeed no matter what, of not caring what anybody thinks. Trying to be confident feels like lying, because the business owner knows how scared he or she is.

The good news is that you don’t have to be confident to know how to succeed in business. You just have to have courage. If you shift your mindset from confidence to courage, you’ll soon push yourself further than you ever thought you could go.

Feel the Fear And Do It Anyway

Unlike confidence, which requires absolute belief in your abilities, courage only requires one thing: that you act. To be courageous is to do things you’re afraid to do.

Many people think it takes confidence to be heroic, but it really takes courage. It’s not easy to do things you’re afraid of. It requires taking a risk and ignoring the fearful voice in your head. No matter how things turn out, you can be proud that you had the courage to try.

Take Small Steps

As an entrepreneur, you’ll need to push yourself out of your comfort zone so that you can take your business to the next level. Whether you want to expand your business, raise funds to create a new product line, or market yourself in a new way, you’ll have to try some new things.

The best way to summon your courage to do these things is to take small steps. If you’re scared of cold calling, make a commitment to call just one contact on your list. If the thought of going to a networking event causes your heart to race and your palms to sweat, find a small, local event to try out. You don’t have to do anything big to be courageous. You just have to take the first step. Take some sort of action.

Give Yourself Permission To Be Afraid

Many business owners think that the most successful business people are the most confident. They may beat themselves up for being afraid because they think they’ll never win that way.

Nothing could be further from the truth. Great business owners aren’t confident. They’re courageous! They succeed because they keep doing things that scare them, and when those things don’t scare them anymore, they find new fears to overcome.

Not only are top entrepreneurs often afraid, but so are award-winning actors and actresses. Felicity Huffman once said, “I don’t feel confident at all. I feel frightened. I feel ill equipped. I feel like I don’t belong in the party. So I don’t think you need confidence. I think you need courage to do it anyway." That’s the secret – take action in spite of the fear.

It isn’t easy to be a successful entrepreneur. You have to do things on a regular basis that scare you so that you can move forward and hit your sales and marketing goals. Don’t make it worse for yourself by looking for confidence that you don’t have and don’t need. Instead, acknowledge your fears and then develop the courage to overcome them.

Written by Ashford University staff


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