This post is the fourth in a series of seven about entrepreneurship. When we sat down to think about entrepreneurship for women, several themes continued to come up in our discussions about struggles that women (and men) come up against when starting their own businesses.
The fourth post comes from Kate, and is about the importance of appreciating and nurturing your own gifts and strengths.
Confidence is key.
Never underestimate the power of standing up straight, offering a firm handshake, looking others directly in their eyes, and using thoughtful, direct language. Add a hearty side of focused listening and the sky’s the limit.
Obviously, these skills are not automatic for everyone. It certainly hasn’t always been easy for me. As a natural extrovert, I love talking to people. But there have been many times when I let my authentic self be snuffed-out when feeling intimidated.
So what gives?
I realized that these fears were perpetuated because I spent so much time focusing on how I felt others were more successful, interesting, and even more attractive than me. With my attention so focused on others’ perceived perfection and my own internal fears, I completely forgot to appreciate my own gifts.
Once I made a conscious effort to nurture my own strengths, passions and creativity, my world began to change.
Both personally and professionally.
There is something inside of you that is just begging to be shared with the world. Give yourself permission to do just that. You don’t need to be profound or hold impressive titles and degrees in order to be worth listening to. People are interested in what makes you, you!
It's time to show yourself a little love. Let's start with these 5 never-fail confidence boosters:
- Journal. Write down three things you are grateful for before you go to bed every single night. Write down your goals and dreams. See what you discover through a free-writing exercise. Let your creativity flow. *Bonus tip! If your gratitude list includes a person in your life, turn it into a handwritten note and send it to them the next day.
- Create something you are really proud of. Pour your heart and soul into a project. It doesn't have to reflect your ultimate purpose in life. Start with something small! Attempt a challenging recipe that you have been a little intimidated by. Create the blog you have been dreaming about. Offer a new product or service in your business. Apply a DIY organization tip you saw on Pinterest. Go on, girl! Get out and DO.
- Work with a mentor or coach. I cannot stress how much this has influenced a huge confidence shift in my life. Sometimes we need the perspective and guidance of others to help us see and celebrate our gifts! I am so thankful for those who have helped me on my journey. My life would be quite different if it wasn't for their guidance.
- Meditate. Give yourself some space to sit and receive. Breathe from your belly and imagine a glowing light pouring out of your heart. You are a unique being with so many gifts. Just sit, receive and know you are loved! If you want to get even more positive results from your efforts, practice meditation while doing yoga or when receiving a massage.
- Offer your services to someone who really needs them. I can't believe how under-utilized this is in business. Offering someone the opportunity to take part in something that you are passionate about has nothing to do with being aggressive or "salesy." So much potential business is lost because we do not take the time to ask. Go ahead. Try it!
Take some time to love yourself and see what you discover!
And remember, make sure you are having FUN! As entrepreneurs we get to control most aspects of our day—so make a commitment to choose confidence-boosting activities that you enjoy.
New to the series? That’s okay. You can find the other posts here: