If you operate a business there will be plenty of times when your confidence runs a little low.
Humans have a negativity bias. It probably helped our ancestors to stay alive. The risk of dying was very high back then. At least compared to today. With a potential lion or tiger around every bush, you only lived if you were able to notice the most dangerous things in the world.
But today…the negativity bias can do a lot of harm. It can cause us to make poor decisions. It can cause us to miss out on opportunities. It can make us lose our confidence when it comes to running a business.
Research has found that it’s best to give employees five times more positive feedback than negative. That’s true for everybody, yourself included.
So here are some ideas to help boost your confidence…
1. Look Back At Positive Feedback & Reviews
A negative comment from a customer can have a very large impact on our confidence. It doesn’t even have to be that bad of a comment. It could even be a suggestion for a way to improve the product or service.
But a few of these can add up. And they seem to come in waves. And when a wave comes it can really knock down the way you’re feeling.
To combat this, go back and look for recent positive feedback and reviews. You probably have more than you realize. A nice email from a client last week. Or a positive review on Google or Facebook. Go back and read through these. It can be a great reminder that you’re doing a very good job.
2. Do A Little Competitive Research
If you’ve been around for awhile you’re probably doing a good job overall. Not just within your business, but in comparison to your competition.
You don’t want to dwell to much either way on the competition. But a way for a little shot of confidence is to look at the bad reviews of your competitors. It’s not that you’re looking down on them. It can just be a reminder that they deal with the same ups and downs that you do.
It can be easy to compare the best of others to the worst of yourself. Getting the full picture can help ease those comparisons.
3. Schedule Tasks You’re Good At
If you find yourself in a down period, it might be that you’ve fallen into a rut with your daily tasks. This often happens in business and in work in general. We do the things we think are important. Or the things that feel the most urgent. And after awhile we realize that we’re not doing things we’re good at.
So step back and assess how you’ve been spending your time. Identify the tasks people are good at, including yourself, and reorganize who is doing what.
And even if you’re still struggling, take a few days to do only the things you are best at. After a few days you shouldn’t be too far behind on the other work and you’ll be feeling good because you’ll be “succeeding” at your tasks.
4. Make A Sequence Of Small Decisions
Decision making can help with confidence. The more decisions we make, the better we become at making decisions.
But when we lose confidence, we tend to avoid making decisions. The potential pain of making another mistake can cripple us from taking any action.
So focus on small decisions you can make one at a time. These will add up each day and after a short while you’ll bee feeling pretty strong and confident again. It’s a good way to build that mojo back up.
5. Work On One Weakness At A Time
It is important to focus on weaknesses.
I love golf. And in the last decade there has been a major breakthrough in golf statistics. There are basically four parts to the game: Driving, Approach, Chipping and Putting. The pro golfers can look at each of these and see where they are best and where they are weak.
The best are able to continue to work on their strengths while also putting more focus on their biggest weakness. For example, a pro might be strong in driving and approach, but mediocre in putting and well below average in chipping. This pro would be wise to take some practice away from the first three areas and really focus on chipping. They don’t have to become the best at chipping. But if they improve they will likely improve their overall game by a lot.
We tend to do the things we’re best at. But focusing on one weakness at a time can lead to big overall improvement. And that boosts confidence.
6. Do The #1 Thing On Your Priority List
We often become crippled by our own priority lists. It’s easy to identify opportunities for a business. But it’s difficult to choose one and go with it for awhile. We feel that if we choose just one that we’re missing out on the rest. But that just leads to us not really doing anything.
Bring up your priority list. Or if you don’t have one, list all the opportunities you’ve been thinking about. Choose the #1 item on the list. Cut the rest.
You now have your one thing to work on for the next few months. Don’t feel bad about it.
7. Connect With Your Most Positive Friend
We all have someone in our lives that is really positive. They might not be our best friend, but when we talk to them or hangout with them for awhile we always have a smile on our face during and after. This person always seems to find the good things about every situation.
Connect with this person.
If you have to, tell your negative family and friends that you’re busy. Do this for a month. Don’t respond to texts. Don’t talk to them on the phone. Don’t meet up with them. Nobody will be that upset for just a month.
Then focus on spending time with the positive person. Even just texting each other every few days.
They will change your mood and bring back your confidence.
8. Sharpen Your Daily Schedule
You might be losing your confidence because you have too much on your daily schedule. After day after day of “not getting through your list” you’re going to feel real down on yourself. You’ll start to think that you’re a failure and that you’re not capable.
It probably doesn’t have to do with your abilities. It has more to do with your expectations.
So review your schedule. Plan for unexpected things. You’re the operator of a business for goodness sakes. Surprises happen all the time. You don’t know exactly what, but you know they happen. Build that into your schedule.
Reading has numerous benefits to our well-being. It turns out that confidence is one. Many successful people, including business operators, are voracious readers. Don’t feel bad about scheduling time to read. It’s a great daily habit.
Many successful businesspeople have also been regular walkers. It’s good exercise. It’s a good way to get out in nature. It’s a great way to allow your mind to think about your business and about life in general. All of these things are great for self confidence.
Confidence is a fickle thing. If you’re in business you’re going to feel down sometimes. You’re going to feel like a failure. You’re going to feel like an imposter. If you’re feeling this way, hopefully the tips here can provide some guidance for how to get back to feeling like you can take on the world again.