How to rebuild your self-confidence after a set-back
The entrepreneurial world is rarely as glossy and pretty as Instagram would have us believe.
As much as I love getting inspired by all of the gloss, I’m also keenly aware that underneath all of that exists real people going through some very real challenges.
Thing is, being an entrepreneur means that sometimes, our big vision, goals and projects don't go according to plan. We have setbacks and failures - all of which can lead to our confidence taking a huge beating.
I know first-hand because 2017 was a pretty rough time.
After more than a few setbacks, I found myself stuck in the endless cycle of self-doubt: doubting my strengths; how I was showing up; and generally feeling like an imposter.
It got to the point I was filled with so much self-doubt that I didn’t feel I was cut out to be an entrepreneur and started looking for a full time job…
But the problem was, no matter how many jobs I applied for and interviews I went for - nothing!
I even got to the final rounds of interviews for some amazing jobs that I was really excited about, but didn’t end up getting them.
To say my confidence took nose-dive was a huge understatement.
Call it the universe or whatever; but nope a full-time job was not meant to be. So I took it as a sign that I needed to make this whole entrepreneur-gig work.
Things started to change the minute I shifted my mindset; took daily action to rebuild my confidence, and ultimately realizing what I was truly capable of.
Today, I’m sharing six strategies that transformed my confidence; helped build unshakable self-belief and most importantly, the resilience to keep going - no matter what.
Hint: it all begins with making the decision to show up for yourself!
1. Learn something new.
When we’re so focused on only one thing (for me it was business) we forget all of the other amazing things we’re capable of doing and how many options we have.
Thing is, we’re only stuck in a situation if we choose to be.
In March 2017, I followed some subtle nudges that led to me signing up for my yoga teacher training.
I didn’t sign up for the teacher training because I had a big desire to be a yoga teacher, I actually had no idea why I was being guided towards this…. But sure enough over the coming weeks it revealed itself.
Yoga fueled me with the strength and confidence that I am capable of achieving absolutely anything I put my mind to.
It doesn't need to be yoga training you sign up for; but learning any new kind of skill whether it be learning a language; a musical instrument; or learning to draw - gives us an entirely new perspective on what we’re capable of, fueling us with a renewed sense of confidence.
2. Get out of your comfort zone - daily.
It is so easy to stay in our zone of comfort - it’s familiar, safe and very attractive if we’re not used to getting uncomfortable on a regular basis.
But the truth is that, while our comfort zones are places where beautiful things can happen, nothing ever grows there.
We don’t grow beyond who we already are; and we never discover what we’re truly capable of.
All of our success becomes predictable.
This a very dangerous place to be in when you’re running a business.
Business in itself (especially running an online business!) is unpredictable. And in order for us to create success, we need to be constantly stepping up, trying new things, failing fast, and learning more about ourselves along the way.
Stepping out of my comfort zone does not come naturally to me at all and I would often avoid it because it made me feel so uncomfortable!
But what I learned is that the more I forced myself to step-up, the more my confidence skyrocketed, along with my self-belief - because I knew I could achieve anything I set my mind to.
Try this: each month, or week - set yourself mini-challenges where you’re trying new things that you’ve never done before but have always been curious about.
By simply following our curiosity, we’re able to begin exploring new opportunities and different perspectives - and building unshakable self-confidence along the way.
3. Spend time with positive people.
Jim Rohn famously said that "you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with" - and I couldn’t agree more with this.
Who we spend our time with influences the way with think and what we believe to be possible.
When we start spending time with goal-getting people who are going after what they want and creating amazing things in their life - it starts to rewire our brain to think in new ways; fueling us with the confidence that our crazy dreams are in fact, possible.
Try this: start making habit of going to events, workshops and attending short courses (in person) with things you’re naturally interested in.
As much as I am not a fan of ‘networking’ - I’ve found it completely invaluable to regularly attend events where I've met amazing people and made new friends - both of which have made such a huge difference to my overall well-being, but also my confidence knowing that I have a lot to give!
4. Dress for it!
What we wear each day has a dramatic impact on the way we feel about ourselves - the same way having a fabulous haircut can make us feel unstoppable!
Make the effort to do your hair and makeup; put on something that makes you feel amazing and I promise you’ll feel a million times better than if you’re just wearing the sweatpants and no makeup look.
5. Workout daily.
Not only does working out give us a healthy dose of endorphins and make us feel incredible, along with helping us be more productive - committing to a regular workout schedule helps us stay fit and healthy, fueling us with confidence to wear cute outfits and look fabulous while doing so!
Every morning, I workout for 20 minutes and it’s now so heavily ingrained in my morning routine that it feels weird if I don’t do it. I’ve also recently started getting into Kayla Itsines' Sweat program and have added that to my routine three times a week.
I’ll admit, it’s challenging when you’re running a business and have a million thing to do to justify the time spent getting in a workout, but honestly, the benefits of feeling amazing, confident and strong are so worth it.
6. Focus on small accomplishments.
Celebrating our wins regularly makes us feel accomplished, which in turn increases our confidence as we know we’re capable of achieving the things we’ve set out to do.
I’ve found that instead of focusing on big goals, focusing on small accomplishments and wins along the way has helped boost my confidence - basically because it means I’m always winning!
I’ve actually stopped setting big goals for each year and have started to now approach my goals on a quarterly basis and create a 90 day roadmap and plan.
This has helped so much in terms of being able to confidently reach the goals I’ve set, making it much easier to stay accountable to them.
My biggest learning over the past couple of years is that entrepreneurship is a journey, definitely not a sprint!
So the best we can do is keep growing and learning along the way; not being afraid of trying new things; and building the confidence and resilience in ourselves to get back up and keep going - again and again.