Confidence

How to cultivate unshakable self-belief

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Practically every single person I’ve ever interviewed; every personal growth book I’ve read and workshop I’ve been to - the most common piece of advice I always hear being given is to ‘believe in yourself’.

Believing in ourselves is the crucial foundational step in creating the life we’ve been dreaming about - giving us the freedom to create a business and a life we love, on our own terms.

Without first believing in ourselves and our own abilities - how can we ever expect to convince others we are capable?

On a surface level, this makes complete sense and every time I’ve heard it, I’ve always nodded my head in agreement without giving it a second thought.

But then begs the question - how do we exactly begin to cultivate this unshakable self-belief in the first place?

Is it something that some people naturally have within them, and others aren’t so fortunate?

I believe both instances are true.

When we’re born, we come into the world with a clean slate and unlimited potential. Throughout the course of our life we start learning how the world around us works, and in order for us to ‘fit in’ we begin to adjust our beliefs accordingly.

During our formative years we learn these beliefs from the people around us - our parents; school teachers; our peers and anyone else who has influenced our life in any meaningful way.

By the time we’ve reached adulthood, the lens with which we view the world through has been constructed by the environment, people and place that we’ve been exposed to….

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It’s only when we start to realize that every person on the planet has a completely unique perspective of how they view the world - that we begin to understand that perhaps the beliefs we’ve grown up with, aren’t aligned with the future vision we have for our life.

During our formative years, it’s likely we fall somewhere on the spectrum between being conditioned to believe that our big dreams are possible and that we can achieve anything we set our minds to; or, being in an environment that has us believe we are limited by what we can achieve; deserve to achieve; and are even worthy of achieving.

As an adult, where we land on this spectrum largely defines our level of self-belief.

It’s only when we decide to challenge this worldview that we can shift our perspective and begin to rebuild ourselves and create a new story in alignment with our new belief system and what we deem to be true about ourselves and our potential.

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The worldview I grew up with was a very limited one - my belief system dictated that success was following a very specific trajectory and well-trodden path.

Anything outside of this was deemed a fantasy and not available to me.

It’s taken me a looonnng time to re-write my story and realize the beliefs I grew up with; that shaped my worldview and what I thought was possible to achieve - were blatantly wrong.

The good new is, it’s completely possible to shift our belief system.

It comes down to reprogramming our mind and taking action in alignment with our new beliefs. When we do this, we build our self-confidence and as our confidence grows, we’re able to activate a new belief system where our wildest dreams are in fact 100% possible.

Today, I wanted to share five ways to start cultivating unshakable self-belief, so that you can go out, follow your bliss and make your big dreams a reality!

1. Get clear on your strengths.

Every single person on the planet has a set of gifts that are completely unique to us. It is our purpose to uncover what they are and use our gifts in a meaningful way that serves others.

When we focus on what we’re good at and the skills that come naturally to us, we’re able to show up being authentically ourselves and shine; which in turn, boosts our confidence and ultimately fueling our self-belief.

Start by asking:

  • What am I naturally good at?

  • What comes easily to me that I find myself gravitating towards when I have free time?

  • How can I use these skills in way that serves others?

➝ Read:  3 tools to help identify your best strengths

➝ Read: how to find your zone of genius {and ditch FOMO for good}

2. Be mindful of your self-talk.

None of us are immune to that little voice in our head that wants to rain on our parade when we’re about to embark on something new, slightly terrifying, but completely awesome at the same time.

It is our job to become aware of that voice and not let it run the show!

Our inner critic; inner mean girl (or whatever you call it) wants to keep us safe and ends up making us playing small if we let it… And that’s not fun for anyone!

It’s estimated we have 70,000 thoughts running through our head on any given day and if we choose to give weight to that negative voice, we’re letting ourselves down, big time.

Do any of these sound familiar…?

  • Who am I to be successful?

  • There are already so many people doing , there’s no room for me to being doing this too.

  • It’s not possible to get paid for doing something I love.

  • I don’t have enough experience / qualifications … I will just wait until I do...

Next time you notice those negative thoughts -

  • Raise your awareness - when you notice them come up, choose not to entertain it and go down the negative spiral.

  • Replace your thought with an empowering affirmation - I can do this; I am doing this; I believe in myself and my ability to succeed.

  • Return to the present moment - our inner critic has us either worrying about some future event that hasn't even happened or replaying past events in our minds over and over again. When we raise our awareness and intentionally remain in the present moment, focusing our attention on what is happening here and now - we have the choice to fuel ourselves with positive thoughts, intentions and beliefs - all of which are supporting us reprogramming our mind for success.

➝ Read: 3 ways to quieten your inner critic.

3. Stay in your own lane - ditch comparison.

Comparison these days is hard to escape - just scrolling through our Instagram feed is often enough to make us feel less than and wonder why our lives don’t look as perfect.

But honestly, this is such a waste of time and energy.

I’m totally guilty of it myself, but every time I get sucked into going down this rabbit hole, I quickly (and lovingly) snap myself out of it, close down the app and put my phone away.

Let’s be real for a minute: Instagram is purely a highlight reel of people showing themselves in their best light and their best angle - it’s not real life.

I repeat - it is not real life.

While I agree that social media has offered us a lot of opportunities to build brands and create businesses, it’s a double edged sword that is having detrimental effects on our well-being and mental health.

If you find yourself being triggered by social media, then please be kind to yourself and take a step back. Spend time offline doing things that bring you joy - whether it’s spending time in nature; going to a yoga class or spending time with friends.

Just keep focusing on your own game and how you are showing up. Do whatever you need to do so you can keep showing up as your best self. And if that means taking a social media detox - do it.

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4. Get outside your comfort zone - daily.

The only way we ever learn and grow is when we face our fears and do the things that scare us the most!

And when we do, we fuel ourselves with confidence that we are in fact capable of achieving anything we set our minds to.

The more we can practice getting out of our comfort zone, the easier it becomes to try new things; talk to new people; pitch new ideas; speak on stage and ask for the business.

When we can make a habit out of stretching ourselves out of our zone of comfort, we not only start making our epic vision a reality, we build an unshakable belief in ourselves because we have solid proof that we are freaking amazing.

Take a minute and consider -

  • Where have you been holding yourself back?

  • What’s the worst thing that could happen if you took action?

  • What’s the best thing that could happen?

  • Is it something you’ll end up regretting later if you don’t go for it?

5. Set big goals & crush them!

It’s all very well to set big goals, but the way to build unshakable self-belief is by taking action and crushing every single one of them!

This of course involves making a habit of stepping outside of our zone of comfort, but the more we keep taking those positive next steps and then start seeing the results, it only fuels us with more confidence that we’ve totally got this!

➝ Read: how to set kick-ass goals you'll actually stick to.


Let me know in the comments below - what is one area you can take action on today that can support you cultivating an unshakable belief in yourself? 

You've totally got this!

Rachel x

How to get over the fear of self-promotion

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Confession: promoting myself and my work is not something that comes to me naturally at all.

In fact, I would say I actively used to avoid it at all costs.

Maybe it’s because I’m an introvert, but I’ve never had a desire to be in the spotlight or the centre of attention.

Why do we fear putting ourselves out there?

  • Fear of criticism.

  • Fear of not being good enough.

  • Fear of our work not being perfect.

  • Fear of not having anything valuable to share.

  • Fear that we won’t be doing anything different - there are so many other people doing the same thing!!

All of these fears hold us back from sharing our gifts with the world and aligning with our greater purpose and holding back on sharing our gifts does not serve anyone.

It takes courage to create.


Watch the full video:


The reality is that being visible and getting good at promoting yourself and your services is an essential part of building a brand and running a successful business.

When you are the person who is the face of your business (and there’s no product or transactional service you’re selling); people need to know you exist for them to start building a relationship with you and understand how you can help them.

Foundational to building a powerful and purposeful brand, is being visible - which means not only promoting your services, but also showing up and allowing people to get to know you.

I came across an interesting article by Kelly Watson who describes the 4 myths of self-promotion which categorizes women into four different stereotypes when it comes to promoting themselves and sharing their work.

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The Bitch Myth :: 'Self promotion will make me look arrogant'.

For some women, myself included, the thought of being called a bitch for coming across as pushy and arrogant is something I actively avoid.

But the opposite of this is not sharing our work in fear of avoiding this label.

There’s distinct a difference between shamelessly promoting yourself and bragging about what you do (AKA being an arrogant bitch about it!) and authentically sharing your work, your message and how you can support people.

The Princess Myth :: 'If I'm good enough, people will hear about it.'

The premise of this myth is that if you work hard and wait patiently enough, someone will eventually notice.

This is the myth that I recognize myself in the most. When I was in my corporate career, I basically kept my head down and worked really hard, hoping that people would take notice of my work.

While people saw me as being a hard worker, it actually did nothing to support my efforts being recognized in a way that was reflective of the value I was creating.

When I first started my business I adopted the same mentality and it was a recipe for failure. Not only wasn’t I attracting clients, I wasn’t able to sustain myself financially.

It is not enough to wait for our dream clients to appear.

It is our responsibility to show up; get in front of our tribe, demonstrate the value we can bring and how we can help them achieve their goals.

The Friends and Family Myth :: 'Others should talk about my accomplishments, not me.'

Relying on word of mouth and expecting that others will do our marketing for us is another trap we can easily fall into.

If we’ve had a few clients who have had great experiences with us, it’s easy to get complacent (especially if we avoid self-promotion!) and instead rely on others sharing our work and helping to promote us, but this offers a false sense of security.

While it’s great to have people share your work - I fully believe word of mouth to be an invaluable way to build a business - this doesn’t mean we should rely on it as the only way to grow our business.

We’re doing ourselves a disservice and ultimately holding ourselves back from so many potential opportunities by not actively getting out there and showing up for our tribe.

The Martyr Myth :: 'You can't control what people think anyway.'

This myth is all about adopting a martyr mindset, believing that after you’ve done the pitch to your dream clients ‘you can’t control what they think’ and people will make their own minds up about whether they want to work with you.

While this is true, the reality is that sometimes people are busy with other priorities and need to be followed-up or invited to work with you.

If someone has expressed interested in your product or service and you don’t bother with the follow-up; this is another way we can self-sabotage and prevent ourselves from the many opportunities that are often right in front of us!

This means not waiting for your dream clients to magically appear...

..And instead taking the initiative, backed with intention for meeting your tribe exactly where they are, so there is no doubt in their mind they know just how committed you are to supporting them reaching their goals.

How to get good at self-promotion.

The good news is that self-promotion is a skill we can learn and get better at over time!

This is a skill that is available to everyone.

An important mindset shift can change the way we see self-promotion and help us develop our skills in an authentic and non-icky way.

Instead of viewing self-promotion as selling, view it as serving.

When we come from a place of service and how we can support other people to reach their highest potential we’re able to get out of our heads {and ditch our mean girl ego trying to pull us back into safety all the time} and instead, invite ease and flow into how we show up.

In a practical sense, what does this look like?

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How to self-promote with ease and flow:

Get clear and focus your mission.

When we’re led by our mission and ask: who am I here to serve? It becomes less about you and your ego that always shows up with an opinion.

Ask:

  • What are am I here to do?

  • How can I serve?

  • What support can I offer to help people reaching their highest potential?

Boost your confidence!

Clarity and confidence are the keys to showing up as our best self and instead of second guessing ourselves we’re excited to get out there and share it!

Let’s talk about some simple ways you can boost your confidence and start sharing your message with ease and flow:

Invest in professional brand photography.

This is honestly the best investment you could make for your brand. Above getting a fancy website or expensive camera gear - 100% invest in some professional branded photography.

Not only will it help capture you in your best light, it’s an opportunity to showcase your brand authentically and everything you stand for.

Visuals are incredibly powerful, allowing you to connect with your dream clients and position you in their minds as the person who can help them reach their goals.

Having some beautiful visuals will help you feel excited about sharing your message, fueling with you with confidence to show up and shine!

Dress for it!

What we wear has a direct impact on how good we feel. Wear clothes that make you feel fabulous and empowered and notice how much more confident you feel.

This is especially true if you’re going to events, client meetings and when you’re out meeting fellow boss ladies.

If you work from home, make the effort to get dressed into something that makes you feel good; along with doing your hair and make-up so you look like the boss you are!

Wear clothes that flatter your figure and make you feel like you run the place: show up and stand tall - you’ve got this!

Get your body moving!

I cannot stress enough the importance of getting your body moving! Not only does working out release those feel good endorphins, it fuels us with the energy we need to get out there and kick our goals!

Regular exercise helps us stay productive, focused and also helps boost our confidence - when we feel good {and look good!} we’re so much more motivated to get out there and do our thing.

In other words - fill up your cup first and then serve.

When you fill yourself up with foundational practices to support you showing up as your best self, you’re confidently able to show up; serve and shine!


Let me know in the comments - what is one thing you can do today to help you get more visible in your business?


Psst… My eBook The Brand Plan gives you the exact formula for making your brand memorable. Get it free when you sign up for my newsletter below!