5 Tips for Boosting Your Entrepreneurial Confidence

by Beth Rifkin

2 min read

You see examples around you every day – successful people who seem to exude confidence naturally. It’s clear that they believe in themselves and what they are doing. However, any successful person can tell you that their success didn’t make them confident; their confidence had to come first. Confidence is a belief in your ability to succeed as an entrepreneur, whether it’s convincing investors to back your venture or attracting the key people you need to join your company. It doesn’t come naturally for most people, but it is something you can acquire. Follow these tips to boost your entrepreneurial confidence.

Allow Your Failures to Propel You Forward

Bill Gates is projected to be the world’s first trillionaire. However, his path to success was not a smooth road. His first venture, a company called Traf-O-Data, was a complete disaster. It was an early version of big data mining that may have been a little ahead of its time. However, it was his confidence in himself and his ideas that allowed him to use his failure to gain momentum. A few years later, he started Microsoft.

Acknowledge Your Small Victories

There is actually a science behind self-congratulation. Taking the time to acknowledge even the smallest victories builds the receptors in the brain that spark motivation and boost confidence. Let your successes serve as a reminder that you are talented and have much more to offer.

Keep Moving Forward

For most people, starting something new is scary. It means having to put yourself out there – your money and your reputation – and take risks. It means facing the real possibility that you may fail. It’s far easier to hold off and think about it. However, not taking action is really no different than failure. Hockey great Wayne Gretzky put it in perspective when he said, “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” Forward momentum builds confidence. Even if you make a mistake, you have the opportunity to learn from your action.

Act Confident

Research by Harvard social psychologist Amy Cuddy reveals that you can increase your self-confidence simply by feigning confidence. Using power poses and changing your body language can alter your body chemistry in a way that makes you feel more confident. By consciously moving your body – standing with a open stance, keeping your shoulders back and your chin up, and smiling – you can boost your confidence in as little as two minutes. Keep practicing with power poses and your body language throughout the day to make it a habit.

Seek Reinforcement

Knowledge breeds confidence. As you learn more about yourself and the things that may be holding you back, you increase your capacity for gaining and nurturing your confidence. Some of the best self-help books have been written on the subject, including “The Confidence Plan” by Tim Ursiny and “Unstoppable Confidence” by Kent Sayre. At Ted.com, you can have access to dozens of talks presented by business leaders on building confidence, including Cuddy’s “Your Body Language Shapes Who You Are.” By taking less than 20 minutes of day to reinforce the progress you are making and learn simple techniques, you can lock in your gains and exercise the power of confidence.

References & Resources

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