One of the challenges of too many aspiring female entrepreneurs is having the confidence to commit fully to their entrepreneurial dream. Research shows there are several traits associated with successful female entrepreneurs and one of the most important one is confidence.
Traits of a confident female entrepreneur
As a young girl, billionaire Oprah Winfrey, wanted to be a teacher. In an article on her website, Oprah.com, she stated “I wanted to be a teacher. And to be known for inspiring my students to be more than they thought they could be. I never imagined it would be on TV.”
Oprah has many of the traits of successful female entrepreneurs. One of them is a “positive attitude.” I know, it’s an overused phrase but it has depth. Think about it, even though she grew up a poor, black girl in rural Mississippi, she didn’t allow her external circumstances to limit her choices in life.
Her confidence and her positive outlook on life deflected the words of those who said she wouldn’t “amount to anything” because of how she grew-up.
Oprah didn’t become a billionaire just because she’s confident. But her confidence helped and allowed other important characteristics to develop. Her extended growth made it easier for her to be successful in every area of her life.
Embrace Your Fears
Embracing her fear, is another Confident Female Entrepreneur trait that fueled Oprah’s success. She could have allowed other people’s negative stories to become her story. She chose to not believe she wasn’t good enough. Instead, she chose to believe in herself and faced her fears and challenges head-on.
When you lack self-confidence, you don’t go after what you want. You’re afraid to make mistakes, partially because you are also afraid of what others will think of you. You doubt that you have the needed skills, abilities, knowledge, or experiences to go after what you want. You may even be afraid of success because it means maintaining a higher standard, and being exposed to criticism. These fears and doubts can keep you from getting everything you want out of life.
“Each time we face our fear, we gain strength, courage, and confidence in the doing.”
– Theodore Roosevelt
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Have you met people who seem to have everything? They are happy. They smile more, laugh more, and enjoy life more. They stand out from others because of the way they carry themselves. They hold their heads high. They walk and stand with purpose. They shake your hand with a firm grip and look you in the eye. They are always ready to jump into whatever situation life puts before them.
That’s confidence in motion. They are rejection proof
Oprah was rejected by Baltimore’s WJZ-TV because they decided that she wasn’t good enough for television. She didn’t cower and lose her confidence. She reframed the negative experience for a positive one. It ignited her motivation to keep pursuing her dream.
Before she became the star of daytime TV, Oprah Winfrey was fired from her job as an evening news reporter at Baltimore’s WJZ-TV They expect rejections and welcome them. They use them as tools for learning, growing, and as motivators to achieve their entrepreneurial goals. Rejection opens a new door for acceptance.
Second Guessing Yourself
Confident Female Entrepreneurs are less likely to second-guess themselves.
Every day you must make decisions. You have to decide about marketing, products or services, hiring and firing employees, and other strategies to grow a profitable business. For your personal life, you have to decide what to buy at the grocery store. Choosing investments and retirement funds. You choose when to get up, what to eat, and who you’ll spend your life with. Each decision requires confidence in ourselves to make the choices that are right for us. We move forward with our choices and take responsibility for the outcome. That’s confidence.
Let me give you an example of the difference. This is the story of two CPAs who each want to start a business. The first one has confidence. She makes the decision quickly where she wants to place her new business. She chooses the name. Writes a one-page business plan. She walks into the bank to secure a small business loan for her business, knowing she will get the money to proceed. She quickly decides on hiring an assistant.
The second CPA lacks the confidence to decide on when, where, and if she is going to start her company. She goes back and forth on being her own boss. She can’t choose between servicing small business or corporations. She kept second-guessing herself. Today, it’s yes to starting her business, only to change her mind again and again. Because she can’t make a decision, she is still working as a CPA for someone else’s company.
Confidence is like a muscle
The more goals pursued, the more accomplished, the more risks she took and the more her empire grew. Self-confidence is like a muscle that needs to be used every day. The more you use it the stronger it grows. And confidence is the tool you use every day. But if you’re lacking it self-confidence or need to boost your self-confidence, there are ways to do it. Because if you want to get everything you want out of life, you have to have the confidence to go after those things.
You build confidence by acting despite your fears and lack of confidence. It comes from knowledge, experience, and a great deal of practice. It comes from believing in yourself and your abilities. Confidence enables you to overcome and succeed when presented with new challenges, opportunities, or tasks.
Each time you experience success, you gain confidence in other areas. Oprah is an actress. She was nominated for an Oscar for her first movie, She’s a talk show host, producer, philanthropist, and CEO of Harpo Productions and The Oprah Winfrey Network. You may not have aspirations like Oprah, however, whatever your aspirations, confidence is one of the keys to bring them to light.
It’s possible to have confidence in one area of your life and lack confidence in another.
When faced with a lack of confidence in some area, it’s important to take action. It will be uncomfortable. There may be fear. It might take work. But by taking action, you will gain experience and confidence. Begin with small steps if you need to.
“Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage. If you want to conquer fear, do not sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy.” – Dale Carnegie
Let’s say you have a fear of public speaking and want to get better at it. Begin by speaking in front of your mirror at home. Then move on to speaking in front of a room with one or two people in it. Then move on to speaking in front of bigger groups. With each step, you are gaining confidence in your speaking abilities.
Before getting in front of a group, say positive affirmations. Here are a few you can use.
- I am a warm, engaging person
- People are friendly
- I have positive energy flowing out of me
- I am confident in what I want to say
- People see the value in what I have to say. They respect me
A Few of The Many Ways to Build Your Self-Confidence
Face Your Fears. Do one thing every day that scares you. Facing your fear is the best way to overcome it. And by facing your fear, you gain confidence from the experience. Get out of your comfort zone. What’s one thing you fear? Is it meeting new people? Networking?
Next time you’re at a social or business event, go have a conversation with one person you don’t know. By doing this you’ll gain the confidence in yourself to begin being more social. The more social you become the more your confidence grows in other areas because you begin to realize you are liked and respected for who you are.
These are just a few ways you can boost your confidence. Simply by taking action, facing your fears and changing the way you take care of yourself you’re taking steps to being more confident and assured in making changes in your life.
Build Body Confidence. How you feel about your body directly affects your self-confidence. Accepting yourself as you are, inside and out, is essential to being self-confident. When you accept and “approve” of yourself, others will follow your lead. When you get right down to the bottom line it’s not your body, your looks, or things that attract people to you initially. It’s your overall, self-assured confidence that makes you shine and stand out in a crowd.
Your confidence intrigues people. It makes them want to be around you more often. They also want to learn about you and learn from you. This is when your inner beauty, the qualities and characteristics that can’t be seen just by looking at you, such as skills, talents, mindsets, attitudes, compassion, intelligence, loyalty, etc., come to the forefront. When this happens, they are more easily recognized and appreciated by others, as well as yourself.
When it comes to improving your body confidence, you might think that you need to start “fixing” the things that you don’t like about your body. You’ll be glad to know that body confidence actually has nothing to do with changing your body. In fact, building body confidence hinges on making needed changes to your ideas, priorities, focus, and actions.
Stop Comparing Yourself. Comparisons aren’t healthy. It causes envy which can lower your self-esteem.
Instead of comparing your start-up business, bank account, skills, possessions or looks to others, remind yourself of what you do have. List your attributes and possessions. When you feel the urge to compare yourself, use it as a motivator to make healthy improvements.
Also, begin to create a new habit (even if you don’t feel like, or it’s uncomfortable), to celebrate the success of others. Use their success as inspiration for your business and life. This attitude will help you to achieve your goals.
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It’s a wrap
As you’ve seen, confidence comes from knowing and believing in yourself. You’ve seen how boosting your confidence can help you get what you want out of life.
Your self-image strongly influences how you behave. If you view yourself as not good enough, you won’t have the courage to go after what you want. When you like who you are, you’re more likely to face your fears and go after everything you desire.
Boosting your confidence and changing your self-image is achievable. Before you begin, you need to know why you should have confidence in your life. Confidence affects every area of life. Lack of confidence leads to dreams deferred, not taking care of your body, comparing yourself to others and living in fear.
Some aspiring entrepreneurs have the confidence to move forward in their business but may need a confidence boost and others need to build their confidence from the ground up. If you find yourself making excuses for not doing the thing you want to do, then, a lack of confidence or some other limiting belief may be holding you back.
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Stay confident. Be empowered.