When you first set out in business it is likely that you had a very clear idea of what you were going to do, how you were going to do it and of course, many of you reading this article will have already been doing a great job at implementing all your ideas whilst building strong and exciting businesses. Hopefully, also, you will have loved every minute of being your own boss and building your empires, big and small.
That all said, our times have recently changed dramatically and as we enter further into the challenging weeks and months ahead, it is vital that we don’t blame ourselves for feeling the natural and normal reaction of anxiousness, confusion, fear and overwhelm. Or, indeed, for feeling totally lost in this situation.
Perhaps you have recently experienced a major setback in our business. Maybe the world doesn’t want your products and service at this current time and you are wondering what will happen going forward. Perhaps your business offering is considered a nice to have or even a luxury benefit in someone’s business or life and people are pulling back from buying those luxury benefits right now.
It’s scary not to be able to rely on our previously perfected ways of running and operating our businesses. It’s hard when we realise many or all of our clients have pressing urgencies that they are having to deal with right now and our service becomes currently unnecessary to the survival of their operations. It is hard to hear that having you on board, or purchasing your services or your products right now could actually harm or limit their financial security and much-needed cash flow balances.
One thing we must understand though is that it truly is not their fault, they are only doing what they need to do. It is also vital to understand that it is most certainly not because we have failed in any way either. We didn’t fail. We never fail until we throw in the towel and I am guessing that if you are reading this article, you are not planning on doing that at all.
Being confident will almost certainly help us get through these times more easily and smoothly but how do we do that amid times when confidence and certainty are easily threatened?
Personal development coach Julie Clements provides three areas of focus that will most certainly help; let’s look at how we can be more confident about ourselves, our businesses and how we can build a strong, positive and confident mindset to support all this.
Being confident about you
Keep your confidence intact by looking at the inner relationship you are having with yourself. This is the single most important area to focus on because it determines your experience of everything.
At the core of your relationship with yourself lies your inner sense of self. You have many of these that you connect with and you take a different inner sense of self to various situations. But they all make up the whole – all variations of yourself are present within you and just like a kaleidoscope, the various parts make up the whole picture of you and the inner sense of self you hold at the deepest level within.
Regardless of whether your sense of self is positive or negative, these elements drive the quality of your relationship with yourself and ultimately provide a lens and a framework through which you experience, feel, view and react to life.
Take the following steps to help create a positive and powerful sense of self;
- Remind yourself of all of your positive qualities – what really resides at the heart of your true nature
- What things are most important to you as an individual and as a professional
- Remind yourself of how you work, live and conduct your personal and professional relationships through these values and priorities
- Spend some time focusing on and deliberately creating a sense of strong, confident and resilient professional or entrepreneur – use all your qualities and positive values to help you
- Mindfully focus on these qualities and capabilities. Keep them constantly present in your mind as you go about your days in isolation and navigating your way through these times
- The more you focus on these positive elements, the more you will feel them and the strength and confidence will flow again
- Remember you have an inner power that is always there. You have used it before. Decide again now to connect with it, feel it and use it to lead you forward
Being confident about your business
Boost your business and professional confidence by learning the skills of flexibility and adaptability. All great achievers have experienced great setbacks that have ultimately assisted their journey to success. This time has the chance to be a time when you breathe deeply, dig even deeper and step up again within yourself and rise to the challenge of being the powerful, confident and capable business owner and entrepreneur that deep down you know yourself to be. Consciously and consistently connect to the positive, powerful, capable professional sense of self within you. Help yourself by paying close attention to the relationship you are having with yourself right now and let your energy shift from setback to the solution.
You can do this. Your business can survive. Your business will only fail if you fail to see the opportunities that challenge, set-back and change always bring with it. There is always a way through and you can find it. You are it. You just have to flex and adjust to the times ahead and keep your cool, trust your instincts, trust history that shows we always survive a hard time and prosper again and give yourself the inner permission to let the best version of yourself lead you through these next few weeks and months.
Think through the following questions and ideas and allow your imagination, creativity and professional expertise to identify and create your new business solutions;
- Do the work necessary to boost your inner sense of self and improve the quality of your relationship with you
- Work towards strengthening and boosting a positive mind-set (see below for guidance)
- Be prepared to flex your way through these challenging times
- Identify what preparations you need to do to feel safe and secure
- Seek all necessary help available; from the government, on-line resources, business peers and remember we are all in this together so utilise your networks and technology for staying connected to each other
- Focus back in on your business
- How can you diversify your offering
- Through the products, services and scope of your business, ask yourself what the world needs right now
- How can your skills, products or services serve current needs and trends
- Are there any new skills you can learn or any other services you can provide
- Focus back in on you
- Is this an opportunity for you to re-train or gain a new qualification
- Is this an opportunity for you to move your business in another direction altogether
- Are there any other things that you absolutely love to do and would love to earn a living from doing it. What are the hidden opportunities available to you at this time?
Creating a positive and balanced mind-set
Our thoughts, feelings actions and behaviour are all intrinsically linked and simultaneously drive and affect each other. That said, our thoughts are the most powerful part of this inner cycle and you can dramatically and quickly change what you feel by changing your thinking. Ultimately, the more positive we think, the more positive we feel and this is the greatest way we can strengthen a positive mindset. We can further strengthen our positive thinking skills by becoming more conscious of our self-talk and taking steps to deliberately work with it and change it to be more positively focused, empowering and ultimately more productive in boosting our confidence, motivation, hope and happiness….things we all need to hang on to right now.
Take the following steps to strengthen your mindset and positive self-talk
- Become mindful of the self-talk you think within and say out loud
- Create a series of powerful personal mantras that help keep your mind focused on positivity, confidence, and strength. Try these and make up your own too…
- “I am calm, centred, and things will be worked out”
- “These times hold precious and positive opportunities for me to diversify my expertise, talents and business offering”
- “My mind has a choice – I can think positively or negatively”
- “I choose to think positively about my current situation”
- “It is ok to feel negative at times, but I have the strength and power to overcome these emotions and use my mind to focus on the positive potential and outcomes that are possible”
A closing word, whatever happens going forward, you will get through this. You are already a professional and you will find your way. Self-belief is just the beginning, allow yourself to believe in yourself, your business, your talents and your opportunities to boost your confidence and allow confidence to rise within you and sustain you as you flex and adapt to the times ahead. Have faith in yourself and become the change you want to create. Think it, feel it, focus in on it consistently and you will become whatever you want to be.
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