Moving forward, entrepreneurs could become and the backbone of our economy. Confidence is one of the qualities vital for starting and growing a business. If you want to achieve success as an entrepreneur, approach a stranger about your latest business idea, or even pitch a new client, you must believe you are worthy, and that requires some level of confidence.
Here are 5 helpful tips to help you show up as a confident businesswoman, by Elaine Montilla, founder of 5xminority, a TEDx Speaker, and the Assistant Vice President and CIO for IT at the Graduate Center, CUNY.
Get comfortable with being uncomfortable
Women need to step outside of their comfort zone to grow. This includes making mistakes and learning from the lessons brought. Women often want to avoid difficult conversations and shy away from anything that makes them feel uncomfortable. Another option is to sign up for something they never do and get through it. When women only say yes to roles they know they are good at, they disadvantage themselves from learning new skills and gaining a heightened sense of confidence. Additionally, women tend to sell themselves short and avoid “bragging.” It is essential to understand that when people speak positively about their achievements and rely on facts to share their success, it is not bragging. On the same token, it is vital to embrace rejection and not take it personally when it happens, but instead, see it as a stepping-stone that brings you much closer to your ultimate goal.
Own your strengths
Research shows that Self-awareness has a mutual relationship with success. Knowing yourself and your strengths will get you closer to achieving your goals. Spend some time noticing the tasks that drain your energy and those that bring you joy. Once you have a clear picture, spend more time working on the tasks you enjoy and delegate the rest. Another option to drive better results is to collaborate up with someone whose skills can complement your skills. In the end, if women do not believe in themselves, it makes it so much harder for anyone else to do it.
Surround yourself with other strong women
Research by PNAS suggests that 75 percent of women in high-ranking positions have female-dominated inner circles or strong ties to a few women within their network to be in frequent contact with. Beyond having mentors and sponsors, it is crucial to spend time with other positive people and colleagues who are rooting for your success. A support team is crucial to help celebrate achievements and to help women get up after a failure and learn from their mistakes without dwelling on them.
Make fear your BFF
Being brave and confident does not mean lacking fear at all. Fear is never going away, and it is best to make it our best friend. People grow up being told that fear is the enemy, and instead, fear is a messenger usually present to say that something important is about to happen. It is important to remember that most people who seem to have it together are just pushing through the pain and discomfort of dread.
Focus on continuous improvement
Successful women consider themselves lifelong learners. When entrepreneurs add skills related to their industry, it empowers them to make quicker decisions and take decisive action. The top skills proven to help women include conflict resolution, negotiation, emotional intelligence (EQ), and public speaking. Networking with others by attending seminars, conferences, and workshops can also help women grow their circle of influence and their chances for meaningful future collaborations.
Confidence is one of the weakest links for women in business. Women usually don’t advocate for themselves as much as men do, even if they are equally or even more competent. In the end, women also need help from others; and establishing more support and mentorship programs can be the key to help women succeed long-term. Confidence is like a muscle, and it will continue to get strong as women continue to practice these confidence skills and put them to good use. It is also crucial to understand that a person’s thoughts, feelings, and behaviors are interconnected. Thus, monitoring that voice in the head leading to imposter syndrome and anxiety is also crucial to success.