Every entrepreneur faces challenges, risk and uncertainty in the pursuit of their dream. To endure and make that dream a reality requires many skills and traits, the chief of which is confidence.
No entrepreneur can launch an idea, service, product, or business without a strong sense of self-confidence and self-belief. The good news is that confidence can be learned. Each of us already has the ability to kick start our confidence into high gear. Here are five principles for shifting your thinking toward greater confidence and belief in yourself.
1. Principle of outcomes.
This is akin to the scientific law of cause-and-effect where every outcome has an identifiable trigger event. But our response to a given event is another variable to consider within the context of personal development. While we have little control over the external events in our lives we have 100% control over how we respond to those events.
Our response to any event directly impacts the outcome. Self-help expert Jack Canfield distils this concept into a formula:
Event + Response = Outcome
If we don't like a given event and we want to change a potential outcome, the only way to do that is by consciously changing our response. When applied, this is a very useful way to build confidence in yourself.
2. Principle of control.
It stands to reason that your confidence is in direct proportion to the amount of control you exhibit regarding your external responses and behaviors. The greater the levels of autonomy, freedom and independence—all summed up in the concept of control—regarding your responses and internal beliefs, are proportionate to your level of self-confidence.
Anyone seeking more control in their life has to make different decisions than they've made in the past, respond differently to their circumstances while accepting responsibility for the consequences of those behaviors. Assuming greater control in your life can only boost your confidence.
3. Principle of correspondence.
This is the idea that your "outer" life is a physical manifestation of your "inner" life—as within, so without. In other words, nothing on the outside is going to change without first changing what's on the inside of you. The quickest way to do that is by replacing your negative and ineffective concepts, beliefs or insights with new ones.
Two of the best resources to reboot your inner self are the classic books, How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie andThe Power of Positive Thinking by Norman Vincent Peale. I read both of these books as a teenager when I had very low self esteem and confidence and they changed my life.
4. Principle of self-limits.
Simply stated, nobody can rise above their own self perceptions. If you've programmed yourself, or you've been programmed by others, to believe that you're a loser and your life is a dumpster fire—it's difficult to change that perception. It requires intentional effort and mental re-framing on your part to breakthrough that kind of negative self-image. It's virtually impossible for you to succeed without removing your self-limits.
One of the most effective tools that elite athletes use to bounce back from a devastating loss or "career-ending" injury is through visualization, where they mentally create in their minds' eye the imagery of performing at a high level and winning. They play that internal video over and over in their heads as they do the physical work and training that's necessary to achieve their respective vision.
That vision allows them to push beyond their physical limits. This concept of visualization can also be applied by anyone who needs to push beyond their own internal limits toward a new level of self-confidence.
5. Principle of expectations.
Closely associated with the preceding principle is the concept of expectations, which means that whatever we expect to happen, good or bad, usually does. All of us have experienced or witnessed firsthand a "self-fulfilling prophecy" where an expected outcome ultimately came to pass.
The reason for this is that when an expectation, positive or negative, becomes a key focus of our thoughts, we tend to make decisions, associate with enabling individuals and behave in ways that pull that expectation into our reality.
This principle is summed up in the quote by Henry Ford, "If you think you can do a thing or can't do a thing—you're right."
While these principles are simple to understand, they're not easy to apply. However, each of us has the ability to apply these transformative concepts to any area of our lives and re-apply them at anytime for a reboot of needed confidence.
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This article also appeared on Entrepreneur.com. Minor edits have been done by the Entrepreneur.com.ph editor.