by Makeda Pennycooke | Featured Contributor
Wrestling with a lack of confidence is not uncommon for women entrepreneurs. Here are 9 things you can do to lead more confidently in your business and in your life. These are things that I continue to learn in my own business and leadership.
Comparison-itis has to stop
The first thing you have to do to be more confident is you have to stop playing the comparison game. You have to stop comparing yourself to other entrepreneurs out there. Let them serve as inspiration rather than role models of how you should operate.
Your entrepreneurial journey is not the same as theirs, their story not your story. You have to let your story be your story and their story be their story.
Observe the stories you are telling yourself
Connected to the comparison game is the stories around how “not enough” you are. You have to pay attention to those stories because if you are not careful they will keep you from being successful.
It’s a well known leadership principle that if you’re the smartest person in the room, you need to move to a new room. There is always going to be someone smarter, more innovative and more creative than you. So what?
The voice in your head is using those stories to try to stop you from showing up and doing your thing; the things that only you can do.
My question to you is are you going to let them stop you?
Name your strengths
Identify and name your strengths out loud so you can play to them. Recognize the places and ways you uniquely add value so you can keep leaning into those areas.
When you are able to see the gifts you bring to the world, you will begin to feel more confident.
Face your fears
I’ve shared on here before about the importance of facing your fears as an entrepreneur. If you are going to do anything worthwhile in this world, then changing your relationship to fear is a non-negotiable.
As the lovely Eleanor Roosevelt reminds us, “You MUST do the thing you think you cannot do”.
Ignore the naysayers and negative Nancys
There is always going to be someone who thinks you can’t do what you know in your heart you need to be doing. If you focus your energy on what they have to say you will lose your confidence and start back peddling on your dreams and goals.
Growing in confidence means ignoring the people who tell you all the reasons why you can’t and instead spending more time with people who will challenge you while also celebrating, with you, all the reasons you can.
Develop healthy boundaries
It is critical as an entrepreneur that you have healthy boundaries in place. Otherwise, you get caught trying to be who everyone else wants you to be instead of just being who you are. Setting boundaries is about learning what’s yours to carry and what you need to let go.
It’s also about learning to say no and not apologizing for it when you do. Remember, no is a complete sentence.
Embrace your quirks
Embracing your quirks is all about knowing how you are wired. You are who you are, with all the idiosyncrasies that make you uniquely you. Bring all those parts of you into your business. Don’t be afraid to let your quirkiness show. It’s likely to be the very thing that will draw the right people to you.
The quicker you can embrace all the parts of you that make you, you the easier it will be for you to feel and walk more confidently.
The blog post you’ve been avoiding writing, the videos you’re terrified to do but you feel a strong pull to start doing, the branding change you know you need to make. We all have our drug of choice when it comes to the tactics we will use to hide.
But everybody loses when you hide. Your clients and customers lose, the people you are meant to influence lose, and most of all you lose.
The world needs what you have to offer. You have to be bold enough to step up and deliver your gifts to the world.
Treat yourself with kindness
Your words are powerful especially the ones you say to yourself so be mindful of them.
When you make mistakes, and you will, be kind to yourself.
When you say something you shouldn’t, and you will, ask for forgiveness and be kind to yourself.
When things go horribly wrong, and they might, be terribly kind to yourself.
Don’t bully yourself in those moments instead treat yourself with kindness.
Here’s to you being more confident and rising into your greatness.
Makeda Pennycooke, Women’s Leadership Mentor and Coach
Makeda Pennycooke is a mentor and coach specifically supporting women leaders. I have 15+ years experience leading and developing teams, including six years serving at the executive level. I believe women are being asked to play by rules that don’t work for them and many women feel stuck living a life that isn’t right for them. After spending too many years letting other people’s opinion decide how I should live and lead, I am now committed to empowering women leaders to redefine leadership on their own terms.
In my spare time, you might find me curled up with a book in my favorite recliner; wandering around in pursuit of beauty behind the lens of my camera; or attempting to further my budding relationship with yoga.
I believe chocolate makes everything better, and life should be filled with moments that make your heart sing. I love the ocean, sun-kissed days and a good cup of steaming hot tea (always tea, never coffee). I can be found sharing tips and inspiration for women leaders at www.makedapennycooke.com Let’s be friends Twitter | LinkedIn | Facebook