“Vulnerability is the birthplace of innovation, creativity and change.”
Doing anything new or driving change if often chaotic, stressful and full of roadblocks that can knock anyone’s confidence – and the path less taken will inevitably come with several crashes in confidence.
We’ve put together these eight ways to be more confident, boost your creativity and give you the capacity to innovate.
First things first: Failure will happen.
Failure is inevitable with innovation. That’s exactly how great ideas are born, so it doesn’t matter that you’ve failed. What matters is how you dust yourself off, learn what didn’t work, bounce back and give it another try.
It’s the getting back up that builds confidence, and you’ve got to fail in the first place to give yourself the opportunity to do so.
Focus on your successes
So you’re feeling stuck, frustrated, or lacking confidence. What moments of success can you look to, to boost your motivation?
Take stock of what you’ve achieved already, whether it’s positive feedback from a manager, a thank you from a customer or the time you delivered an excellent project or piece of work.
Keep a notebook and write your achievements down. Look at it regularly. When you have a moment of low confidence, refer back to these achievements, and use what you’ve learned to help shape your future plans.
We all have negative thoughts that eat away at our confidence. It’s normal. Confidence is about learning to manage these thoughts. Visualize yourself succeeding.
This helps you feel connected to the importance of what you’re doing and feel more confident in the present moment.
Stretch your comfort zone and be a change maker
Innovating means doing something that is new to you. It could be something that others have achieved before, but if you are testing a way of operating that is new to you, you are innovating. This means you have to step outside of your comfort zone.
Stretching outside your comfort zone to achieve results will feel uncomfortable. Innovators learn how to be comfortable with uncomfortable. It is a necessary part of the innovation process.
Each time you do this it will help grow your confidence, and over time, it will increase your ability to take on braver and bolder activities.
Don’t forget that as an innovator, you are an agent of change.
As you branch out in a new direction, you’ll certainly run into opposition, questions and doubts because you’re challenging the status quo. Expect negatives, put them in perspective and prepare answers to overcome objections.
Surround yourself with confident, positive and supportive people
In your professional world and your personal world, be sure to surround yourself with positive people who help boost your confidence. Seek out those trusted friends and colleagues who will work with you on your innovation ideas, cheer you on, challenge you and support you.
Find a mentor. There will be others who have been through what you’re going through who can help you build your confidence. Seek them out for their advice.
Do your homework
Success is where opportunity meets preparation. Good preparation can help boost your confidence.
For example, if you’re working on a presentation, practice it, ask for feedback, make changes, keep practicing, keep iterating.
Look after yourself
Your health and wellbeing undoubtedly have a positive effect on your mood, effectiveness and confidence. Take regular exercise breaks throughout your work week and choose a nutritious diet.
Know when to ask for help
It’s not weakness to not know the answer, and it’s a strength to be honest about your limitations. Ask other people for help.
The worst that can happen is that someone says ‘no’ or ‘I don’t know’ – and then you can just ask someone who does know!
Fake it ‘til you make it!
When you’re not feeling confident, pretend that you are. Stand tall and keep your shoulders back, spine straight, and chin high. Breathe slowly and deeply.
When you look like a confident person on the outside, you’ll be approached as one by the world around you.
You’ll fool other people and you’ll fool yourself too.
“Once we believe in ourselves, we can risk curiosity, wonder, spontaneous delight, or any experience that reveals the human spirit.”
– E.E. Cummings
Are you keen to be more deliberate about building and maintaining your confidence?
I’ve created a 55-minute webinar and workbook to give you a quick confidence kick start. It includes simple and practical tips you can action straight away to keep your confidence topped up.
You’ll finish this training feeling prepared, informed, and confident.
Get the full 55-minute webinar and accompanying workbook for only £5.
Image source: Graphicstock