For the last year, I’ve devoted this blog to topics that are crucial to the development of a strong personal brand. We’ve covered self-image and self-esteem; how to ensure that your online presence reflects your offline personal brand; and practices to create a personal brand that’s in alignment with your values. While the topics are varied, each post is ultimately about the same core idea: developing a strong personal brand takes confidence.
The Cost of Low Self-Confidence
As with self-esteem and self-image, confidence is a product of our relationships with our parents, friends, siblings, and our broader culture. If you grew up in a supportive, nurturing environment, you’re more likely to become a self-assured adult. Whereas, those of us who weren’t encouraged to shine in our own unique ways often develop a thick shell to hide from the world.
If you suffer from low self-confidence, you might:
- Be desperate for acknowledgment, but terrified that others will see you for who you “really are”
- Always compare yourself to people who you believe are “more powerful” or “more successful”
- Worry about how others perceive you and assume they only see the “worst” parts of you
- Forget that you already have everything you need to be successful
The underlying belief that we’re “not enough” can wreak havoc on our lives both professionally and personally. However, it is possible to develop confidence as an adult. And it’s worth the effort. When you feel comfortable in your skin, you can stop apologizing for who you are and share your unique gifts with the world.
Build Your Self-Confidence One Step At a Time
It’s so important to remember that no one is 100% confident about all things at all times. There might be areas of your life where you feel great, and others that you know need work. However, if low self-confidence is holding you back from making changes that you know are necessary, try the following:
- Ask for help: If you want to build your skills, learn a new hobby, or advance at work, surround yourself with supportive people who are further along than you are and ask for their help. There are people out there who want to be partners in your success.
- Pay compliments: Anytime someone is cruel to you, remind yourself that it’s likely because they feel deficient in some way. When they criticize, they do it to make you feel small so that they can feel powerful. In situations like this, your best defense is to stand up straight, make eye contact, smile, and pay them a compliment.
- Reconnect with your authentic self: Breakthrough the protective shell you developed as a child with the help of a coach or consultant. They can help you get back in touch with your authentic self. The moment you stop apologizing and own who you are is the moment you will start to ooze self-confidence.
- Speak well of yourself: Every morning, look at yourself in the mirror and envision the person you are becoming. Repeat phrases such as, “I am strong, I am powerful,” or write affirmations down on post-it notes and put them up around your house.
Don’t Let Low Self-Confidence Hold You Back
If low self-confidence is holding you back, ask yourself how it would feel to get a new job, or a new title, or a promotion? Maybe you don’t care about moving up the ladder, but want to be acknowledged for your contributions. What is it worth to feel happy and proud of yourself for all that you’ve accomplished?
If you need help answering any of these questions, contact me. Together, we will find a way to create a personal brand that’s fueled by healthy self-confidence.