Building Confidence

Confident Business WomanA couple weeks ago I asked if you had any questions for me, personal or business.
And Anita wrote:

I would also love to hear your thoughts sometime about building confidence when trying a new endeavor.

Now, I’m going to assume that “new endeavor” is a different way to say “new business” or something similar. Although I this advice can be applied to trying many new things.

I can only speak from my own experience, so I’m going to share what worked for me (and continues to work for me).

Work with someone, whether a coach or someone else, who can help you navigate the waters, both business and personal.
When I left my job I was already working with a business coach, Darla LeDoux (I mentioned her in the article that Anita commented on). It wasn’t exactly smooth sailing out of the gate, I had a lot of work to do. Obviously work on the business and perhaps less obviously, work on me.

I’ve worked with a couple different coaches now. And I’ve found that the times when I’m making the most progress and stretching beyond my comfort zone most regularly is when I’m working with a coach. The support is invaluable

Surround yourself with a group of positive people who get it (and are working on improving themselves).
Friends and family are great, but having your own business has it’s own set of joys and challenges that other people don’t always understand.

A mastermind group was part of the working with Darla at that time. There were about 6 other women, at various stages of business, and we would all get on the phone for about 2 hours each month. We’d share what wasn’t working, what was working and what we were excited about. It was wonderful to know that I wasn’t alone.

I think that’s really important when you’re doing something new – to know you’re not alone. The frustrations and struggles you’re feeling are completely natural, others are going through it too. Hearing the stories of what they did or would do differently was wonderful.

In that group some wonderful friendships developed. One of my first clients was in that group. And while we don’t talk regularly, I’m confident that if I called a couple of them up right now, they’d love to hear from me (and vice versa).

Feel what you’re feeling.
Yes, it might sound ridiculous, but it’s sooo important. Don’t stuff your feelings. Whether it’s frustration, fear, joy or excitement. Allow yourself the space to feel them! A few months into my entrepreneurial journey I wrote this post about throwing a pity party (it’s still one of my favorite articles).

I think later I shared what happened with my coach, Darla. It helped to have someone to talk with. Someone that I knew was in my corner, would support me without judgment AND would challenge me on occasion (all of that is what a good coach does).

Take time to recognize how far you’ve come and CELEBRATE!
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, so often we’re so busy with our heads down doing work that we don’t notice that we’ve made so much progress! Take some time to look up and recognize the progress you’ve made! Then CELEBRATE it!

The above are all things that I continue to do, that continue to build my confidence, support me and keep me going.

In the last three years, I’ve learned that having a coach isn’t just an item in my budget (and I love budgets), it’s an investment in not only my business and success, but in my sanity.

I’ve learned that a supportive group of business owners can be found a lot of places, but it takes a special group to support you in your ups and downs AND it’s a special group that allows you to do that for them.

I’ve learned that if I’m stuffing fear and frustration I’m also stuffing joy and excitement. So, I want to be open to feeling all of it, even when it’s scary and results in me curling up in a ball and crying (yes, it happens).

I’ve learned that sometimes the hardest thing to do is recognize the progress that I’ve made. It’s so much easier to see it in other people. And it’s so exciting and reassuring when I’m able notice it myself. And when I can’t, there are people who can remind me.

All of these things continue to help in building confidence in my business and myself.

Do you have any questions for me, personal or business, that you’re curious about? Ask in the comments below.

Image courtesy of stockimages /

Who Do You Count On?

two kids walking with their arms around each otherMy husband and I don’t live close to most of our family. We’re involved in other activities that cause us to stay close to home on the weekends. The result is we don’t visit our families very often.

One weekend over the summer my sister and I traveled 4 hours one way to attend a family reunion. We had a great time at the family reunion and stayed well past everyone else because it was at our aunt and uncle’s home. At the end of the evening we went a half mile up the road to our Grandparents and spent the night. And on Sunday we visited with more family!

This is what I realized at the end of the weekend:

  • I really love my family
  • Going there always feels a bit like “going home”
  • When I’m there, I always want to come back next week
  • There’s nothing quite like family and hearing stories about them and yourself that you’ve forgotten

For me, connecting with my grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins and my cousins’ kids reminds me how much love I have for people I see only a few times a year and how much I cherish those family connections. It feeds my soul in a way I really can’t put into words.

Having these connections to others is important. We might not always agree with each other’s choices, but we’ll always be there for each other to help to celebrate, to mourn or to help pick up the pieces. These people may be your family or they may be your best friends.

Knowing that you have a support system is a happiness booster. They’re the people that are there for you no matter what and love you unconditionally.

Who makes up your support system? Who are the people that you love to spend time with? Are they the same group? Make some time in the next week to spend time with people from both groups (if they’re not the same). Notice how it feels to be with them and be thankful they’re in your life.