After working with so many amazing people, from time to time, one of them hits a wall.
And the wall is made up of self doubt about – can they really “do their heartfelt Purpose work” and serve others. I look at them in the eyes and remind them that everyone goes through this at some stage.
I also remind them that no-one has the skills they have, because they have lived through it.
I have been there myself and so I’m bringing you this list so that if you ever get the wobblies, then try one or two of these to get you back on track. Reclaim your confidence at keep Stepping out and Shining in service.
Here are twenty-one proven ideas for building your confidence so you can magnetically attract new clients. Choose and put into practice the ones that best resonate with you.
- Use Music
One of the simplest tricks for helping yourself to both take action and feel more confident: Creating your own inspiring musical playlist, and playing it whenever appropriate. (Athletes know this secret and use music all the time, while training at the gym.)
Just as sad music in minor keys can help us process feelings when life deals blows like relationship breakups, so can energizing music or inspiring music actually raise our confidence level to the point where we take action.
Choose your own favorite “theme song”. It will automatically boost your confidence whenever you hear it.
This is one of my ABSOLUTE FAVORITES to bring me home.
Dress for Success
This doesn’t mean putting on a formal business suit. It does mean dressing in a way that boosts your self-confidence and makes you feel good about yourself.
Don’t try to copy your ideal client or niche influencer unless that’s a look you totally relate to. It’s more important to dress in a way that makes you feel you have already achieved your top goal. If you see yourself with gypsy-style earrings and East Indian cotton skirts in many colors and layers, go for it. If you see yourself as edgy and trendy, go for it. If you see yourself in tweeds and Arran sweaters, wear them! And take note of how it makes you feel, when you dress for success.
Change your hairstyle. Buy those shoes you’ve been wistfully drooling over. Don’t worry about what other people think. Wearing what makes you feel successful and confident will attract the right client—for you.
- Adopt a Mantra and Live By It
In the 1999 movie, “Galaxy Quest”, an entire civilization bases its core values on a cheesy TV sci-fi show from Earth. They take the series hero’s glib motto, “Never give up; never surrender” to new heights—and achieve peace within a warring society before teaming up with earthmen to defeat a super villain.
This is what happens when you adopt a mantra, motto or slogan—and live by it.
“Never give up; never surrender” is a great motto, when you are trying to build new habits that increase your confidence.
- Start Small
Do you have a big change to make? Don’t wait for the “right time”—start small. For example, if you want a new office but can’t afford it, try buying a new piece of furniture or an accessory for your office that will make your life easier—like a bookshelf; or even just a shelf. Or a new lamp, to reduce the chronic eyestrain you suffer. Or even just some flowers because you deserve them!
When you start to surround yourself with things that signify success or make life easier, you are sending yourself a strong message – “I CAN have this in my life! I deserve this!”
- Make Confidence a Habit
Contrary to what others might think, no one is born with supreme self-confidence. It has to be learned. And it CAN be learned.
So consciously work on changing your habits. Take actions you need to take, change negative self-talk to realistic and more positive talk, and actively adopt the attitude of what you define as a successful person.
Confidence is not only for the lucky few who “succeed”. Anyone can have it—all you have to do is make it a habit.
- Practice Makes Perfect
Speaking of mottos, we all know the old Boy Scout motto: “Be prepared”. There is nothing better for increasing confidence than knowing you are absolutely ready to give that speech, approach that JV partner or promote your book.
So read over the notes or listen to the recording you made for that new client’s free consultation, in plenty of time for her first appointment. Write down what you need to accomplish before tackling some event or project or task that makes you nervous. Make sure you try everything out in advance.
Practice that speech (many times!) Practice using that new webinar software. Anticipate questions. Make sure you have everything you need assembled and ready to go.
Being prepared is the best way to step out in genuine confidence.
- Do it until it’s a Yawn
Does phoning people to ask for interview opportunities terrify you? Remember that doing it once is only an ice-breaker. Once you’ve done it, the next one is easier (even if only marginally)—but if you don’t get straight back on the horse, the effect will wane.
Resist the urge to make just one phone call, or send one custom email, or approach one person at a conference. Set a goal of reaching ten, or twenty, or even fifty (if there are enough people to converse with). Sure, it’s a great breakthrough if you do something like approach a JV partner or do a book-signing for the first time—but the way to REALLY start enjoying these activities is to do it again and again, until you feel confident and sure of yourself.
- Realize Your Clients Need—and Want—Your Coaching, healing or services
Instead of expending energy trying to attract new clients, focus on the ones you already have. They already trust you. They have “bought” from you and they are still coming back for more.
Make sure you meet and exceed their expectations. Be proactive. Anticipate their needs at the next level. Provide aides, extras and resources at the right time. Go over their notes, think about them. Empathize with their problems and dreams.
If you do this—if you treat your existing clients as if they are diamonds—you will automatically attract the same type of client who already wants your services.
- Know Your Own Value
The most confident people are those who know their own worth: What their time is worth, what their life experience and expertise is worth and what their services are worth.
Track your time. Look over your achievements and credentials. Read your client testimonials and emails. Identify the area where you help people make the biggest shifts.
Realizing how truly unique and valuable you are to clients can give you the confidence to set a realistic and healthy value on your services… so you can stop over-delivering and under-charging, and have the confidence to know you deserve your fees.
- Add Achievement Acknowledgement to Practicing Gratitude
By now you’ve probably heard the phrase “attitude of gratitude” a gazillion times, and as a coach, you probably know all about the technique of waking up every morning and listing things you are grateful for, before starting your day.
This is a great practice—but add to it three things that you do as a coach that you are proud of. You can make it about the past, the present, what you are going to do today or what you achieved yesterday.
- “I am thankful that yesterday I was able to prompt one client to commit to being assertive; that my book launch took in $347 in sales for Day 3 and that client, Cynthia, wrote such a great message in our Facebook Group about how I help her focus.”
- Take Action
Speaking of small steps, one of the best you can take for yourself is to stop thinking and “just do it”—whatever “it” is.
Thinking leads to over-thinking, which leads to procrastination, which leads to a loss of self-worth. So be the person who takes action when others are still tossing around possible solutions: While they estimate the cost of new bathtubs, buy a $2.00 all-purpose plug to stop the leak. Tidy your desk. Make those phone calls.
Taking action is empowering. So give your clients the best example, and be that “action person” they look up to, and admire.
- Indulge in Confidence-Building Activities
Are there areas in your life where confidence is a chronic struggle? If so, invest in confidence-building activities around that particular area to counteract your fear, negativity or bad memories.
For example, if you won’t run a webinar or be a guest-speaker because you feel hopelessly inadequate as a speaker, join your local chapter of Toastmasters, and learn to give mini-speeches regularly in a supportive, non-threatening environment. If you’re afraid of coaching in person one-on-ones, hold an afternoon event for a small group. Get to know your clients (and new ones) in person! If you secretly feel insecure because you’re thirty pounds overweight, go to a weight loss group and talk with others like yourself.
Sometimes realizing that others have the same fears—and being inspired by what they do to counteract these—can build your confidence and empower you too.
- Start a Support Group
Another way to boost your own confidence in a problem area while helping others—don’t just join a support group, start one! Particularly if your problem area is in an area related to your coaching—a surprisingly common phenomenon with coaches.
It can be incredibly empowering to seize a problem by the horns and help others overcome or deal with it, while admitting you too have issues in those areas. You will find that having to learn all you can about it, discover resources that work and come up with things like meeting structures and strategies to discuss give you a surprising amount of confidence in an area you previously found problematic.
- Do the Hard Stuff First
Want to know a quick way to boost your confidence? Start with the hardest task or action you have to take, that day. Get it out of the way before you even look at the rest of your “To Do” list.
Getting it out of the way can jolt you out of even the most minor paralysis, depression or exhaustion. Getting it out the way will not only increase your confidence level, but energize you too. That way, you’ll have lots of inspiration for the rest of your day!
- Be a Finisher!
Once you’ve tackled the hardest task of the day, ride the wave of relief and empowerment by finishing at least one unfinished task per day.
Write another 2,000 words of your book. Make that follow-up phone call to the potential JV partner. Pay those bills.
(And while you’re at it, book that massage or manicure you’ve been promising yourself for weeks.)
- Make On-going Learning Part of Your Business Life
Knowing you are ahead of your peers (and abreast of top influencers) in the latest changes, improvements or information in your field is another good way to automatically boost your confidence.
Take innovative courses, attend lectures, keep your certifications updated or upgraded, and subscribe to—and read—industry journals, in order to keep ahead of the pack and provide your clients with the best service. Proactively do primary research yourself. Contact organizations, companies and experts. That way, you won’t just be following top influencers: You’ll BE one.
Giving free workshops or talks to local business organizations and groups is not only helpful to your community—it’s a great confidence-builder (and automatically sets you up to be your community’s favorite expert in your field).
Let local journalists know you are available as an expert source. Join your local Chamber of Commerce and other relevant business organizations. Be the first to volunteer.
The more people you talk to, the more people you help, the more you’ll find your confidence naturally soars.
- Ask for Testimonials
If you really want to feel good about yourself, make sure you encourage and actively your clients to give you testimonials. Here’s the big secret: If you’re doing a good job and you make it easy for them to leave testimonials—they will. And testimonials that you know are heartfelt are a real confidence booster!
This means simply asking. One coach has gotten into the habit of saying, when complimented: “That’s wonderful to hear! Please remember to tell any friends who you think I might help about my services too”. And she goes one step further by handing the client three or four business cards.
Another finds it easier to put her request right on her business card. (“Your best thanks is a referral!”)
Many coaches find they get the best results by using:
- Feedback forms generated automatically
- Feedback “follow up” forms sent by email
- Feedback forms handed out at the end of events
- Feedback contact form and invitation in the right-hand sidebar (via text widget)
Others incorporate these into a “Testimonials” or Client Successes section, take a look on my website www.luannemareen.com
- Focus on Client Successes as Well as Your Own
If you really want to feel confident, focus on your clients’ successes; not just your own. It doesn’t matter whether or not that success was a huge one, or a tiny one. It all makes for steps forward on the right path in your client’s Life Journey.
And remember that sometimes the greatest achievements start with a single insightful sentence or small step a client dares to take.
Make sure you are the one providing these small steps and celebrate them. That’s a great way to increase your confidence as well as theirs!
- Compliment Others
It’s simple. If you are constantly looking for genuine things to praise in others, you are more likely to be able to accept compliments yourself.
This doesn’t mean complimenting everyone you see, and it definitely doesn’t mean paying people empty compliments as some sort of strategy. It means learning to recognize and appreciate people’s achievements and great qualities, so that compliments you do pay are meaningful and valued.
Being able to give and accept compliments gives you an attitude of confidence. You won’t be self-deprecating any longer, because paying well-earned compliments is such a natural part of your life, you will subconsciously expect to receive—and appreciate—them too.
- Care About Your Clients
Caring about your clients does mean going above the call of duty.
It doesn’t mean becoming a doormat, giving away services for free or putting up with clients who constantly cancel and won’t change.
Care about your clients by investing time in growing for them, being there for them, encouraging them, celebrating their triumphs (and especially the “small steps”) and making sure you know them well enough to know what they need.
Let me know which ones you try out