Confidence can be elusive for many people in business. Solo professionals and small and home-based business owners often experience challenges with self-confidence. Confidence in business comes from a variety of sources. One of these sources is through gaining knowledge. As a solo professional when you know how to do something, you’ll feel much more confident, which could be the origin of the phrase, “knowledge is power.” Here are the top five ways to boost your confidence through learning so you feel confident and powerful:
1. Take a class: A skills-based class should teach you everything you need to know to succeed in doing the subject of the class. By the end of any class or program designed to teach you a new skill, you should feel fully prepared to put your new skill into practice and be excited about it. For example, after the fourth and final session of my Signature Speech Work Group, a six-week tele-class, participants repeatedly commented, “I feel so much more confident now.” After being in the program, participants felt they had the knowledge, skills, and confidence they needed to deliver their Signature Speech and get the results they want.
2. Read a book: Skimming a book (or e-book) may not give you enough detail to make you feel more confident about a subject. But careful reading, internalizing the information, and beginning to put into practice the ideas from a well-written book will lead to increased confidence. Often after reading a great book and putting some of the principles into practice in my own life, I’ll tell the world about the concepts. Like a great class, a great book will teach you the tools you need to succeed. Once you apply the tools regularly, you’ll begin to feel more confident.
3. Ask an expert: Or more than one expert. Open up a dialog with a person who is an expert in the area you’re studying. Read their free offerings– you can learn a lot by reading the free information available from someone with a great message. True experts are willing and happy to share their knowledge and expertise. Ask that expert if s/he would be open to an interview. Continue to speak to experts in the same subject until you feel well-versed in the subject yourself. (Of course, follow common courtesies of working around their schedule, sending thank you notes, and the like.)
4. Observe an expert: You can become more confident in your skills by watching others doing the same skill well. Want to learn how to make a fantastic meal? Watch and learn from one of the TV chefs at the Food Network. Need to learn about decorating your home? Those folks on HGTV have loads of ideas, tips, and advice. There are instructional DVDs and television programs for just about any topic you’re interested in. Or you can observe someone in person, which may provide you with the opportunity to ask that person questions later. You may realize that you already know most of the information being shared, which alone could help boost your confidence. You could even find yourself saying, “That guy on TV doesn’t know any more than I do about this!”
5. Practice: Sometimes the best way to gain confidence in a new skill is to jump right in and do it. Find a way to try your skill in a safe, comfortable environment. You can practice with a mastermind group of others also developing new skills. Or you can pay an expert to be your coach or mentor. Or work with a trusted colleague or friend. Practice until you’ve reached the point of feeling confident in your ability and ready to fly solo.
Source by Felicia Slattery
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