Do you feel like a lack of confidence is holding you back from following your dream? I understand – I’ve been there. Don’t let self-doubt stop you from reaching your full potential.
I won’t lie – when I first envisioned my dream job, I was scared. Thoughts like “will people believe in me?” and “what if I don’t succeed?” crossed my mind. Even for a fairly confident person, I still doubted my ability to succeed. If you can relate to those thoughts, you’re not alone.
According to a survey by Virgin Entrepreneur, 17% of people from the British public said that “a lack of belief in ability” was the biggest barrier in preventing them from turning their business idea into a reality. Considering the U.K population is somewhere around 60,000,000 – that’s quite a lot of people being held back by a lack of confidence.
What does that tell us? It’s not just you and I that have this problem; it’s a world-wide issue.
Which probably leads to your next question: how we get over it? Well, take a deep breath, and go for it.
1. Do your research
Once you’ve decided on what you’d like to do, set aside some time to go online to find more information on what you’ll need to get going. Start with a simple Google search and see where it takes you. Social media is also a great tool to look up people who are perusing similar career paths or lifestyles – just be sure to dig a little deeper to make sure what they advertise on their page matches up to the service they offer or the lifestyle they portray.
If you aren’t sure what you should be looking for, start by asking yourself a few basic questions, then use them to direct your search. What qualifications will you need? Are there any free services that offer support? How much will your materials cost? Do you need to acquire an ABN?
By doing your research, you’re backing up your idea by making sure you know exactly what you’re getting into before you get started. Knowledge is power, and by knowing what it takes to be successful, you give yourself the confidence that you need.
2. Set achievable and measurable goals
In the words of the fabulous Bayvick Lawrence – “cause you can’t just dream without any goals at all.”
A client of mine shared with me her dream of becoming a HR Manager, so that’s what I got her to write as her (24 month) long-term goal. I then asked her to come up with 12 short term goals for each month of each year – all of which would ultimately add up to getting her closer to her long term goal.
You can do the same – write down your goals and how long it’ll take you to check them off your list. The great thing about doing this is that you can even break your goals down to one a day, adding up to 7 a week, 28 a month and… you get my point.
The feeling you get from knowing you have a plan is almost as amazing as the “yeee-haaa” feeling after ticking off each goal as a huge D-O-N-E. Knowing you’re getting things done and looking back to see how far you’ve come, will add to your confidence and will push you much further than you could’ve imagined.
3. Seek advice from someone who knows their stuff
While doing your research, you probably came across a few people who are ‘living the dream’ and are killin’ it at what they do. Where possible, reach out to them and ask for advice (in a “I’d love to learn from you” and not a “I want to take over your job” kinda way).
Listen to what they have to say, take notes, spend time together and set up a plan to follow through with useful advice that they’ve given you. We all stumble along the way and make mistakes, so soaking up the words of wisdom they have to offer will only make you and your plan better and stronger.
Meeting someone who has gone down the path that you’re hoping to follow will show you that if they can do it – so can you. It’ll add to your confidence while giving you a broader understanding of what to avoid, and what it takes to succeed at what you do.
Feeling inspired? Now go ahead and get started. If anything, know that I believe in you, and I don’t even know you – now that’s saying something. Why? I believe that everyone has the ability to live their dream, by reaching their full potential – and all you need is a boost of confidence to get you started.