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Confidence Killers and How to Get Over Them

13 November 2018

Confidence was in every step, when Bridget (from the popular film Bridget Jones Diary) sauntered down the country lane in her fancy dress costume, ready for the party. Each step, each hip sauntering sway, took her closer to that first glass of champagne. And she was feeling fabulous.

Halfway down the driveway, she caught sight of someone. In dull muted colours, looking rather ordinary. Sigh, what party poopers avoiding the theme. Then she caught sight of another. Then another, then another.

Then the moment. When fear stabs your gut and inflames the veins. The joy sags and suddenly it’s only terror. Nothing but the terror.

OH NO. You’re the only person in fancy dress. And you HAD.TO.HAVE.WORN.THE.BUNNY.SUIT!!! Ohhh… why did you wear the bunny suit?!?!?!

**

It’s one of the most hilarious scenes in the movie, and could it also be true for how you can feel when trying to build an online brand? It can be very scary putting yourself out there.

Perhaps you’ve been there. You’ve written up a post to go on LinkedIn. You’ve read it, re-read it; added a picture. And you’re just about ready to hit send when it happens. That stab of fear as your confidence is killed. The terror! The lurking thought… “What will people think of me?!”

What-will-people-think-of-me syndrome

If you’ve ever felt this way, then you’re not alone. Working with business owners and entrepreneurs around Australia, every time I present on how to create a stand-out online brand, I invariably have someone come up to me and say:

What will people think?

Why would they want to listen to me?

Who am I to say these things?

What do I know?

I think this confidence killer is up there with the imposter syndrome. Both are trying to tell you that you don’t/shouldn’t/mustn’t/couldn’t, and both stem from fear and self-doubt rather than reality.

Dropping my daughter off to school recently, I was struck with the thought that we’ve been conditioned to blend in. No wonder it’s so hard to stand out, especially when, as leaders and entrepreneurs, we’re building our brand and reputation online.

Here are three points to remind yourself the next time you experience one of those confidence killers.

1. Remember your Why

Why are you doing this in the first place? What was the original motivator for what you’re doing? Was it a passion? To help? Write it down somewhere to remind yourself.

2. Be available to serve

What if you changed your mental frame to one of service? It’s not about performance; it’s about how you’re helping your audience. Showing up to serve feels less intimidating than trying to be perfect all the time.

3. Don’t over think it

Sometimes what keeps you in a fearful fuss is striving for perfection. I LOVE this quote from Brooke Castillo from The Lifecoach school who said your “B-minus work can change people’s lives. Work that you don’t produce at all (you’re a+ work), does nothing in the world.”

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