How Do I Gain Confidence for Punching above My Weight?

How Do I Gain Confidence for Punching above My Weight?

how to gain confidence

 

If you want to punch above your weight, then you need to know what that means; and it will mean something different for everyone. You won’t find a cookie-cutter definition.

It could mean going for business that is at a higher level than anything you’ve pursued before. Maybe the value of the contract is bigger, or the risk is higher, or the rewards are greater.

It could mean looking for work in a tangential industry; one that’s related to yours, but not quite the hand-in-glove fit that you’ve normally gone for in the past.

Maybe it means allowing your company to grow to the extent that you have to involve a lot of other associates or even hire people.

Whatever it is, punching above your weight will take you out of your comfort zone. For most people, that will be a little scary.

Gaining confidence

How can you gain the confidence you need in order to do this?

Do you write out a series of affirmations about how capable you are and preach to yourself every morning in front of a mirror? Some people would tell you to do that. At one time it was reported that US Air Force personnel, as a part of their training to be recruiters, were instructed to do so with these words: “I’m enthusiastic about my job!” No doubt that had to convince themselves because they weren’t; at least not at first. Recruiting is selling, after all.

Confidence isn’t something that happens overnight. It takes time. Sometimes it is only mental; but often, it’s that plus other skills such as negotiation. That means that you have to give yourself time to grow as well.

An exercise

Let’s say that you want to cycle 100 miles in a day. Cyclists call this a century. It’s a milestone, both physically and mentally, and achieving it puts you into that group of people who have done it. It’s akin to running a marathon.

The rule of thumb is to limit the length of your longest ride in any one week to be no more than twice the distance of the previous week. Theoretically, at least you could double your longest ride every week, except that there’s one other rule that you should follow in order to avoid overtraining. You shouldn’t increase your weekly exercise by no more than 10%. This is true of any sport. In cycling and running, it’s miles. In other sports, it can be time or weight.

The point is that you have to build up to it. If you don’t, then you risk injury, illness, or both.

The same approach is true for punching above your weight in your business. Unless you’ve been punching below your capabilities, and you won’t have been able to do that for long without losing punching power, you’ll feel most comfortable if you work your way up at a comfortable rate.

Undoubtedly there will be people who will get opportunities to jump up one or more levels without the gradual approach, and you might be one of them; but it will be better for you if you plan to do it one reasonable step at a time. If you don’t, you could become discouraged than you already are and give up trying. You might even blow a good opportunity that you could have secured had you waited until you were ready for it.

How to do it

Start by recognizing that you need to think differently about your business. You can’t expect to have a one-man-band mentality when you’re hiring people to take you to that next level. If you’re unsure what this looks like, then talk to your colleagues in a professional network. Even your competitors are likely to help you in this respect. Entrepreneurs like to see other entrepreneurs succeed.

You also need to ask yourself what you’d have to believe in order to punch above your weight. Thinking and believing are closely connected, but they’re not the same. When thoughts cross your mind, you have to ask yourself if you believe them or not. If you do, then you’ll act one way. If you don’t, then you’ll act in another. But you have to decide which one it will be.

The next step is to what little steps can you take right now.s Then do them. As you do them and see yourself doing them, your confidence will grow.

Get a coach. This person will encourage you when you need it and hold you accountable for doing what it takes to get you to punch above your weight. A coach will show you how much you’ve achieved, too.

Remember, if you want to gain confidence to punch above your weight, then take incremental steps. This will cause you to believe in your own capabilities, and when that happens you’ll persuade others.

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