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5 Things Entrepreneurs can Teach Us about Confidence and Conviction

5 Things Entrepreneurs can Teach Us about Confidence and Conviction

Whatever you are pursuing in life, and whatever your goals are, you need to believe in yourself, be confident about your ideas no matter how crazy they might seem, and simply make a move.

The best way to learn about success is from entrepreneurs, as most of them went from rags to riches because they had a vision, a dream, confidence and conviction. So, take a chance in life. After all, if you don’t make your dreams come true, someone will hire you to build their dreams.

1. Look your fear in the eyes

“The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” Franklin D. Roosevelt

This quote, although it does not come from a traditional entrepreneur, tells the real truth about fear. Remember what you were afraid of when you were little, and what your attitude is towards that now. Take for example, the fear of the dark. Back when you were little, turning off the lights at night meant letting all the monsters out. Now that you are older, turning off the lights means one thing, that it’s finally time for some silence, a good night’s sleep. The same goes for any business you are pursuing. Whatever fear you have, know that more experienced people find that an advantage.

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What distinguishes an entrepreneur is that they looked their fear in the eyes, and made a move. They certainly aren’t fearless, they are humans after all. But at the beginning of their career, they feared they can lose everything, that they were not competent for something, and that they were simply not good enough to become successful. However, they didn’t let all that stand in the way of their dreams. When it comes to anything in life, fear the fear itself, because it is your biggest enemy, and will keep you down if you let it.

When you make a move, and fearlessly step into the business world, later on you might also be scared of some challenges. Don’t let fear stop you. Because, as Richard Branson said “Business opportunities are like buses, there’s always another one coming.” Make a mistake, and learn from it. Be confident in your knowledge and goals, so you can work on solutions, and not problems. Only this way can you achieve something worthwhile.

2. Self-doubt prevents success

“When in doubt, dare.”  Robin Sharma

Having self-doubt means that you lack confidence and have almost no conviction. Whatever you want to achieve in life, don’t doubt your skills and knowledge. What doubt does to you, is prevent you from succeeding in something. Doubt takes you one step back, and makes it impossible for you to actually do something. Moreover, if you have partners or clients, be sure that they will notice your insecurities, which will only lead to not trusting you with their money. Learn how to deal with your insecurities, so you could guarantee yourself a long-term success.  If you don’t believe in yourself, other people won’t either.

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Therefore, whenever in doubt, dare, try and stick to your dreams. This is when confidence and conviction play their important role. They are the ones that will keep you going, and help you achieve everything you ever wanted. Even if you fail, you will learn a lot, which will lead to inevitable success.

3. Growth mindset and believing wholeheartedly in yourself

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    “My biggest motivation? Just to keep challenging myself. I see life almost like one long University education that I never had – everyday I’m learning something new.” Richard Branson

    Your whole life is a path of knowledge, and everyday you are making mistakes and achieving some goals. Those might be unimportant and small tasks, but they develop your skills. For example, in everyday communication with people, you learn what attitude you need to have when speaking with some people, when to just listen, and how to have a discussion without becoming nervous. Every step in life, and a business move, is a chance for you to learn.

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    When you realize those small situations that shape you, you’ll start asking yourself how you can get better in something. This means having a growth mindset, which makes you work on yourself, your skills, and improving your knowledge. The opposite of a growth mindset, is a fixed mindset, which you can easily recognize when speaking with people who constantly ask themselves how good they are.

    A growth mindset means learning from mistakes, failures, and not being affected by negative feedback. Make sure you wholeheartedly believe in yourself, constantly try to improve and don’t doubt your every move. Only this type of mindset can achieve something, while a fixed mindset will constantly be lost in the past, negative things, and stay at the bottom because of a lack of confidence, courage and conviction.

    4. Conviction gets you into business, and keeps your enemies away

    “If you are working on something that you really care about, you don’t have to be pushed. The vision pulls you.”- Steve Jobs

    Only when you have overcome your fears and became courageous, can you do something big. However, for all that you need to believe in yourself and what you are doing. When you strongly believe in those two things, there’s no one who can bring you down. People who just merely hope, can easily stray away from their path to success, or even be tricked into deviating from it. When you do something, put your heart into it and don’t let anyone tell you different.

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    Conviction will put your fears behind and make you brave enough to take the first step towards fulfilling your dream. And when you’re running a business, conviction will be there to make it all possible and, more importantly, make it all happen.

    5. Stick to your code of ethics and morality when faced with adversity

    “Your reputation is more important than your paycheck, and your integrity is worth more than your career.” – Ryan Freitas, co-founder of About.me

    When you face an unpleasant situation, where you might be tempted to question your morality and ethics, the best thing to do is remember who you were at the very beginning. Ask yourself what that person would do, and you’ll have the answer. Never risk your reputation and integrity for money or career. Remember the beginning when you were so courageous and sure in your vision that you could slam the door to anyone who thought differently.

    If you are at the beginning of your career, write a letter to your older self. Write down your dreams, goals and beliefs. One day, if faced with adversity, open that letter and it will help you make the best decision.

    This doesn’t have to apply strictly to the business world and achieving life goals. You can apply this advice in developing yourself, so that you can be happy with who you are. Believe in yourself, have the courage to make a mistake, be proud you’ve failed, find a solution and succeed.

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    Katarina Milovanovic

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    Last Updated on July 10, 2020

    The Power of Ritual: Conquer Procrastination, Time Wasters and Laziness

    The Power of Ritual: Conquer Procrastination, Time Wasters and Laziness

    Life is wasted in the in-between times. The time between when your alarm first rings and when you finally decide to get out of bed. The time between when you sit at your desk and when productive work begins. The time between making a decision and doing something about it.

    Slowly, your day is whittled away from all the unused in-between moments. Eventually, time wasters, laziness, and procrastination get the better of you.

    The solution to reclaim these lost middle moments is by creating rituals. Every culture on earth uses rituals to transfer information and encode behaviors that are deemed important. Personal rituals can help you build a better pattern for handling everything from how you wake up to how you work.

    Unfortunately, when most people see rituals, they see pointless superstitions. Indeed, many rituals are based on a primitive understanding of the world. But by building personal rituals, you get to encode the behaviors you feel are important and cut out the wasted middle moments.

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    Program Your Own Algorithms

    Another way of viewing rituals is by seeing them as computer algorithms. An algorithm is a set of instructions that is repeated to get a result.

    Some algorithms are highly efficient, sorting or searching millions of pieces of data in a few seconds. Other algorithms are bulky and awkward, taking hours to do the same task.

    By forming rituals, you are building algorithms for your behavior. Take the delayed and painful pattern of waking up, debating whether to sleep in for another two minutes, hitting the snooze button, repeat until almost late for work. This could be reprogrammed to get out of bed immediately, without debating your decision.

    How to Form a Ritual

    I’ve set up personal rituals for myself for handling e-mail, waking up each morning, writing articles, and reading books. Far from making me inflexible, these rituals give me a useful default pattern that works best 99% of the time. Whenever my current ritual won’t work, I’m always free to stop using it.

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    Forming a ritual isn’t too difficult, and the same principles for changing habits apply:

    1. Write out your sequence of behavior. I suggest starting with a simple ritual of only 3-4 steps maximum. Wait until you’ve established a ritual before you try to add new steps.
    2. Commit to following your ritual for thirty days. This step will take the idea and condition it into your nervous system as a habit.
    3. Define a clear trigger. When does your ritual start? A ritual to wake up is easy—the sound of your alarm clock will work. As for what triggers you to go to the gym, read a book or answer e-mail—you’ll have to decide.
    4. Tweak the Pattern. Your algorithm probably won’t be perfectly efficient the first time. Making a few tweaks after the first 30-day trial can make your ritual more useful.

    Ways to Use a Ritual

    Based on the above ideas, here are some ways you could implement your own rituals:

    1. Waking Up

    Set up a morning ritual for when you wake up and the next few things you do immediately afterward. To combat the grogginess after immediately waking up, my solution is to do a few pushups right after getting out of bed. After that, I sneak in ninety minutes of reading before getting ready for morning classes.

    2. Web Usage

    How often do you answer e-mail, look at Google Reader, or check Facebook each day? I found by taking all my daily internet needs and compressing them into one, highly-efficient ritual, I was able to cut off 75% of my web time without losing any communication.

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    3. Reading

    How much time do you get to read books? If your library isn’t as large as you’d like, you might want to consider the rituals you use for reading. Programming a few steps to trigger yourself to read instead of watching television or during a break in your day can chew through dozens of books each year.

    4. Friendliness

    Rituals can also help with communication. Set up a ritual of starting a conversation when you have opportunities to meet people.

    5. Working

    One of the hardest barriers when overcoming procrastination is building up a concentrated flow. Building those steps into a ritual can allow you to quickly start working or continue working after an interruption.

    6. Going to the gym

    If exercising is a struggle, encoding a ritual can remove a lot of the difficulty. Set up a quick ritual for going to exercise right after work or when you wake up.

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    7. Exercise

    Even within your workouts, you can have rituals. Spacing the time between runs or reps with a certain number of breaths can remove the guesswork. Forming a ritual of doing certain exercises in a particular order can save time.

    8. Sleeping

    Form a calming ritual in the last 30-60 minutes of your day before you go to bed. This will help slow yourself down and make falling asleep much easier. Especially if you plan to get up full of energy in the morning, it will help if you remove insomnia.

    8. Weekly Reviews

    The weekly review is a big part of the GTD system. By making a simple ritual checklist for my weekly review, I can get the most out of this exercise in less time. Originally, I did holistic reviews where I wrote my thoughts on the week and progress as a whole. Now, I narrow my focus toward specific plans, ideas, and measurements.

    Final Thoughts

    We all want to be productive. But time wasters, procrastination, and laziness sometimes get the better of us. If you’re facing such difficulties, don’t be afraid to make use of these rituals to help you conquer them.

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    Featured photo credit: RODOLFO BARRETO via unsplash.com

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