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Why You Don’t Feel Confident (& How to Fix it) FS224

How can we decrease the volume of fear in our head and increase our feeling of confidence? Because, for many of us, if we can do that, won’t our work have a better chance of succeeding?

“I got this!” That’s the feeling we want. “I got this. I can do it.”

You know what I think of when I think about confidence? I think about the difference between “this MIGHT work” and “this might NOT work.”

Which way does the voice in your head normally sound like? For many of us it’s WAY more common to resonate with “this might NOT work.”

Truth is, for many of us, it’s difficult to feel positive, optimistic or confident about a creative idea or project.

Does your head sound like that?

Well, you’re in for a treat because you’re about to hear things you need to hear about confidence, how to grow it and how to change that dialogue in your head.

Because you need confidence to take the right kind of risks, and success for us independents relies on us taking the right kind of risks with the right kind of energy and outlook.

So, first of all lets talk about what I call the “Necessary Delusion” of being an entrepreneur.

The Necessary Delusion

If you’re going to TRY, you need to think you have a shot… at least a little.

That’s the Necessary Delusion, the voice in your head that says, “hey, I don’t know, maybe we could do this. I mean, it’s not like we’ll hit a home run our first at-bat, but maybe we can do something in that direction.”

It’s like a little bit of delusion because you have to have the audacity to think you CAN, JUST MAYBE, A LITTLE BIT do this thing you’re dreaming of doing.

And it’s necessary because… well, frankly, if you don’t have that little voice in your head you’re never going to take any leap. You won’t jump ever. You’ll be too afraid, too hopeless.

So, that voice in your head that feels confident and optimistic about your chance, it’s necessary, but it’s also a little delusional.

The “Other” Voice

But there’s this other voice in your head, right? The one that’s really super extra good at shutting down any creative ideas. You know the one I mean, right?

This voice we’ve called things like “gremlin” or “fear,” and for some of us {raises hand} it sounds like a drill sergeant screaming down at us.

And some people have told me over time, “you should kick fear in the face!”

But I much prefer this frame: That voice of fear in your head, it’s not so much an enemy of yours as it is a kind of bodyguard. Think of fear like a bodyguard, a big, strong, kinda dumb body guard. It just wants to take care of you! And it’s trying to do that the best way it knows how.

When I think about it this way it changes how I relate to fear. If you want to learn more about that, you can check out Elizabeth Gilbert’s book Big Magic which blew my whole creative mind and I sleep with under my pillow every night just in case word osmosis through pillows is a real thing.

OK, back to the matter at hand: why do we lack confidence?

Why We Lack Confidence

We lack confidence because one voice is simply too loud right now. Your fear is a bit too loud in your head and we need to bump up the enjoyment, the freedom, the optimism.

We need to turn up the “this MIGHT work” and turn down the “this might NOT work.”

Ok, so first of all, here’s what you need to do right now:

You need to listen to this podcast episode. I don’t care if you “aren’t a podcast listener.” Get a podcast app on your phone, find The Fizzle Show and click to listen to this episode as you go on a walk or something.

Listening to this will change the way your brain thinks about this. At least for a little while. Ok? So just do it.

Mandatory listening:

“Why you don’t feel confident (& how to fix it… for reals)”


Ok, now, let me show you a few notes from this show.

All of the training and ideas are in the show, but I’ve pulled out some notes here you can come back to again and again.

These notes will lack context and meaning if you haven’t listened to the podcast episode above!

1. We’re putting a lot of pressure on ourselves.

Pressure to reach a certain point, gain expertise, match up to other people.

You might feel a lot of pressure to be further along than you are right now. You feel like you should be further along. You want to be seen as an expert, you want to be an expert, you want to BE DOING IT. You want to be THERE, wherever “there” is for you.

And until you’re there — at this undisclosed, desired point — you’re going to, basically, beat yourself up.

Sweetheart, this is not where your best work will come from. This is not how your path is asking you to behave. OK? Take some pressure off yourself.


2. Take action.

Lack of confidence leads to hesitation, which leads to less action which leads to less confidence! It’s like a terrible reinforcing cycle, a snake eating its own tail.

Take action to grow in confidence. As you take the action in tiny steps, your confidence grows over time. It’s gradual and we improve 1% every day.

Here’s a good way to think about it: be brave for 5 seconds at a time! Take action, let the action give you some confidence. Of course, this means the action we commit ourselves to today is something that feels just a little scary, but mostly totally doable.

Did you hear that? The action you’re committing to today can’t be something way too far down the road for you. You’ve got to keep yourself to something that a). you know you probably COULD do, and b). also requires a bit of courage for you to complete.

OK? Not too crazy here, alright? You want to take up surfing, don’t paddle out at Mavericks (a big wave spot for crazy people who are extremely good at surfing). You want to get into mountaineering, don’t buy a flight to basecamp of Mt. Everest! Instead, get a guide to take you on a local trip so you can see what it’s like and learn the ropes. To get the guide you’ll have to face a little embarrassment maybe, but it’s exciting because you’re on the path!


Note: hearing from your potential customers will absolutely, completely, radically shift your mindset and your vision. Take this course ASAP.

Seriously, there’s a particular way you need to talk to your people, this will teach you how. Finish it in the free trial. Just do it.

Yea, you gotta put in a credit card, yea you gotta make some time in your calendar (about 45m I’d say). But you’ll cancel right after you finish the course, never be charged, and your life will be different if you get to talk to a handful of your customers.

And yea, you’re gonna have to talk to people. I know, that sounds like a bummer, but trust me, you’ve got this much more than you know. The first one is awkward but you can absolutely do this and it gets much easier after that.

Besides, hiring a guide like Fizzle’s courses, community and experts to get you to your own goal of owning a real small business that works might be exactly what you need right now.


3. Know more about the process, the roadmap, of the thing you’re trying to do.

Lack of confidence can stem from a lack of certainty — not knowing the process, not knowing the subject matter, etc.

A great example of this is with public speaking. The first time you speak at an event is a cesspool of uncertainty. Who are the people that’ll be in the audience? What are they wondering about that you can help them with? What will you speak on specifically? Do you know this subject matter really, truly, deeply?

In that environment of uncertainty you can feel very unconfident. This is where the voice is screaming in your head: ”WHAT ARE WE DOING HERE WE DON’T BELONG HERE!”

Knowing the subject better, researching the audience, building on things that have worked in the past… these are the foundations of confidence. As I’ve spoken again and again I’ve learned more every time, and it’s grown my confidence enormously.

So, if you lack confidence in a thing you’re trying to do, acknowledge and accept that something in your psyche KNOWS there’s stuff you aren’t convinced of. It’s like it’s saying somewhere in a whisper, “I don’t know, guys. I don’t think we understand everything about this thing. We need to know more about how this works. We need to get better at this stuff.”

And you can choose to either “punch that in the face,” or instead respond with, “you might be right. How could we start learning more about this?”

And THAT is how you grow confidence… you take steps. You commit to a process of learning, a direction of regularly facing your fear a tiny bit for the sake of getting a better grasp on this thing you’re trying to do.

If the thing you’re trying to do is a business, then you need to have a process of learning what you need to know about business. Our Small Business Roadmap is literally the best tool for this… quick, totally understandable, guides you every step of the way.


4. Realize that confidence grows over time.

Confidence is not something you either have or don’t have. It’s something you grow over time.

Think about the process and functions of a business: from idea to customer to product to launch to growth, etc. The more you know about that process, the more confidence you’ll have.

BECAUSE CONFIDENCE IS GROWN. We always talk about “growing” confidence, “gaining” confidence. This is how confidence evolves, it grows over time.

And again, we’d like you to think in terms of improving 1% every day. Moving from 0 to 1. Lots of great explanation of this in the episode. Must listen section where Chase talks about the Rob Bell inspiration!


5. You’ll naturally get a little more comfortable with uncertainty.

If you follow the first 4 steps, you’ll notice that over time you get more comfortable with uncertainty. It’s like you have a dialogue with your expectations: “Ok, last time we thought we’d publish a blog post and the people would just find us and love us. That didn’t happen, BUT that also doesn’t mean publishing the blog post was pointless. Maybe it’s just one step in many.”

This is why we say making a business is about having a hypothesis, being a researcher. Your job is not to make the impossible happen, it’s to focus on what you can know right now.


6. And finally, traction can grow your confidence.

Gaining subscribers, gaining traffic, gaining revenue… these things really start to grow your confidence. In the business world we use the term “traction” as a shorthand for stuff like this.

But this one comes last. Long before this one comes you have to start growing in understanding the process of your business, understanding your own conviction, understanding your own purpose in doing the business, how audiences and sales works, etc.

If you think you don’t have confidence because you don’t have traction, you’re actually thinking backwards. If you want the traction, you may need to get comfortable growing the confidence first (using the steps above!).


OK, what’s the biggest thing you personally got out of this episode? Let us know below. We’d love to hear!

And please share this with a friend or two if you know someone who could probably get a little inspiration from this post.

Thanks for listening and reading!


“6 steps to feeling more confident in your creative work”

The Top 10 Mistakes in Online Business

Every week we talk with entrepreneurs. We talk about what’s working and what isn’t. We talk about successes and failures. We spend time with complete newbies, seasoned veterans, and everything in between.

One topic that comes up over and over again with both groups is mistakes made in starting businesses. Newbies love to learn about mistakes so they can avoid them. Veterans love to talk about what they wish they had known when starting out.

These conversations have been fascinating, so we compiled a list of the 10 mistakes we hear most often into a nifty lil’ guide. Get the 10 Most Common Mistakes in Starting an Online Business here »

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