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How to build confidence

As a photographer and business owner, having confidence to do what your work demands is an important tool to build. Some people believe that confidence is something you either have or don’t have. The truth is that it’s a skill, and skills can be learned and mastered. There are a number of ways for you to build confidence as a photographer.

What is confidence?

Here’s my definition. Confidence is the belief that you have the ability to achieve a certain outcome or perform in a certain way. You may feel confident when speaking to clients, and at the same time, you may not feel confident in closing sales. Confidence is a social skill that falls along a continuum. You can be confident in some parts of your business and not confident at all in other parts of your business. The more you practice, the more confident you become in a particular task.

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How confidence impacts your business

Confidence is important for you as a business owner because it breeds motivation, focus, contentment and more confidence. It’s a powerhouse skill that can take your business to new levels. On the opposite end, if you don’t have any belief that you are capable of doing something, you can easily become an expert in maintaining that negative mindset. This strategy, if not checked, will breed a poor self image and a cycle of self doubt and fears which negatively impact your business. If you’re looking for strategies on overcoming your fears, check out our blog post on that HERE.

Confidence building hacks

Here are my top 3 tips for building confidence:

1. Behaviour First

a) Change your body language and your attitude will follow. If you haven’t watched the Ted Talk by social psychologist Amy Cuddy, Google it now. She talks about how standing in powerful poses can boost our confidence and the way we view ourselves. Try this next time you are going into a sales session or a photoshoot.

b) Make it a game. When you’re in a situation where you need to speak to people and are feeling a lack of confident, imagine wearing a mask over the critical part of yourself and try out a new way of being. If you’re concerned about being too quite and not directing your clients during session, try making that part of yourself invisible for the next 30 minutes and test out a new energy. Be loud and direct!

2. Mental Toolkit

How are you taking care of yourself when life gets stressful and you feel your confidence taking a turn? A tool kit of strategies including breathing techniques and positive self talk goes a long way. Next time you find yourself going down a dark path regarding your abilities, answer this question: What are the facts that this is true? How is my black and white (ie. inflexible) thinking contributing to this? How am I blowing this up larger than it is? What is the worst that could happen?

3. Let’s Practice

We know that in order to summon more confidence about something, we need to use the opportunity to practice. Do the very thing you don’t think you can do MORE often. Yes it’s painful. But growth does not come from staying in comfort zones. If you have zero confidence in your ability to talk to clients on the phone, make it a point to call clients several times a week. Write down what worked and what didn’t. Learn from the mistakes.

Download the free guide

Ready to become more confident? Download our one page PDF tip and practice guide and let’s get started.