Often the biggest barrier we have in life and work is ourselves – a fact that is known but unspoken, yet very much amplified when you run your own business. According to the author of The Self Esteem Book, Dr Joe Rubino, 85% of the world’s population are affected by low self-esteem. So, what separates the successful from the hopeful in business and in life? What makes the achievers, who, despite setbacks, overcome challenges and have the resilience to move onwards and upwards time and time again?
It all comes down to mindset – a ‘founder’ mentality that is built on a pillar of trust, vision and the ability be truly self-aware. We are not determined by our circumstances, but rather our attitude and approach to what we will do with these moments. Regardless of where you may have come from, when you are passionate about running a successful business, building a brand and creating a positive culture for sustainable success , you must lead first from within.
A recent study of CEOs by PWC found successful CEOs are three times more confident in their own abilities to grow their businesses. They have a strong drive to be focused, set goals and possess a greater degree of self-belief. These CEOs didn’t let events around them stop them in their tracks or derail them from their goals. As one CEO put it: “competition is fierce in every industry, but that just means that we have to run faster and harder”.
Everyone suffers from some form of self-doubt or internal negotiation. It’s practising the discipline to create a cognitive shift from survival mode into clarity. Here are my three core steps to go from chaos to calm at any given moment:
My personal mantra: think like a CEO, plan like a visionary, act like Buddha.
Think like a CEO. 1: Recognise your ego is not your amigo. About 75 percent of conversations happen in our heads. The inner voice in your head is not your intuition. Reach deeper and understand that your gut instinct is the navigator. Self-belief and overcoming doubt is a practice. It is not an instant switch where you are suddenly cured of worrying if you make the right decision or being afraid to go after what you truly want.
A couple of great books on this are The Power Within by Mike Duff or The Untethered Soul by Michael Singer. Both are short and sharp, but acknowledge the role of the inner voices versus your core true judgement. As a business owner, it is crucial to separate and understand the difference between the two. Make the time to tap into a deeper level of awareness and intuition. Many founders and world leaders use meditation, walk and talks, quiet time to reflect and ‘nano moments’ to assess situations and block out any white noise.
Plan like a visionary: 2. You are the captain of your ship, there is always a solution. If you don’t leap you will not fly, so be courageous and back yourself. Calibrate a decision against the greater picture.
I like to take a mini-second to check in with my gut instinct – the voice in your head telling you a) vs b) will always be there – it’s part of society. It’s how you handle it, what you choose to listen to and the ability to create space to listen to your true GPS that creates remarkable moments.
Recognising what’s truly important, make decisions with integrity and learn to trust your own judgement from deep within. Divorce the story and stick to the facts.
Act like Buddha: 3. Stick to the facts and stats. Be present: Just like any other muscle when flexed, your mental ability to build your self-belief and learn how to harness your business and personal vision is an extremely valuable tool for any business owner. If you are leading others then the very core of great leadership is being able to regroup and coach yourself mentally through challenging situations.
- Practise pausing before rushing into decisions.
- Use a notepad and physically write down pros and cons on any given situation you may be grappling with.
- Stick to reality – you can predict certain outcomes for planning, but avoid getting sucked into an idea or fear that is not even a reality.
Use your mental energy very wisely and take calm steps rather than panic. Surround yourself with a like-minded tribe who allow you to shine, think big and talk through any indecisions.
Leadership can be a lonely road and reaching out to a small but trusted circle is a vital tool for growth and sustainable success. Overcoming self-doubt and removing the constant internal negotiation is a fine art and takes daily practice.
The greatest asset anyone can have in business is personal awareness combined with the inner belief that you do not need to know everything – but you can build an idea, create a dream team and trust your gut along the way.
Author of Fitpreneur and Vitality , global speaker and corporate coach, Nikki Fogden-Moore specialises in working with CEOs, entrepreneurs and high-achieving companies to blend business and personal vitality. She runs tailored corporate programs, writes regularly for several business magazines, and has been running leadership workshops and retreats for more than a decade internationally. Find out more at www.thevitalitycoach.com.au