Whether you’re a new soloist, or an old hand, knowing how to build self confidence and maintain self confidence at a healthy level is important.
I have worked as a freelance journalist for 18 years and one of the things I’ve always found disconcerting is when an editor publishes my work but fails to give me any feedback. I suppose publishing and paying for the article is a positive outcome.
As a commercial writer, I do receive positive feedback from clients, albeit short and sweet – thanks, great, brilliant, loved it – The perfect boost.
So how do I build self confidence and keep my self-esteem on track?
Every morning, before I start work, I read a few pages of one of my well-chosen motivation books. There’s a mountain of such books on the market, but very few that really deliver simple, easy to understand, yet profound encouragement to help me succeed.
I actually have two books I’ve read several times, but each time I find something else that works for me at that particular stage of my personal development.
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The Magic of Thinking Big by David J Schwartz reminds me to:
“Believe Big. The size of your success is determined by the size of your belief. Think little goals and expect little achievements. Think big goals and win big success. Remember this, too! Big ideas and big plans are often easier – certainly no more difficult – than small ideas and small plans.”
As soloists, we may not be as quick to embrace big projects, fearing the bigger the project the harder the fall, if we don’t succeed. Yet, uppermost in our minds should be the bigger the project, the bigger the success. Failure should never be an option.
In Paul Hanna’s book Believe and Achieve! he sums up my thoughts in one sentence:
“Believe and Achieve! is about first knowing that you deserve to be successful, and then learning the tools and techniques to attract success to yourself, easily and effortlessly.”
When I first became a soloist I struggled with the fear of failure, but after reading Paul’s book I realised it wasn’t failure I was scared of, it was success. And this was holding me back. Once I understood what was stopping me from succeeding and how to build self confidence, my career started falling into place.
Success means different things to different people. Technically, it means a happy result or outcome, good fortune, achievement, victory. But it’s much more than that: It’s the knowledge that you have the guts to go it alone, the inner strength that won’t let you be defeated. And, if things do get tough and you falter, you have the courage to pick yourself up, brush yourself off and start again.
Success is not a destination; it’s the “pathway” that takes you to wonderful places you would never visit if you had not had the courage to begin. My career over the past 18 years has had many peaks and troughs and it by far the hardest thing I have ever done in my life so far, but I love it.
Never limit your success, that’s the magic of thinking big.