Updated: Feb 8, 2022
I was recently asked to film a short video for the Sustainable Fashion Collective’s Masterclass series on my five tips on feeling resilient and confident as a female founder:
Here’s my top five tips:
Tip 1: Cultivate a little self-compassion
One of the key ways to build confidence and resilience is to build an affectionate and compassion attitude towards yourself.
Forgive your little mistakes. Don’t fall into the trap of allowing yourself to mentally churn over situations where you took a misstep or faltered. It’s about remembering that we are all human and we will make mistakes.
We should always own our mistakes (and apologise if your mistake truly negatively impacted someone else) but then move on.
We can learn from failure without beating ourselves up, by allowing ourselves to grow and recognising that it’s ok not to have all the answers.
Tip 2: Worry a little less about what others think about you and compare yourself to others a little less too
This is a hard one, but how often do you spend worrying what someone will think of you or your business?
Many of my clients experience this in the early years of a career change or new business venture – where they are feeling intense pressure or even scrutiny from family or former co-workers.
Or perhaps you prefer the torture that is comparison. Where you feel paralysed to act because everyone’s else “thing” (product, social media, website…) looks shiner than yours.
Remember you are on your own path. Your path is unique and special to you.
It might not make sense to anyone else around you – it just needs to make sense to you.
Tip 3: Recognise where you are on the perfectionism spectrum
We all know being perfect is elusive and not real. There are times in our lives when we all display signs of unhealthy perfectionism perhaps triggered by a stressful time, certain clients or suppliers or people we have in our lives.
The key is not letting it take control and own our behaviour. Here are some of the signs that your perfectionism might not be serving you:
· When you set goals that are unrealistic or come at a negative personal consequence
· When you don’t celebrate success
· When you punishing yourself for small mistakes or being hypercritical – being unable to accept a compliment
I’ve written a blog on perfectionism which you can read here.
The alternative to perfectionism is still high standards but recognising when good enough is good enough. I often talk to my clients about perfectionism and they describe a need to make things perfect as a %. The perfect % varies between people but often it’s around the 100% mark. And we talk about what would your output look like at 90% and would that be enough. Often the answer is yes, 90% would work.
So the question then becomes, who is that 10% for?
Tip 4: Having a flexible mindset
When we’re psychologically flexible we are more able to bounce-back quickly from life’s challenges and react in a more balanced and emotionally sound way when life goes wrong (which it of course will).
One way to adopt this is to have greater awareness of your thoughts and see frustrations, anger and worries for what they are – they are just a feeling or a thought pattern. Noticing your mind chatter is a great place to start and remember your thoughts are just thoughts and not facts.
But also realise it’s ok not to know the answers – sometimes we need time, space and help to figure things out and that’s ok.
Tip 5: Work on being optimistic more of the time
My final tip is really the fundamental one for building resilience and confidence. Optimism is at its heart the ability to see the bad times are temporary and is a mental attitude characterised by confidence and hope.
Professionally, I used to pride myself on being a realist (probably a pessimist in reality) – but in hindsight I think that I was adopting this mindset to protect myself from adverse outcomes or not to be disappointed by others – if you think the worse then nothing worse will happen.
But that style of thinking keeps you small, focused on the negative, over anticipating risks and derailers and stops you from seeing the fullest and brightest picture.
If that sounds like you, try the following:
1. Work on your internal voice – removing language such as “I can’t” “I always fail” – to “I’m really good at” “I need help with”
2. Secondly think about what’s good in your life – keep track of the small wins and moments of joy in your day. It’s a great mood booster to look back on what you’ve achieved and the good things in your life
3. Finally, try and avoid venting – it’s good to talk but notice when your language is taking you (and them) on a downward spiral
What would you add? Drop me an email to let me know.