Confidence Comes From Doing
Becoming confident with what you create and share can help you produce powerful content that flies.
Although this is all about confidence, it’s not one of those “high five, you can do this, be who you always wanted to be” type of articles. What I’m doing is writing from a recent, evidence-based deep dive into what holds people back from creating work that’ll get them noticed.
If you only ever produce work that fits in comfortably with what’s going on in your marketplace, you end up making caution your best friend. If you replace it with work that speaks more of your own unique perspective, you get more into the flow and start creating an impetus for trying new things. The result will be that, over time, you’ll trust your own judgment more.
Of course it’s important to have a vision, goals, timelines, deadlines and a way of measuring outcomes but in the end it’s the confidence in what you’re doing that will help propel your work to a higher plane. I am now recognising that having a confident mindset makes all the difference between sticking to what you know and trying things out by taking that step into the unknown.
Having confidence makes stepping out of your comfort zone easier – you allow your intuition to come into play, you start speaking from a position of authority and you don’t let fear hold you back.
Where It Happened Live
At a recent You Are The Media Learning session the topic was video. It’s a big area to cover – our agenda homed in on using your phone as a recording and editing tool, and also covered what live video looks like. For our free events you can watch back (click here to watch YATM Learning).
As always, towards the end of the show we brought out the live poll via Mentimeter and I asked the audience, “What is your biggest challenge when it comes to video?”
The feedback from the audience didn’t centre on concerns about having the right kit, knowing what to say or when to publish, all things that had been discussed on the session, but was based mainly around not having enough self-belief to go into video in the first place. From ‘no idea what I’m doing,’ to ‘scared’ and ‘[not] being brave enough,’ it made me realise that while having access to the tech to be able to record and then share is great on paper, it’s more than hardware capability we need. The doubt and fear inside many of us, holds us back.
Looking back, I realise that I have learnt that confidence only comes from making yourself try things out and actually ‘doing.’ Having a weekly email and showing up in front of an audience regularly has helped me become more self-assured.
Have a look at what my world used to look like: If you saw me present like this today, would you come back for another YATM event? All I ever was when it came to presenting to an audience was just a bag of nerves (see what I mean below).
For me, stepping into any new format always came with a huge feeling of uncertainty and fear. I started podcasting in 2015 with zero confidence, as demonstrated through my presenting with a barrage of ummmmms, ahhhhhhs and ‘do you know what I means.’
Seeing the feedback from the YATM Learning audience made me realise that although we should acknowledge that the discomfort and fear of trying something new is real, we shouldn’t let it become an excuse for hiding.
Thee Things That Hold Us Back
There are a number of hurdles you need to clear when you’re going from acknowledging how tough it is to start something new, to feeling a sense of pride in achieving your goals with an unfamiliar medium:
Lack of Experience.
For a lot of people who were on the YATM Learning session, video was going to be a completely new medium for them. Whilst it can be positive and inspiring to learn of all the possibilities something new can bring you, you do of course also focus on the obstacles. A lack of familiarity, even with something where you’re essentially looking into your phone and talking, can hold you back from progressing.
Fear of Disapproval.
One of the biggest things that used to hold me back was, ‘what will others think?’ But you have to learn to see people such as those who unsubscribe from the weekly YATM email or dismiss you on LinkedIn (show the pic of the replies from the face pull) as just what they are – people who were never really ‘your people.’ Giving too much weight to them and focusing on those who got away, although totally understandable, only chips away at your confidence and feeds feelings of rejection. Remember instead that you don’t need to have everyone on your side.
Fear of Failure.
It is far easier to stick with the way that you have always done things than it is to try something new. But without taking the plunge and exploring something new, you’ll never know what’s possible and what you might be able to achieve.
How Having Confidence Can Help You Start To Win
Let me highlight four stages of your trying out a new medium when confidence can start to grow:
You become visible.
The more you show up, the more comfortable you get with being seen and the easier it becomes (have a read of this article that references this on how to build your audience). The longer I stuck with YATM, the bigger the audience became, and this not only helped my self-belief but was also proof that what I was doing was worthwhile.
You become consistent.
In a recent article on consistency, I wrote about how when you commit to a regular schedule of creating and sharing content and the longer you stick with it, “the more ‘you,’ you become.” In this way, what you’re doing is relating to others, meeting their expectations and making them feel a part of something by sharing aspects of yourself. Confidence comes from finding that momentum.
You ask questions.
You can never know all there is to know on a topic or about a medium, that’s why staying curious and asking questions is so important. We have YATM Learning so that we can bring others from the YATM community into the picture and get their perspectives, broadening everyone’s knowledge in the process. Bringing others in and listening to them, whether it’s through learning or a discussion forum, ends up building your self-confidence.
You learn from what doesn’t work.
A lot of what I share is reflection and figuring out of what has failed, and why it failed, such as reflecting on events that hardly anyone wanted to come to (you can read this on how to get people to come to your event here). What I want to highlight here is that showing your work and workings-out in front of everyone, particularly what doesn’t work, actually ends up helping you.
Finding confidence in producing work and discovering a medium that can act as a pillar for your content, such as a blog, podcast, or video, is what helps you stick around for the long term and build a stable audience.
A big element of doing this successfully is learning to trust yourself more. Too many people think they have to present like a seasoned BBC host or deliver something that will stand the test of time, but in reality it may be that it’s just about starting something and then keeping going.
It all starts by doing – so make a start and let confidence become your superpower.