Three ways to build your confidence for success

Dr. Carol Parker-Walsh
DR. CAROL PARKER WALSH Evolve Image Consulting

Want to know what sets the uber-successful professional, entrepreneur and business owner apart from the rest? I know what you’re thinking and no, it’s not money or brilliant ideas or even powerful friends.

All of those things (and more) are nice to have, but they’re not a requirement of success. However, what is a must-have is unshakable confidence, and not just in your competence but in yourself. Without confidence, you’ll constantly be second-guessing yourself and battling your own brain, and that’s exhausting…

  • You’ll live in the midst of limiting beliefs and self-doubt
  • You’ll consistently believe you need more training or certifications
  • You’ll be convinced that what you have to offer is redundant or nothing special.

Your lack of confidence will prevent you from showing up powerfully at work, launching your new business or program, or writing your book. In time, you’ll look back and reflect on the opportunities and possibilities that might have been, or worse, you’ll watch someone else live the life you didn’t have the confidence to create for yourself.

The good news is it doesn’t have to be this way. By shifting your confidence level you can shift your “have” level, which can make all the difference in the world. Here are three ways to create that shift.

Create a confident image

What you wear has a significant impact on not only how you see yourself, but how others see you as well. We know this intuitively but we don’t always act on it. Worse yet, if we’re not in meetings or engaged in business we don’t reinforce what we intuitively know to be true on a day to day basis. For example, if you work from home, it’s easy to fall into a habit of throwing on “anything” or staying in your pjs – because after all, why get dressed for the dog, right?

But if you’re looking for a quick and easy way to instantly shift to a success mindset, ditch the yoga pants or heavy metal t-shirt. Do you have to throw on a suit or heels and hosiery? Of course not. But why not wear a nice pair of denim jeans and crewneck or turtleneck sweater? Confidence is a muscle that you must work out daily. Getting up and dressing yourself each day prepares your mind for the work at hand and makes you feel like the successful professional you truly are.

Create a confident attitude

Too many would-be entrepreneurs operate with a scarcity mindset rather than approaching business from a place of abundance. Rather than telling yourself that you can’t afford to hire a virtual assistant or work with a coach, try reframing your thoughts.

Rather than thinking, “I can’t afford to attend that event,” ask yourself, “How can I earn the money to invest in this trip?”

Rather than saying, “I have to do everything myself because I can’t afford to hire a VA,” remind yourself that your hourly rate potential is much more than you’d pay a virtual assistant. Then fill those hours you’re saving by outsourcing with money-making tasks of your own.

Create a confident work ethic

No matter how successful you are, at one time or another you’ll fall into the self-sabotage trap of complacency, and the price of admission is high.

Did you mean to follow-up with that lead your colleague gave you that could change your business game? Or apply for that high-end coaching program but missed the deadline? Or maybe you were going to send a proposal to a potential new client, but waited too long? Or maybe you simply waited too long to take advantage of a sale price on a new laptop thinking you can get just a bit more use from your current one?

Complacency causes procrastination, and procrastination causes missed opportunities. Missed opportunities limit your success, which ultimately erodes your confidence. It’s indeed a vicious cycle. As I was watching the Super Bowl, I wondered if complacency caused the Falcons to lose their lead and ultimately the game. A confident work ethic is about continuing to do those things that helped you achieve your success. It’s the same things that will propel you further to greater heights of success in your life and business.

These are a few of the core areas I work with my clients when developing a confident brand for their business.

Dr. Carol Parker Walsh, a certified image professional and owner of Camas-based Evolve Image Consulting, is the expert behind the Vancouver Business Journal’s advice column: Dress Code. These columns specialize in strategies for developing a positive and professional self-image. Walsh can be reached at