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Four Ways To Increase Your Confidence As An Entrepreneur Here are four simple and proven ways to increase your confidence as an entrepreneur that can give you the boost needed to grow your business.

By Kara Schoeffling

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When global performance-management consulting and research-based company, Gallup, studied entrepreneurial talent, their findings indicated that the most successful entrepreneurs exhibited certain behaviors such as confidence. In Entrepreneurial Strengths Finder, authors Jim Clifton, chairman and CEO of Gallup, and Sangeeta Bharadwaj Badal, Ph.D., say that their research reveals that "only about five in 1,000 people have the aptitude for starting and growing a business," and confidence is a key determinant of successful entrepreneurship.

Given the important role confidence plays in many aspects of entrepreneurialism, whether in raising funds, convincing employees to join your company and most importantly, gaining customers' trust in your business model and product, here are four simple and proven ways to increase your confidence as an entrepreneur that can give you the boost needed to grow your business.

1. Be a poser

Social psychologist and Harvard Business School researcher, Amy Cuddy, has conducted extensive research demonstrating that power poses and changing body language can also change our body chemistry and lead to more self-confidence. In her powerful Ted Talk, Your Body Language Shapes Who You Are, Cuddy explains how "power posing"(standing in a posture of confidence, even when we don't feel confident) can affect testosterone and cortisol levels in the brain, and have an impact on our chances for success.

2. Take action

In The Confidence Code, Katty Kay and Claire Shipman's landmark book on the role that confidence plays in the ability for women to succeed, the authors interviewed leaders from around the world and spoke with the world's leading psychologists. According to Kay and Shipman, their research and interviews led to one important conclusion: "Nothing builds confidence like taking action, especially when the action involves risk and failure." In fact, one of the most important things that builds confidence is forward momentum, making a mistake, and learning from that action regardless of how it turns out.

3. Get moving

While we all know exercise is good for us, according to the Mayo Clinic, even something as simple as a 30-minute brisk walk can positively impact everything from our sleep, mood and can boost our confidence. Although time is one of the most precious commodities of any entrepreneur, it turns out that making time to experience the benefits of regular exercise may in fact lead to more confidence and potentially a better bottom line for your business.

4. Meditate

Meditation is a powerful tool that is proven to re-wire the brain and produce positive effects even long after meditation. Although consistent meditation has many physiological and psychological benefits, researchers discovered that meditation not only changes the brain, but it can also change perception and feelings as well as supporting confidence building by taking your thoughts beyond limiting, judging, and fearful thoughts.

While science alone won't make you a successful entrepreneur, by following some of these proven methods to increase your confidence, you'll certainly increase the odds. Theodore Roosevelt summed up the importance of confidence well when he said, "Believe you can and you're halfway there."

Kara Schoeffling is a public relations executive, working with a variety of clients across the Middle East. Enthusiastic about women’s entrepreneurship in the Middle East, Schoeffling’s background in public policy and communications has been put to work advising startups, non-profit organizations, Fortune 500 companies and governments. A graduate of Georgetown University, Schoeffling is based in the UAE. Talk to her on Twitter at @Karasdxb.
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