Have you ever tried using positive affirmations, saying to yourself “I believe in my ability to start this business” or “I am doing work that I find fulfilling” Are they working for you?
You may be surprised to learn that positive affirmations may actually be reducing your self-confidence!
Research by Wood et al published in Psychological Science indicates that positive self-statements are widely believed to improve self-esteem.
However, according to the study abstract: “Two experiments showed that among participants with low self-esteem, those who repeated a positive self-statement (“I’m a lovable person”) or who focused on how that statement was true felt worse than those who did not repeat the statement or who focused on how it was both true and not true.”
People with high self-esteem benefited from positive affirmations yet “Repeating positive self-statements may benefit certain people, but backfire for the very people who “need” them the most.”
What does this research mean for you, a solo business owner?
If you are already lacking sufficient confidence to fully promote your business, just repeating that you are qualified to start this business or repeating affirmations like “I am good at what I do” could be sabotaging your efforts.
If positive affirmations don’t work, what does work?
Your most effective self-esteem booster is to tell yourself your story.
Why? Because you are not just repeating something you hope (My business will succeed) but you are repeating a truth. You are reminding yourself of your skills, experience, and passion for what you do. You are reliving situations where you succeeded and how great this felt.
You are replacing an empty, but hopeful, affirmation with an authentic and self-empowering story.
Using your passion or purpose story, or perhaps a customer testimonial, as a confidence builder is one of the benefits of learning to write your stories.
This is a free, always available, and proven technique to use before you enter that chamber mixer, phone a prospective customer or wake up in the middle of the night convinced you will never be a success.
This is a story for your own purposes. You don’t have to justify it to anyone else. Be authentic but do not hold back.
Your story is your power. Use it often.
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