Action Cures Fear: How to Build Confidence, Take Action, and Bust Through Fear

03/31/2015 01:52 pm ET | Updated May 30, 2015

"Confidence is the ultimate decision driver for today's business leaders - either propelling them to make bold bets or inhibiting them from taking decisive actions that will help them overcome obstacles to growth."

-Jim Moffatt, Deloitte Business Confidence Report 2014: "The Gap Between Confidence and Action"

Whether you're the leader in the boardroom or the Chief Everything Officer at your small business, the natural result of low confidence is inaction.

So, how can you develop the confidence you need to start taking the action necessary to drive results?

Your Journey to Confidence Starts With...
The roadmap to confidence starts with an honest self-assessment. After all, being confident is something that starts from within - it's not something external.

What are you focusing on? Do you do any of the following?

  • You base your sense of self-worth upon the number of clients you have or how many people are on your list.
  • You allow your self-worth to be affected by whether or not you succeed in achieving a promotion, securing a raise, or scoring a key client.
  • You see self-worth as being dependent on your social status - the kind of house you live in, who you network with, and/or the value of your material possessions.

The problem with this is that you're basing your self-worth on external factors; in essence, you're giving your power away to something outside of yourself.

Say Yourself!
So often, we spend so much time on the externals - trying to balance work/life, putting the priorities of others above our own, striving to be the best mom/spouse/person - that we lose sight of who we really are.

In order to develop your own sense of self-confidence, answer the following three questions:

  • How aware am I of my values? Am I living in alignment with them?
  • What is my definition of self-worth? What does it mean to me?
  • What are (at least 10) things I value about myself - not necessarily what other people value about me - but what I appreciate; what makes me unique?

Don't skip out on this all-important step!

Confidence in Decision Making
The journey to self-confidence is just that - a journey. As you develop a stronger sense of self-confidence, you'll notice how it stabilizes every area of your life. One of the most rewarding benefits you'll notice is the role confidence plays in the decision-making process.

We all know that making a decision is not the same as doing. For instance, you make a decision to build a new website for your business, create a workshop, or implement a new strategy to communicate with your clients.

The big question is - will you really do it? If you've made decisions in the past but not actually followed through (and this happens to almost everyone), why? What's getting in your way?

The answer, very often, is fear. The little voice that lives in all of us starts, first with a whisper, "Maybe I shouldn't" or "Not right now". Then it gets louder and the endless stampede of "what ifs" start rolling. And then that teeny little voice that first started as a whisper shouts, "No, don't do it at all!" That little voice also makes excuses to tell us why we shouldn't proceed.

Use Confidence to Conquer Fear
We become so caught up with this internal dialogue that we lose touch with our values, goals and visions. We make excuses. We rationalize. We tolerate. We accept. We put off.

If you want results, you have to take action. To cure fear and get things done, take action.

Try these steps:
1) Identify the cause: Define what you're afraid of or what's making you feel uncomfortable.
2) Acknowledge that it is uncomfortable.
3) Choose to not let fear keep you from enjoying the success you deserve.
4) Take action: Pick one small step that you can take right now - and do it!

When you are in action, you don't have time to think about the "what if's", make excuses, or second-guess yourself. And the more you do it, the less scary it becomes.

What strategies do you use to conquer fear? Share them here.