I think we can all remember our first day of school, no matter the grade, you have to remember at least one of them. I remember most of mine’s, especially my first day of kindergarten and the first days of middle and high school. The confidence and excitement that I had in kindergarten was like that of no other; I had no idea what awkward was, nor had I ever felt it. I seriously wish I could go back to that place, a place of innocence, whether the world is really at your feet and you have nothing to lose.
I think one reason why we feel this way when we’re that young is because we haven’t had time to differentiate ourselves from our peers. In kindergarten, no one is really all that much cooler or smarter than you, because up until that point in your life, most of your peers have had similar experiences. There’s not much that one five-year-old can do that another can’t do, and even if they can, they probably don’t remember.
Most of us don’t form memories until around age 3 or 4, and most of them still don’t stand out until we reach age five anyways. For example, if one five-year has been to Disney World and their friend hasn’t, it doesn’t make them hugely different from each other. The odds are that the five-year-old that has been to Disney doesn’t remember much or couldn’t do much while there anyhow. Basically, just because the one five-year has been to Disney and the other hasn’t, it doesn’t mean that the five-year who’s been is any better than the one that hasn’t.
By the time we get to be about 8 or 9, the world starts to look quite a bit different. We begin to encounter people who know more than us, perform better than us, and overall just seem cooler than us. Around this time, is when we start to recognize awkwardness, actually feel it for the first time.
Unfortunately, it only gets worst as we get older and experiences more of these situations. The only way to win out against feeling awkward is to have confidence. Unfortunately, confidence doesn’t come in a pill form, so it’s a little harder to obtain quickly to get us out of feeling awkward. I believe confidence is something that is both innate and learned. We are born with a degree of it, but it will inevitably increase or decrease as we grow, learn and development, and experience all that life throws at us.
As we get older, it seems as if we encounter more and more things that take blows to our confidence. After so many blows, we end up losing confidence, which in turn stops us in our tracks and stifles our productivity. When we start making decisions for ourselves and really take control of our lives, it seems to get even worst. I believe the reason being is because we are now solely responsible for what results from the decisions we make in life. There is so much more to lose when we can’t blame anyone for our mistakes.
A major part of being a business owner is making decisions, and smart ones at that. We can’t base our decisions on what everyone else is doing. Rather, we have to base them on what is best for our businesses. Our brands are a reflection of what we stand for, our story, our struggle and no one else’s. That reflection can only be unique to you because you are the only one who has experienced your story in your way.
[Tweet “Don’t base your decisions on what everyone else is doing. Stand out and be YOU!”]
Your story may seem insignificant and boring compared to everyone else’s, but it’s not. Someone out there can relate, and they’re looking for someone to connect to. It took me until recently to realize this myself. I honestly didn’t think my story was all that significant and felt that I didn’t really have one worth telling. I felt like an oddball out, since everyone in my niche seemed to have these hugely transitional, heartfelt, life-changing stories.
Your story is not boring. Someone is waiting to hear and connect with it.
[Tweet “Your story is not boring. Someone is waiting to hear and connect with it.”]
It isn’t that I haven’t gone through anything, trust, I’ve gone through quite the ringer over the 5 or so years in my life. The thing is the way I process it, on top of being an incredibly private person. It’s been hard for me to share my struggles because I’m one of those people that work so hard to learn from my mistakes and not dwell on them. I hate “crying over spilled milk” and I feel that rehashing negative experiences do just that. I had the wrong mindset about it all!
It’s not about rehashing things or dwelling on the past, it’s about telling your story, connecting with others, and letting them see you as human. While your business is the entity that provides a product or service, a more personal part of it, your brand, is what resonates with people and allows them to trust you.
[Tweet “Building Confidence: Connect with others, let them see you as human.”]
The success of a business depends hugely on how much its brand is trusted. Its the reason we buy the brand named items in the store, versus the generic ones. It is not necessarily that we think poorly of the generic brand, we just don’t know enough about it. We buy what we know about and trust, and therefore we buy the brand name item, because we feel more connected to it, trust it, and are familiar with it. If we hold back who we are, we don’t allow people to become familiar with us, and so there is not connection or trust.
Don’t be the generic brand! Be the name brand.
[Tweet “Don’t be the generic brand! Be the name brand.”]
When I started to hone in on who I am and think deeply and intentionally about why I’m passionate about my business, it occurred to me that I was not only doing myself a disservice for not sharing it, but that I was not offering all that I could to my target audience and customer.
How could I provide a product or service to solve a problem if I wasn’t even giving all of me in doing so? Easy answer: I can’t and I couldn’t!
Running a business has taught me so many life lessons, and I’m sure if you’re a fellow business owner you probably feel the same way. Many of these lessons take time to digest and implement, but its so worth it in the end, because you come out the other side so much better.
I thought I had no story,
then I thought it was insignificant,
then I was scared to share it.
A lot of me feeling like an oddball came from fear. It came from me feeling like I had nothing to offer and no place to start because of that. It was a very discouraging and defeated feeling, and it came down to me comparing myself to others in my niche. Instead of appreciating their stories, learning from them, and being encouraged to share my own, they made me feel boring and blah. On top of that, I felt that if I shared even a little bit of my story that people would know too much about me and that made me very uncomfortable. Again, much of feeling that way came from having a lack of confidence. The creative juices weren’t flowing because of this, and for months it put a stop hold on the development of my brand, as well as establishing relationships.
8 Ways to build confidence, make connections and be successful.
How to stop feeling like the oddball out:
1. Tell your story. It matters!
2. Stay out of your head. Stop overthinking things.
3. Make friends. Don’t be a loner.
4. Offer as much of yourself and expertise as possible. Don’t hold back.
5. Give yourself a pep talk. Tell yourself, no matter you can make it happen.
6. Support others and let them support you. We can’t do it alone.
7. Share your mistakes and misfortunes. It makes you human.
8. Know that you’re significant. Someone cares.
[Tweet “Learn 8 ways to build confidence, make connections, & be successful.”]
Fear and lack of confidence go hand in hand, and along with that, a feeling of being left out, unwelcome, and like you don’t fit in. We have to get out of our heads when we start to going down this path because this mindset is a huge hindrance to our success.
Stay out of your own head and don’t be a hindrance to yourself!
[Tweet “Stay out of your head and don’t be a hindrance to yourself!”]
Listen to the accompanying Branded Bliss Podcast episode below:
[Tweet “Get Over Feeling Like the Odd Ball Out in Your Niche!”]