At some point in their careers, every financial advisor suffers from the affliction of self-doubt. For most of us, it overcomes us at the beginning of our careers. For some, it can linger on for several years. Heck, even experienced advisors have bouts of self-doubt, but they tend to be rare. Whatever the reason for it, self-doubt or lack of self-confidence can be a career killer or, at the very least, a painful way to go through life.
There probably isn’t an advisor among us who early on thought to themselves, “Why would anyone want to work with me?” “I work in a cubicle. I’m just a few years out of college. Many of the people I talk to are old enough to be my parents. The younger ones are successful in their careers. What business do I have telling them how to become financially successful?”
Sound familiar? We have all been there wallowing in our self-doubt, wondering if we truly have what it takes to become successful. The cruel reality is if you don’t believe in yourself and your ability to build a thriving practice around successful clients, you’re not likely to get there. It’s a classic chicken and egg conundrum.
First, change your attitude
While it’s true that success breeds confidence, you don’t have to be massively successful to have it. In the beginning, it’s more about attitude than accomplishments. You need to turn your mind and spirit around to asking, “Why wouldn’t someone want to work with me?” Let us count the ways.
- You are a financial professional who is passionate about helping others realize their dreams.
- You are educated in the realm of financial planning, knowing more than most people about the intricacies of addressing their financial concerns.
- If you are a CFP® or hold other accreditations, you’ve earned those. Your clients haven’t.
- You must take continuing education for the accreditations you hold, demonstrating your commitment to knowledge.
- You dress for success, looking every bit the part of a confident advisor who knows their stuff.
- You’re well-spoken, with the ability to convey complex financial concepts into terms people can understand.
Building indelible self-confidence can take some time, but it starts with an attitude that you’ve earned the right to be there and then building on top of that. You need a regimen of daily rituals and habits that reinforces that attitude. Here are three critical areas on which to focus:
#1. Focus on the building blocks to success
Understandably, it is difficult to feel self-confident when your successes are few and far between. If your definition of success means landing million-dollar accounts, you’ll make it even more difficult. Instead, create mini-milestones into your daily routine, which you can count as successes on the way to your larger goals. Today’s milestones might look like this:
- Reach out to three prospects
- Take a client or mentor to lunch
- Watch a self-development video
- Stop at three small businesses on your way home to leave your card
Your milestones should be attainable and progressive, meaning you build on them to achieve bigger and bigger milestones. If you can check off each task, your day is a success. If you have five successful days, your week is a success. Not only will you start to see significant results, but your confidence will also grow with each successful week.
Check out our training program ‘Become Brilliant at the Basics: What They Don’t Teach You in Training’ – available as a self-paced program or as a 12-week coaching program, it will change the way you view your practice and will help you develop a confidence that you can carry with you for the rest of your life, among other things.
#2. Build your emotional confidence
When it comes to building your confidence, you need to turn the chicken and egg conundrum on its head. Most people think you need success to build confidence. In reality, you need confidence to build success. That starts by focusing on your emotional confidence.
If you spend your days hanging around toxic people and watching garbage television, your emotional health will suffer, as will your emotional confidence. Instead, focus on surrounding yourself with positive people, especially those who support you in what you’re doing. Spend your time with books and media that can expand your mind and keep you in a positive spirit.
Building up your reservoir of emotional confidence will not only help you feel better about yourself, but it will also fortify you against whatever life throws at you so you can keep moving forward.
#3. Build your physical health
You need to feel good about yourself before you can build any real confidence. If you’re out of shape, carrying a few extra pounds, and not watching what you eat and drink, it’s hard to feel good about yourself. It also has to make you wonder how others view you. That’s when self-doubt starts to creep in.
Business professionals who are in good physical shape exude self-assurance and confidence. They feel good about themselves, and they know it impacts the way they are perceived. Their clothes fit better, and it gives them a reason to upgrade their wardrobe. They also have more energy, which comes across in their interactions with people and what they’re able to accomplish each day.
Make improving your emotional and physical health a part of your daily regimen to reinforce your new attitude that you’re right where you belong, and people will feel lucky to work with you.