Do the thing you want or need to do before you’re ready. Once you do it you will have all the confidence and assurance in the world to fuel you forward. But if you wait to start until you believe you’re “ready”, you’ll never start.
Starting something new is scary. Learning to believe in yourself can be a critical precursor to starting a new initiative. Why is it so important to learn to believe in yourself? How can someone work on gaining these skills? In this interview series, we are talking to business leaders, authors, writers, coaches, medical professionals, teachers, to share empowering insights about “How To Learn To Believe In Yourself.” As a part of this series we had the pleasure of interviewing Courtney Quinn.
Courtney is a 2x founder and podcast host who is passionate about helping entrepreneurs build and run businesses that support the wildest dreams in their lives and not businesses that end up running their lives. Courtney owns Quinn Creative Co., a digital marketing agency where she supports small businesses in creating and managing their online ecosystems. Additionally, Courtney works with entrepreneurs helping them build sustainable businesses that allow them freedom and flexibility in addition to their business success so they have more time to enjoy life outside of work. Courtney is the host of The Female CEO Show podcast where she shows an unfiltered and honest look into the world of business ownership as a woman, sharing her own lessons learned and talking with industry experts.
You can find Courtney on TikTok and Instagram @itscourtneyquinn and her podcast streams wherever you listen to podcasts. To work with Courtney you can join her Level Up Lounge Membership for entrepreneurs or email her directly at [email protected]
It has been said that our mistakes can be our greatest teachers. Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
Although I got degrees in business and entrepreneurship and always knew I wanted to have my own business one day, after graduating I went into corporate public accounting thinking that it would be my dream job and that I would be there forever. That was the biggest mistake I made as I was starting out in my career. Over one year in corporate, I became a fragile shell of who I once was. The work was mind-numbing, the corporate culture was not for me, and I was developing severe anxiety and suffering from multiple panic attacks weekly. But this experience gave me all of the fuel I needed to launch myself into self-employment and to do so before I felt like my business was “ready” for me to go full-time because I had no choice but to get out of there for my mental health.
What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now? How do you think that might help people?
I’ve recently launched an all-inclusive membership for female entrepreneurs called The Level Up Lounge. Inside of the membership we cover a 360° approach to everything that female entrepreneurs need to become the best version of themselves; focusing not only on business strategy, but mindset, mental health, physical health, and fitness.
Stepping into the world of entrepreneurship throws a lot at you and if your life is not optimized success will feel so much harder. I’ve invested tens of thousands of dollars into coaching for my business, mindset, and physical health to help me become the best business owner I can be. That journey was overwhelming and expensive. So I created a one-stop-shop full of information from industry experts and cultivated a community of female entrepreneurs so they can become the best version of themselves, build successful businesses, and be surrounded by other women who get it to support them on their journey.
OK, thank you for all of that. Let’s now shift to the core focus of our interview. This will be intuitive to you but it will be helpful to spell this out directly. Can you help explain a few reasons why it is so important to believe in yourself? Can you share a story or give some examples?
Simply put, not believing in yourself will keep you stuck and miserable. If I had not believed in myself when it came time to leave my position in corporate and begin my journey of self-employment, I truly could not (and do not want to) imagine where I would be today.
Believing in yourself means that to some degree you understand your self-worth and won’t allow yourself to live a life that is unaligned with the dreams you have. So often what we want is on the other side of fear, likely due to some subconscious limiting belief that we hold. If you refuse to believe in yourself and your potential, you’ll never work up the courage to take the leaps and make the moves that you need to reach your potential. There are so many things in this life that are up to you and you alone. No one is going to save you and roll out the red carpet for you to walk into your dream life without you having put any work in or taken any risks.
If you don’t believe in yourself or your ability to do or be what you dream of, you’ll never have the confidence to take the necessary steps to get you there.
What exactly does it mean to believe in yourself? Can I believe that I can be a great artist even though I’m not very talented? Can I believe I can be a gold medal Olympic even if I’m not athletic? Can you please explain what you mean?
I do believe that what we focus on expands and the thoughts that we prioritize in our brain become our reality; whether that be good or bad. But more importantly, your actions have to align with your thoughts and beliefs. If you believe that you can be a great artist, do your actions follow suit? Are you practicing? Are you learning new techniques? While you believe that you can be a great artist, are you actively working towards becoming a great artist? If you carry the belief but do nothing to prove to yourself that you are indeed great, you will only prove to yourself and your brain that your beliefs can’t be trusted. But if you put in the work, you’ll see improvements over time.
Was there a time when you did not believe in yourself? How did this impact your choices?
I think everyone goes through seasons of not believing in themselves or second-guessing themselves and it causes us to play small and take the safe route. Doing so will only keep you further away from your goals. It takes self-awareness to realize that you are playing it safe and small to reroute and continue pursuing your dreams at full force.
At what point did you realize that in order to get to the next level, it would be necessary to build up your belief in yourself? Can you share the story with us?
When I left my corporate role to pursue self-employment I had no safety net to catch me if I fell. I had to quickly build up my belief that I would be successful in my business. I had to fake that belief and self-confidence until I made it and built it up. I got very clear on who that next-level version of me was, the one who was successful in her business, and I approached every decision with her in mind asking myself, “What would the most successful version of myself do here”.
But even now I am experiencing this today. Building up belief in yourself is not something that is one-and-done. It is a continual quest of self-improvement. The next level will always require another up level, and that’s okay!
What are your top 5 strategies that will help someone learn to believe in themselves? Please share a story or example for each
1 . Do the thing you want or need to do before you’re ready. Once you do it you will have all the confidence and assurance in the world to fuel you forward. But if you wait to start until you believe you’re “ready”, you’ll never start.
2. Start by making and keeping small promises to yourself. You say you’re going to put the laundry away today? Put it away today. You say you’re going to work out tomorrow? Work out tomorrow. You say you want to start making your bed? Make your bed. Accomplishing even the small tasks in your life that you set out to do will help you learn to trust yourself and give you confidence through proof that you can show up and do the things you want to do even when it’s hard, scary, or inconvenient
3. Take the scary leap. Do it without a safety net or before you feel fully ready. When your only option is to succeed it makes it hard to stall or not take the action needed. Even if you don’t feel confident enough to take the action, you have to. That builds incredible confidence quickly!
4. Get clear with yourself about what specifically you don’t feel confident about. In the process, you’ll find all sorts of things that you DO feel confident about and you can use those to leverage confidence for the areas you feel less strongly about. For example, if you feel confident when you speak, but not when you write, you can realize they aren’t all that different! It is the same language after all. Or maybe instead of writing a book you can start a podcast. Or instead of sending an email you can give someone a call. And by discovering the specific areas you don’t feel confident in, you can begin to work on them. Don’t feel confident with your writing skills? Start writing and reading more. Don’t feel confident in yourself? Maybe it’s time to get into a workout routine, focus on eating healthy, or find a wardrobe that does make you feel confident.
5. Envision who that most successful version of yourself is. Get nitty gritty on the details of who this person is, how they act, their habits, their daily routine, how they approach challenges, etc. Then show up as that version of yourself. When presented with a choice, ask yourself, “What would the most successful version of me do?”.
Conversely, how can one stop the negative stream of self-criticism that often accompanies us as we try to grow?
You have to become self-aware! The thoughts that we think the most have the strongest neural pathways. When you catch yourself thinking negatively or critically, you have to catch yourself, stop the thought, and pivot to another more positive thought that counteracts it to weaken the negative neural pathway and strengthen the positive one. It may feel impossible at first to stop thinking so negatively or critically, but each time you catch yourself and flip the thought, it becomes easier and easier until one day you realize you don’t think like that anymore.
Are there any misconceptions about self-confidence and believing in oneself that you would like to dispel?
You don’t have to have self-confidence or believe in yourself to start. You have to start first and the rest will follow. Otherwise, you’ll just push off starting forever because you will never “feel confident enough”.
What advice would you give to someone who is struggling with imposter syndrome?
You likely have imposter syndrome because you are a good person whose heart is in the right place. You may be thinking to yourself that you’re a fraud, but I don’t believe a true fraud is thinking that to themselves! Take a step back and look at everything you have done to get yourself to where you are now. You have the chops and the credibility to be doing what you’re doing, regardless of what your brain is telling you.
Your brain’s job is to keep you safe and when you’re starting something new it inherently feels unsafe. The number one way to get over imposter syndrome is to do the thing you feel like an imposter for. Once you start doing it, your brain realizes it’s safe and you stop having those thoughts and feelings of imposter syndrome.
Ok, we are nearly done. You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good for the greatest number of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger.
I want to empower more people to chase happiness today and not wait to live their dream life until retirement. Hate your job? Leave it! There are so many money-making opportunities out there, stop convincing yourself this is your only option. Will it be scary? Definitely. Will it be worth it? Absolutely! All of the best things I have ever done have been on the other side of fear and a big jump!
We are very blessed that some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US, whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we both tag them 🙂
Sitting down with Sara Blakley, the founder of Spanx, would be incredible. The number of times that she was told no but continued to persevere and ended up building an empire that created an entirely new industry that empowers women to feel their best and has been mimicked by massive names like Kim Kardashian is mind-boggling. Today, the way that she runs her business as CEO and treats her team is so commendable. I think all CEOs have a lot to learn from her, especially today’s up-and-coming female entrepreneurs. Being able to sit down with a female CEO of that caliber who has pushed through adversity, broken glass ceilings, and now lives a life where extreme wealth and success are the norm would be the most incredible privilege.
How can our readers further follow your work online?
@itscourtneyquinn on TikTok & Instagram
Thank you for these really excellent insights, and we greatly appreciate the time you spent with this. We wish you continued success.