Embrace failure as a learning opportunity, failures are the stepping stones of success. Fighting through adversity and learning from your failures only makes success that much sweeter.
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 Larry Smith.
Larry Smith is a highly respected CEO and business mentor in the Concrete and Epoxy flooring industry. As the founder and leader of LockHard Concrete Flooring, a rapidly growing business based out of San Antonio, TX, Larry has established himself as a prominent figure in the field. With years of experience and expertise, he has built a reputation for excellence, providing innovative solutions and delivering top-quality results for clients across the region. Larry’s unwavering commitment to his craft, his team, and his clients has propelled LockHard Concrete Flooring to new heights of success, making it one of the most sought-after companies in the concrete flooring industry.
Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Before we dive into the main focus of our interview, our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your childhood backstory?
Early childhood was great. I had a loving and supportive family. It wasn’t until early adulthood that things changed for me. My father an entrepreneur himself, give me an ultimatum. “Work for the business, or learn how to fend for yourself”. As a young adult, those were hard words to hear, and my rebellious attitude and lack of understanding threw me into the wild. Where I had to grow up quickly and truly learn how the world works.
What or who inspired you to pursue your career? We’d love to hear the story.
Every day I clocked into 9–5 for years with this burning feeling of ambition deep down inside a feeling that I wasn’t where I was supposed. The feeling that I would get, it almost felt like it could be overlooked as mental exhaustion from hard long workdays, but even on my days off, I would get the eerie feeling that I was forgetting something but I couldn’t quite put a finger on what.
There would be nights I couldn’t sleep because of it, and I would stay up and look through my phone on social media and see success stories of people who look just like me. Who had to start from nothing and had to work their way to the top. I would tell myself why couldn’t I be that person? I would see places I wanted to go and tell myself, why can’t I be there today, right now? Then it started to click day by day. That there was no way I’ll ever see my dreams happen, and truly enjoy them if I stay on the route my life is going now. It was that realization that ignited the spark in me, and I learned how to cultivate that feeling day by day into actionable steps. I started directing my energy and my time into making things happen that could not only change my current situation but change my future as well.
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?
What would say the funniest mistake I made early in my career was. I went to a meeting at a Marriott. One that I was very excited about because it was at the time the biggest opportunity I had for a very lucrative contract. So I got dressed up head to toe went out and bought an expensive suit and shoes to match! I got to the hotel and I realized that everyone in the meeting came ready to play golf! As embarrassing as it was. It was a great icebreaker and I ended up getting that contract! But if I go back to that moment, I would’ve done my research on who and where I was meeting. Before showing up fully dressed for the wrong occasion.
What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now? How do you think that might help people?
I would say my mentorship is one of the most exciting things I’m working on now. Being able to teach people how to overcome business obstacles, help build self-confidence in what they’re doing with a clear understanding of how to do it. That has been a great experience for me, knowing that I’ve been able to help change people’s lives for the better and get them on a good career path is an amazing feeling for me.
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?
If you can’t yourself then how can you expect others to? How can you lead, or truly follow without believing in yourself that you can do so? Personal growth, achievement, and happiness are closely tied to what It means to believe in yourself.
Believing in yourself helps your self-confidence, which in return will make you less likely to give up in the face of diversity. That will give you a level of resilience that can help you bounce back from speed bumps in the road that come up between you and your goals.
When you have faith in your abilities, there’s a better chance that you’ll stand and fight against the odds for the things that you want to happen. Even when things aren’t looking the way thought they would, and you feel like might pan differently than expected., self-confidence and self-determination, and resilience will kick in and push you through those moments. You’ll be surprised how many people stop right before they reach their goals because single exactly as planned.
You have to keep a positive mindset and believing in yourself will feed that mindset flourish. The lack of self-confidence only sets limitations on you, and as you change that mindset, and overcome obstacles placed in front of you. You will realize most of the things that you were coerced about were just in your head. My big advice is, something you just have to get out of your own way! You have to truly believe that you can do whatever you set your mind to. That thought will foster your self-confidence in a way that will drive you to the ability to believe in yourself to a point that you never imagined.
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?
Most will tell you to find what you’re good at and focus on that. but I’m here to say that if you truly believe in yourself you’ll find ways to open doors. Here’s a thought to sit on, you’re not athletic and you want to win a gold medal. Think about what doors can I open to get you close to my goal? You’re not athletic enough to win a gold medal yourself. But maybe you can get in the room with the right people, and endorse someone who is capable of winning that gold medal. Changing your perception of your goal can sometimes be the key to your success.
Was there a time when you did not believe in yourself? How did this impact your choices?
At times when I placed bids on big projects, I thought to myself, can I really accomplish what I’m setting out to do? In the beginning of my career. I believe that mindset affected me in a big way, and it stopped me from bidding on bigger projects because of it. When I change this, is when my life truly started to take a turn for the better, and what felt like what used to feel like a risk to me really wasn’t a risk at all.
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?
As I stated, when I had doubt in my abilities, it stop me from bidding on bigger projects. Oh, once I overcame that it changed my perception where I could really never doubt myself and that way, because again that self-doubt only hurts you.
What are your top 5 strategies that will help someone learn to believe in themselves? Please share a story or example for each.
1 . Start with small goals and every time you accomplish a goal, congratulate yourself because you are and will always be your biggest fan
2 . Embrace failure as a learning opportunity, failures are the stepping stones of success. Fighting through adversity and learning from your failures only makes success that much sweeter.
3 . Find a support group video of people taking a similar course of action as you. This can provide encouragement and support from an outside source and can be a valuable
4 . Find time for self-care like exercise, meditation, or pursuing hobbies or interests that can stimulate your self-confidence.
5 . Stop the Negative self-talk when there are things going wrong, don’t beat yourself up about it. Slow down and think logically about a solution. There’s no reason to beat yourself up about it. Trust me when I say the world will do that enough. So find ways to stay positive.
Conversely, how can one stop the negative stream of self-criticism that often accompanies us as we try to grow?
The best way to negate self-criticism is by accomplishing smaller goals. Call and celebrate yourself for them. Entrepreneurship can be a lonely road and that many people will understand exactly the struggles that you’re going through so a lot of the time you have to rely on your own self-encouragement to give you that boost to keep going.
Are there any misconceptions about self-confidence and believing in oneself that you would like to dispel?
Most think self-confidence comes naturally but for many, that is not the case. Self-confidence is a skill that can be developed through practice and effort.
What advice would you give to someone who is struggling with imposter syndrome?
Self-perception is a very small part of what makes you who you are. It’s the hard work, dedication, and commitment to what you’re doing that makes you what you are. So work hard and stay consistent.
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 would say bringing back a sense of local community. A lot of the time the resources that you may need are right under your nose. If we had more people invested in their local community, the benefit could be tremendous!
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 🙂
I would love to have a sit down with Darius Foroux. From what I can tell he seems like a great thinker, and has every interesting content.
How can our readers further follow your work online?
At LockHard Concrete Flooring We Are Epoxy Flooring And Concrete Flooring Contractors in San Antonio, Texas, and surrounding cities.
Thank you for these really excellent insights, and we greatly appreciate the time you spent with this. We wish you continued success.