"I don't know if, deep down, I truly believe I can create a successful business..."
CONFIDENCE AND SELF-BELIEF FOR WOMEN STEPPING INTO THEIR NEXT CHAPTERS IN BUSINESS AND LIFE

INTRODUCTION

After working with women in business for several years now and reflecting on my own journey as well, I’ve seen time and time again that the #1 thing that holds us back from bringing our visions to life is self-doubt.

That niggling voice inside simply poses the question, “Who do you think you are….?”

AND THE DAMAGE IS DONE.

Who knows just how many ideas have been left undeveloped as a result?

There is ample information available on how to create, launch, run and expand a business on or offline. Tutorials and programs and courses and guidance galore.

The internet has opened the world to us. But information alone is not enough. It needs to be blended with courage, confidence, clarity and community so you can truly flourish in your next chapter, anchored in self-belief.

And so the purpose of this post is to open a new door for you into Your Next Chapter with PRINCIPLES to explore and TOOLS  to adopt.

PRINCIPLES

  • Action begets confidence
  • Your thoughts are not reality
  • Back yourself, 100%
  • Fearless is a myth

PRINCIPLES

  • Self-awareness is a super power
  • Harness the power of your mind
  • Cultivate a Supportive Circle
  • Embrace your feminine power

TOOLS

  • Get Off Self
  • Externalise your Inner Critic
  • Change your state
  • Develop a Fabulous File
  • Adopt a Belief Buddy

TOOLS

  • Join a Community
  • Keep a Journal
  • Keep a Gratitude List
  • Connect to a Higher Power
  • Explore a Modality
  • Invest in Yourself

I encourage you to pause, make a cup of tea or pour a cold drink and set aside the time to immerse yourself in the collective experience and wisdom harvested at the coalface by a diverse group of wholehearted women featured in this article so you can:

a) realise you are not alone in your self-doubt and fear no matter what stage of life you are at, and

b) Select the ideas and concepts that most resonate with you so you can develop your own Confidence Toolkit to have ready to dip into when doubt and fear knock at your door

Angela

I'm sharing my own best tips, the consistent actions I have taken over the past 10 years to take myself from a pretty dark and unfulfilled place of self-doubt into worthiness and a life and business that feel very much aligned with the woman I have become today.

Progress, not perfection that's the motto I've adopted as this wholehearted journey continues...

Let's see what unfolds in Your Next Chapter when you own your worth and believe in yourself and your vision. I can't wait to see what that looks like for you!

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YOUR NEXT CHAPTER BUSINESS MENTOR
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My own next chapter business

Regular journaling has shown me that my Inner Critic is not all that original...

She recycles and regurgitates the same old thoughts and feelings. Even when they’re dressed in different costumes and appear on different sets, underneath it's usually the same old script. A simple variation on ‘I’m not good enough’, laced with an unhealthy dose of comparison-itis.

My inner critic is not a one-of-a-kind. She has an army of friends, who tenaciously take up residence deep inside the women around me. There are a ton of them. Some live in very high places - with women who you might not imagine self-doubt would tinker with…

In 2015, I polled the women in my community and asked what was holding them back from bringing their Next Chapter Business dreams to life. Almost 90% of the respondents said, “Me. I am”.

This is just a slice of what they shared with me …

  • I don’t have belief in myself and my skills
  • I could achieve more. I need to trust myself more.
  • I struggle with procrastinating and self-confidence.
  • I want to have faith in myself that I am just as good as everyone else in my field, but…
  • I am my own worst enemy. I have a terrible case of perfectionism paralysis.
  • I don’t trust myself. I have a very hard time writing and when I do I am very critical and don’t want the world to see it.
  • Self doubt. Comparing myself to others and to other businesses.
  • Not believing I can actually make money doing what I love.
  • Fear of failure and of making a fool of myself.
  • Fear that it, or I, won’t be good enough.
  • Low self-esteem.
  • I doubt that I can really do this.
  • I self sabotage myself by busying myself with everything else first instead of prioritising my business.
  • I lack belief in myself, my skills, and my experience and knowledge even though I’ve had some wonderful experiences lately that have shown me that there’s no reason not to believe in myself.
  • My Self confidence is just so low

On one hand, how refreshing it is to know most of the stumbling blocks in our way to building a Next Chapter business are not external. But oh, how frustrating it can be trying to build our beautiful business and make a difference in the world, while being strangled by thoughts and misbeliefs  like these.

Were the women in my community just having a down day, going through a difficult patch I wondered? Or was this problem more widespread?

At my annual Next Chapter Live event I asked the women in the room to close their eyes and raise their hand if any of these thoughts were a part of their inner dialogue:

  • I'm not good enough
  • My work is not good enough
  • I don’t have a head for business
  • I hate marketing
  • I’m not a people person
  • I’m just not good with technology
  • If I haven’t made it by now I never will
  • I’m not confident enough to create a business
  • The things I’m passionate about will never make money
  • My story is not inspiring for anyone
  • Being successful changes people for the worse
  • People will disapprove of what I do or say
  • I can’t stand someone saying negative things about me
  • I have nothing original to say or contribute, its all been done before
  • My story is not inspiring for anyone
  • I’m not ready
  • I am always wrong
  • I will fail
  • I cannot be successful
  • It’s too scary to try something new
  • I already have a good life, it’s selfish to want more
  • I’m too shy to put myself out in public
  • I don’t have qualifications so I can’t be successful

There was not a woman in the room who did not have her hand up. In fact everyone had both hands up and several commented that “they needed to raise their feet as well”! 

If this is how we feel—how we truly feel when the walls come down and we’re honest with ourselves—how can we ever make progress? No matter how good the idea, or how passionate the person, the confidence thing, the self-belief piece, the fear unfurling inside, keeps tripping us up.

Self-doubt keeps getting in the way, blocking a clear view of the success you deserve.

I believe COMPLETELY that our self-worth equals our net worth and our impact quotient. I know from my own personal experience that if we do not have a strong sense of our own worthiness, we’re shot. I can try to teach you all of the communication, marketing and sales strategies I know, but they simply will not make a difference to your success if you don’t feel enough.

But the good news? There IS a way to break the cycle!

And it begins with this simple truth.

You don't have to have your act together the all the time. You don't have to be perfect, anywhere near it.

You don't even need to have experienced success yet, to get started... because of this one, transformation secret:

A next chapter business is built on skinned knees.

Yes, skinned knees. Your apparent 'failures'. Your shortcomings.

Your vulnerabilities.

No one wants to learn from someone preaching from the top of the mountain, from someone shiny and untouchable, completely removed from our reality.

People don’t invest because they understand what you are selling. They invest because they feel understood. When they feel resonance. When they feel they can trust you.

We all want to be seen, heard and understood. It’s empathy that connects us.

And when you share the lessons you have learned, the experiences you have had, the skills you have developed, when you can help someone else navigate the potholes, the dead ends, the cul-de-sacs of business and life with certainty and confidence.

When you recognise the value of this, your value, you are on your way.

How things change, when you realise this and give yourself permission to be you.

How things change when the very qualities you thought were holding you back, become your greatest strengths. I’ve been walking this path of developing self-belief, and the foundation of self-worth that needs to sit beneath it, for quite a few years now.

Alongside my business journey, I’m also a woman who has been in recovery from addiction for almost 10 years. I’ve needed to completely rebuild my own sense of worthiness from the ground up and I now have a pretty strong personal Toolkit that has come in very handy on those days when self-doubt tries to run the show. And I know that what I used to view as my greatest source of shame is actually the source of my greatest strength.

Brené Brown

You’ll likely not be surprised to hear I’m inspired by Brené Brown who says if we keep our stories hidden, this secrecy ensures the growth of shame.

And that this will eat away at our motivation as we stop taking action, begin to fulfill our own negative expectations… and allow the cycle of self-doubt to perpetuate.

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Shame often shows up for us Next Chapter women as not having “made it” yet. As dreams unrealised, businesses that are not turning over enough, attracting enough clients, being successful enough, especially when compared to others….

That Comparison Trap can be a difficult one to escape without awareness and help.

But I know that a Toolkit of Confidence and Self-Belief is absolutely, completely and utterly accessible to you.

And having it changes everything.

My excitement grew as I began to share my insights with my clients and they began to break free of doubt as they developed their own Toolkits.

Again and again I saw how remarkably similar those doubts were, regardless of backgrounds, businesses or experiences.

And I started to get curious.

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getting curious

I became a little obsessed with the idea that perhaps even the most successful women may have inner confidence struggles too. And, if they do, but they move through those, I wanted to know how, and to share these insights with you as well.

And so I asked.

Sixteen business women from around the world graciously and generously responded, sharing their insights, both professionally and personally.

This isn’t just about their confidence right now, while things are going well. This is about how they often got started without that confidence. How they did it, back before they became the success stories they are today.

I asked them to think back to when they felt a little like ‘imposters’ in this whirlwind business world… wondering if you’ll ever ‘make it’. Trying to work out the secrets of success.

And they shared wholeheartedly.

I took their insights, combined them with my own and created this secrets-rich blog with guidance from myself and this array of wonderful women. You can see yourself in these stories and build your own Self-Worth Toolkit from our combined experiences and recommendations.

Take what resonates with you. Leave behind what doesn’t. But whatever new beliefs and tools you choose for your Confidence ToolKit, please remember that this is a not a one off action. Rock solid self-belief is built over time, by revisiting and reinforcing your new beliefs and view of yourself. Build it into your daily routine, just as surely as you practice any new skill to master it.

Over the following chapters I’ll share the principles that shone through.

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Chapter Three

Your journey into self-worth and the business success that springs from that starts with a decision. A decision to commit to taking consistent aligned action on your dreams. 

Action begets confidence. Act as if you are confident and you become confident. It’s almost magical.

Suzanne Evans and Mel Jeffcott reinforced this phenomenon with their stories.

MAKE PROMISES TO YOURSELF AND FOLLOW THROUGH ON THEM.

“No one will EVER care about your dream as much you will.”

This was the insight that got me out of my $50,000 a year secretarial day job and into building a $7M a year business that has been listed on the Inc 500/5000 four years in a row.

It’s true. Even your biggest cheerleaders, your family, your friends, your loved ones, will NEVER match the level of excitement and enthusiasm that you will have in regards to building the business and life of your dreams. What does that mean?

It’s on you. If you want this, you have to be the one to go out there and get it.

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Melissa Jeffcott

LIFE COACH

ASK, "WHY NOT ME?"

Like many women, I found that when I became a mum it was simultaneously the most rewarding and challenging period of my life.

Indeed for a few good years I felt that I lost my sense of self outside the roles that were expected of me. My own needs, wants and desires were swept to the bottom of the pile as I wrangled little bodies into car seats and supported my husband to follow his dreams.

Not surprisingly, there came a time (coinciding with turning forty) where I was feeling dissatisfied with my life, and I realised that there was only one way it was going to change...

And that was if I had the courage to change it myself.

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Your thoughts are not reality

When you are consciously aware of your thoughts, of the misbeliefs that are not serving you, you can challenge them. You do not have to automatically believe what your head tells you!

Too often you are at the mercy of your Inner Critic who feeds your self-doubt with thoughts and lines from the past that you simply accept as fact.

Once you externalise your Critic, name her, become aware of what she says and recognise her patterns, you are in a far stronger position to refute her perspective.

Shareen Greer, the Mid Life Courage Coach from New Zealand also talks about the role of her Inner Coach versus her Inner Critic.

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Sharleen Greer

MID-LIFE COURAGE COACH 

DIAL UP THE VOLUME ON YOUR INNER COACH, AND DIAL DOWN THE INNER CRITIC.

If I knew the journey that starting a business at 50 would evoke in me I don’t know if I would have ever gone there. I certainly thought I was confident enough but I was proven wrong.

It appears that the more you are willing to be visible and find your voice and vision to try and make things happen in the world, the louder the inner critic has concerns about your self worth.

I didn’t understand why any of this was happening and why a grown woman was doubting her confidence every step of the way.

I understand things so much better now.

Take the Inner Critic Quiz

I've identified 5 Chief Critics who seem to turn up most often for women in their Next Chapter.

To heighten your self-awareness, take my Inner Critic Quiz to find out who your Chief Inner Critic is and download your Freedom Kit, a free resource that will help you make peace with her.

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chapter five

Your vision for Your Next Chapter Business is yours, and yours alone. It often comes from an internal call, a deep sense of purpose, a desire to contribute, to share, to right a wrong, to make things easier for others or to bring more beauty and ease and comfort into the world.

The very fact that you are called to create this business means that here is a need for it. There are people who are searching for exactly what you can provide – I know this to be utterly true, as I have seen it time and time again.

So, you need to take up the mantle, to answer the call and crown yourself.

Certainty is not arrogance, as I mistook if for, for many years. Certainty is quiet confidence in your ability to make a difference and it is very, very attractive to your client who is seeking guidance, answers and outcomes that they cannot manage on their own.

DON'T WAIT FOR SOMEONE TO CHOOSE YOU. CHOOSE YOURSELF.

I had the ‘fortunate misfortunate’ of having my first book, The Woman’s Comfort Book, become an international best-seller at the ripe old age of 27.

You would think this would make me super-confident but instead, I started to believe my success depended on being chosen. This was probably natural—speaking gigs, spokesperson gigs, major book contracts, media calling—it all did come to me for years.

But waiting for someone to choose me and making my "business plan” about vision maps, affirmations and wishing, well it undermined my confidence terribly.

I lived in fear of “it all going away.”

ASSUME THE THRONE.

Many of us have experienced that feeling of wanting to be “discovered” for our area of expertise. We think that someday, someone is going to see what we have to offer, if only we are patient and wait.

I felt that way too. I always knew in my heart that I had an awesome gift—just as you do, even if you find it difficult to admit that to yourself.

I knew there was something special about the way I helped people and businesses recognise opportunities, how I could inspire people to say “yes” to themselves so that they could move forward in their lives.

And I figured that if I stayed out there doing my thing long enough, someone would notice.

Kylie Patchett is one of my 'Belief Buddies' (you'll read more about this concept towards the end of the blog) and she encourages us all to let go of our old stories to strengthen our self-belief muscle.

SHIFT THE UNHELPFUL STORIES.

Self-belief, and therefore confidence, is like any muscle. It atrophies if you don't use it.

Building rock solid self-belief is a continual process. It's about constantly listening to the stories you a telling yourself about you, your business, the way you show up in the world, and consciously weeding out the unhelpful ones. Our stories, or limiting beliefs directly impact our behaviours.

Stories that say I am not good enough, I don't know enough, this is never going to happen for me, limit your ability to take the focused and consistent action that is needed to grow a soulful and sustainable business.

It's important to understand that this contributes to that self belief muscle getting all floppy with under-use.

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chapter six

Everyone feels fear no matter what stage of business or success you reach. It is an integral part of your business journey. Welcome it. Embrace it. When it shows up it means that you are stretching out of our comfort zone and that whatever you are doing matters.

It’s important, or you would not feel the fear. And that is definitely a very good thing.

Here’s what Margie Warrell and Christine Kane had to say about fear and courage.

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Margie Warrell

BEST-SELLING AUTHOR & FORBES COLUMNIST

ASK, "WHAT WOULD I DO TODAY IF I WERE TRULY BRAVE?"

Too often we women doubt ourselves too much, back ourselves too little and underestimate our worth. In doing so we do ourselves a profound disservice.

The truth is that who you are is far more than you can possibly comprehend.

Within you lies all the resources and creativity to accomplish whatever it is that sets you on fire.

What does it take to achieve it?

Courage.

christine kane
Christine Kane

PRESIDENT & FOUNDER OF UPLEVEL YOU™

DO THINGS WHILE SHAKING WITH FEAR!

It seems normal to believe that if you don’t feel confident, you should wait it all out just a bit.

After all, who wants to take risks and fail, right? Surely, confidence will come around the bend here any minute.

Well, when I was a musician, I learned the truth about confidence that set me up to create not one, but two successful businesses.

Before I had ever set foot on a stage, I went to these local "open mic" nights to try my hand at playing a few songs for the people in the audience.

Three times I went to these. And three times I went home disappointed in myself, crying myself to sleep because I chickened out - again.

Why didn’t I get up on stage?

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chapter seven

I often have my clients start with a “Don’t want” List when they are finding it hard to define what they do want in their business and life. It’s then often easy to flip these and begin to build a vision that will serve as both inspiration to pull them forward and a lens through which to evaluate opportunities and make decisions – will this bring me closer to what I want, or does it move me further away?

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Pat Mussieux

FOUNDER & CEO,
PAT MUSSIEUX

KNOW WHAT YOU WANT AND TAKE THE POWER TO CHANGE YOUR SITUATION.

I believe that lack of confidence and fear stem from a lack of information and guidance.

To succeed in life and in business, follow the 7 steps below.

They worked for me, at age 57, when I left my 22-year marriage with virtually nothing. I moved across the country–no clients, no business, no money and re-launched my speaking and coaching business.

If I can do this – taking my business to over a half-million dollars in less than 5 years, you can, too!

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Tanya Geisler

LEADERSHIP COACH

KNOW YOU'RE READY ENOUGH.

In the isolation of entrepreneurialism, we are often kept (unwelcome) company by a nagging inner voice that plays the following on an incessant loop:

1) You already have it so good. Quit while you’re ahead. Besides, it’s selfish to want more.

2) It’s all been said and done before. It’s too late.

And my favourite:

3) You’re not ready yet.

Ouch.

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chapter 8

Your mind can be your powerful ally when you take the reins. But it is also a storyteller, and as Brene Brown says in Rising Strong, in struggle, our emotions get the first chance to explain what’s going on.

Your mind craves certainty and will fill in the blanks with its own story, and if you are in a situation of uncertainty, it will most often default to its natural negative default to keep you safe.

You can interrupt this process – your thoughts create your feelings, and your feelings create your behaviours, your actions, or your lack of actions…

You can break the cycle and choose different thoughts, cascading to different feelings and different actions - hey presto, new results! This is a habit you can practice and develop, it’s not something that the “lucky” people are born with. It’s definitely a tool you want to sharpen so you can take control of this cycle.

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book

I’m a big fan of the book “Wired for Life” which really helped me to understand the power we have over our own thoughts and is packed with practical actions to take. It’s a part of my “Shelf Help” library!

I interviewed Susan Pearse, one of the authors, for my Wholehearted Success Summit in 2014 and asked her to contribute her thoughts to this post.

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Susan Pearse

AUTHOR, WIRED FOR LIFE

REMEMBER, WHAT YOU FOCUS ON GROWS.

“The only thing wrong with you is that you can’t see all the things that are right with you.”

This statement came out of my mouth when I was sitting opposite a coaching client a few months ago. Despite being a very successful business leader she constantly picked on the things she was doing wrong. After I said it, I realised it had also been my problem for many years – always seeing the weaknesses but struggling to find the strengths.

The turning point was when I realised that it was a trick of the brain to always see negatives before it saw positives. Diligently working to keep you safe, this was fine when it was helping you avoid physical danger (but very unhelpful when it came to thriving in life).

What you focus on grows.

GET OUT OF YOUR OWN WAY.

If I had the luxury of turning back time and having a heart to heart with ‘me' at the beginning of 2015… I would have these words (kindly of course!) to say.

"Seriously just get out of your own way!

The greatest thing that is standing between you and the success you want and can achieve is... you. Your head is not truly tuned in for success.

You think it might be, because you spending a whole lot of time doing a whole lot of stuff, but really…honestly…you’re going round in circles… and where are you now?

Exhausted, overwhelmed... doubtful?

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Linley Cornish

CONSULTANT

LIVE THE STORY YOU WISH TO TELL.

As I swing in a hammock in a remote lodge deep in the Amazon Jungle, Peru, I am contemplating what the universe has delivered me over the last few years: separation, divorce and the sudden death of my son, Liam, amongst other life challenges. More specifically I am contemplating how I survive, even thrive, when the worst has happened.

I am here, in South America, on an adventure and recovery mission with my daughter, Keira. I believe in giving my children life experiences rather than material goods, and of my two children, my daughter is the traveller, hence the adventure. Liam preferred to be home, in Australia, and our joint adventures included sky-diving and obstacle course racing.

The recovery part of my mission is to explore my new life story and relationship with my daughter, now she is an only child.

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chapter nine

Belief Buddies are your greatest fans. They recognise your potential, offer encouragement and celebrate even your tiniest successes. Your closest friends should all fit into this category, plus anyone that’s out there cheering for you. They’re the ones who say “Go for it!”.

We all need at least one of these.

Someone who knows you well, believes in you, someone who you have shared your big vision with and who knows you just need to take the consistent small steps, one after the other, to get you there.

Your belief buddy knows that the ups and downs of this entrepreneurial adventure are just that, perfectly normal ups and downs. Because she experiences them too.

She or he knows that it is their job to remind you that “This too shall pass”.

Belief Buddies and other supporters are an especially valuable component of your Confidence Toolkit if you work alone and if your family or others close to you don’t really get this whole “entrepreneurial” thing.

It’s fabulous if they do, but honestly, it’s not their job to understand your journey and it’s important that you don’t have expectations of their support because, if it’s not forthcoming, it can be devastating and may undermine your confidence further.

So you may need to look further afield -  another Belief Buddy of mine just happens to be in Tasmania and we met in a Facebook Group. Brenda and I have often talked about the roles of faith and trust in this journey,

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Brenda Tsiaousis

BUSINESS POTENTIALIST, AUTHOR & SPEAKER

SURROUND YOURSELF WITH PEOPLE WHO SEE YOUR BRILLIANCE.

"People often say motivation doesn't last. Well, neither does bathing - that's why we recommend it daily" is one of my favorite quotes by Zig Ziglar, American Author, Sales person and Motivational Speaker.

I can say the same applies to "confidence" I have found that confidence increases when we, you and I believe with utmost certainty in who we are and what we stand for – It also needs to be cultivated daily.

It is my experience that we all go through periods where we question our value and existence, this is called Half-Time, the space you find yourself in when you transition from success to significance. When you suddenly realise you have a contribution to make to the world.

I suggest when this happens you borrow belief from others.

Join a Community

If you are on the path to creating a Next Chapter Business, even if you at the very beginning of this journey, being a part of a community of like-minded women to connect with, I invite you to come and like and follow my Facebook page. Every woman who reads, comments and contributes is a woman in her 40's and beyond, in her own Next Chapter.

Just click on the image below to visit the page.

You may be a solopreneur, but that doesn’t mean you need to work alone.

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chapter 10

When I had my marketing agency I was a very strategic thinker. My team and I were focused on creating b2b marketing plans and, as a consultant paid to uncover gaps in a business strategy, I was very much in my head and striving to reach very specific and defined goals for my clients.

Whilst there is nothing intrinsically “wrong” with that, the reality is I was rather disconnected from my heart and the result was eventual burn out and falling out of love with my work.

I now know that I did not balance the pursuit energy of Smart Goals with the more receptive, feminine energy of Heart Goals.

SMART objectives or goals are quite traditional, tangible and measurable, have masculine energy and are action-oriented and they provide focus.

HEART objectives or goals are progressive, have feminine energy and are momentum-oriented. They honour your feelings.

I now make sure I have a balance of both in my work and my results feed my confidence without burning me out.

I also recognised that I needed to define what success actually meant to me, and to stop mistaking the success of other people as how I as supposed to do it. When I understood this, I let go of my agency and created a new business model and services that feel so much better to me, far more in alignment with who I am today, the woman I have become.

That’s what a Next Chapter Business is all about.

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Biljana Knapp

SUPER HEALTH GLOBAL

YOU CAN HAVE IT ALL.

If I am to identify the one most limiting factor that I believe is stopping women entrepreneurs to move forward it would be this one:

"Women are trying to do it in a man’s way, in a man’s world and succeed in a man’s style."

The mantra is be tough, be ruthless , be the best, the smartest and fight off the competition!!!

Could there be any less appealing proposition for a woman ?

Do we need to go against our nature to succeed?

Do we need to sacrifice our values, our femininity in order to get to the top?

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Michelle McGrath

SELF-LOVE MENTOR & INTUITIVE AROMATHERAPIST

ENTER INTO A SACRED PARTNERSHIP WITH YOUR OWN HEART.

Self-love has been a buzz word in the past few years, but what does this mean on a practical level?

There's much more to it than bubble baths, green juice and coconut oil, enjoyable though they are.

In 2003 I had an epiphany whilst meditating that self-love was what I most needed. I claimed (naively) daily, that I was letting go of everything preventing me from embracing 100% self-love.

I had no idea what I was embarking upon.

Following this rocky path led to the birth of my ever evolving business and it's a wild ride.

Tammy Roth
Tammy Roth

AUTHOR, FACILITATOR & THERAPIST

STEP BACK AND FIND YOUR FEET.

On January 1, I was packing for a month long sabbatical on the beach (the struggle I went through to finally give myself permission to do this and how the universe conspired to support me in the decision is another story!)

I went into the attic to fetch something to pack for the trip. As I traipsed through the attic, without any warning whatsoever, I suddenly dropped through the floor. I banged up my ribs and was still hanging by my elbows with my feet dangling between floors.

I screamed to my husband, "Come get me!" When he found me dangling between floors, he said, "step back."

"What do you mean I asked?"

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Create your confidence kit

May I have a thank you for these lovely women?

What I’ve learned from talking to such a diverse range of women is that we all have doubts. We all have fears. Those limiting thoughts aren’t going anywhere in a hurry, so it’s about learning to sit with them, and move and act and progress despite them.

There has been a plethora of wisdom shared here for you to lean into, and to wrap up I'd like to give you a summary of some of the sharpest tools I have in my own CONFIDENCE KIT.

MY NEXT CHAPTER BUSINESS CONFIDENCE KIT TOOLS

GET OFF SELF

When I am focusing on my fear and doubt, I forget who I am here to help. When I focus on who I am here to help, I find in a short time, I have often left my worries far behind.

TAKE ACTION

Create a clear Vision for the next chapter of your life and business – what are you being called to create? Who do you want to help? What does success look life for you?

EXTERNALISING MY INNER CRITIC

I've named her, I can now recognise the recycled thoughts for just that, recycled thoughts on repeat, and choose to move past them, often pausing to have a conversation out loud with Helga. "Thanks Helga, but that's an old story, I've got this..."

TAKE ACTION

Identify who your Chief Critic is, name her and become aware of the misbeliefs she recycles so you can recognise and not just believe them by default. Remember you can discover who your Chief Critic is by taking the quiz here.

CHANGING MY STATE

I'm very aware when my mood is dipping and so I consciously choose an activity that lifts my vibration. Conscious deep breathing, music and movement will often do the trick.

TAKE ACTION

Identify the music that makes you feel good (I grew up in the 80's so a re-visit to any tracks from that era seldom fails to lift me up!) Alternatively, if I'm craving calm, the tracks from Yellow Brick Cinema sooth my soul.

I also practice 'Box Breathing' - simply pausing and breathing in for 3 seconds, holding for 3 seconds, breathing out for 3 seconds and resting for 3 seconds before starting again. I'm still a little surprised and how quickly such a simple exercise can help me regain my equilibrium and perspective.

SPENDING SOME TIME IN MY 'FABULOUS FILE'

This is where I keep all of my testimonials, cards, feedback and more that reminds me of the very real difference I can make for another person and how good my life really is.

TAKE ACTION

Begin to gather evidence in your own 'Fabulosity' and pop them into a folder or box. You can do this digitally, but I've found it most powerful when it's a tactile, tangible experience. And you don't need to limit it to just business results either - my Fabulous File has cards and notes from my kids, photos from retreats and getaways and lots of other things that lift my heart.

CALLING A BELIEF BUDDY

ABelief Buddy is someone whom I love and trust and who holds my vision for myself in their heart as carefully as I do. This is a very reciprocal relationship as I do the same for them.

TAKE ACTION

Who could be a Belief Buddy for you? If you have someone in mind, let them know and ask if they will fulfil this role for you and offer to do the same for them. If you don't feel there is anyone right now you can ask, the please read the next point below!

JOIN A COMMUNITY OF WOMEN ON THE SAME JOURNEY

This can be a local networking group, a Meetup or Facebook Group. There is power in a community when you choose to step out of isolation and be seen and heard, both in struggle and celebration.

TAKE ACTION

Come across and join the Next Chapter Facebook Page. This is a thriving community of wholehearted women who are all focused on supporting each other as we stretch into our Next Chapters. We'd love to welcome you.

REGULAR JOURNALING

Iam a fan of Morning Pages as espoused by Julia Cameron in The Artist's Way. After a short guided meditation in the morning, I sit with a cup of herbal tea and open my heart into the page. 

TAKE ACTION

Buy yourself a journal and just start. There is no right way or wrong way to express yourself. This has really helped me to just let go of whatever is on my mind and once again it shows me that doubt is a recycled emotion - the same old fears surface again and again and, in recognition, so their power dissipates.

A GRATITUDE LIST

I've been keeping a Gratitude List each evening since November 2006 I credit this simple exercise - just noting 5 things I'm grateful for today - to a complete change in my attitude to life. This commitment made me filter for the good, even in the darkest days.

TAKE ACTION

That same journal can be turned into a Gratitude Journal as well, or you may like to have a separate one, as I do.

CONNECT TO A HIGHER POWER

Opening up to the idea that there is a benevolent energy or being in the Universe that has my best interests at heart has been a deeply transformative experience for me. It’s a quiet power that I practise a consistent connection with that reassures me that, no matter what turmoil I may be in, no matter what doubt I may feel. fundamentally, everything will be ok and this personal belief has provided me with a core of calm that used to elude me.

TAKE ACTION

Embrace your Spiritual Curiosity and open to or deepen that connection – God, Universe, Source, Angels, Nature, Higher Self, however that looks for you.

FIND A MODALITY THAT APPEALS TO YOU

I've found that cultivating your self-worth often requires a holistic approach to help clear out old misbeliefs that have been bedded down inside of you. Kinesiology, Reiki, Energy Healing, Theta Healing, Chakra Clearing...there are so many wonderful options to explore.

The Emotional Freedom Technique, or tapping, is my go-to modality. I became a Level Two Practitioner last year and love the way, with regular use, this simple technique can really turn down the volume and agitation on negative thoughts and help me to choose new, positive alternatives. I am an advocate of the “Conscious Choices” EFT approach developed by Patricia Carrington and it is a part of all of my programs, both group and one-on-one as well as at my events and retreats. You can read more about this methodology here.

TAKE ACTION

Give yourself permission to explore modalities and support until you find the right fit for you.

INVEST IN YOURSELF

Ihave a mindset coach - Larissa Halls from Everyday Inspiration - who I've been regularly working with for 18 months now. This is an ongoing investment in my own development that I feel great about. I am also part of a high level Mastermind which is another significant investment.

TAKE ACTION

This kind of financial investment in yourself sends a very clear message that you are worthy and will motivate you to take inspired action on a regular basis. Decide where you need, and want, extra support to maintain momentum in Your Next Chapter Business journey.

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chapter twelve

And now to your confident future in business and life. You’re here to make a difference in the world. Ensuring your mindset is well tended so you can stay positive and open to growth and your own inherent value is a core part of this business journey.

So, no matter where your confidence level sits, right now, can you make a commitment to yourself to walk the following talk, every day, until you believe it? Make promises to yourself and follow through on them:

  • Choose yourself
  • Dial up the volume on your Inner Coach
  • Assume the throne
  • Ask ‘What would I do if I were truly brave?’
  • Know what you want
  • Know you’re already enough
  • Back yourself 100%
  • Enter a sacred partnership with your own heart
  • Remember, what you focus on grows
  • Get out of your own way
  • Ask ‘why not me?’
  • Walk into your life story
  • Surround yourself with people who see your brilliance
  • Shift the unhelpful beliefs
  • Do things while shaking with fear
  • Step back and find your feet

Create your own Confidence Kit and turn to it to strengthen your self-belief throughout your journey. My every, deep, wholehearted wish for a courageous, skinned-kneed ride into your Next Chapter…

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