Ah, confidence: That elusive yet essential quality that we all need to help fuel action and excellence in running a business. Confidence is tricky because it’s not entirely in your control. You can feel it one day, and then, just when you need it most, find that it’s left the premises. 

That’s because, while we may think its an innate quality, building confidence requires daily practice, no matter your level of achievement. The most successful people experience failures. In fact, they fail more than others because they’re constantly pushing themselves to the next level. That’s half the fun. But it also means they’re constantly battling issues with confidence. They question themselves every step of the way.

If you want to grow, you’ve got to become an expert in strengthening your confidence muscle from within. It’s no different than working out at the gym. You have to practice convincing yourself that you have what it takes to create and explore uncharted territory. Belief that you are capable of achieving a certain goal is a prerequisite for making it happen. So how can you build and sustain your confidence muscle? Here are three key steps:

Know what you do best.

Your innate talent, as I define it, is your unique approach to the work you do. It isn’t the job that you do, but the particular skill or approach that makes you so successful at it. Identifying your “superpower” is the first step toward identifying the kind of work that you will excel at. Knowing you will be exceptional--and knowing why--builds confidence.

Identify your purpose. 

Your purpose is connected to the activity or outcome that provides deep fulfillment. Knowing your purpose is like tapping into a reserve of energy that you didn’t know you possessed. Most people think a purpose is something that is associated with a lucky discovery. Contrary to that, your purpose is related to a core challenge that you have conquered in your past. Invariably, any work that is related to helping others with this challenge will result in you feeling endlessly fulfilled. Having purpose catalyzes creativity and innovation. When you are energized beyond measure with the work you are doing, confidence just oozes. A great example of this is Oprah Winfrey, whose purpose is helping others be their best selves. Winfrey has endured trials and tribulations in her life and has become more than she thought was possible. She is helping others conquer a challenge that she can relate to, which provides her with endless fulfillment. It also gives her confidence because it speaks to her soul. As long as all activity or business opportunities are connected to others being their best self, she is going to be confident and fulfilled. 

Believe in yourself (every day).

Confidence can disappear at a moment’s notice. In order to maintain the great confidence you have from following the first two steps, you need to believe in yourself. Create a daily practice that works for you. This could be creating a mantra, writing in a journal, or just taking a moment to pause and reflect on what you are doing. In these moments you have to tell yourself that you believe in your own capabilities and that you know you are fully capable of doing all that you desire. Belief in yourself is one of your most powerful allies. 

Too few people take the reflection time to build self-knowledge and figure out what it is they do best, better than anyone else. If you put time and energy into knowing and believing in yourself, you'll quickly find yourself moving in new and positive directions--with confidence.