I recall the first time I made a speech in front of an audience, while I was still in school. My legs were shaking and my heart pounded. And my brain kept shouting that I could not do it and could not even drag myself to the stage. I was really lost until my professor told me that if I did not get up on stage, he'd fail me. Instantly rising, I marched toward the stage. I delivered my presentation without any problems. When my speech was done, I knew I was meant to talk to big crowds; my confidence level had increased.

In business, there will always be times when we're forced to step out of our comfort zone, and to appear good doing so. If you struggle with self-confidence in your company, here is a list of six tips that will help.

1. Keep learning.

Learning about your business will do wonders. Always be aware of seminars and courses that can keep you up-to-date on your industry or make you more in-the-know in regard to business overall.

2. Have a clear vision.

One method to improve your confidence is to establish objectives. By having a concise vision of what you want your business to become, you will be in an improved position to work toward that goal. Do not make goals that are overly broad, such as "I want to make a lot of money." Instead, aim toward something like "I want to add three new customers a month" or "I want to see a rise in my search each week." As you establish measurable objectives, it is possible to view your progress. Also, it will make you more confident.

3. Become optimistic.

Negativity has the ability to reduce your motivation and drag you down. As we surround ourselves with good energy, we are automatically more productive. Have a power group of positive influences around you who'll support your goals. Not only are they able to provide you a little push when you are feeling sluggish, they're also able to reel you in when you get a bit off track.

4. Take a risk.

Helen Keller once said, "Life either is nothing at all or an adventure." Some will approvingly nod their heads, while others are a lot more comfortable just doing what they have always done before. Someplace in the middle is the knowledge that making progress requires being open to fresh technology, ideas, and, occasionally, fresh environments. These fresh methods of doing things temporarily remove us from our comfort zones, and they often lead to great things as well. If a concept needs the experience of others, we should always be open to reaching out to those who are able to help. I frequently rely on people who follow me on Twitter and Facebook to advise me about issues or to steer me to useful connections.

5. Ditch doubt.

If you possess good ideas, but a phobia of moving ahead has you paralyzed, take it step by step. Many times we'll blame lack of knowledge, funds, and support when in fact we're blocking our road to success. Do not listen to negativity; have faith. You may be shocked at what you're able achieve.

6. Recognize small things you have accomplished.

As you make that initial sale, celebrate. As you diffuse a problem that might have exploded out of control, give yourself a pat on your back. Those little victories will serve as a reminder of how talented you are and that you have more business successes to go.

Others may assist you on your path to self-confidence, but ultimately it is up to you. Following the above steps will guide you toward what you need to improve your business, and to prove to yourself that you are able and prepared to excel.