Mahmoud Khattab is the CEO of Precision M.D., a private practice located in Sacramento, California. After graduating from the University of Damascus, Khattab traveled across the globe to pursue his medical residency at the Case Western Hospital in Cleveland. Khattab’s acumen can serve to inspire and build the confidence of others looking to follow in his path.
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Here are the 20 best ways to build your confidence in business, with insight from Mahmoud Khattab.
1. Good Posture Is Everything
What does your body language say about you? Exude confidence with a power stance, tips Khattab. Good posture looks good on everyone. Roll your shoulders back, straighten your spine, and widen your stance.
2. Embrace Confidence as a State of Being
Self-esteem and confidence are not interchangeable. Self-esteem is how we really feel, while confidence is what we project. Even if your self confidence wavers, be mindful to project a steady confidence.
3. Learn How to Trust Yourself
As a native of war-torn Syria, Mahmoud Khattab says he wouldn’t be where he is today without an enduring self resolve. “If you trust yourself, you can overcome any difficulties. A lot of people don’t believe that, but it’s because they aren’t really trusting themselves,” Khattab has said. “Be persistent, never give up, and trust yourself.”
4. Outline Your Fears and Define Them
Khattab says he runs toward adversity, not away from it. That’s also the ideology of entrepreneur and author Tim Ferris, who famously developed the fear-setting technique. He talks about defining fears instead of goals to overcome the fears and achieve the goals. Ferris suggests that this inverse to the traditional goal-setting technique, is one of his most powerful exercises. Fear-setting involves tricking our brain by writing down our goals, documenting corresponding fears, and writing out the best course of action to overcome them.
5. Quit Waiting For Perfection
Khattab says that if he waited for the perfect moment to launch his career, he likely never would have found it. Instead, Khattab says he has always focused on what he can control.
Khattab suggests preparing as best as possible rather than waiting for perfection. Khattab says, “Failure only really happens if you don’t try anymore.”
6. Finishing Is Better Than Failure
A finished project will always amount to more than the ever-unfinished “perfect” project. For entrepreneurs always waiting for the perfect moment to launch their newest idea or business, that moment might never come.
Embrace the idea that “done” is better than perfect and results should follow!
7. Make a List of Your Triggers
There are going to be times in life when individuals are uncomfortable due to the environment, situation, or people surrounding them. Learning to identify these triggers while rationalizing how best to handle them can be the first step toward building confidence in and around the workplace.
8. Communicate YOUR Way
The current business climate is fast-paced and constant. Connection is continuous thanks to emails, instant messaging, and digital work platforms. Rather than catering to the communication style of those around us, employees in the workforce can build confidence by communicating their way. Some people are better at communicating through emails, while others may prefer phone calls.
9. Get Prepared and Stay Prepared
Mahmoud Khattab understands the best way to remain confident is by ensuring everything has been done for preparation. Khattab suggests the book Getting Things Done by David Allen to stay more productive and focused in day-to-day life.
Khattab says, “People who want to achieve their goals and dreams need to understand how to focus their efforts, and how to be productive.”
10. Don’t Get Comfortable
When changing ingrained behaviors, it’s important to focus on constant reinforcement. Workers can push themselves to step outside of their comfort levels. In doing so, confrontation will lead to these fears subsiding while their confidence grows in its wake.
11. Learn How to Become Assertive
There’s a difference between being assertive and being a jerk. Mahmoud Khattab suggests finding out how to straddle the middle line to communicate in an authoritative, believable, and comforting tone.
Khattab says of those who don’t embrace their efforts, “They never reach their full potential that way because they won’t put their faith in their institution and abilities.”
12. Practice Assertive Conversation
While it’s good to be assertive, it isn’t ideal to be overbearing. Learning how to be an assertive individual in conversations can be difficult, particularly for those already struggling with confidence and self-esteem.
Practice in conversations with trustworthy people to develop the techniques that feel most comfortable. Mahmoud says, “If you trust yourself, you can overcome any difficulties.”
13. Remember to Have Fun
Happiness and confidence go hand in hand — and without one, individuals likely won’t have the other. Take time to get away from the stress and obligations of work to focus on what’s enjoyable. Returning to the office with a sense of positivity and enthusiasm can be the psychological contagion needed to spread good vibes around the building.
14. Never Stop Talking to Mentors
For professionals learning about an industry with the assistance of a mentor, never forget the help that’s offered. The mentors who help foster growth in a career can continue to help guide it as time passes. Mentors play trusted roles in professional careers, so choose wisely.
15. Emulate Confident Speakers
Not only should aspiring professionals seek advice from confident mentors, they should seek to emulate their best characteristics. Learning how tone of voice and presentation can impact the way individuals are perceived is incredibly important. Confidence is not a tangible concept and there are many paths to improve upon it.
16. Quit Worrying, Seriously
While Mahmoud Khattab is always pursuing perfection, he understands perfection isn’t possible. Mahmoud says, “We don’t achieve anything perfect. We tell customers we make things better.”
Once individuals quit worrying about perfection and start embracing incremental progress, confidence ensues.
17. Become a Beacon of Service
Mahmoud Khattab believes confidence can manifest in the workplace when focus is put into service rather than self-reflection. Focusing on customers, clients, and colleagues can help offset the anxiety individuals otherwise feel.
18. Learn to Love the Word ‘No’ (And Mean It)
There are few words as powerful in communication as the word “no.” In business, learning to say no can be the difference between success and failure. Energy is scarce and time even more so; focus instead on what builds a better you.
19. Concentrate on Success
Taking time to journal successful moments can help create more of them in the future. By focusing on what individuals are doing well, they’re creating a positive feedback loop. Writing about successes can also allow individuals the opportunity to explore why they happened, learning and growing as a result.
20. Never Stop Developing Yourself
A lack of confidence comes when individuals feel poorly prepared for the action ahead. It’s important for professionals of every background and industry to never stop building their technical expertise and human skills. Attend seminars and conferences while undertaking workshops to continually progress in a positive, encouraging way.