As an entrepreneur, you may be overcome by a feeling of dread and self doubt when taking the first step in starting a business, making a risky business decision or taking on a new level or responsibility in the workplace.

By Samantha Mannis

Now, you may find yourself thinking, “huh, I may finally be able to relate to a hokey article written by a know-it-all blogger who seemingly enjoys telling me what to do.” Well, first off, let me make it clear that I am only a little bit of a bossy know it all. In truth, I am still learning a lot, but I do know a hell of a lot about self-care and improvement.

If you aren’t satisfied with where you are at professionally, don’t let your personal quells, doubts, or dilemmas get in the way of achieving your goals. Here are some tips to improve mood and boost confidence within your daily routine. A clear head will allow you to put your best foot forward and take healthy, calculated, professional risks! Still not convinced?

I thought you might not believe me, so I looked it up, and according to the Harvard Business Review, “research shows that when people work with a positive mind-set, performance on nearly every level—productivity, creativity, engagement—improves”[1]. You may scoff at some of these suggestions, but if you actually give them a real try, they could make a difference: plus, no one will know you’re trying them out, including me….so, what do you have to lose?

Smile and the World Smiles Back!

Did you know that an intentional smile can make you feel better?[2] If you force yourself to smile long enough, eventually you start to send signals to the brain to release dopamine. Suddenly your smile will be genuine, and you and the others around you will reap the benefits! When feeling stressed, overwhelmed, or down, plastering a smile on your face will definitely make you feel like an idiot. Bear with me though, if you give this a shot, it can feel like a breath of fresh air (even while stuck at a desk or a cubicle)!

Strike a power pose!

Just as you may benefit from the rush of endorphins experienced when forcing yourself to smile, changing up your body language, and maintaining good posture affects your brain similarly (If you have never watched the Ted Talk on power posing, then now is the time to check it out). Assuming “high power” body positions (as classified by Amy Cuddy at Harvard University) can have an exponential  impact on your mood, confidence and overall self-esteem (see below image).


50-90% of all communication is non-verbal: not only does body language affect how you feel within yourself, but it also influences what others think about you and the way you communicate within a group of peers[3].  So , even if you aren’t a head-strong, confident person, or are not having the best day, assuming a “high power” posture may be the way to turn your day at the office around! Take a look at the people in the images (courtesy of Amy Cuddy) and ask yourself who you have more confidence in. I’d be willing to bet your answer is the people who look like they have the most confidence in themselves!

Dress the part

Have you ever heard the saying “dress for the job you want?” While you may be a business owner within a relaxed company culture, the way you dress sets the tone for how you begin your day[4]. Whether you are a young professional, influencer, growing a start-up, or an experienced CEO, you have the power to choose how you wish to present yourself to your clients, employees, and colleagues. Although somewhat superficial, your appearance can be a way of communicating expectations and professional boundaries. Besides, taking some extra time to get ready before work is bound to add a spring in your step! Maintaining your grooming and appearance is an important part of sustaining a positive mindset within your everyday routine of self-care.

Take a Break!!!

We’ve all done it—worked through lunch when we technically are not supposed to[5]. But is skipping your lunch break that much of a time saver? Actually, it’s detrimental. You need to have a change of environment in order to restore your brain and allow ideas to gestate. Taking a quick walk outside, or even just getting away from your desk for a few minutes to stretch is better for your productivity than staying put in one place for the entirety of your work day. Do yourself a favor today and consider taking five minutes every few hours to nibble at one of those generic granola bars in the break room or going outside for a breath of fresh air and a froyo instead of flushing your productivity down the toilet. I promise you, you are worth it!

These are all wonderful tools that will make a difference in your quality of life and productivity as an entrepreneur.  You can use these techniques to instill in you a healthy mindset to propel you forward in applying innovative, effective, and healthy business strategy, skills and management, so that your business can grow and succeed.

Samantha Mannis is a writer and filmmaker with a passion for business as a third generation creative entrepreneur and autodidact. She is proud to be a part of the Ask Brien team, where she learns something new every day from colleagues and users alike! Samantha also loves her two golden retrievers, Scrabble, Italian food, and sugar cookies.

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