When you’re working to secure a new client, trying to empower your employees, or looking to make a good impression in your virtual network, showing initiative is the best way to earn recognition for your work. It can be tempting to blend into the crowd and keep the status quo, especially when speaking up and standing out can feel nerve-wracking. But no great success comes without calculated risk, and if you want to level up in your industry, showing your unique skill sets will be crucial to your next steps. Here are some things to keep in mind the next time fear or insecurity steals your confidence.

Being Nervous Is Normal

If you get intense butterflies in your stomach before presenting or second-guess your big ideas, you’re completely normal. Most people think that confident people never feel anxiety before these moments, but it’s quite the opposite. You become fearless by facing fear and not running away from it. That doesn’t make the moment less scary over time necessarily, but it does mean you will become accustomed to feeling the fear and doing it anyway. It’s a valuable mental muscle building process.

Don’t Tell Yourself ‘No’ Before You Hear a ‘No’

Too many times we leave good ideas trapped in our own mental barriers. Opportunities to take the lead get lost because we are too afraid of rejection. But here’s the thing—you don’t know until you try. If you decide to step into a leadership role, there are two outcomes: 1) You will get feedback on how to improve/refine your approach to become better. Or 2) Your leadership will be well received, and you will earn more opportunities to do it again. You can’t lose!

No One Is Better Than You. They’ve Just Been Doing It Longer!

Everyone starts somewhere. While it can be intimidating and shaky to tackle a leadership role, everyone before you had to do the same thing at one point in his or her career too. You’ve made it in to the room, which means you’re qualified and your clients and your team have confidence in your abilities. Don’t let imposter syndrome stop you from making the impact you want to make at your company. You deserve to be where you are.  Show them that.

There Is No “Failure,” Just Moments Of Learning And Moments Of Leading

At any given point, we are all experimenting. We come up with a strategy to see if it sticks to acquire a new client. We try out some new team building exercise to see if it enhances corporate culture. We decide to tackle our Q2 goals with a bit more vigor. Whatever moment you are at in building your business, you’re either in a learning moment or a leading moment. While it would be comforting to always stay in a leading moment, you and the company wouldn’t evolve that way! There’s a time to sit back and watch and a time to be hands-on. With this in mind, you have no reason to shy away from taking the lead. Each time you experiment you gather more data on how to win. Experience is the greatest teacher.