Some wear lucky items such as clothing and jewellery or carry gemstones to give them confidence when doing business, while others make time for rituals, prayer, or daily affirmations in the hope they’ll up their performance and improve business fortunes.

And while there are people who’d dismiss a reliance on ‘charms’ as irrational and even flaky, research shows that activating a superstition boosts confidence and in turn improves performance.

In other words, simply believing in luck can be a powerful factor in increasing personal confidence, optimism and business success.

Darrell Sansom, Managing Director at AXA Business Insurance, who conducted the research, suggested that while being lucky may well be a state of mind, anything that builds business confidence should be welcomed, and over and above that, there are actions you can take to improve your ‘luck’ and other fortuitous coincidences in business. He said:

“Day in day out I meet people who are building successful companies in harsh and incredibly competitive environments. I’m always interested to hear their stories, but often, when I congratulate them on their success they tell me the same thing: ‘I’ve been very lucky’. And while there’s a level of modesty and self-deprecation in such a statement, I’m convinced that anyone who says such a thing believes it to be true to a greater or lesser degree.

“Some people say the harder you work the luckier you become, and that’s definitely a view I’d subscribe to. Without skill, talent, hard graft and great ideas, you’re unlikely to make it on happenstance alone.

“But I also believe that luck is a state of mind, and believing that you are lucky builds confidence and resilience.

“And just as you are more likely to win the lottery if you buy a ticket, you’re more likely to achieve the best things in business if you go out and get them.”