Confidence – it’s hard to even define. I could define other characteristics of a woman – integrity, intelligent, leader, etc.
There’s something slippery about confidence. There’s something about it that has this veneer or feels a little contrived – maybe its from the whole “fake it til you make it” thing.
Studies have shown that success correlates more closely with confidence than it does with competence. I’m gonna say this again for all the perfectionists reading – success correlates more closely with confidence than it does with competence. That means, that when it comes to being successful, particularly in your professions, having confidence is more important than doing this right or even doing them well. Which for me actually takes a ton of pressure off.
You know it when you see it, you certainly know it when it’s missing, and we all want it. Maybe we don’t necessarily all want the spotlight, but we all want to feel confident doing the things that matter to us, in the decisions we make, in how we’re walking in our calling and purpose.
So if we feel insecure or lacking confidence, even if it’s only in a particular area in our lives, how do we get more confident. I wish I had some secret formula, check list program I could offer you. But the truth is that confidence is both an art and a science. And it’s actually quite nuanced.
And in the science there are factors, some of which are just beyond our control. Scientific research as shown through studying genetic markers that some people are just born more confident than others. And when confidence is studied between the genders, male and female brains work differently is ways that affect our confidence.
But the good news, is that a big part of having confidence is volitional – it is a choice that we make to be more confident.
And there are a lot of ways to do it, but they all pretty much boil down to this – start doing, take action, start risking and start failing. Stop apologizing and second-guessing and making excuses and being wishy-washy. When we’re not sure if we can succeed, it stops us women from even trying. We’re so obsessed with getting things right that we’re paralyzed in fear of getting things wrong.
There’s no way around it – confidence is linked to doing.
So if I’m going to sum it all up today – if you want to become more confident at something – do more, think less.
- Public speaking, speak up
- Disciplining your kids, figure out your approach and do it
- Sharing your opinions, release what people will think and start sharing
- Making decisions, start making them quickly and release them – stop wavering and make a decision and tweak and pivot as needed – but you’ve gotta act.
The starting point for risk, failure, perseverance, and ultimately confidence, is a way of thinking. So it’s one part mindset-stuff. This is a growth mindset. It’s this mindset that what happens when I take action, is actually happening FOR ME! Everything is an opportunity for me to learn, grow, get better. We have to have a growth mindset and actually believe that skills can be learned which will lead to us doing new things. A growth mindset isn’t too worried about the risks and it makes us way more resilient when we fail.
So that’s the mindset part, but you guys know me and you know that I don’t only coach from the neck up – I’ll always coach the whole of you. So yes, there’s a mindset component, but there’s also a body component. A somatic component. A nervous system component. So it’s great to practice a growth mindset, but if you want to become a more confident public speaking and you finally get on a stage and your body is so dysregulated that you’re heart is beating out of your chest and your brain shuts down and none of the words come out, your mindset is only gonna get you so far. So the other component to confidence, in my opinion, is to get really efficient at regulating your nervous system – i.e., having tools you’re used before, that you know work for your body, to be able to calm yourself the heck down when you need to. This is my bread and butter friends. This is what I love coaching on. A regulated nervous system is your superpower.
For me, I know that when I’m feeing the jitters and all that nervous energy before I’m going to do something new that Im not that confident in yet, I know what works to calm me down. For me, it’s shaking and breathwork. So you better believe before I’m going to give a speech or be interviewed or in law right before I have a big hearing before a judge, I look a complete fool and I put on some music if I can, and I jump around and shake my arms and legs like a lunatic. And what I’m doing, is I’m moving this nervous energy out of my body. I’m allowing it to flow and release it, instead of holding it in where it becomes paralyzing. If you don’t let it out, it’s going to take so much effort to bottle it all and hold it in, that’s going to take away from the task at hand.
And if what I’m trying to do involves speaking, I also do exercises involving sound and focusing on releasing any energy stuck in my throat so I can communicate clearly when I need to. And then I do some simple breathwork to bring everything down to stable so I can show up how I want to, in confidence. And that’s what works for me – you need to find what works for your body. I have tons of regulation resources I teach, you can probably even google some and try them out. But having a few quick tools in your back pocket that you know calm your nervous system is so so powerful in having confidence.
The thing about confidence is that it spills over. So you get confident doing one thing, and you’re going to grow confidence to try another thing, and then it snowballs.
When you’re lacking confidence you can’t fully contribute to a system that’s in great need of female leadership and YOUR voice.