Hey There, thanks for tuning into the Confident Careerist Podcast. I’m your host Teena Evert Founder and CEO of CLAIM THE LEAD, and today I want to talk more about the C-word.
If you didn’t listen to last week’s episode, you’d want to go back and check out EP54, where I share the #1 Thing That Stops Ambitious Women From Success.
Now the C-word…CONFIDENCE. I’m so obsessed with this that I searched for the best selling books on the topic and placed a rather large order. This month I’m diving into the C-word…NO not that one, I’m talking about CONFIDENCE.
I want to learn more about other people’s experiences and perspectives on this topic. Do you have a favorite book you can share? If so, please let me know, and maybe, just maybe, I can get the author to be on the show. It’s always wise to plant seeds for the future!
In last week’s episode, I described what I think a confident careerist is—someone who is career-minded, focused on what they want, competent in their craft, evident in their intentions, and determined to make a positive difference in others’ lives and the world.
I’ll be interviewing some fantastic careerists this month who will be sharing what confidence means to them. They have valuable insights and tools to share that will inspire you to grow your confidence – I can’t wait!
From my experience, confidence is an embodied feeling that is focused, competent, clear, and determined. I feel a lack of confidence when I’m not focused or unsure about my ability to succeed and ambivalent about my determination to even try.
What does confidence feel like to you?
What do you do to get a daily boost of confidence?
Or are you doing things that diminish your confidence – by breaking promises that you made to yourself?
Think about it…when you make a promise to yourself to do something important to you, and you DON’T do it—what happens? How does it make you feel? What happens to your energy, your attitude, and your actions?
If you do this continually over time, the confidence in yourself diminishes. It’s not about being perfect; sometimes, we have good reason to break our promises to ourselves, right?
The key is to be conscious of your actions towards yourself and don’t make a habit of breaking your promises. Instead, get into the routine of doing something that gives you a daily boost of confidence.
What is that for you?
I’ll share a few exercises to help you come up with your unique confidence boosters.
First, brainstorm all of the things you do that bring you joy or light you up. The result is that you feel good about yourself and confident in who you are as a person.
- Set the timer on your phone for 15 minutes. Put pen to paper and just free-write everything that comes to mind. Don’t overthink it—keep your pen moving or your fingers typing if you choose to do it on a computer.
- Once complete, take a look at all of the things you wrote down. You might be surprised to see what you’re already doing to boost your confidence. What are some new things that you can add?
Now for a bit of a challenge. Are you ready, willing, and able to get out of your comfort zone?
If so, I invite you to do the same activity, but this time, brainstorm all the things that you’re afraid of or, in other words, all the things you resist or avoid. These things use up your vital energy.
- Set a timer for 15 minutes and go! Don’t overthink it. Just keep your pen moving or your fingers typing.
- Once complete, take a look at all of the things you wrote down. What fears on your list are you willing to face?
- Pick your top 3, and they don’t have to be the biggest fears, but those that will have the most significant impact in your life once you overcome them.
Now please go back to your list of confidence boosters and choose the ones that are needed to help you face those fears head-on.
Here’s an example from my life.
While out riding my bike this week— I had a big message inside of me come to the surface while climbing up a steep hill. I felt like shouting it out from the mountain tops. That message was a question, “DO YOU SEE ME?” It repeated several times, and each time it got louder and stronger. I got up out of the saddle on my bike and sprinted to the top as I felt the strength of this message inside, shouting, “DO YOU SEE ME?” “DO YOU SEE ME?”
The energy behind this message wasn’t fear, but more like a powerful declaration. It was a feeling of confidence and a strong desire to be seen. I don’t know about you, but being seen, is something that I have held fear around for a long time.
If I go way, way, back to my childhood years, I can remember feeling invisible. I wasn’t sure if I truly existed.
After years of participating in therapy, and being a licensed therapist myself, my understanding of this now is that I did not feel safe and secure in my environment or with my primary caregiver. Therefore, my primitive nervous system was locked into a state of fear that kept my survival instincts on overdrive.
Our survival instincts are to fight, flee, or freeze. I couldn’t flee, I couldn’t fight, so I froze. I went so deep inside myself to where I felt invisible to survive the pain of not feeling safe and secure.
At the time, this was a brilliant survival strategy, and I did indeed survive! When I got older and was able to fight or flee, I did this too. My fighting and fleeing behaviors certainly got me to be seen but unfortunately, in a negative way. So I internalized all kinds of self-limiting messages about myself for being seen and heard—I’m selfish, I’m not worthy, valuable, or matter.
The push-pull energy between wanting to be seen and not wanting to be seen followed me into my adult years and broke my confidence as a professional whenever I needed to be in the spotlight. I would go right back into my survival instincts.
There I was on the stage; I couldn’t flee, what would my audience think? I couldn’t fight; there was no one to fight with, but myself (that came later with severe self-criticism)? Unfortunately, I froze; my default behavior was when my body or experience didn’t feel safe and secure.
I’d go blank, disconnect from my body, and feel so much shame and zero confidence. I would even go so far as to say I felt invisible again. I’d get through but on auto-pilot, because if I prepared enough, I could pull it off, if I had to improv forget it – complete stage fright, it’s real!
Once the freeze response moved through my body and I was no longer in a situation that felt stressful and unsafe, I’d feel a surge of energy or passion, an internal fight to be seen, “DO YOU SEE ME?”
Maybe this is what was surging inside as I was riding my bike up the steep grade, pushing myself to my limits? Perhaps part of me had been frozen for a long time that was finally melting and releasing from the amount of energy and heat that I was exerting?
Whatever the case, I felt utterly ALIVE, EMPOWERED, and EXCITED to engage in life and to be seen. I dismounted off of my bike and wonder, how long will this last?
The fear of being seen and not being seen.
When I get home, I reviewed my list of confidence boosters. On my list, I saw three things that could help me face this fear so that it no longer hindered my ability to gain visibility and success as a business owner.
The 3 confident boosters that helped me break up with my fear of being seen and gain greater visibility, recognition, and success were:
- Keep speaking. Get on more platforms to share your message, and allow yourself to be seen and heard. Due to the pandemic, most speaking opportunities are virtual, which could be as simple as speaking up more during your online meetings. Consider being more vocal about what you believe in and what value you can contribute by sharing your passion with others.
- Stay active. Perform challenging physical activities that allow you to get in touch with your body. Cycling and yoga, what works for me! It could be jumping rope or going for a brisk walk. Think about what you can do to move your body so you can feel invigorated and refreshed regularly.
- Be engaged. Although many of us are experiencing physical distance due to the pandemic, we can still stay emotionally connected. I know that I need to keep showing up in life and engage in positive support so that I feel emotionally connected. It gives me that felt sense that I do exist. Spending quality time in nature also helps me to stay engaged and feel connected to something greater.
As I consciously do these 3 things regularly, I begin to experience the grip of fear release and free me up to open up and fully express who I am. I can shout from the mountain tops, “DO YOU SEE ME?” And when I hear the echo back that says, “YES!”
The difference is that I don’t cower, shrink, close down, or disappear. I stand tall, fully in my power, and open to receive.
I feel CONFIDENT. Embodied, focused, competent, clear, and determined.
Back to STEP 3
Go back to your list of confidence boosters and choose the ones needed to help you face your fears. Remember, pick your top 3, and they don’t have to be the biggest fears, but the ones that will have the most significant impact in your life once you overcome them.
- It might be the fear of being seen even though you want to gain more visibility at work and or receive more recognition for your hard work.
- It might be a fear of failing or the fear of being judged.
- Are you afraid to speak up because you won’t be taken seriously? Are you afraid of being taken advantage of because you don’t feel respected in the workplace?
Fear arises when we judge what is happening, and we typically have a ‘story’ that we make up about it. When we un-attach from our story, we stop judging the story as either bad or good- it just is.
It helps us loosen the grip of fear to raise our vibe and our confidence to feel more empowered in our life.
If you had 50% more confidence, what would change for you? If you could make one change in your life tomorrow, what would it be?
Sometimes it can be challenging to pinpoint what it is that we want to change in our life. We can feel lost in the direction our life is going.
I have changed my career seven times since college graduation. It demonstrates my fearless ability to take risks and try new things and navigate significant change, but I lacked guidance, support, and a clear direction.
I struggled to move forward in my life and career because of a negative pattern that went something like this…
I was so busy doing things to improve my life, yet there was this feeling that no matter what I did to try to change it for the better, it never felt like it was enough. No matter how hard I tried and pushed to improve things, it didn’t move me ahead far enough to where I could feel content, relaxed, and satisfied.
I didn’t feel energized by my efforts; I felt exhausted. My confidence was diminishing, and I was losing trust in myself and my ability to succeed.
Facing our fears, learning to navigate obstacles in our path, and overcoming adversity are part of everyone’s journey. I was once at a place along my journey where I realized I needed to find a new path forward because the one I was on was not leading me in the right direction.
I needed help to figure out my next best steps to get on the right path and the skills to help me stay on course and not get derailed along the way. I wanted to matter and feel on fire about my work; I wanted to feel excited about my life and career have something to aim for.
I was no longer willing to tolerate feeling lost, caught in a pattern of over efforting and pushing hard to make things happen with very little progress. This pattern wore me down, physically, mentally, and emotionally. My self-confidence tanked, and I lost hope in my ability to be successful. I needed help figuring this out, so I sought out a professional to help.
We all get caught in negative patterns that can cause us to feel lost, alone, and isolated. I had to realize that I was not alone, that other people were struggling just like I was, and that professional support and guidance could help me change what I could not see.
I had to accept that I wasn’t creating long-term change by oscillating between pushing hard to resolve an issue or withdrawing to keep the peace. This exact pattern is what kept me stuck and unable to move forward.
I had to learn the art of working smarter, not harder. Just like on my bike. I had to learn how to ride smarter to be able to complete the more challenging rides. If I just pushed harder, I would over effort and burn up all my fuel before reaching the finish.
I had to gain clarity about what I was doing that was sabotaging my success. The clearer I got, the more empowered and confident I became in my ability to change and move forward with results.
I feel honored to provide guidance and support for others to gain the clarity and confidence they need to move forward in their life and career. I help my clients create a life and career that aligns with their values, strengths, interests, skills, and talents.
It’s critical to be clear about who you are so that you can make well-informed decisions about your future and feel empowered, competent, and confident in doing so.
If you think you or someone you know could benefit from gaining more clarity and focus in your life and career, I invite you to directly reach out to me and schedule a free consultation session.
During this session, we’ll explore where you’re at and where it is you want to go and the steps you can take today to start to gain some traction in getting there!
Until next time,