I think confidence is one of the sexiest and more powerful qualities in a person. This is coming from me, the girl who was always referred to as “shy and soft-spoken.” The girl who never wanted to speak in front of the class and who would rather dig herself into a hole than to be the center of attention. Or slip under the kitchen table the moment people started singing happy birthday with cheeks blushing red. I was far from confident!
Isn’t funny how things can change?! Now I’ve taught on stages around the country, both a teacher and speaker. I’ve been interviewed on expert panels in front of business professionals and university students. I’ve talked and performed in front of more cameras than I can count with bright studio spotlights and media crews staring at me.
If I’d told my 8-year-old self that this would be her life. No joke or exaggeration but she would’ve glued her bedroom door shut.
I still get bloody nervous before any public speaking or before entering a new or unfamiliar situation. The difference is that now I’m secure with who I am and my message, and that’s all I’m focusing on. I know I can only bring value by being myself and that gives me confidence.
And to be even more clear. When I say confidence, I’m not talking a-hole confidence. That should never be misinterpreted as true confidence. A-hole confidence comes from trying to mask fear. Usually fear of rejection or inadequacy which makes some want to belittle and/or bring other people down.
Let’s look at the Oxford Dictionary…
“the state of feeling certain about the truth of something.”
“a feeling of self-assurance arising from one’s appreciation of one’s abilities or qualities.”
Appreciation of one’s own abilities or qualities.
Not trying to be anyone else because you know the truth- that you are more than enough.
What if I fail in front of all these people? I was embarrassed before anything had even happened!
I was focusing on “what if’s” and the worst potential outcome. My guess is that you do the same.
Here’s the thing though…
And let’s be honest, you are your own worse critic. People are too busy and think about themselves or something they got going on. Most won’t even notice that you stumbled, said something wrong or messed it up. Only you do.
I’ll even own my mess-ups now. Like “omg, did you guys notice I said sausage instead of success?!” or “Holy cow! I almost face planted!”
I’m not gonna lie, I’m a little clumsy but instead of seeing it as a failing quality about myself (like I did before,) I see it as something people can relate to. Maybe even find it charming.
Like who cares if you don’t do everything perfect. NO ONE DOES. Even my mentors, your mentors, everyone FUCK UP. It’s ok. I actually think it’s pretty great.
Most of all I want you to remember this…
It’s not your job to convince anyone to like you. How other people perceive you, hate to break it to you, but it’s not your business. No matter how hard you try to impress them. Your only thing to focus should be on being you. And cut yourself some damn slack.
Here’s an exercise to help you out…
To help you feel more confident with who YOU are, make a list of 10 attributes/qualities that you like about yourself.
Are you energetic, funny, generous, driven, have an attention to details, and a passion to solve problems?
Make sure THIS is your focus. Nothing else.
No one wins when you are not being you. We benefit from each other when we are all bringing our unique abilities into this world. Not the same. I mean think about it, a bunch of samesies won’t get anything done, right?! It’s like the ecosystem, we all have our roles and purposes.
Tell me below at least five of your favorite qualities about yourself.
There’s a reason I want you to do this. I want you to see how the other person above you has similar but best of all, different, qualities than you.
Strength is bringing our differences together.
ps. A lot of our insecurities comes from the beliefs we tell ourselves subconsciously, here’s an article that can help you break those self-limiting beliefs.