Did you know there are two types of confidence?
One is a feeling you can have at any given moment that you can literally feel. Maybe you’re totally prepared for the presentation you are about to give, you know you know your stuff and you’re proud of your work. Yet you are still nervous because public speaking can be nerve-racking and, let’s be honest, anything can happen when you are in front of a live audience.
And then there’s the type of confidence that lives much deeper below the surface that you might not even notice most of the time. You don’t think about it, because you are it. It is ingrained into your personality and mindset and influences how you approach and interact with every experience in your life. It’s the filter through which you assess opportunities, but much more than that, it decides which opportunities are available for you to consider in the first place.
It’s called “True Confidence,” and I’ve found that the key to a successful and fulfilling life is to focus on banking true confidence.
How to Bank True Confidence
There’s a great TED talk about how body language alone can actually change your physiology. In it, Amy Cuddy shares that if you stand with your arms on your hips or raised above your head like a superhero, you can manufacture an instant feeling of more confidence.
And it really works! I always do it before I go on stage to give myself an extra boost.
But what is it that moves someone to take all the necessary steps to get to that stage in the first place? That requires true confidence in yourself, which opens your mind to see all the steps required, and have the guts to take them, even when some of them are scary. (And here is my TEDx talk on how to bank more true confidence!)
We all have some degree of true confidence in ourselves, and if we didn’t we’d be holed up in our parents’ basement playing Second Life. But how much true confidence we have determines a lot: how you show up in your life each day, how you tackle life’s opportunities, and what opportunities are even available to you in the first place.
The more true confidence you have, the larger the literal and metaphorical stages you will make available to yourself. And that’s why I’d argue that focusing on banking true confidence— rather than banking assets or money or even skills— is the key to gaining the life you want.
So how do you bank true confidence? You do it by “taking leaps.”
I define taking a leap as doing something you are personally driven to do, even if doing sp is hard, or scary, or doesn’t have any clear upfront value, or a clear path to success. In our results-driven society, most of us avoid taking “leaps” at all costs, and in my observation, that is costing us dearly.
What Stops Us From Taking Leaps?
When you’re watching a great movie, you don’t want to know how it ends. That spoils it! The whole reason we enjoy movies is that we like to be surprised, we don’t want to know what’s coming next.
But in life, we seem to want the opposite, don’t we? We desperately want to be able to control and try to predict what will happen to us.
And because of that, we do a lot of things to feel like we’re in control— like get reliable jobs, contribute to retirement accounts, buy insurance, and save money.
Except… the joke is on us. Because we all know we can never control what’s going to happen. We just try to ignore this fact because it’s scary. Instead, we focus our energy on trying to control and predict outcomes in our lives, chasing certainty in an uncertain world.
But chasing uncertainty, and making decisions based largely on plowing into the discomfort of uncertain situations on purpose is actually how you bank the kind of true confidence I’m talking about. And true confidence is both your amour and your life source, because when you have enough of it, it guarantees that you will flourish no matter what happens in life. When you have it, you have trained to be ready for anything.
The reason taking leaps will get you there is because it teaches your mind and body to get used to detaching from the outcome. The more you do it, the more your body and brain learn that you can handle things when you don’t know what’s happening next. And when you do these things, you build the muscle of true confidence.
In other words, you become confident that, no matter where you land, you’ll know where you are and how to find your way forward.
It’s Time To Put An End To “Imposter Syndrome” We’ve all felt it, myself included.
Imposter Syndrome is a feeling we get when we do things we’ve never done before, so we feel like an “imposter” because we don’t know if we are doing it right or well. This leads to feeling inadequate.
But what’s really going on when you have those “imposter” feelings? You are actually taking a leap!
When you’re an expert at what you do, the only time you’re ever going to feel like an imposter is if you are taking the bold step of stretching outside your comfort zone, doing something you haven’t done before. And for people who want to grow and learn and build confidence so they can have a larger impact and influence more people, it is the only path.
Leaping past your limits to grow personally or professionally requires you to try new things. And trying new things by definition means you are going to be inexperienced at first.
But being inexperienced doesn’t make you an imposter, it makes you a Badass for going for it! And the sooner you stop labeling inexperience as “imposter syndrome,” and start seeing it as a gutsy, huge leap toward being the person you want to be, not only will you be banking true confidence, you’ll be more willing to take even bigger leaps in the future.
In the first years of my business, I felt like an imposter whenever I left my comfort zone.
The first time I went to a networking event and had to stand up in front of a room of 20 people and give my elevator pitch, I was terrified. I was literally shaking. I couldn’t listen to anyone else in the room because all I was thinking about was my own 30 seconds and what I would say, terrified to embarrass myself. And as if I wasn’t already nervous enough, thanks to my very creative partner and husband, my speech started by saying my company was called “Worstofall Design.” Not only had I never done this, but I was afraid I wouldn’t be taken seriously! Talk about a double whammy of insecurity!
But I stood up and gave my speech. I did it every week. Then I started going to events and stood up in front of rooms of 100 people or more to give my elevator pitch. Then I started giving speeches in front of small rooms of people, which was nerve-racking on a whole other level. Each time I reached a new level of speaking, I felt like an imposter all over again.
But years later, as I continued to get opportunities to speak on bigger stages to bigger crowds, one day I noticed the nerves had completely disappeared! I had spoken in front of rooms of people so many times, I genuinely didn’t even feel the anxiety anymore. And more than that, I started to look at other people on stages or with businesses, much farther ahead than my own, and started to view what they were doing as not only possible but a foregone conclusion if I decided to pursue it.
From this vantage point, I could finally see how calling my fear “imposter syndrome” all that time had been perpetuating it. From then on, instead of thinking of myself as an imposter every time I tried something new, I started embracing the anxious feelings that came from leaping out of my comfort zone, and even welcoming opportunities to do newer, bigger, scarier things.
I now know that each time I had felt like an imposter, I was really taking a LEAP, banking more true confidence and illuminating new possibilities an “imposter” would never even see. This revelation fundamentally altered how I show up in times of uncertainty, and continues to expand my view of what’s possible in my business and life.
Want True Confidence? Do this:
When you work for yourself, it’s not easy to know when you’re succeeding or failing. Most people use income as the measuring stick.
But I encourage you to stop doing that and instead focus on taking leaps and banking the true confidence that comes with them. When you do, you’ll see your returns naturally grow and your revenue exponentially increases as a direct byproduct of all the true confidence you’ve banked by taking leaps.
Why? Because the more true confidence you bank, the more options you’ll create and make available in your business. You literally can’t see all the opportunities that are available to you until you bank enough true confidence to see them.
When you focus on taking leaps and banking true confidence, you will be able to see that life can be whatever you want it to be. And you’ll have the true confidence to follow your desires and trust yourself to always find and take the necessary steps to make it happen.
If you want to start working on how you show up in your business like a boss instead of doing what others say and constantly feigning confidence until you make it, my new course was made for YOU. Take a leap right now by signing up for the free crash course and start banking true confidence today!