I just finished reading the Confidence Code, a book about how confidence hits men and women differently and what that might mean for how we pick ourselves up and throw ourselves out there. It's gotten me thinking on the subject and wanting to do more...
For me, confidence is the voice inside my head telling me I’m awesome or “go for it, Kara…just effing go for it.” It’s something I take for granted when it shows up, like a good friend, encouraging me to say yes to a speaking engagement or reveling in pride at a workshop done well.
I feel it more when it’s not there…When I whisper self-doubts about my ability to take wolf & heron from startup business to big girl business. I know I’m not alone, because it can be easier to see this play out in others than in ourselves.
Just the other day, a woman, who I often admire for her gumption, her unapologetic alpha-ness, her powerful and aggressive femininity, struggled with a crisis of confidence. My business partner, Stephanie, will often share that one of her values is courage. I don’t think that’s because it comes easy to her…in some ways I think it’s one of her values because it’s a struggle, and that much more rewarding when she finds it.
Recently, she put a meeting on my calendar. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss a connection she had made and her follow-up with that person. After we did some googling, linkedin stalking and chatting about what we might learn from this contact, where we might find common interests, what they might care about that we have to offer, we got to this place where it felt like we were all of a sudden treading water. The only thing left to do was send the email, do the follow-up. But I kept offering solutions and Stephanie wasn’t saying much, and I felt her lack of confidence coming through the cellphone. “What’s going on? What makes this so hard? I feel like you have a barrier up.”
Stephanie was afraid. She lacked confidence and she lacked courage in that moment. Again, this happens to her, happens to me all the time. You know what helps, though? Recognizing it. Saying it out loud. And then breaking that fear into pieces. After just a few minutes of putting the fear on the metaphorical table in front of our eyes, and tearing it up by reframing those fears into something positive, Stephanie’s already over it, “I got this, done, let’s move on.”
So, how do you get over a confidence killer?
Stay observant of yourself. Self-awareness is key. You can’t turn it around if you don’t recognize it. And surround yourself with people that can help catch you in these moments and then support you in a way to stand up to your confidence killers.
What if every time those knuckleheads showed up we were able to kick them out the door? How cool would that be? How amazing would you feel?
PS – We’ve created a free tool to help you recognize and stand up to your confidence killers. Download here.
-- Kara Davidson, co-founder, wolf & heron