If you’ve been keeping up with The Four Percent this month, you may have read the two contributions I posted in collaboration with life coaches, and personal friends, Annie Nogg, and Eva Redpath. The idea for this wellness series was born after connecting with several clients, IRL and in my DM’s.
It seemed like we were all feeling the same: wanting something more for our lives, but feeling a little unsure as to how to move forward.
My goal was to provide resources to help you find your way to push past whatever block you’re experiencing to empower you in your pursuits. If you haven’t read Annie or Eva’s words, please take a quick minute to do so, I promise it’s time well spent.
The third and final installment in this wellness series is brought to you by the INCREDIBLE Jacq Gould. If you don’t know her, get yourself ready. She’s a Chicago-based certified Mentality Coach, Podcast Host, and Self-
Annie and Eva’s thoughts so inspired me, but I couldn’t help feeling there was one piece of our puzzle missing, having the confidence to enact change. And after talking with Jacq, I realized confidence is COMPLICATED, and there are a lot of myths about confidence itself.
I asked Jacq; can you DEBUNK the myths about confidence?
Spoiler alert: She fahkin’ delivered.
The below is written by Jacq, in her words, from her point of view. Take a read and soak it in. THIS POST IS LONG, BUT IT IS WORTH THE FULL READ, BISHES. So grab your cup or glass (hey, it’s 5:00 PM somewhere!!!) and have at it.
Jacq, take it away.
3 Myths About Confidence, Debunked
“Just be confident!”
How many times have you heard that and thought, “OMFG! For sure! It worked!”
Like, never? Right, same.
Self-love is a choice, one that we have to make every single day consciously. It’s not always easy, and sometimes you need help clearing the clutter that gets in the way of prioritizing YOU.
First things first, let me introduce myself. I’m Jacq Gould, a certified mentality coach, self-worth enthusiast, and founder of YOUR INNER BABE. I work with clients of all ages, one-on-one, and in groups, to help shift their mindset from that of self-doubt to self-love, through self-discovery.
Growing up, I struggled deeply with my confidence. I started YOUR INNER BABE to help others learn to own their inner struggles and turn the whole damn thing around. YOUR INNER BABE bridges the gap between feeling alone and feeling supported. Together, clients and I unwrap what gets in the way of prioritizing their happiness, kick the inner drama to the curb, and pave the way to unrestrained acceptance.
I pride myself on practicing what I preach. I transformed my relationship with myself by shifting my perspective, and now I CHOOSE to love myself every single day.
Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way let’s talk about confidence.
Confidence is trendy right now, especially at the start of a new year. Don’t get me wrong, that’s a great thing. But I know for a fact, not everyone has a handle on what confidence means because I did not, once upon a time. For example, many of my clients come to me and admit confidence is mysterious. They consider it aspirational and far away. It’s the planet you want to reach, but you’re not sure if the spaceship you’re on is going to get you there. (I love a good metaphor.)
It’s a common believe we have to be confident to achieve our goals, which seems aspirational on the surface, but in reality, it suggests that being insecure is shameful. That lack of confidence is a weakness or a character flaw.
Well, that’s a myth.
Like body “positivity.” It implies that to be confident, we have to absolutely love ourselves, every inch of ourselves at all times.
Let’s be real.
NO ONE LOVES THEMSELVES, LET ALONE THEIR BODY 24-7.
We ALL have off days.
But when we do work to accept our imperfections and let’s say we’re successful 99% of the time, we shouldn’t ever feel wrong or discouraged if ONE DAY we look in the mirror and wish something away.
That’s called being human.
To me, the authentic alternative is body CONFIDENCE because that gives us the space to find true confidence in what makes you, YOU.
How can you gain confidence when you’re putting yourself down for lacking it in the first place? There has to be a better way, and lucky for you, there is! Here are a few more confidence myths floating around that I’d love to debunk once and for all.
Myth #1: CONFIDENCE IS ROOTED IN APPEARANCE.
Let’s get this one out of the way immediately.
Many people emphasize confidence in appearance. It’s been hammered into our heads that all it takes to get the guy or score the job is a little confidence. But the one doing the hammering is often an AIRBRUSHED celebrity on a magazine cover or an airbrushed influencer on your Instagram feed, FaceTuned & filtered into oblivion. It’s more than subliminal messaging. We look at them, the image of what society has deemed “perfect” and instantly link their confidence, AKA, their success, with their appearance.
Naturally, we start to think, “Once I look a certain way, I’ll be confident, THEN I’ll achieve all my goals.” So we set goals related to improving our appearance in the hope that we’ll gain confidence along the way.
But deep down, we all know that’s bullshit.
Looks fade—your mind is where it’s at.
Confidence, like self-worth, comes from within. So, find what makes you unique and run with that. Real confidence comes from knowing you have something to offer the world that no one else does, and believe me, you have it. You have to overcome that nagging fear we ALL have that tells us we’re not good enough. Do something that scares you every day. For some people, that might be applying for your dream job or booking a solo trip to another country. For others, it might be walking out of the house.
It’s a spectrum.
But facing your fears will give you confidence in your abilities, because you know if you can overcome yourself, you can overcome anything.
Myth #2: CONFIDENCE IS LINKED TO PERSONALITY TYPE.
OK, so if confidence isn’t rooted in my appearance, it links to my personality, right? Some people just have it. “Maybe she’s born with it.”
Ok lol. Nope.
Think of anything you’ve ever had in your life that was worth having. Were you born with it? Hell no, you had to work for it. It’s the same with confidence. It’s not linked to being an extrovert. You don’t have to love being the center of attention or even enjoy talking to people to radiate confidence.
I, for example, am an introvert, a closeted one, but an introvert nonetheless (my friends refer to me as the hermit crab). And I’m confident as hell, most days.
When I feel the most confidence, it isn’t when I’m on a panel speaking in front of people or making a group of my friends laugh. It’s when I’m sitting with a client, feeling like I’m making a difference in her mindset — making a difference in how she feels about herself — helping HER confidence. Those moments are when I get to believe in my skills and in my ability to help others. That’s my purpose in this world.
Myth #3: CONFIDENCE IS FIXED.
Confidence isn’t an achievement. I’m sorry to break it to you, but it’s not something you can check off your to-do list. Some days I wake up feeling absolutely fire, and three hours later, I feel like shit. Does it mean I’m not a confident person? Of course not. It just means I’m HUMAN. Confidence, like the rest of our human emotions, feelings, and experiences, is fluid. It ebbs and flows based on what’s happening in your life, your day, or even this very minute.
Take a second right now and become aware of your posture. Chances are, you’re hunched over your computer or cranking your neck over your phone. How does it feel? If I were a betting woman, I’d say, probably not so great.
So now, sit up tall, push your shoulders back, and face forward—tell me that doesn’t make a difference!
Posture ultimately influences our perception of confidence, whether it’s how others see us or in our minds. I make some of my clients stand like Wonder Woman: feet apart, hands-on-hips. Sometimes, the smallest things can immediately make us feel more powerful and in control.
Remember that. And also remember that even the most confident person in the world can falter—it doesn’t mean she’s failing.
So, all this info is great, I know.
But what are some ways to boost your confidence, right NOW?
I want to share a few tools that I use when I feel I need that extra boost.
The first is connecting to your BREATH.
BREATHING IS everything.
You might be thinking, well, I DO breathe, Jacq. But truth be told, most of us have dysfunctional breathing patterns that contribute significantly to our insecurities and anxiety.
But the power of your breath and your ability to access it when you need to slow down or slow your mind down from spinning into the black hole of insecurity is tremendous AND extremely easy.
There are a ton of mild breathing cadences that can help you reconnect to yourself at any given moment. I love 5, 5, 7. That’s an inhale for 5 seconds, hold at the top for 5 seconds, and a long exhale of 7 seconds. If you’re a visual learner, envision a triangle.
What I love so much about this breathing pattern, is that no one even has to know you’re doing it. I practice it in meetings or on calls. I have even had clients who used it on dates! It goes completely undetected, and it quickly drops you back into yourself.
It feels like confidence magic.
The second tool is GRATITUDE.
Having a gratitude practice is so powerful. It helps us take a moment to recognize the good in our lives. It’s a quick and easy way to feel confident in all that we already have, versus getting stuck magnifying all that we think we want.
Give the last five minutes of your night to a short gratitude practice and meditation. Put on music without lyrics or your favorite soundscape and sit in a quiet, comfortable position. Breathe in, Breathe out. Then write out three things you are grateful for in the present moment. It could be your dog, the meal you had for dinner. The weather outside or a loved one. Whatever it is, ask yourself, “What am I grateful for in this very moment?”
It’s incredible how something that simple can so quickly warm and fill your heart.
Lastly, I love using I AM statements.
I write out a gratitude list, and I AM statements to bookend my day. I write them out right before I go to sleep because, despite all that transpired throughout the day, it helps me shift focus back to all the good within me and my life.
The most significant difference between I AM statements and gratitudes, are that the I AM’s are internal and rooted in the SELF. For example, I AM radiant. I AM confident. I AM enough, whereas gratitude can be in the external. Think of I AM statements like instructions to the universe. How do you WANT to feel when you wake up? Every word you speak can be an affirmation because the subconscious is always listening.
Your journey to self-acceptance is your own. If you walk away with only one nugget from this whole piece, I hope that you see that confidence originates from self. It starts with you, and it starts from within.
It cannot ever be fixed.
It will not ever be perfect.
And not every day is going to be a good day.
But we can protect ourselves from the inevitable thunderstorm that is life.
We can grab an umbrella and accept ourselves.
And we can throw on a raincoat and own ourselves, no matter what.
We just have to continuously make a choice not to get soaked and cement the commitment to our inner babe, knowing that the dark rain cloud will ALWAYS pass eventually.
No one CAN or WILL love you as much as you can LOVE YOURSELF.
So how much do you have to give?
Wow. Me again.
How powerful was that? Not only were those “myths” so insightful, but I can’t get enough of the tips and tricks to implement RIGHT NOW to build your confidence. Specifically, breathwork. It’s so simple but so effective.
I hope you enjoyed this series and learned something new from Annie, Eva, and Jacq. IDK about you, but I’m ready to handle 2020.