November 26, 2023 at 6:23 pm #2099
I double-dog dare you to tell us what’s going on in your head right now… as you gnaw your way through everything I shared in today’s email.
I’ll be in + out all day to help you all see how confidence looks + feels for YOU.
November 27, 2023 at 2:29 pm #2102
Confidence feels like an old-growth forest. Established. Steady. Solid. Interconnected. Quiet. An old-growth forest doesn’t care about the latest new thing and isn’t interested in the bells and whistles. There are no bullhorns in an old-growth forest. It’s a contemplative place where you can take the time to engage in deep thinking. It’s also an embodied place that recognizes and honors body wisdom.
When I am confident, I listen carefully and ask questions (even questions I don’t know the answers to). I take the time to think about what I want to say before I say it. I pause without feeling like I have to fill the silence. I am not intense when my passion shines through, and my energy is high. I don’t mind being challenged; such challenges don’t throw me into a tailspin or make me question everything I know to be true. Instead, challenges can help me gain a deeper understanding of the topic at hand. I feel no obligation to engage when someone challenges me rudely or disrespectfully.
November 27, 2023 at 2:42 pm #2103
Yessss! Damn girl, you’re a hell of a writer – I could see + feel the place you’re describing. 🔥
Soooo, how much of your business do you think you’ve run from this place vs. from a place of self don’t + worry? If you don’t mind me prying.
Just wondering if you can start to trace back some of your decisions to see what head place you made them in.
November 27, 2023 at 3:09 pm #2104
In my first business, I was never in this place. As in nevah evah! I was always afraid that I was both too much and not enough. After seven years, I was burned out and broke.
I started this business in 2020. The first year was, well, a bit of a shitshow. I was making some of the same mistakes I made in my first business and saying “yes” to all the wrong projects. Some of that was out of necessity, but I could have easily ended up with a business where I was wicked busy doing work I didn’t want to do.
And so, I read myself the riot act. I made my first wise business investment decision at the end of 2021 and hired a coach to help me get clear on the work I do and the work I don’t do. I referred a couple of wrong-fit clients to someone else (which was terrifying) and started to say “no” more than I said “yes” (which was also terrifying).
Now, I’m getting more precise about my audience and specifying who I work with and how I work with them. And I’m refining my message so it speaks directly to the right audience and showcases my voice and personality. (I can get a little heady and stuffy and lawyer-y if I’m not careful!)
November 27, 2023 at 5:47 pm #2107
I can relate to so much of this! I love the way you said it, ‘read myself the riot act’… OMG… yes!! I still do that shit at least every other week. 🤣
I hope the ‘saying no more than yes’ part becomes less terrifying for you because you’re getting way more out of those you-shaped no’s than you’re losing. You don’t need all the grief that comes with a “desperate’ yes client – they are THE WORST.
If you ever need anything on the messaging side don’t be shy. I’m hoping this theme party will give you a boatload more AH HA’s that help you find the right words.
November 27, 2023 at 7:50 pm #2113Daniela UslanParticipant
Wow. I absolutely LOVE this metaphor! It feels like when you’re confident, you take the time to check in with yourself and feel into what’s right for YOU rather than getting swept away by what everyone else is saying you should do. I have been thinking about this a lot and deeply resonate with it.
November 27, 2023 at 8:02 pm #2115
The forest has become a powerful metaphor for so much in my life! It’s spurred me to read about forests, mother trees, and the mycorrhizal network. I even took a foraging class this fall, and that introduced me to a ton of different types of mushrooms as we tromped through a state forest.
The forest metaphor just seems to pop up everywhere!
November 27, 2023 at 4:31 pm #2105
Confidence is being present, in the moment, and accepting what is without having to be affected by what’s happening outside myself. Confidence is knowing that I can handle whatever comes my way, whenever it comes, because that’s what I’ve always done. The only twist is that now I’m handling it with more humor and detachment. I feel more powerful when I come from a place of inner peace and calm. No one can taint my joy. =)
November 27, 2023 at 5:56 pm #2108
YESSS! Now that I’ve healed from enough of my trauma + escaped the toxicity of my family I can finally taste what life looks like with peace in it. I’m not giving this shit up again, EVER… not for anyone. I’m so unwilling to let anyone even side-eye my joy let alone suck that shit dry.
To all that inner peace, girl!! 🍷
November 27, 2023 at 6:03 pm #2109
Aren’t family just wonderful? <visibly cringing>
Cheers to that inner peace vibe!
November 27, 2023 at 4:40 pm #2106
I really liked this question: Is it possible that these ‘flaws’ are actually truths that could bring you a lot of comfort if you would just accept them?
SO. MUCH. TREASURE. HERE.
As the blackishly-rainbowed sheep of the family, my ‘flaws’ were constantly flung in my face. When I realized that those flaws weren’t ACTUALLY flaws… the Earth shifted for me.
I’m curious how many of you have found that to also be true?
November 27, 2023 at 6:04 pm #2110
ME!!!! **she says waving her hand in the air like a crazy person**
So much ME.
And I la la la loooooove that ‘blackishly-rainbowed sheep of the family’… yep, nailed it!
Realizing how much my family fucked me up for being so different from them has been like 80% of my journey of figuring out who the fuck I am. All the shit I really love about myself is the shit they have shamed me for. It’s been a HUGE lifelong mindfuck… I’m untangling myself of for good.
November 27, 2023 at 6:06 pm #2111
Absolutely! In a family of extroverts, my introverted self was regularly scolded for being anti-social. Professionally, I was often told that I was “too big for my britches” because I would ask questions and challenge those in authority.
Being an introvert is one of my strengths, especially when I embrace it and manage it well by making sure I have plenty of time for myself. As for those britches? Well, starting my own business meant I have ever-expanding britches that always fit just fine!
November 27, 2023 at 6:16 pm #2112
Introverts forever! Isn’t it crazy how we can see how it’s a superpower but ‘they’ couldn’t/can’t?
I truly don’t get how it’s that hard to understand. I mean, we get how extroverts work and why they need what they need. It blows my mind.
My britches are so big I can carry my son around in them like a kangaroo pouch.
I’m glad you’ve bedazzled your expandable britches with a ‘fuck you’ insignia. Get it, girl.
The BS they tell us freethinking women in corporate America should be a fucking crime. Some of the dick-holes at my last job would make the pointing-at-your-mouth sign for smiling during meetings when I was talking because I was ‘coming across very aggressive’. I wasn’t. I was calling out people above my pay grade on their shit and making a point that made me look smarter than them. That’s it.
I had soooooo much corporate baggage when I started my first business.
November 27, 2023 at 9:46 pm #2118
Haha! OMG I heard the “you’re to big for your britches” all the time. Hello, fellow britches-buster! =D <High five>
We should start a club. The secret handshake will be a booty bump LOL
November 27, 2023 at 10:56 pm #2123
I feel this so much! I’m constantly told that I’m too quiet and should speak up. I used to hate being labeled as quiet, but I now love it! Being an introvert helps me think
deeper and analyze things better.
November 28, 2023 at 2:07 am #2135
100% Loving that part of you (even if others call it flawed) is true strength. <high five>
Ya know…people need to stop and think about what they’re saying to folks, because no one has the right to tell you that you need “speak up”, or for some of us it’s “stop being too big for your britches”, or “too loud” (you may never guess I was labeled that, too LOL).
Anyway, people need to keep their damn opinions to themselves when it comes to personal criticisms – especially when the critique is NOT asked for.
Eating away at someone’s confidence should be a crime.
It’s seriously debilitating and should be recognized as such.
Knowing they have no right to disrupt your peace of mind and confidence helps you set those healthy boundaries in place so that the next time someone makes a critical remark you won’t accept it and it’ll just bounce off your confidence force field…. pew, pew… pew, pew, pew…
November 27, 2023 at 7:56 pm #2114Daniela UslanParticipant
Confidence looks like me doing things for my people from a place of care and knowing that I am truly supporting them. Confidence looks like going within and making decisions based on self-trust. Confidence looks like putting my stuff out there even when it feels weird or different. Confidence looks like getting clear about what makes me feel good and then doing that, rather than trying to “make people” like me or my offerings. Confidence looks like trusting that what I’m putting into the world is valuable and not relying on metrics out of my control to tell me if I’m worthy or not.
November 27, 2023 at 8:04 pm #2116
Hear, hear on putting metrics in their place! I tend to ignore metrics and algorithms. But when someone replies to one of my newsletters or offers a thoughtful comment on a LinkedIn post, I light up and have all the confirmation I need to know that I’m having an impact.
November 27, 2023 at 9:29 pm #2117
I love this!!! Doing what you want… yessss!
November 27, 2023 at 9:50 pm #2119
Yes, yes, yes, and more yes’s.
Mmmm, it feels good to be with a group that shows up from such a powerful space.
Talking confidence that’s based on personal truths is a mood booster, for sure.
November 27, 2023 at 10:42 pm #2121
Confidence is peace for me. It feels safe. When I’m truly confident, I can handle challenges that come my way, and it’s easy to trust in myself and face them. When I’m confident, I don’t feel like I have to fix into a box and pretend to be someone that I’m not.
November 28, 2023 at 12:41 am #2124Yashi SrivastavaParticipant
Dre…it was surreal to read your email because that’s exactly the journey I’ve been on for the past two years. Confidence is inner peace for me too. It is about knowing (deeply in my body, not just in my mind) that I have my own back – no matter what. Cultivating deeper and deeper levels of self-acceptance will continue to be my journey. It is the lens I now bring to all areas of my life – from business to parenting to relationships to money to food. It is powerful and magical and still a work in progress 🙂
November 28, 2023 at 1:33 am #2127
YESSS, the self-acceptance journey is real!! and I so know what you mean about it being the lens.
I love being able to fuck up (or fail) and immediately de-escalate it in my end… that has taken me years to be able to do but it’s slowly getting more and more natural as I practice it.
I love that you’re seeing all the growth from it too!!! 🥳
November 28, 2023 at 2:01 pm #2139Samantha WhiteParticipant
Slightly late to the party .. I had a day yesterday (dealing with my lovely but computer inept mother)
My confidence is a work in progress after certain men in my life chipped away at it over the years, but they are gone now (1 left permanently the other 1 I divorced).
I’ve also recently had my diagnosis of ADHD at my bloody age I mean really! So I’m a neuro-spicy people pleaser with imposter syndrome and OCD.. honestly is a wonder i can get anything done.
*sighs in gen-x*
It is what it is.. I’ve accepted the fact I’ll have good days and bad days, on the bad days I set up an auto responder and just look after myself (usually committing war crimes in Diablo 4) but that’s why we aren’t corporate slaves we can take a personal day if we need it. They are getting less.. sometimes its just a personal morning I need to feel mentally prepared to get on with it.
I guess my inner peace has come from realizing I’m flawed but accepting and even embracing my flaws as they make me who I am (the imposter syndrome can suck my spirit d*ck though)
November 28, 2023 at 3:17 pm #2141
Good riddens to the aholes who have taken pride in tearing you down!! 🍷 Fuck those bastards.
I can relate to the good day/bad day struggle so hard. It used to take me weeks, if not months, to recover from the smallest shit. YEARS into the healing and the recover time is down to minutes, sometimes hours. Some days (when the sleepless nights have piled up and I’m hormonal AF) it feels soooooo exhasuting carrying on with all the work it takes to stay in my ‘Fuck it!’ place. I HATE those days… it’s crazy how quickly my perception can change at the drop of a hormone.
I’m preparing the donkey dick for your imposter syndrome to feast on right now! 🤣
November 28, 2023 at 4:01 pm #2144Crystal SullivanParticipant
I’m catching up today from yesterday. But I love looking at confidence first. This is something I have struggled with my whole life. I have done a ton of work over the years and I’m still working and trying to run my business in a way that feels good to me. I am right in the middle of the extrovert/introvert end of things. But, being shy and not really loving plastering myself all over socials has stalled me in creating the business I dream about.
I decided a few months ago, that I was cutting thru all the BS, and I was going to focus on design, because its what I’m really good at. Then I can grow from there, and I would love to lean into things like Pinterest and Podcasting because those are more my speed. Attempting to run things the way others done has only paralyzed me from helping people. Time for me to FINALLY be me.
November 28, 2023 at 9:57 pm #2153
YESSS!! It’s so time. You deserve a business that feels good! It’s so much easier when you do the shit you love too. And you’ll get to the things you really want… there’s a weird momentum that’s created when you start saying no to everything but what really feels right. I so happy you’re finding your way, sweets!
November 28, 2023 at 9:04 pm #2151Megan MatthewsParticipant
My confidence is knowing that my response to “just because you CAN doesn’t mean you SHOULD” and other barrier-type language getting thrown up in my face can always and will forever be:
“Yes, and just because I ‘CAN’T’ doesn’t mean I WON’T.”
My confidence is knowing, deep down in the bottom of the marrow of my bones, that every time I actually try something I will, in SOME way, succeed, even if my success doesn’t look like I planned/hoped/expected – because I. Will. Have. LEARNED. Something. And learning is never NOT useful.
November 28, 2023 at 10:02 pm #2154
YESSS!!! That’s a message I’m drilling into my marrow too. Failure has DESTROYED my sense of self and made me a shell of a human before… it’s so important that I navigate life with a ‘it’s all a learning curve’ kinda adventure vibe. I have to work hard at it some days but it’s becoming more of a natural thought process rather than a forced + constant self-coaching.
November 29, 2023 at 1:35 pm #2171RicardoParticipant
I have a confidence flaw that exists in my mind that I haven’t been able to shake despite my expertise and contributions to my field of study being recognized in their own right by entities like the US Department of Labor and executives from Fortune 500 firms. It relates to “brand names” and “pedigree”. One of the reason Big 4 consulting firms like McKinsey say that they can charge a premium to their clients is because they hire grads from Harvard, Yale, etc. and some consider “brand name” and “pedigree” to be a proxy for quality even though the research in this area is very dubious. I fundamentally help companies predict and proact to the future competitive environment. The research in forecasting accuracy by scientists such as Philip Tetlock show that there is no correlation between brand name/pedigree and a person’s forecasting accuracy. Technique and cognitive thinking style are the only traits correlated with accurately making predictions about the future.
I didn’t go to a McKinsey or Gartner even though I had the opportunity to do that, and it is usually in the back of my mind when speaking to a kindred, “does this person think less of my expertise or service because I’m not associated with the McKinseys and the Harvards of the world?” Recently I audited the work of a Big 4 consulting firm for a kindred and they actually liked my work better, but this hasn’t erased this thought from my mind.
I’m curious to learn how other bar flies here have felt or thought through how they’ve positioned themselves against the “brand names” in their market and how they confidently navigate through this noise.
November 29, 2023 at 3:09 pm #2175
This was a sticking point for me until I realized how much more I have to offer being ME than the low touch + impersonalization of an agency or big business.
I realized a lot of people WANT to hire humans like us… in fact, they seek us out, because they’re sick to shit of the shenanigans and bureaucratic BS that goes on at the kind of companies you mentioned.
It all came down to perception to me. Once I saw things for what they were that “issue” was irrelevant for me.
Ricardo… you’re soooo much more than the Big 4 – the people who hire you were NOT trying to hire them. Bank on that. Own that. Embrace that. They WANT you because YOU have so much more to offer (even beyond the service itself).
November 29, 2023 at 3:38 pm #2176
Ricardo, your post is super juicy! Thank you for sharing so vulnerably. I feel like there’s going to be several heads nodding and hands raised in “me, too” affirmation.
I’ve been here, too, and 99% of my clients struggle with some form of self doubt, imposter syndrome, and/or feeling inferior.
I love that you’ve done the research and have science and numbers showing the comparisons and revealing the results – pedigree/brand doesn’t guarantee accuracy, it’s the skills and talents of the professional that counts.
Based on what you’ve shared about accuracy comparisons, I’m going to assume that this was a numbers to numbers, data to data comparison and didn’t involve people’s opinions or biases.
You’ve also shared that you ARE receiving the validation from clients that your work is as good as or even preferred over the Big Firms.
MY QUESTION FOR YOU: What will it take for YOU to start believing in your skills, talents, and abilities?
I can share my journey, and others can also share theirs. BUT it’s always going to come back around to you and what you need in order to shift your opinions about this.
November 30, 2023 at 4:30 pm #2198
The Big 4 consulting firms are almost single-handedly responsible for the sometimes piss-poor reputation of the consulting profession. Why? Because they do hire recent grads who may have a fancy degree but no life or industry experience to work on big-ticket consulting gigs with complex and sticky problems. These young people are incredibly bright, but they are put into a churn-and-burn industry where they are supposed to squish their clients into ready-made one-size-fits-none solutions developed by the firm.
It’s a disservice to these young people.
It’s a disservice to their clients.
It’s a disservice to the profession.
(And, yeah, it pisses me off.)
I went to a fancy school for law school. The hardest thing about it was getting in. I learned a whole lot more and was challenged a whole lot more at my mid-tier college.
Your kindreds (your true kindreds) won’t give a hoot that you didn’t work at McKinsey or Gartner. You get results for your clients. That’s the bit that matters.
Now to answer the question you *actually* asked!
My most direct competitor is Dorie Clark.
She is *literally* a genius.
I am not a genius.
She has written a bucket of business books.
I haven’t written any business books and don’t plan to (though I am working on a novel).
She’s been published in Harvard Business Review.
I haven’t been published in Harvard Business Review, and I don’t really care to be.
But we approach our work *very* differently.
She focuses on turning people into “recognized experts,” so it’s about writing articles and books and doing social media and speaking and getting a TEDx talk. Her program is a DIY program with a community on Facebook.
My program is focused on writing articles for publications (picking the right publication, figuring out what you’re going to write about, writing the thing, pitching the thing, and then using the thing to help you achieve your goals). My core program is a six-month, small cohort program where we meet as a group every week for the first three months, and in the second three months we have a one-to-one meeting, writing workshop, and editing workshop every month. Dorie Clark’s program teaches people how to do things and gives them a *huge* community on Facebook. My program dives deep into this one thing and builds implementation right in while giving folks access to a small, intimate community.
Some of my clients were Dorie Clark’s clients first. Because these two approaches are very different. Just like some of your clients worked with the Big 4 first.
I don’t care where you went to school or where you worked when you were in your 20s. I do care what you’ve done lately and how you’ve helped your clients.
- This reply was modified 1 week, 1 day ago by Erica Holthausen.
November 30, 2023 at 9:13 pm #2214
THIS!! So much this! 👏
November 29, 2023 at 8:14 pm #2178
Just getting back to this. I’ve been trying to think it through.
Confidence for me is those days where I’m at least mentally wearing black leather and kicking down brick walls. I know what I bring to the table. I’m. I’m not afraid to tell you to take it or leave nor am I afraid to tell you why my “ideas” are better than yours. I’m quite snappy but I’m usually saying it with a smile because I’m happy. I KNOW what I’m talking about and you really should listen to me.
There are a lot of “other” days tho.
I’ve been looking through my calendar looking for the “leather” days but also was reminded of what a shit 18 months I’ve had. Family illness and my brother’s untimely death.
I’m also learning that a lot of my weirdness and “laziness” is adhd and I’m trying to navigate that as a 45 year old woman.
Most of my confidence issues stem from shits at school and on the bus. And honestly, I’m a whole grown ass woman and fuck them. But sometimes I still hear it. I was and still am a fat kid. Now I wear glasses sometimes. And I have a lazy eye. None of that makes early life easier. And internet trolls…well, sometimes they’re the brick walls Leather me is kicking the fuck down. (It’s also often made of the old white dudes I’ve worked for for so long. As they say, fuck the patriarchy!”
Which all leads into my “whys” for wanting this to work so badly.
November 29, 2023 at 8:49 pm #2181
YESSS! Revisit away. I’m glad you’re marinating on it. I love your version of confidence… especially the black leather (rrrraaawwwwrrr!!)
It’s fucking CRAZY how long we let our trauma squat in our spirit, isn’t it? The things I’m only NOW realizing (in my 40’s) are borderline sad… but I’m not mad at it… and that’s how I know I’ve made so much fucking progress already.
Keep doing the work you’re doing to believe in yourself, sweetie. YOU ARE WORTH IT.
P.S. Oh how I wish I had the mouth I have now with the bullies back then. It doesn’t matter how long it’s been, the trauma is real. 🤗
November 30, 2023 at 7:19 pm #2204Crystal SullivanParticipant
OMFG LOVE the Leather days!!! Kicking shit down.
Also sorry to hear about your brother and a tough year.
I have never been diagnosed with ADHD but damn i have soo many ADHD things that i struggled with on the daily.
And Fuck THEM people. I struggle with confidence myself, but also at the same time not giving a fuck what anyone thinks. You got this!! You just gotta rock it girl! The more I learn about myself and confidence i truly think confidence has almost nothing to do with our looks and everything to do with the confidence we have in ourselves.
November 30, 2023 at 9:14 pm #2215
10000 fucking %!!! It’s sooooo much about our own perception of ourselves.
November 29, 2023 at 8:53 pm #2182
Oh if I’d had THIS mouth, I’d have been kicked out of school 🤣😂🤣😂🤣😂
Thanks, Dre. 😘
November 30, 2023 at 7:28 pm #2205
Thanks Crystal. I appreciate you. It’s definitely been rough. I lost probably my truest #1 fan but also #1 tormentor in one fell swoop. And the asshole left me alone to deal with my mom, who’s falling into Alzheimer’s.
But confidence. I’ve got that. I KNOW I’ve got that. Until I’m in a room full of people that I don’t know (or don’t know well) that I really need to chat with. Ugh. Then it’s high school feels all over.
My adhd is self-diagnosed. I don’t want to take stimulant meds because my BP is already high. So I’m slowly trying out assorted supplements. (Happy to chat privately sometime if you’d like)
Sounds like you’re definitely doing too much (IMHO) but it happens. Hopefully this is gonna help straighten and focus us both. Cheers!
December 8, 2023 at 10:26 pm #2288Jodi ChaffeeParticipant
Confidence is an elusive characteristic for me. I have been conditioned all my life to believe that being invisible and low-maintenance was a virtue. My subconscious has observed my surroundings with hyper-vigilance to know when I’d be better served by playing small rather than being myself. The few times in my life that I have felt confident is when I have felt safe to come out of my shell and be the bubbly, outgoing girl I am in those moments. Any other time that I have appeared confident, I was likely faking it.
The first five years of my exploration into my business was a facade. I was hiding behind a face so I could show up and pretend that I had my act together, but I was forcing myself so I could appear confident. This has gotten me nowhere. I spent those five years in deep anxiety and deficiency. I tried to force my creativity, force my personality, and force myself to appear how I believed I was expected to appear.
After a two-year hiatus, my whole world view has taken a 180. I’m beginning to deconstruct my experiences and expose my vulnerabilities to accept myself as I am, embrace myself for who I am, and explore the existing potential within myself as I allow my true self to bubble up to the service. I create my own sense of safety to truly show up for myself and the possibility that I have value for who I am and what I have to offer.
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