It Might Not Be About Confidence

Confidence is bandied about as such an essential ingredient to success. Sometimes, frankly, I feel assaulted by people’s confidence, like it’s a protective shield. Other times, I wonder what is confidence?  I get confused and mistake a lack of it for natural learning wobbles.

I was lucky to lead a group coaching call this week that gave me some fresh thoughts on confidence which I share in the video below, thoughts like:

  • How we can confuse lack of confidence with lack of experience.
  • How confidence changes as we age.
  • Why lack of confidence can be a good thing – no, really!
  • And a few more thoughts. Plus you can see a little of my new space. And my new scarf!

I hope this video is useful.

 

P.S. The Creative Joy Playbook is getting rave reviews. Did you know it contains a Magic Ticket inside designed to foster your creativity and possibly win you free tuition to our October retreat with photography Tracey Clark and yogin Marianne Elliott? Download it here.

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Samantha Jenkins - May 22, 2013

Thanks for sharing this Jen. I’m relatively new in trying to develop an online business, and I can so easily fall into comparisonitus (psychic inflammation from comparing myself too often :-)). I’m constantly battling with these very things you share here. I am all about embracing the shadow as part of life’s journey, and attempting to be with “it all”. But, in this online world, there is so much projected bliss and joy, I sometimes fear I might seem downbeat or dull. I know projected happiness sells, which is why it’s used in every marketing tool on the planet. But, this is an illusion, and I don’t want to be a part of cultivating that. I am constantly trying to remain aligned with my values and integrity, but it is a REAL challenge in cyberspace.

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    jenniferlouden - May 23, 2013

    Yes it is a real challenge! It’s like everything is tugging at you to go for the money and the glitz – instead of what’s real.

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Christina Frei - May 22, 2013

Jennifer –

This is creepy awesome timing, as I’m sitting on a train to NYC to be interviewed on the History Channel for the first time. Butterflies! Henry Rollins is the host.

So I’d love me some confidence right about now. But maybe it’s just the vulnerability of doing something new.

I feel supersonic confident on stage, and to me, that means I am drawing from a deep well of joy and connecting with my audience.

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    jenniferlouden - May 22, 2013

    Have a fantastic interview my friend! That is so darn cool!!!

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Julie Mitchell - May 22, 2013

Jen, thanks for hitting it out of the ballpark, again, demonstrating authentic, mature confidence. I was just talking to a client about how the 20 and 30-something TED talkers seem to rule the world and know so much, whereas wisdom — earned via years of experience and mistakes — doesn’t go viral on YouTube, etc. You may not recall, but you and I exchanged at least one old-fashioned letter and some emails in the mid 1990s (your “Comfort Queen” days). I continue to admire your work, and I will be eternally grateful that through you I found out about Christina Baldwin, a wonderful mentor from whom I’ve learned so much!

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    jenniferlouden - May 22, 2013

    Christina is a gem, so glad to connect you too and so glad to still be connected to you!

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Laurie P - May 22, 2013

Thanks for the insight! I was thinking about this very topic this morning and missing my younger, bolder days. I don’t feel a lack of confidence as I age, but a truthful humbleness about my limitations. I think that’s why today I love the imperfections in myself and my friends as much as I appreciate our strengths. It’s easy to celebrate success. But it’s deeper and more meaningful to share and commiserate over our flaws and mistakes and to bask in unconditional love. 🙂

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    jenniferlouden - May 22, 2013

    Humbleness was the first title of this post. Exactly! Humble in what I don’t know and what I can’t do, and humble in what I can. Thank you for that, very helpful Laurie.

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melissa rivera - May 22, 2013

Thank you for your wisdom and honest reflections. Played with root words…con (with) and fin (faith). Confidence…with faith. Speaks to me deeply (in this very moment) as I am being called to release shame and scarcity and embrace faith (trusting that some experiences are in service to something greater). Will intend to lean into confidence today.

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    jenniferlouden - May 22, 2013

    Lovely Melissa. May it be so!

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Aubrey R - May 22, 2013

This was great. First, I love your videos. I love reading your blog, but I’m such a visual learner that I seem to soak in words better when I watch via video, so thanks for taking the time and being vulnerable to do these!! Your video made me think about the online “wall” and I’m questioning again how much I can allow myself to be around the slick online world without letting it affect me negatively. (that may not have been what you were going for….but that’s part of what I got :))

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    jenniferlouden - May 22, 2013

    Aubrey that is so lovely to hear, thank you for telling me. I feel the same way about being online, really can get me comparing and despairing if I’m tired or feeling vulnerable. It’s okay to pull back!

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Amy Gurka - May 22, 2013

Just a thought or two for you to ponder… what about looking at the difference between self-esteem, self-confidence, and self-efficacy? Most people use self-confidence and self-esteem interchangably as a way to express a feeling of being okay with yourself and feeling good about yourself as a person. But this is a very limited definition. When you really pull it apart you can see that self-confidence is more of the outer show for others reflecting an inner sureness, whereas self-esteem is the internal feeling about being “good enough” or liking oneself. Finally, self-efficacy is the belief in your capabilities or your ability to accomplish your goals successfully. All three a definitely related and work in tandem, but they are all different aspects of our overall sense of self.

Your thoughts about lack of self-confidence being lack of experience are spot on. While we may be struggling to portray ourselves in a confident manner, the real issue is insecurity drawn from a skills deficit. It is, then truly a learning issue, and not an inner worth issue. However, in our culture we are so obsessed with uber-achievement as a standard for measuring our worth that we seem to have lost sight in the value and organic nature of learning and slipping up once in a while.

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    jenniferlouden - May 23, 2013

    Amy such wisdom. Thank you for these distinctions, they are very valuable!

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Cara Brown - May 22, 2013

Oh my Gosh, Jen, this is so great! There is a self-assured, smooth, hip sort of confidence – and it’s so prevalent online – including in some folks in the personal growth world. It both turns me off and feeds the mean story I tell myself about being late to the game my right work! What I experience in you that is so perfect for me and speaks to me is how you love and include yourself – ALL of you – “confident” and not! It makes you so real and relate-able to me. You are a whole human being: the lovely new space and scarf (!) and the years of experience, the spot-on insight that you share, along with the adorable “imperfections” – which we ALL have. When those are hidden, I have a hard time trusting. When they are shared, I can love and include those parts of me. Thank you soooo much.

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    jenniferlouden - May 23, 2013

    So very glad it was useful! I put these things out and I never know if thye will help. Thank you for your insights!

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Jill Salahub - May 23, 2013

Confidence for me is what/how Susan Piver describes it, “Confidence is the willingness to be as ridiculous, luminous, intelligent, and kind as you really are, without embarrassment.” Right?! xo

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