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#38 Self-Confidence

When I started my career as a life coach, I had to have a lot of self-confidence to begin, because I had never been a coach before.

As a new coach, I was willing to face the worst-case scenario of a bad coaching session, or not knowing what to say to a client in a situation, or people saying no to me on consults.

I had to be willing to feel humiliation. I needed to be willing to feel fear and do it anyway. I needed to be willing to feel inadequate.

I'm not afraid going into these scenarios because I know that the worst thing that can happen to me is that I feel a negative emotion. I knew that these feelings came from my thoughts and that I could handle any emotion. In this episode, I'll show you how to do the same so you can become your favorite version of you.

Since you’re ready to become your favorite version of you, book a consult to learn more about joining my group starting August 2023!

"Self-confidence has nothing to do with other people. Remember, it’s internal and it only has to do with yourself. The thought, I can do this better than you, creates arrogance."

What you'll learn in this episode:

  • The difference between confidence and self-confidence

  • How your opinion of yourself propels you into growth

  • How facing the worst-case scenario as a new coach helped me grow my self-confidence

  • Why reprogramming is required to overcome your brain's natural tendency to keep you safe

"The ability to try something and fail is the only thing that leads to success. This takes a lot of self-confidence and this is what will take you to the next level."

Be sure to sign up for a consult to see if joining my August group is the right fit for you. Join us on this powerful journey to become your favorite you.

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Read the full episode transcript

Hey, this is Melissa Parsons, and you are listening to the Your Favorite You Podcast. I'm a certified life coach with an advanced certification in deep dive coaching. The purpose of this podcast is to help brilliant women like you with beautiful brains create the life you've been dreaming of with intentions. My goal is to help you find your favorite version of you by teaching you how to treat yourself as your own best friend.

If this sounds incredible to you and you want practical tips on changing up how you treat yourself, then you're in the right place. Just so you know, I'm a huge fan of using all of the words available to me in the English language, so please proceed with caution if young ears are around.

Well, hi, everyone. Welcome back to Your Favorite You. Today, I'm going to talk about self-confidence as it relates to confidence, over-confidence, and arrogance. I'm also going to give a little bit more information about failure. So, most of you know that one of my mentors is Brooke Castillo. She is the founder and owner of the Life Coach School and, as part of our certification training for me, which was way back in 2020, she gave us this amazing lecture about self-confidence and then challenged us to share as much of this information as we could with our clients.

So, I shared it back on Facebook Live back in 2020, but I'm wanting to share it again with you guys because I want to share it not only with my current clients but also with any potential people who might want to work with me in the future. So, that really is all of you listening to the podcast, hopefully. For a lot of this talk, I'm basically telling you what she said in the lecture, but she challenged us to share this, so here I go and I, of course, added my own nuggets, so hopefully I serve as many of you as possible and please feel free to share this podcast with people you know who might need help.

So, self-confidence, what is it and why does it matter? So, there's a difference between confidence and self-confidence. Confidence is based on what you have accomplished in the past, so your past experiences, all the knowledge you have gained, and it is actually external to you. Self-confidence is internal. It’s the opinion that you have of yourself and it's your ability to believe in yourself, without any evidence for why you should, and it's what propels people into growth. So many times when I'm coaching my clients, they say that they want to figure something out, and my question is always “Well, how are you going to do that?” and it's a trick question because the answer is always “I'm going to go ahead and do it,” and then I'm going to see if I figured it out or not, and then I'm going to either win or learn from that brave you know that brave venture and going out and doing things. So, self-confidence is actually based on four different things and I'm going to kind of go into each of these in detail. So, the first is your willingness to feel any emotion.

So, think about the worst tragedy you can think of and know that the reason that tragedies are so bad is because of how you're thinking about a tragedy and how that makes you feel. So, for example, it might make you feel sadness or grief or terror.

Let me give you a personal example. I had confidence that I could be a good pediatrician because I practiced pediatrics for 22 years. I didn't have confidence at the beginning, but after 22 years I sure did, and I had way more successes in that career than I did failures. I knew I could do my job as a pediatric physician well, based on my past experiences.

So, what other people said about me in the role, the trust that nurses and doctors granted me to take care of their families, and when I started my new career as a life coach, I had to have a lot of self-confidence to begin, because I had never been a coach before. Well, now I have, and I can rely more on confidence because I know I've already helped and I'm helping my current clients become their favorite versions of themselves.

As a new coach, I was willing to face the worst-case scenario, so a bad coaching session or not knowing what to say to a client in a situation, or people saying no to me on consults. I had to be willing to feel humiliation. I needed to be willing to feel fear and do it anyway. I needed to be willing to feel inadequate. I'm not afraid of going into these scenarios because I know that the worst thing that can happen to me is that I feel a negative emotion. I recognize that the feeling I have comes from my thoughts, so I'm really not afraid to do any of it and I always think bring it on. So having this self-confidence helped me do new things apply for more certifications, go from one-on-one to group coaching recently, say the hard things to my clients during a session.

The second thing that self-confidence is based on is your ability to have your own back. So, let's say that I get on a consult with someone and their ultimate answer to my offer of help to them with coaching is a no. So, before every consult, I’ve made an agreement with myself that if I don't sign the client to work with me, I won't beat myself up for any reason, even if the reason they don't sign is that I didn't ask them the right questions or I didn't coach them well enough on the consult. If the worst thing that could happen on a consult is how I think about myself and I know I can choose any thought about myself that I want, I'm in. So, let's say I'm having a renewal conversation with one of my clients, one of my current clients.

If I have my own back, I can tell her one of a couple of things. (A) I think we have more work to do in these areas and I would love to continue coaching you or (B) our work together feels complete at this time to me. If I know I have my own back in either scenario, everything will be fine. If she says “Yes, let's continue,” I know how to help her. If she says, “No, I'm good,” I think I want to move on. I have my own back and I know that my client knows what's best for her. If I'm the one to say this feels complete and I have self-confidence, I know that that's okay, because I will sign a new client to take up that empty slot in my schedule. And sometimes, even when I think things are complete, my client will say “No, I think we have more work to do”. And if I, you know, if they tell me what they want to work on and I can see where they're coming from, then I have no problem saying “You know what? I think we could still work on that. So yeah, let's keep going”.

The third, this kind of segues beautifully into the third component of self-confidence, which is your ability to manage your thoughts that you have about you. So, if I'm going into a consult thinking you're going to fail, why would anyone hire you? Who do you think you are? I will completely block the feeling of self-confidence because I'm letting my inner primitive brain run the show. In this case, I start to get nervous or fearful before or during the consult. If I start to resist or push that emotion away, it grows, and I start feeling more nervous or fearful. And if I recognize that sometimes nervousness or fear is just part of the deal when doing something novel, I can lean into it and not make it mean There's something wrong with me for feeling this way.

The fourth component, the final thing that you need to have self-confidence is the ability to trust yourself to do numbers one, two, and three, so you can trust that you can manage your thoughts about yourself, you can trust that you have your own back, and you can trust yourself being willing to feel any feeling. If you're relying on confidence, you can only keep doing what you've already done. So, lots of people do that. They rely on their confidence, and they keep doing the same thing over and over. The ability to try something and fail is the only thing that leads to success. This takes a lot of self-confidence, and this is what will take you to the next level. You have to be willing to feel the discomfort of failure in order to succeed, and really this is the best news ever because you actually have it all within you already. Now, the opposite of self-confidence is self-doubt. Self-doubt leads you to stopping and holding yourself back. Maybe you show up, but you show up just a little bit. Self-confidence leads you to going for it, trying new things, learning everything you can about yourself, showing up to go all in. You don't make any of the failures that you have mean anything about you.

In order to create whatever, it is you want in your life, you have to reprogram your brain and overcome your brain's natural evolution to try to keep you safe. My primitive brain wants me to stay in the cave, to where I'm safe and where I know already exactly what to do. If it was up to my primitive brain from the past, I would be sitting on the couch watching “The Notebook” for the 25th time, eating checks, mix or popcorn, and drinking a few glasses of wine, right? Seeking pleasure, avoiding pain, and exerting the least amount of energy possible. That's the motivational triad. In fact, right after you decide you're going to do something different than you've always done, your primitive brain should go to work, revealing to you all of the myriad reasons you should not do something new at all.

So, one of the things we teach our clients as life coaches from the life coach school is that your thoughts create your feelings. So, there are thoughts, certainly, that we've all had that create self-doubt, so thoughts like, I don't know how, I’m not good enough, I haven't been able to do this before, it's too hard or I did this, and I failed. It’s too hard. I don't know how to fix my relationship with my spouse, or with my kids, or my parents, my in-laws, my friends, my siblings, my colleagues at work. You get the idea. Remember, your brain is just trying to protect you with its thoughts that create self-doubt. So don't leave the cave. You might die.

Now there are also thoughts that we can think about ourselves that create self-confidence. So, thoughts like, I can show up and take action, The worst thing that can happen is a feeling I believe in me unconditionally, I can figure this out, everything is figure out-able, and remember my podcast from last week? So, if I'm not failing, at least some of the time I'm not living big enough.

Now, a few words on over-confidence and arrogance. A lot of people tell me that when you know they're working on their self-confidence, they don't want to fall into the slippery slope of arrogance, right? So, overconfidence and arrogance actually come from the exact opposite of self-confidence. They are the exact opposite. Overconfidence and arrogance come from feelings of insecurity. Arrogance comes from a thought, something like I'm better than you, and that's where my confidence comes from. Self-confidence has nothing to do with other people. Remember, it’s internal and it only has to do with yourself. The thought, I can do this better than you, creates arrogance. The thought, I can do this, I may fail, but I have my own back, creates self-confidence. You can feel the difference in yourself and in the energy that comes from other people.

The beauty of self-confidence is that it can never be taken away from you. Arrogance, on the other hand, is just a house of cards waiting for someone else to show up and prove they're actually better at doing something than you are. When they get better results, everyone else can be better than you. You can fail 62 times and you can still be self-confident because that's generated from within. You can still have the self-confidence to try the 63rd time. This is what makes self-confidence the most powerful emotion in the world. Nobody can touch it. Okay, this is where a few of my current clients definitely need to listen up. You know who you are. I love you. You can believe in yourself, no matter what. No one else has to believe in you in order for you to believe in yourself.

Other people's opinions of you and your ability do not give you self-confidence. If you're relying on other people's opinions of you, you are relying on a confidence that is not yours and it can be taken away when other people say things to you. These may be even well-meaning people who do love you and want to keep you safe too. Remember their primitive brains don't want you to leave the cave either. Your friends and family will often say things to you because they don't want to see you stressed or worried, so they will try to protect you from yourself. If you're relying on other people's opinions for your confidence, you're always going to have to make sure that all the people believe in you, and you're always going to know in the back of your mind that you have zero control over that.

So, it's going to make you a little bit of a control enthusiast, always trying to manipulate other people's opinions about you. It's not fun and completely not within your control. Ask me how I know. If you're relying on yourself for self-confidence, you will recognize that you actually do have control over that because you're able to generate it with the way you're thinking about yourself. You can change your thinking about yourself immediately if you choose to do so.

Let's talk about failure for a little bit. I talked about its last weekend in the podcast, but I want to bring it back to this too. Believe it or not, failure is actually a way to increase your self-confidence. Most people look at failure as a way to decrease your confidence, which is true, because confidence comes from our experience of success. When we fail at something, our confidence decreases. Self-confidence increases when we fail at something and still choose to believe in ourselves anyway.

All failure means is that you've set the bar high, and you haven't met your own expectations. It's part of the process of learning about yourself. It means absolutely nothing about you. If you try new things, you will fail probably a lot. You might succeed along the way and build confidence too. There's nothing wrong with that. The ability to get up again after several failures is what drives self-confidence. In summary, self-confidence is fuel for action. It is not arrogance. It doesn't care or think about other people's opinions of you. It's committing to believing in yourself, no matter what. Self-confidence is the most attractive, the most fun, the most exciting, the most authentic place to live.

I really don't think there's any more important practice than this. If you are interested in having me guide you through to your favorite version of you. please go to my website, Set up a consult to talk about what changes you wish to see in your life and how I can help you generate the self-confidence to get there. It would be my honor See you all next week.

Thank you for listening to the podcast and loving on me all the time. Although the doors are closed for the inaugural group of women wanting to become their favorite versions of themselves. No worries. You still have the opportunity to work with me in a group setting. This group is for you since you are listening to my podcast, you will get amazing coaching plus the beauty of a community of other women who are interested in thriving as much as they can, and you also will want you to succeed at becoming your favorite you.

There is benefit that is undeniable from watching another woman being coached on an issue you've had in the past, or one that you're currently having. Our brains just see so much more possibility when we are not the ones in the hot seat. You'll also have the ability to come every week and share your vulnerability and watch others share their vulnerability.

We know that shame only grows in silence. There is power in being held by other incredible humans who are often caught in some of the same traps that you are with your thinking.

Please go right now to and schedule a consult with me so that I can hear how I can help you, and we can decide together if you are a great fit to join the group.

You'll need to join the waitlist. We start in August. Please join us. You will not regret it.

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