Did you know that believing in the confidence fairy holds us back from being courageous and doing things we deeply desire to do? It’s like a catch all excuse and I watch it attack many of my clients in all different circumstances. In this episode you’ll learn who is responsible for promoting the confidence fairy and 4 ways to stop waiting around for it to show up. So, get out of your head, into your heart and let’s talk about the confidence fairy.
Hey, it’s Julie and welcome to the Corporate Yogi podcast. Today I want to talk to you today about the Confidence Fairy. Now this may seem like a silly fictional character that I made up over the years to hammer home an obvious point with my clients. But hey, it works, and it’s sticky, so I’m going to keep on using it. You see, whether people believe consciously or subconsciously, the confidence fairy holds us back from doing things we know we need to do. It’s like a catch all excuse and I watch it attack many of my clients in all different circumstances, and I think it’s time for us to really have a good heart to heart about the confidence fairy.
So, here’s a look at what you’re going to learn today.
So, get out of your head, into your heart and let’s dive right in, shall we?
So I’ll start off with the tough love, or the bad news first. There is no such thing as the confidence fairy. There isn’t. There’s no such thing as a confidence fairy. And yet by people’s actions, Or more appropriately their “inaction” a lot of people seem to believe that the confidence fairy is coming, and is going to magically make them feel confident enough to do something new. It plays out like this: when we don’t feel ready to do something new, or something scary, we put it off in the hopes that at some point in the future we will spontaneous feel more ready and confident enough to do it. I see this happen all the time with clients. We are essentially waiting for a visit from… the confidence fairy. We’re secretly hoping that she exists and will magically visit us in the middle of the night, and fly through the window like tinkerbell, wave her magic wand and sprinkle us with this magical confidence dust that gives us all the courage and strength we need to do the thing we’re afraid of.
So what kind of situations do we wait for the confidence fairy? Well, we wait for her when it’s time to have a courageous conversation, ask for a raise or promotion, deal with an underperformer, ask for more budget or headcount, there’s so many scenarios and most of them are outside of our comfort zone and while we really want them done, we don’t want to do them, and so we put them off, waiting for a time in the future where we WILL have the confidence to do them. And truly it’s not really our fault, it’s our Saboteurs really responsible here. You know our monkey mind, our itty bitty shitty committee that steps in and says, well if you’re not fully confident to do it today, then hold on until you DO feel confident and then you’ll be better prepared to do it. SIGH. And in this moment, we start believing in the confidence fairly, and that we will somehow magically receive a visit overnight, that will make us feel ready to do the thing that terrifies us. BUT, but, but, but, this is flawed thinking, do you know why? BC you see the biggest place that we draw confidence from in life is…. By actually taking action, by doing, by leaning into the fear, by taking action before we have a guarantee that it will work out, by feeling the discomfort and doing it anyways. So by waiting to spontaneously feel more comfortable spontaneously, we’re really just buying into a lie, an oasis, cause it’s never going to happen that way. Confidence comes from taking action. Again, confidence comes from taking action.
But when our nasty Saboteur comes in and says just wait until you feel more confident, then this gives us a pass on being courageous and doing the thing we know we need to do. So, believing in the confidence fairy is really a stalling tactic. The truth is, confidence isn’t going to come over night, there’s no glitter, no magic wand to be waived. Because confidence doesn’t just show up, it’s NOT something you can order online, it doesn’t come from outside of you, it comes from within YOU! And it comes from taking action.
So how do we know that a saboteur is making us believe in the confidence fairy? Well, a tell-tale sign is that there’s usually a good story or narrative we have to justify waiting until some point in the future. It might sound like this:
“I’ll be ready to do it when…”
“it’s not the right time now because…..”
All I need to do is just invest in <blank > and then I’ll be ready. And the blank can be this training or certification, it could also be getting through a big project at work, having a few more successes under your belt.
The common thread here with all these narratives is that we have to wait until X is done before we can take action. This kind of thinking is usually a big red flag that a saboteur is lurking around, and giving us an excuse to not take action. What is really going on is that YOU are standing in your own way. For some reason, you don’t believe that you’re ready. And your Saboteur is telling you that if you just do this one more thing, THEN you’ll have the confidence and then you’ll be ready. But the problem with that logic is, you often do that one more thing, and you still don’t feel ready. It’s like you’re ready to start a race and every time you step up to the starting line and you try to get in position, the starting line gets moved forward another 100 yards, which is totally not fair. So you work hard, you do this next list of requirements or actions that you think are going to make you feel ready, BUT you still don’t feel ready. What gives? Don’t worry, this isn’t you, and you’re not alone. I see most of my clients do this is some aspect of their life. And I think it’s time to reveal one of the biggest lies pervasive in our society. Do you know what it is? I’ll share it with you now. One of the biggest lies is that we need to feel 100% READY and 100% confident to do something before we lean in and do it. And that just isn’t true. Because the best way to gain confidence to do something is actually by taking action and doing it, which means doing it BEFORE we feel confident enough to do it. Do you see how this works now? Do you see why this is such a dangerous lie? The truth is, you don’t have to be 100% ready and you don’t have to be 100% confident. The confidence comes from taking action. What WILL be helpful for you however is, courage. And if you can recall an example of when you’ve been courageous before and things always somehow worked out, this will be really helpful for you. So even though we maybe haven’t done this specific new thing before, we’ve done many other new things, and guess what? They all worked out! The confidence came from taking action. NOT from waiting around for the confidence fairy.
OK now I want to share a few tips that will help you take inspired action and stop waiting around for the confidence fairy.
Tip 1) Get resonant. Take time to really feel into what you are doing that’s new and what it is going to be like once you’re there. And resonant really is just a fancy way of saying, feel good or be happy. Yes, this seems like a simple tip, but the truth is when we fear something and procrastinate doing it, we often invest more time and energy into being scared of it, than actually focusing on the positive.
Tip 2) Create a physical representation of the success you will have – do something that represents what things will be like once you get started. Do something creative and really have fun with it. Mock up a biz card with your new title, or calculate what you’ll do with your new raise, or imagine how different a relationship will be once you tackle a courageous conversation. If you’re putting together a new training or presentation, start building out the slides, imagine the accolades you’ll receive from doing this. Get resonant and feel into the success.
Tip 3) Focus on Can instead of can’t. Put more of your energy into why you can do what you want to do, instead of making the long lists of reasons why you can’t. This is energetic and it is real. Look to the past when you’ve done other hard things, and see if there’s any intelligence or strategy that you can leverage here. For example, maybe you had to pitch a boardroom of senior execs, and so you prepared well for it and then ran through the presentation daily for a week, or presented it to a friend for real time feedback. This is a success strategy that worked for you in the past, so it’s pretty much guaranteed to work for you again this time around.
and tip #4) Start socializing and living into it. This means tell everyone about it out loud. Don’t just keep it to yourself. This not only works energetically by shifting things at a cellular level, but it also helps you practice your pitch when you’re talking about your new goal or project! And focus on WHO you are as you’re doing this new thing. How will you show up, how will you present, how will others receive you. These are important things.
OK it’s time to wrap up this episode on the confidence fairy.
Let’s recap what you are taking way from today:
First off, there’s no such thing as the confidence fairy. You can’t wait around until you feel ready or confident enough to do something. If you’re not feeling ready today, you won’t feel any more ready tmrw, or next year. The best way to build confidence in doing it, is to go out and actually do it. Your saboteur will have a long list of excuses why you’re not ready, and things you need to do first – these are mostly just distractions. Taking action is the best confidence builder. And the 4 tips that will help you take inspired action and stop waiting around for the confidence fairy. 1) Get resonant. Take time to really feel into what you are doing Tip 2) Create a physical representation of the success you will have Tip 3) Put more energy into why you can do what you want to do. And #4) Start socializing it, which means tell everyone about it out loud. Don’t just keep it to yourself.
Thanks for tuning in today. If you enjoyed this episode, please share it with someone who really needs to hear it. Let’s face it, I guarantee there’s someone in your life who is waiting around for the confidence fairy, and they need your tough love wake up call, so this episode a great conversation starter. Or maybe send it to an accountability partner and ask them to point out any time in the future when they see you waiting around for the confidence fairy. You will both be glad that you did.
I look forward to seeing you next Tuesday for another great episode and remember, that any fear or resistance you hold deep inside of you, is simply your greatness in disguise.