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Your Confidence--Use It or Lose It

Point to Ponder:

Do you often… over-think things? People-please? Hold on to defeats? Strive for perfection? Undersell yourself? Play it safe? Doubt yourself?

I wish I could say when I turned 40 I became infinitely confident, but “little Neissa”, the insecure 12 year old who still lives inside of me continues to fear saying the wrong thing, not sounding smart and articulate, doing something stupid, and not being liked. Truth be told, after some great coaching I’ve learned I struggle with worthiness. Based on no facts and only assumptions, "little Neissa" gets in over-thinking modes and feels like she's not doing enough, is un-liked, and unapproved of--which of course affects my confidence. The maddening result is overcompensation—which for me is a ridiculous mental jig that spins me into a shark-infested people-pleasing frenzy. Fortunately, I can now identify it for what it is and stop myself before getting devoured by my mental great whites, but non-the-less, without self-awareness, it’s very easy for me to land in my non-confident shell.

Several years ago I read the book The Confidence Code. It was was written by two female journalists who specifically cover women’s confidence, self-assurance — why we lack them more than men, and why that lacking keep us from speaking up, fully believing in ourselves and striving for everything we desire.

Over the next few weeks I will share what in my opinions are the best take-aways from the book (that also include a diet that promotes confidence), but for today, below is round 1 of fascinating confidence findings specifically related to women:

  1. Regardless of power, prestige, or position, every woman is guilty of: over-thinking, people pleasing, and an inability to let go of defeats

  2. Perfectionism: We assume somehow that we don’t have the level of expertise or knowledge needed and therefore we over-prepare, hesitate or simply don’t try. And women are only confident when we feel perfect.

  3. We Undersell Ourselves: We often keep our thoughts (which we decide can’t be that impressive) to ourselves.

  4. ‘Safe’ Syndrome: Rather than take a risk to experience victory, we stay in the safe zone to avoid defeat.

  5. Self Doubt and Setbacks: Men do experience self-doubt, but they shrug it off, have the ability to get restarted more quickly and don’t let setbacks linger as long. Women tend to dwell and examine those doubts in excruciating detail, which is paralyzing.

My personal conclusion is: confidence is a muscle, and it is our personal responsibility to use it often, strengthen and build it. Unfortunately it doesn't just show up at a certain age. Actually, at a very young age we start off with most of it and like any muscle, if we don’t use or practice building it, we lose it. It is for this reasons why we, the iGnite Team, believe iGnite is so vital and important for women. As you iGnite, which is something just for you--you work hard, try new things, excel in a way you never thought you could, are validated, supported and encouraged by other women and told “You got this! You Rock!”--your confidence muscle grows. This then emboldens and empowers you to do more—not just in exercise but in all areas of life.

This is another reason for our iGnite Escapes, which will be taking place in Whistler, BC from July 23-31 (the next nine days). Yes we drink wine and it’s all pleasure, but the experience is designed for connection, inspiration and empowerment—doing things you might not do alone or with your family in tow, which is confidence building. (Be sure and check out the daily iGnite Instagram stories for highlights)

All in all, the key to building confidence is using it and practicing it daily—all the while eliminating self-doubt, self-limitation and self-defeating tendencies. So, speak up, take risks, do something you’ve timidly said “no” to but you really want to say “Yes!”, step outside of your physical, mental and emotional/spiritual safe-zones, and go for it! What the it afraid and embrace the thrill of a racing heart..and refuse to miss you life!


Action Item:

This week, avoid people pleasing, over-thinking, perfectionism and self-doubt. Practice letting go of your mistakes, speaking up, and taking risks.


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