I love to learn more about confidence – what it feels like, how to create it, what it allows us to do and more. And because I know it looks and feels different for everyone, that’s why I love hosting my Confident Mother conference as every story is different (and I learn something new). Today I’m going to share 5 surprising things I learned about confidence in the last 3 weeks.
First step to confidence is clarity
From the 21 interviews covering topics from self-belief to mindfulness and emotional intelligence to productivity there were threads and connections that explained and explored confidence and I noticed the same things come up over and over. These same things are what I shared in what was essentially a ‘highlights’ session last week. The first step to confidence was always focused on getting clarity on what to do next. There are 4 other pieces that I always talk about with my clients but now see them even more clearly.
I’m still on a buzz from the conference. One mum emailed me this morning to share how she has found Clear Confidence to know what to focus on and how to take action:
… I have resisted the challenge of trying to do too many at once and have decided to take action around my health – I signed up to do a charity 10km race in 12 weeks time! This is something I’ve been thinking about for ages, but … I’ve been putting it off for a very long time!
I was SO happy to get that email. She’s realised that she needs to focus on Wellness … in the survey that I asked conference participants to complete, Wellness is the one element where women feel least confident. For me, wellness is about your physical health (exercise, diet, taking ‘me’ time) but also about your mental health (overwhelm strategies, ditching the guilt). Now she has that clarity, she found the confidence to take action!
What I noticed is that for some of my speakers, such Caroline Ferguson or Rachel McGuiness, the clarity was a bolt from the blue. An overnight realisation that something needs to change. For others, including Nadia McInnis whose baby brother was murdered, and Vanessa Anstee, who realised she was on the wrong business track, getting clear took longer. Without that clarity, it’s almost impossible to find the confidence to make a decision and take action.
If you’re thinking, “I do need some clarity; perhaps I should have joined Clear Confidence“, you still can. It’s just that you have missed out on the conference discount and bonuses. (Though if you come to see me at NCT Wimbledon‘s evening on Wednesday, I might just have a little something up my sleeve on the night). In the first session on Wednesday, we’ll be exploring Work (all the sessions are recorded so if you can’t make it live, you’ll be able to catch up).
Connect with your emotions
The second piece is around connecting in with our emotions and feelings. This topic came up so often that I wondered if I’d chosen the wrong theme for the conference! From Elizabeth O’Shea sharing her tips on emotional intelligence to both Lori West and Vanessa Anstee emphasising the importance of connecting in with our emotions and our feelings; understanding how these feel in our body and being able to name them. And aren’t children so much better at being in touch with their emotions? Somehow as we get older, we seem to forget to give ourselves permission to experience emotions and feelings. Is it because we want to always be in control? Are we too busy taking care of everybody else’s emotions and feelings? Does society frown upon emotions?
What I also learned about confidence is the importance of self-love or looking after yourself; giving yourself permission to take ‘me’ time. And remember everything we do and say is modelling behaviour for our children, so if you have a tendency to martyrdom, what messages are you giving your children? As Rachel McGuiness reminded us “You can’t pour from an empty cup”. If you’re worried about how much time “self-love” takes, it doesn’t have to be all time-consuming. I loved the energy boosting tips from Vicky. When you have more energy, you are more resilient and more productive. In fact self-love makes time for you. And Lottie Moore showed us easy ways to bring more mindfulness into our every day life. Neuroscience tells us that altered state (such as mindfulness or meditation) just 10 minutes day are linked to increased attention & emotional regulation.
Everybody loved the uplifting and inspirational session with Fi Feehan on how to find your true purpose. Nadia reiterated how when you find your gift, you find your purpose. When you find your purpose, you will feel satisfied. When you understand your ONE thing, your true purpose, your mission or your contribution to the world, and you then focus on that ONE thing, life becomes so much easier. You will feel in the flow. Work feels like effortless effort. Mums like Ashley, Michelle, Emma and Lorna have all found their thing. Their purpose. Your confidence blossoms when you know your purpose.
Feel the fear and do it anyway
Finally it’s all very well having clarity, connecting in with your emotions, experiencing self-love, identifying your purpose, but it’s nothing if you don’t then Take Action. And yes sometimes, it’s scary. However when you feel the fear and do it anyway, WOW that IS powerful. When Jo Cormack talked about picky eating, she reminded us that when we avoid something, the neural pathways ‘weaken’ and the fear gets worse! So just do it. Make a decision and take action. Don’t worry if it’s the wrong decision. We learn so much from our mistakes. When you take action, that’s how you build confidence. Yes some might argue that fear is there to protect us, but don’t let it wrap you up in cotton wool. You are more tough and resilient than you know.
It’s a wrap!
While the conference has finished for another year, I’ll continue to bring you guest speakers and online classes from time to time. What speakers or topics are you interested in? I loved the wrap-up session last week – it gave me an opportunity to revisit all the interviews and pick up on the learning points that I didn’t get at the time. Do you find that? That you read something, watch a documentary or listen to an interview a second time, that it sparks new ideas and thoughts? (If you want to listen to the conference interviews a second time, grab a copy of the full library here).
These are the five things I learned about confidence: the first step is always to be clear on what you want to focus on, to have that clarity. Secondly it’s about connecting in with your emotions, being able to name them. Practice self-love so that you are fit for your purpose, whatever that purpose may be. And finally, when you have the clarity that gives you the confidence, the final step is to take action, no matter if it seems scary. Just feel the fear and do it anyway.
I’ve loved sharing these themes with you. Do remember though – you don’t need to focus on everything at the same time. I encourage my clients to focus on just one element at a time. That’s what Clear Confidence is about – helping you to decide what to focus on. If you like the sound of having Clear Confidence, find out more here.