A Confidence Coach's Crisis Of Confidence
Wait Vari, a Coach who helps women with their confidence doesn't feel completely confident all the time?
OH F NO! Let's bust that myth straight away.
I don't have constant unfailing confidence in myself.
But when I do doubt myself, I have learnt how to reconnect with my confidence, to figure out what has happened, and remind myself of why I do believe in me, as a human, a woman, a business owner and a Coach.
I have to keep doing the work - and I'm here to share my most recent confidence crisis, and how I worked with it.
If you're new here - Hello! 👋 I'm Vari - Scottish Kiwi Hufflepuff and ICF Certified Life Coach - living in Melbourne. I'm here to help women take brave action with confidence and heart in their career or business, and to help break down the systemic engrained outdated world of work which is so biased against women.
I'll share what's happened, how I have worked through it, what it reminded me of, and why I am so passionate about this work and this space.
What Is Confidence?
If you're one of the amazing people who read the blog, listen to the podcast or follow me online, so will know I am ALL about defining something before we discuss it.
We hear so much about Confidence, but what actually is it?
The answer is so unique to everyone, and it's often the first conversation I have with a client - what is confidence to you? How would you know you were feeling confident?
To me, confidence is the art of living with internally validated self belief, moving through this changing and challenging world knowing your worth, taking action from a heart centred confident place, without apology or explanation.
Confident Vari trusts her values, skills, intuition and that she knows what's best for her.
I know I am feeling confident when I jump into a day, week, task or project without stopping to question myself, wonder if I am enough, or simply to procrastinate.
As I said in the introduction, a state of constant unchangeable confidence isn't an achievable goal - but having tools, practices and rituals to help when you aren't feeling so confident is powerful.
Confidence is an art - it's for everyone to find their own way to stepping into it.
I have rituals, practices and reminders woven into my daily routine and my office space, but a crisis of confidence can still crop up.
And it did for me last week.
I was speaking with guests for a new podcast season, where the theme for the episode comes from them completing the sentence: "I wish more people had the Courage to talk about....."
There are some incredible, insightful, vulnerable, thought provoking, taboo, brave topics.
Including chronic illness, racism, generational guilt, female pleasure, workplace bullying, infertility, equity and advocacy.
These are big, important, challenging conversations. Conversations which need space to be heard, and courage to talk about.
And I heard myself think: "Who am I to be hosting these conversations??"
I doubted if I was the right person, if I was enough.
I was genuinely upset, and considered handing this season, these topics and hosting onto someone 'better suited'. I thought I had taken on too much, pushed myself too far.
I shed a few tears at my desk.
What Did I Do?
I really don't believe in ignoring, quietening, or trying to block these doubts, the questions you ask yourself in those low confidence moments.
[As with everything I do and my Coaching practice, I'm not talking about mental health or any other diagnosable medical conditions.}
Personally I find listening to those doubting thoughts, accepting the questions and exploring them to be a lot more powerful. And that this way of working also has longer lasting impacts too.
So I sat in a comfortable space, and asked myself out loud - who am I to be hosting these conversations?
And here are the answers which came to me:
👉 My strengths - my Coach and I explored my Strengths Profile in 2019 and 2020, work which I still go back to and draw on today. My strengths include: narrator, listener, explainer, service, humility, listener, connector and mission.
I thought: hmm these do seem like strengths aligned to hosting these courageous conversations...
👉 My skills - I spent over a year studying, practicing and refining my skills to gain my International Coaching Federation certification. Skills including holding space, deep listening, powerful questioning, being completely present in a conversation, and actively reflecting and summarising what I have heard.
👉 My self belief - something I have dedicated precious time to nurturing, especially on the roller-coaster that starting your own business is. I believe in myself, as a person who takes action from a heart centred, mission driven place, aimed at making a positive impact on the world.
👉 My success is leaping out of my comfort zone - changing careers, moving my whole life for a 3 month contract at an Olympics, solo travelling India when I had never backpacked (never mind solo) before, moving across the world, starting a business in a pandemic... I know I thrive best when I take a leap on faith, expand my horizons and live in the expansive place outside of my comfort zone.
And ultimately I thought of the deep calling I feel to have these conversations, to create a safe space for women to share and to listen.
And began to wonder if actually I was the right person for the job...
My confidence tentatively started coming back to me, as I remembered there's no such thing as 'the right person / time / idea / plan / action' - only the one you feel called towards, and almost brave enough to embrace.
The confidence crisis showed me once more - after 3 years of focussed personal development work - that the work is never done. It's a path I will continue to follow, sometimes running, sometimes tiptoeing, sometimes joyfully dancing along.
I remembered the power of questioning, of being curious about your own thoughts and beliefs, and giving yourself space and grace to figure things out.
This work all takes time, it takes bravery, and it unfolds at it's own pace.
Helping women - including myself - live lives full of confident heart centred action is something I am very passionate about. I see the amazing impact role models doing so has on other women.
I see women breaking free from the bias, beliefs, and other BS that has kept them small, apologetic, and stuck in a self doubt spiral.
And I see the power of sharing the hard, hard work that goes into this. The downs just as much as the ups. I'm sharing this story, just like I shared My Lowlights Of 2021, to help other women know they are not alone, that there are a LOT of tough moments behind all the shiny celebratory moments shared.
Thank you sincerely for being here, for reading, for exploring courageous conversations with me.