This is a solo episode where I’m sharing about how to grow your confidence and courage. I’m also inviting you to join me in a challenge and I’d love to hear how you get on!
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Hello and welcome to The Calmer You podcast. This is your host Chloe Brotheridge I am a coach and a hypnotherapist and I’m the author of The Anxiety Solution and Brave New Girl which is out now. Thank you so much for listening today this is a solo episode on a Brave New Girl edition of the podcast. So, I’m going to be talking about confidence which is a topic of my new book Brave New Girl and I’m going to talk about how confidence isn’t necessarily all it seems.
I’m going to be sharing some really simple ways to grow your confidence and I’m also going to be inviting you to join me in a challenge. I’ve already had loads of people joining and it’s been so, so interesting to hear from you all so I’m really excited to share this with more people. As always I’m going to invite you to come over to calmeryou.com/free and grab your free anxiety busting tool kit if you haven’t already. I’ve got amazing resources in there from worksheets to hypnotherapy Mp3’s to affirmations, to access to our online community to get support from other people who are experiencing the same things as you.
So, we look at people like Adele and we assume that because she’s so amazing at what she does that she must be super confident but the truth is that Adele has been known to get so nervous before her performances that she actually throws up. We look at people like Mel Robbins. You might know Mel Robbins, her book that is most famous is called the 5 Second Rule and she did a TED talk in 2011 and during her TED talk she comes across as totally together, calm, confident and collected and yet she talks about how the reality was that during that TED talk she was having a panic attack the whole time.
Even people like Michelle Obama and Meryl Streep have spoken about imposter syndrome and how they doubt themselves and how they sometimes they don’t feel good enough and so it’s so easy to look at other people who appear to have it all together, who appear to have everything figured out and we assume that they do have it together and they’ve got it all figured out and that somehow they were just born confident and that it’s actually just easy for them, it comes naturally for them and we could never do that we’re not good enough for that.
We struggle, we doubt ourselves, we don’t feel confident, we get scared and so we can never do you know the things that we really want to do. It means we don’t put ourselves out there, speak up or share our art and so this is just one of the ways that we really hold ourselves back. When we peel below the surface of people that appear really confident we learn actually what looks like confidence is often courage.
Part of what I’m inviting you to do is to really just question this idea that you need to be confident before you do the things you want to do. Because lots of people are feeling afraid, doubting themselves, questioning their abilities and they’re still putting themselves out there and you wouldn’t necessarily know that they were not confident unless you asked them or they came out about that.
So what if we just gave ourselves permission to be afraid but to take action anyway. What if doubting yourself was completely normal and not a sign that you’re not good enough and not a sign that you should not put yourself forward for things… but actually just a normal side effect of being a human being? What if fear was actually an invitation for you to walk towards that? What if imposter syndrome was not a sign that you are not good enough or a fraud but actually just a sign that you are doing something that is outside of your comfort zone, your doing something new, you’re expanding your horizons, your expanding what’s possible for you and your learning and growing and stretching.
Give yourself permission
What more we could give ourselves permission to do. And if we could say no more if we had the confidence to say no, if we have the confidence to ask for what we wanted and to do all the things that we dream of doing – what would we be capable of and how much are we missing out on by holding ourselves back. Just think about this how much time, how much energy, how much money are we missing out on because we don’t feel that we’re able not to do and say what we really want and we’re held back by fears.
Now, someone told me quite recently at a women’s event where we were all talking about shame and it’s one of these situations like a women’s circle where we’re all in a circle and you had to take it in turns to speak and to share something. Obviously shame is a topic where it’s not that easy to talk about it’s actually quite scary and it feels very vulnerable and the teacher said ‘If your heart is racing that means it’s your turn to speak’. This really stayed with me because when we have anxiety or we experience a lot of fear we often take our racing heart as a sign to run away, to stay quiet, to avoid and of course that’s completely natural because the fear makes us want to avoid things – biologically it’s helping us to run away or fight or the unpleasantness of experiencing that anxiety or fear means that we intrinsically want to avoid it but what if that racing heart was actually your invitation, your cue to speak, to walk towards that thing that you’re afraid of?
Walk towards, or run away
I’ve often found in moments where I’m experiencing fear about whether to take action on something or not that there is a real moment where a choice emerges where I can either walk towards something or I can walk away and it might be for you a moment in a talk where you get the opportunity to ask a question and there’s that moment where you could put your hand up and ask the question or you could just stay quiet. It might be that moment where you spot someone in a room that you really want to introduce yourself to and you have that moment your heart starts to race and you think I could go over and introduce myself or I could just stay here and stay safe and that moment when your heart starts to race? That’s your cue to go and take that action. That’s the que to go and do the thing that means you are walking towards your fear and that’s really one thing that I’ve learned through managing my anxiety and helping lots of other people and it’s the fear shrinks when we walk towards it and actually fear tends to grow when we run away from it.
When we avoid situations for me I avoided parties, I never would go to a networking event. I was really intimidated by anyone new and the more I avoided that the more scary those sorts of situations became and it was only by challenging myself and walking towards the fear that it started to reduce and so what happens when we walk towards our fear is that our nervous system learns that we can survive that situation so little by little as I started to really challenge myself, push myself out of my comfort zone, forced myself to speak to people, force myself to speak in public, introduce myself to people all those sorts of things and my nervous system learned ‘oh I don’t actually die’ in this situation I do actually survive and better yet quite often good things come of that and you start to retrain your nervous system, your brain, your body learns it’s actually safe for you to do the things that in the past scared you and frightened you.
Your heart is racing for a reason
I had this experience recently I was in America on holiday having a road trip with a good friend of mine and we were driving I think we’re in Virginia one of these states around that part of the country on the East Coast and we were in a Mexican restaurant and we just had dinner and we had just settled up the bill were about to leave and suddenly you know one of the waiters comes on to a microphone and announces that Friday night is karaoke night. As soon as he said that my heart started to pound in my chest and I literally started shaking my hands are shaking as I was holding the bill that we just paid and because I’ve just written this book Brave New Girl, I had pretty much no option but to take that as a sign! This is a sign that this is my turn to go and do karaoke.
But just giving you a bit of a background I might have shared this on Instagram before but for years I’ve had a massive block about singing. I used to love singing as a child, as a teenager I would sing all the time and then I got slightly traumatized by my first boyfriend when I was I think about fifteen and I was singing and playing
I’m a sensitive person and this hit me hard and that sense of criticism I just didn’t forget. It was only a couple of years ago that I finally got over this fear of singing in front of people and to do something like singing karaoke in front of a load of strangers felt very scary! I don’t drink alcohol so I couldn’t even have some Dutch courage. I found myself literally shaking as I held the microphone belting out a bit of Adele in front of out thirty people in this random Mexican restaurant in Virginia in the United States.
I had this big, big sense of achievement afterwards because I knew that I’d walked towards my fear I hadn’t run away and I’d taken that racing heart as a sign that actually this is a chance for me to overcome my fear here. This is a chance for me to grow my confidence and it’s really interesting how when we walk towards our fear when we do something that is outside of our comfort zone, that is a challenge it makes us feel good. We feel good about ourselves, we feel resilient, we feel capable, we learn to trust ourselves and this is why I’m inviting you to join me in the Brave New Girl challenge and already lots of people have been posting on Instagram and tagging the
How will you challenge yourself?
So, some examples I’ve had was someone who went to the cinema on their own, another person asked a friend on Instagram
Someone else took some steps to change their career, some scary steps in that direction and it’s just amazing and it’s really interesting how we just get ourselves into this mindset of ‘right I’m a brave new girl’ or a ‘brave new boy’ or however you identify ‘brave new you’ and having this mindset of ‘right, I’m going to challenge myself’. I’m in this mode of challenging myself just means that you’re giving the extra push to do those things that you might not normally do and honestly this is how we grow our confidence, this is how we become more resilient, more capable, this is how we expand our horizons and expand what is possible for us and start to discover what our potential is.
So, if I can go from completely paralyzed and able to sing in front of anyone to belting out Adele in front of a load of strangers then I think you can do this as well and so I really hope you’ll join me. You can tag me on Instagram @ChloeBrotheridge