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Ep #167: Self-Confidence

I feel like self-confidence is something that everyone wants but not everyone is actively trying to create.

What is it about self-confidence that makes it an attractive feeling, a way of being, and ultimately, an identity trait? Where does self-confidence come from and how can we show others that we’re well-liked?

On this episode of The Life Coach School podcast, I answer these questions and take a deep dive into the topic of having and developing an unshakable confidence in ourselves. I also explain why most of us lack self-confidence and what we can do in order to increase that seemingly elusive character trait.

What You will discover

  • What it truly means to be self-confident.
  • How to show people that you’re well-liked without being creepy.
  • How it is different than arrogance.
  • Why most of us don’t have self-confidence.
  • Fixed mindset vs. growth mindset.
  • Where self-confidence comes from.
  • How you can increase your self-confidence.
  • The thoughts that can help with this process.
  • The most important thing to remember when you’re building self-confidence.
  • And much more!

Get the Full Episode Transcript:

download the transcript

Episode Transcript:

Welcome to The Life Coach School podcast, where it's all about real clients, real problems, and real coaching, and now your host, Master Coach Instructor, Brooke Castillo.

Well hello there, my friends. I love you guys, and the reason why I'm saying that is we just did Podcast Live. We just had about 100 people that are my podcast listeners come and spend two days with us and I love you all. It was so fun to see your faces. I see your faces in my mind all the time when I'm recording the podcast, but to actually see you live was crazy fun, and I loved talking to everyone afterwards. It was really interesting.

Many of you have listened to my podcast for years, have applied it. Many of you are in Scholars, but there was this powerful experience about just being together, being in the energy and seeing me actually do models live that was really empowering for a lot of you. I got a lot of notes afterwards that said that, so because of that, I have decided to add a live component to Scholars. I want to call it a "model-thon," where we just tackle everyone's problems and do models on them.

It was interesting because right after I did the Podcast Live, we did an event with my certified coaches at Mastermind. We do it once a year, and I just did it all in the same six-day period. I did two days of the Podcast Live. Then we did two days of Master Coach Training and then we did two days of Mastermind. There's lots of mastery happening. What was interesting is that when you are being coached, when you are dealing with a problem of your own, it's very challenging to find your own thinking with your own thoughts. It's so much easier to have someone point them out for you, right?

I'm thinking specifically at Mastermind, I was coaching one of my master coaches, who works with me all of the time, who I talk to all of the time, and we were coaching her on a habit that she was wanting to break, and I've watched her coach other clients masterfully. She understands the model backwards, forwards. She can coach from that place, but when I was coaching her, she was just really having a hard time identifying her own thoughts and feelings. She thought she had the right thoughts and feelings, but I helped her see that there were different ways of looking at it, which was really powerful for her.
Actually another master coach coached her on something that she was dealing with with her daughter and gave her a completely different perspective. It was really helpful for both of them. These are two people I know are coaching themselves all of the time and coaching clients all of the time, so it really helped me realize that going back to the basics and doing the model all of the time is so important. We need to make sure that we're doing that and that me demonstrating it and working with people at a higher level is really educational.

That's what we do in Scholars every week. We have a coaching call once a week and I do coaching. I got a letter from someone recently saying that just watching me coach is so helpful to her in her own life because she can see how to do it more effectively in her own life. I actually have a lot of coaches who are in Scholars that are in there because they just want to watch me coach because they learn so much from watching me coach, because I've been at this so long.

What I've decided to do is do at least quarterly model-thons, maybe monthly. It will depend. I want to keep the groups kind of small, but I'm going to offer it for free for VIP Scholars. A VIP Scholar is someone who's been in Scholars for six months or more, and we started Scholars in January, so we're coming up on that six month mark and we really wanted to celebrate the people that have stayed with it for six months because listen, when you're getting coached, when you're doing the work in Scholars, you are digging. You are changing your life. You are embracing discomfort and you're also being conscious and deliberate and making the time for it.

I said to my husband and my business partner, I said, "I really want to do something amazing for them because I'm so proud of the work that's being done in there, the weight loss." Now, I don't expect everybody to do everything. There's so much in there, like I always say, it's the Netflix of coaching. There's so much in there. It's a huge buffet that you can choose from, like for example, I have some clients that are in there that are just doing overeating, and some clients that are in there that are just focusing on overdrinking. That's totally fine, but that daily practice of doing that and showing up and listening to the calls for six months is a lot.
Here's the deal. We're going to do a live, in person event at least once a quarter, and we're going to do a model-thon. Everyone will come. We'll get a room. I've moved to Dallas. I'm about to move to Dallas in two weeks, so it most likely will be down in Dallas. They have a really nice Ritz Carlton there I thought would be really pleasurable to be able to do that, or there's lots of other hotels. I need to go and check out one and we'll just do it regularly. I'm actually considering getting a large office in Dallas, so we might just do it at my office.

Depending on the size of the group, we could do it at my house too. If it's a smaller intimate group, then my house that I'm buying is really big, so we could do it there, which would be super fun I think, actually. That's coming attractions. If you're in Scholars, if you're a VIP, which means you've been there six months or longer, or you're coming up on that, I'll send you all the information on that. But the reason I'm telling you guys this on the podcast is just because of the power of doing that model live and doing it with a coach, really kind of was cemented in my mind over these past couple days.

I feel completely nourished by the experience that I had. I kept my Mastermind small this year. The year before that I had done it, we sent out a lot of emails, encouraged everyone to go. We had a really big venue. We spent crazy amounts of money on snacks and making it just really big and over the top. Because I'm an introvert and because I traveled to San Diego to do it, I was really exhausted afterwards, so I decided this year to keep it small, and I'm so glad that I did. It was kind of in my hometown, in the same place where we do the six-day training, so it felt like home to all of us.

If you were there, huge squeeze. Loved being there. I feel so nourished by the whole experience, and I love you guys so much and if you were unable to make it, I hope that you'll touch base with someone who was there because it was so really amazingly powerful, what we worked on, and just kind of back to basics that we have to remember the model is the answer to everything, and you are just one model away from where you want to be. Okay. That was a long intro. Thanks for hanging with me.

Here's what we're going to do. We're going to talk about self-confidence today, and I want to talk about self-confidence because I feel as if self-confidence is something everybody wants, but it's not something that everybody actively is trying to create. I think that's a shame, right? A lot of people say, "I want to be confident like you." They'll say this to me, or, "I want more self-confidence in my life. I want to be able to ask questions and do things that are scary." My question is, when I was preparing this, I asked “why?” What is it about self-confidence that makes it an attractive feeling, a way of being, and ultimately an identity trait?

I went to the Googles to discover the answer to this. There were three main answers. Here's one: “it instructs people how to think about you. If you show people that you are well-liked and thought highly of, they are likely to follow suit. You teach people how to treat you by how you treat yourself.” Now, let's unpack this because that's a lot. The truth is you can't make people think a certain way about you. People are going to think what they think about you. Believe me, sister and brother. They are going to think what they are going to think, and there's nothing you can do about it.

They get to choose what they think, but I love the way this says, "You can instruct them how to think about you." If they're on the fence, they're like, "I don't know how to think about you," you can instruct them to think about you. Then it says, "If you show people that you are well-liked." How do you show people that you are well-liked? You like yourself. You can't show people that you're well-liked by other people. That would be weird and creepy anyway. You're like, "Let me tell you all the people that like me." "Okay, no thanks."

But you can show people that you're well-liked by liking yourself when you show up. You teach people how to treat you by how you treat yourself. I think this is like an for your brain. If you show up and you treat yourself with respect, you talk about yourself in a kind way, in a nice way, in a loving way, and then you have that kind of overflow to liking the other person and showing up and liking them and acknowledging them, it instructs them that you are someone to be liked.

Now, they may or may not like you, but you've instructed them. I think that's fantastic. Think about something that a lot people like. It makes you want to try it. It makes you want to like it. Like if I say to you, "Oh my gosh. I love her. You have to listen to her podcast," Jess Lively by the way, if you're wondering who I'm thinking about, she's amazing. "I love her," then you're like, "I want to love her too," right? If I tell you that I love something, you're like, "I want to love her. I want to know. If you love her, I might love her," but you can do that with yourself.

You don't walk around saying, "I love me," although I do, but a lot of people think that's weird. But you can act that way. You can show up that way. That can be your truth, and when you speak about yourself, you speak in a very respectful way. I can't tell you how many people talk about themselves in a very derogatory way. They talk about themselves and their lives in a very negative way. Most people don't even realize they're doing this. They don't realize that they're saying horrible things about themselves. Just know that you're instructing people how to think about you by how you think about yourself. Self-confidence makes it easy for people to like us because we are setting the way, right? We're showing them, "Oh I'm someone to be liked in case you were wondering."

Number two: “it's suggests leadership. As humans and pack animals, we want to find the leader and follow her. Self-confidence is one of the traits of a leader. When someone is in a leadership space in our minds, we listen to them. We follow them, and we try to emulate them.” Isn't that so great when ... Have you ever gone to a conference or gone to be taught by someone and they're just full of self-confidence? You're like, "Oh good. I just wanted to make sure you were the leader. I just want to follow you. I want to be part of the pack. You step out and lead." Right?

We look for the leader, "Who's the leader in this group?" Sometimes in a group, I'm the leader, and in other times in the group, I'm not the leader. I'm the follower and I want to be the follower, and I like to follow people who exude self-confidence. I feel like when someone else exudes self-confidence and I can have confidence in them. I can relax and follow them without a lot of question. We want to do that. Isn't that so interesting? “As human pack animals, we want to find the leader that we can follow.” In a situation where you want to be the leader, you can put everyone else at ease by being self-confident, not questioning, not talking like "this," not showing up like, "I'm a little bit afraid." I feel like in some ways you're not creating that leadership role when you're not generating your own self-confidence.

Number three: “it exudes positivity that is attractive. We love to be around people who help us feel better. Self-confident people have positive thoughts about themselves, which in turn create positive thoughts towards others. Self-confident people do not feel the need to put others down or judge others to feel good about themselves. They are a joy to be around.” Haven't you found that to be true? No, we're not talking about arrogant people. Let's talk about that difference for a minute. An arrogant person says, "I'm better than everybody else. They're terrible. I'm wonderful." They come from that place of insecurity, trying to be better than everybody else. That is not self-confidence.

Self-confidence is, from my perspective, is, "I love myself. I like myself and because of that, I like all of you." None of us is better than the other. Huge difference, right? The leader of a pack isn't better than anybody else in that pack. They're just the leader in that area, and we want them to lead us, right? Don't you feel that way? "Lead me." Not because you're better than me, but because you're the leader now. Okay? That's where that self-confidence can come from. Now remember, self-confidence is based on your mindset, on the way you think.

I want to specify the difference between confidence and self-confidence because I started thinking about it. I'm like, "Is there a difference between confidence and self-confidence?" I went to the Googles. Did you know that I have a second brain and it's Google? I love Google. Confidence can be specific to a practiced skill or talent, so people can say, "I'm very confident when it comes to being a coach." "I'm very confident when it comes to playing basketball." "I'm very confident when it comes to playing video games." Attributing that confidence to a certain area. "I'm confident when it comes to pouring a glass of water."

But self-confidence is an overall mindset about your ability in all areas of life that matter to you. Now, here's the difference that I'm going to help you kind of distinguish between. Let's say we're confident in basketball. We've played basketball our whole life. We've very good at it. We know that we can go on the court and hold our own. It doesn't mean, "Oh I'm not going to make any mistakes." It doesn't mean, "I'm better than everyone else out there on the court." It just means, "I know how to handle pretty much anything on that court. I've played enough. There's lots of things that'll come up, but I'll know how to handle them." Okay? That's how we approach basketball.

Self-confidence is really about emotion. We don't know how to do everything, especially when we're trying new things, but we know how to handle our own mindset, and that's where confidence comes from. It comes from knowing that we can handle our own mindset and our own emotion. A growth mindset breeds self-confidence: knowing that we can figure things out, knowing that we can grow. A fixed mindset is more like based on our talent. If we're not good at something, it must mean we're not good at something. Okay? The minute we make a mistake, the minute we come up against something, if we have a fixed mindset, we are not going to have self-confidence to overcome it and we will probably give up.

Self-confidence and a growth mindset comes from a place of, "Of course there's going to be mistakes. Of course I'm going to fail. That's how I grow." Remember the little kid that falls down. They way that he gets strong enough to walk is by pushing himself back up. Fixed mindset sees failing at something as an expression of a character or talent flaw. Growth mindset thrives on challenge and sees failure not as evidence of unintelligence, but as a heartening springboard for growth and for stretching our existing abilities. What is your belief about your capability? Do you believe it is fixed or do you believe you can grow and learn how to do anything? Is failure just feedback to you?

I want to offer here too, the people that have self-confidence usually have a future-based mindset. They don't base their confidence on something that they've done in the past because if you're basing your confidence based on something you've done in your past, you're only going to be repeating and improving things that you've done in your past. You're not going to have explosive growth in your future because you're relying on your past to provide you with evidence that you can be confident. Self-confidence is a feeling we need to develop capability and therefore external confidence in our ability through practice and repetition.

If you're trying to get confidence from your talent, if you're trying to get self-confidence from your ability, you're doing it backwards. You have to believe in you capability to develop your capacity, to develop the talent, and then you can rely on the external evidence, but you have to have the self-confidence to create that external evidence. It looks like this. Number one, you take action. Number two, you fail, and number three, you learn. When you take action, you either get the result your want or not, but you always learn what works and what doesn't. Take action, fail or not, learn.

Self-confident people don't take action and always win. I think it's a huge misconception. People think that, "Oh self-confidence comes from always winning, always being successful." A lot of people will look at some of the success that I've had maybe in my business and think, "Oh well it's easy for her to be self-confident. Look at how successful she is." But I promise you it's the other way around. You have to have self-confidence before you create that success, not after. For example, I'm self-confident in my capability to grow, to have bigger dreams, to accomplish bigger things in my life. That is not based on me having already done that. My goals for my future are so much bigger than my past. I've never done that.

It's based on my ability to handle anything that comes my way and I know that what will come my way is an emotion. My self-confidence comes from knowing that I can experience any emotion and I can manage my mindset. You increase your capability by practicing and getting better. If you aren't taking action, you're moving away from self-confidence. You are failing ahead of time. Self-confidence fuels action. If you are not taking action, it is because you're not generating the feeling of self-confidence. Here's how I generate the feeling of self-confidence. "There is nothing that can happen that I can't handle because the worst that can happen is an emotion and I know how to handle my emotions."

Failing ahead of time teaches you nothing. If you take no action, how do you know what works and what doesn't? If you're going to fail, don't fail ahead of time. Fail by taking action and learning, rather than failing by doing nothing and trying to stay comfortable. Yes, both can be considered failure but at least one gets you somewhere and increases your self-confidence by providing evidence that you are capable of taking action. Here are some thoughts. I believe in my ability to get this result no matter how long it takes, how many times I have to fail, or what I need to learn. That is such a good thought you guys. Steal that immediately.

I believe in my ability to get this result no matter how long it takes, how many times I have to fail, or what I need to learn. This is like when I signed up with my coach, Frank Kern and I was committed to doing everything he told me to do no matter what. Because I generated that for myself, I was able to have self-confidence. The worst thing that can happen is failure and I can handle failure. I enjoy making the impossible happen. Doing something impossible, you know it's going to be hard. You know it's going to be uncomfortable. You show up anyway. Why not? I see no reason why I can't create something spectacular if I keep trying with all my heart and mind.

Failure is the way to success. Discomfort is the currency for success. When you have self-confidence, you can create amazing success because you're willing to keep going. Self-confidence is not some amazing talent that creates success. Self-confidence is your ability to know that you can handle any negative emotion and keep going. That is what self-confidence is. It's believing in your ability not to do the thing you want to do, not to make six figures in your coaching business, not to have a great relationship, not to speak in front of people. Self-confidence doesn't come from believing you can speak in front of people. Self-confidence comes from knowing that if you fail you're going to be okay.

Self-confidence comes from the idea that no matter what happens, you're not going to die. It's not that big of a deal, that you can handle humiliation, that you can handle fear, that you can handle pain. That's where self-confidence comes from. Please know the difference. I'm going to go up there and speak in front of people, and I'm self-confident in doing it because no matter what happens, I will have my own back. I will take care of myself, and the more you do that, then the easier it becomes to rely on that external evidence. But in the beginning, you just have to say, "I'm going to go for this no matter what happens. I'm going to go for this."

Now, here are some thoughts that might prevent you from having self-confidence. "People will hate me." This is what I keep telling people all the time, "Well people are going to hate you anyway." If we could just make peace that people are going to hate us, like there's just haters that hate. That's what they do. They're like, "I'm going to wake up and hate today. I'm going to hate everything. I'm going to hate you." You can't control people hating. You have to allow there to be hate in the world. There is hate in the world. You not allowing it doesn't make it go away.

I let people be wrong about me. I let people hate me. I don't really have a choice, but you know what I do right back? I love them. Make sure you listen to the special podcast. Hopefully ... oh, it won't be out, but I talked about how people can be racist, people can be sexist, people can try and offend us, and we don't ever have to answer with hate. We know. We know what's going on for them. Just a model. They just have thought error happening. Another one people have is, "I won't have friends if I do that." This was mine, you guys. My huge belief system was, "If I get too big in the world, I won't have any friends."

Look at all my friends. Hello, my friends! Hundreds of thousands of friends. More friends than I could ever spend time with at their homes, right? The exact opposite was true. "People will think I'm too big for my britches, arrogant." They will. They're going to think that. It's okay. They can think that. I always say, "People are either going to think you're too big for your britches or you're going to be too big for your britches." That's what was true for me. When I was so afraid that people were going to hate me, I was so afraid that people weren't going to like me anymore when I did my work in the world. I was really literally too big. I was constantly just buffering with food.

People do think ... they say, "Who does she think she is?" I'm like, "Brooke Castillo." That does not make them like me more, just so we're clear. But here's what I decided. I can't make people like me. The best way for people to like me is for me to show them that it's fun to like me. "I like liking me. You should try it." When people say they don't like me, I'm like, "That's so unfortunate because like feels good. If you liked me, you'd be so happy. I'm happy." It really is as simple as that, my friends. People will think I'm trying to be better than them. They will think that even though it's not true.

I love the way Wayne Dyer says, "I'm just trying to be better than I was yesterday. I just want to keep growing." There is no human being…can I please tell you this? There is no human being that is better than another human being, so we can just give it up. Who's better? Who's winning? Everyone. The human experience is a win, so if somebody is struggling with drug addiction and they're homeless and someone is the CEO of Apple Computer, neither one is better than the other ... in any way, right? As a human. Now, they may be better than them at spreadsheets or something, right? Maybe be better at being homeless. Those are different categories of activities and capabilities.

But our humanness is 100% equal and absolute. There are no better humans than other humans. When you know that, your life can explode because we constantly tell ourselves that other people are better than us. It's never true. They may be better at some skill that you could learn too, but they're not better as a human, and I think that's one of the most important things we can remember when we're building our own self-confidence. "Listen, you're not better than me. You're not better than me because you have more money or more success or anything. We are the humans and all of that is subjective."

The last one people say is, "I don't want much attention." You have to ask yourself “why?” If you're going to go out there and do amazing things in the world and make a contribution, people are going to notice that. Here's what I've found. When you give yourself your own attention, other people's attention is okay. Now, some people want other people's attention because they think other people's attention will provide them with self-confidence. It doesn't happen that way, right? Your attention to yourself, your ability to manage emotion is what will generate your own self-confidence. I wish that for all of you. If you feel like someone who is insecure and has low self-esteem, and a low opinion of themselves, I want to tell you that the only thing you need to generate self-confidence is the belief that you can handle any emotion.
I've talked a lot about this on the podcast. The only thing that prevents action, the only thing that prevents you from going out into the world and living the best version of yourself and showing the world what you've got and making that contribution, showing yourself what you've got, is your fear of feeling the emotion if it doesn't work. That's it. When you understand that feelings are just vibrations in your body and there's no emotion that you can't handle, the life that lays out in front of you is limitless, if you are willing to experience any emotion. I'm talking about experiencing the most miraculous joy you've ever experienced, and I'm talking about experiencing the terror of being who you're meant to be.

That's what we've been handed as the humans. Half and half baby. Half of it's going to be just awful, but that's okay, because it makes the good stuff better. That's what your life is. Stop trying to hide from the negative emotion. That's why you don't have any self-confidence. You don't think you can handle it, but I promise you, you can. Okay my friends. Did I mention that I love you all? I do. So much. Thank you for listening to the podcast. Thanks for being part of my life, and most importantly, thank you for working on yourselves. Your mental health is the most important thing you can invest in, your time, your energy.

Taking 15 minutes a day, 30 minutes a day to invest in your mental health matters, and I'm telling you not just listening to the podcast, but really applying what I'm teaching you, going out there and doing it. In Scholars this month, we are doing a Dare Of The Day. I invite you to come along with us. Do something that brings up that negative emotion and use your self-confidence to feel it. Have an amazing week everybody. Take care. Bye bye.

Hey, if you enjoy listening to this podcast, you have to come check out Self-Coaching Scholars. It's my monthly coaching program where we take all this material and we apply it. We take it to the next level and we study it. Join me over at TheLifeCoachSchool.Com/Join. Make sure you type in the "the," T-H-ELifeCoachSchool.Com/Join. I'd love to have you join me in Self-Coaching Scholars. See you there.

6 Comments

  1. Brooke,
    I’m so glad I found your podcasts! I found them about a month ago and now I listen to at least one a day. The way you teach really reaches me. I’ve always struggled with negative thinking and I’ve been searching for the tools to correct that. I’m a busy mom of 8 and I’m trying to teach them and give them the tools to be confident and successful.
    Thank you for your help and wisdom!! I adore you!
    Mary

  2. Brooke- Thank you for podcast #167 self confidence. It was amazing! A California friend sent me your podcast in December 2016, when I was laid off. I thought I was at the top of my career and suddenly, when I found myself unemployed, I chose to do some self-discovery. Still doing the work, but must admit that yesterday was a struggle. However today, your “Self Confidence” podcast changed my mindset. I’m back at it! Thanks again.

    Good luck on your move to Dallas. I grew up near there. I hope you’ll feel welcomed in Texas. —

    1. Hi E,

      Thank you for your feedback! It’s so great to hear you’ve benefitted from Brooke’s work and that the episode on Self-Confidence resonated with you.

      Carina

  3. Brooke! If you haven’t already, you MUST listen to this episode of the podcast Invisibilia in which they offer a “truly mind-blowing alternative explanation for how emotions gets made”–which is, in fact, just the model :). They interview a top emotions researcher who says that we create (as a culture, in families, individually) all of our own emotions by attaching concepts to what are only four basic feelings our body can biologically produce (in a process called “interoception”): pleasantness, unpleasantness, arousal, and calmness. I thought that bit might be interesting to you, something more than confirmation (that you don’t need) that the model is true and works.
    Here’s the link: http://www.npr.org/programs/invisibilia/530718193/emotions

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