Why Confidence Matters


Looking at this photo you probably think I’m oozing confidence, right? Big smile, clear eyes, open stance - all markers of a confident person. However, I never felt less confident than I did at this photo shoot. I had just launched my business a few months before and while I knew I had the skills, work ethic, personality, and education to have the career I wanted (note: self-esteem and confidence are NOT the same thing), I felt timid about sharing my knowledge and skills with others. I also had the worst case of impostor syndrome. Who was I thinking I could coach and teach others? What did my experience and education really mean?  

Ironically, I was scheduled to leave the next day to teach a workshop on  . . . you guessed it . . . self-confidence to a major corporate client in NYC. I’ve never been a nervous presenter, but I walked into that workshop with very shaky knees, somehow both sweating and freezing at the same time. I knew I had a killer presentation prepared for the group, but I had zero confidence it would resonate with my audience. Luckily, running out the door and dashing madly away down Madison Avenue was not an option (although, not gonna lie, I considered it.) So I went into the conference room and faked it 'til I made it . . . or at least until I realized that the group of smart, savvy, capable people in front of me—those with careers and poise and intelligence I admired—were all furiously taking notes on my work. Suddenly my confidence soared and I realized how silly I’d been, as well as the true reason confidence matters:

If you aren’t confident, you’ll actively deny and hide your unique skills and vision. And those skills and that vision? We need them. Desperately.  

I’d love to say that after that moment my confidence has always been sky high and I haven’t had a moment of nerves or impostor syndrome since. That, however, would be a big fat lie. My confidence fluctuates, just like everybody else’s. The trick is to keep putting yourself out there, no matter what. I do promise that, over time, you’ll start to believe in yourself just as much as everyone else does. 

Remember: There is a direct correlation between confidence and success. Confidence is not based on your actual ability, but rather your belief in your ability. 

Feels a bit woo woo? No way! Confidence can be learned and cultivated. Recent studies on neural plasticity show that we can actually re-wire our brains to become more confident. (Read more below!) How cool is that?

Further Reading & Resources

Forbes // Use it or Lose it: The Science Behind Self Confidence

Fast Company // Study: Self-confidence Plays a Crucial Role in Forging Your Career Path

Time // How to Be More Confident: 5 Research Backed Methods

Oprah.com // Women and the Negativity Receptor

Huff Post // 9 Qualities of Confident Women

Verily // 6 Tips from Read Women on How to Feel Good About Yourself

Forbes // The Confidence Gap in Men & Women: Why it Matters & How to Overcome It

Verily // Learn How to Talk Your Way to Success

The Imperfect Boss // Confidence for Breakfast

Shea Keats