The Self-Worth Project Podcast Episode #18: What Is Confidence? (& 3 Things It Isn't)

Episode #18: What Is Confidence? (& 3 Things It Isn’t)

Since my overall goal is to create a legion of happy & confident women, I thought it would be smart to go over exactly what confidence is.

As it turns out, we have some pretty messed up ideas about confidence. For example, for a long time I truly believed that you were either confident or you weren’t. And that was it!

Now I know that’s not true. I know humans are capable of growth and I’ve proven to myself that I am capable of change.

And so are you!

In This Episode:

  • Find out why confidence is something you can change
  • Learn more about what confidence isn’t (hint: it’s not about feeling better than other people)
  • Find out what confidence really is so you can start to work on this!

What Is Confidence? Episode 18 Transcript

Hello, Gorgeous and welcome back to another episode! It’s your girl Jenn! I am a coach and healer and I’m also excited to be here with you today. The sun is out, the birds are chirping and I’m feeling really jazzed about our topic today. So without any further ado, let’s get right into it.

Today I am talking about what confidence is and what confidence is not. This is the Self-Worth project and really what my aim is in helping you increase your sense of self-worth is to help you become a more happy and confident person.

It only makes sense that we think about what confidence is and also about what confidence isn’t because I think this is where so many people get it a little twisted. For one thing, we look at somebody, we assume to be confident and we think that they were just born that way. So the first thing I want to tell you before we get into it is that confidence is a skill, sure some people might be born with it, quote-unquote, but many of us can learn how to become more confident.

Confidence Can Change

When I was younger, I used to think that I just was not a confident person and that that was just the way it was. But looking back, that was such a limiting belief that really helped me to play small. I mean, I didn’t really have anyone around me that would have helped me with that. That was not the kind of family that I lived in, like nobody was into personal development or anything like that. So I had this belief, who knows where that came from, and I just thought that that would be the way it is. Like I just have to be this person forever.

Fortunately, I can tell you that that is not the case and that you are capable of so much growth. Look at me here right now saying this podcast to you. I brought this up before, but when I was in university, I was terrified of public speaking. Absolutely terrified. There was nothing I wanted to avoid more in the world. So I did as much as possible to the detriment of my grades. And now that I have this business, I have done YouTube videos and podcasts and really put myself out there in a way that I wish my younger self could see. And no, I was not just good at this right out of the gate. We all have to start somewhere and we all have to improve. So just as you can improve with public speaking, you can improve with everything. You can improve your self-worth and you can improve your confidence. So that is a message to you.

Number one, your confidence is not stuck at whatever level it’s at today. So why not learn how to
raise it?

What Confidence Is Not

Okay, so before we get into what confidence is, I really wanted to talk today about what confidence is not because again, I think our misconceptions about confidence are what keeps us stuck the most.

It’s Not About Feeling Better Than Someone Else

So myth number one about what confidence is not confidence is not feeling like you’re better than somebody else. I talk a lot recently on TikTok about how many of our parents raised us with this fundamental fear that we could never talk positively about ourselves or else we’d be seen as big headed or that we’re bragging. So they’ve kind of instilled in us this puritanical view that you have to be humble all the time to the point that we can’t even own our own positive traits. Like we could never say anything good about ourselves because that might be perceived as being stuck up or something like that. So that is one big misconception that is like such a massive misconception that is affected so many of us, but there’s a very big difference between being able to own who you are own what you’re good at own the skills and vibe and whatever it is that you have. There’s a very big difference between owning all of that and trying to make yourself feel better by putting yourself up on the back of someone else and comparing yourself to somebody else. So you saying, “Hey, I’m really good at public speaking,” let’s say. That in itself is just a statement. It does not have anything to do with anybody else.

If we have been taught this, if we have been taught that thinking of ourselves in a positive light means that we are shading someone else, of course you are going to struggle with it, right? So this is a limiting belief that can go very, very deep. But it’s good to know true confidence does not come at someone else’s expense. You are allowed to own your gifts, you are allowed to feel good about yourself. Full stop. It has nothing to do with anybody else and it has nothing to do with their feelings. If somebody happens to get in their feelings about it, if you say, “Hey, I’m really good at public speaking,” and someone else feels threatened by that and you’re not doing a direct comparison. You’re not saying it with shade, you’re not saying it to put them down. Then that is on them, right? And that comes from that limiting belief that we’re not allowed to talk positively about ourselves without intimidating other people, but that is just so illogical, so stupid, and it
has been hurting so many of us.

You are allowed to own your gifts. The people in your life are allowed to own their gifts. It is not a competition. You being good at something or having something in your life has nothing to do with the other people around you.

Okay, so we have to unhook those two things and also unhook the idea that in order to feel confident, you have to feel better than someone else because that is completely false. Truth be told, this is a common way that people try to make themselves feel better. Like if you are feeling down in a certain area, it’s common to look at perhaps somebody and think, “Well, at least I’m not them.”

The comparison game can feel very fun for a moment if you are on the positive end of that,
but the problem with that is you are never going to be at the top. There will always be somebody
ahead of you. So if you look in the other direction, there will be somebody in front, right? And if you are trying to prop your self-worth on top of looking at yourself as being better than somebody, of course, if somebody is better than you, that’s going to bring you back down again. So we can never look outside of ourselves. We can never compare ourselves. We can never try to feel better about ourselves by comparing ourselves to somebody else. That is always a losing game and that is not what true confidence is. So if you’ve been fearing that, if you’ve been thinking that I don’t want to get a big head, I don’t want to make other people feel bad, that is something you need to work on because that is not the name of the game.

It’s Not About Having All The Answers Ahead Of Time

Okay, what confidence is not? Number two, confidence is not knowing everything ahead of time. So this is for all of us type A people, anxious attachment styles, all of those perfectionist behaviors, thinking that you can figure something out ahead of time.

If you do enough research, quote unquote, research could apply to things you’re working on. It could apply to the job that you want. It could apply to the business you want to launch. If you are researching, researching, researching, and not taking action, that could be a sign that you are secretly hoping that the research is going to someday make you feel confident enough to take the first step, right?

We think that if we know a lot, if we look at something, or if we think about it long enough, that suddenly the confidence switch in our brain will turn on and we will just know it’s time to take action. So if you have been doing this and I have been stuck doing this many times in my life, please know that the confidence that we think we’re getting from planning, strategizing, researching, whatever, it never comes. It never comes because there is only so much you can think about ahead of time. There is only so much you can plan, there’s only so much you can anticipate.

You actually have to go out into the real world and do the thing. And here’s the tricky part.

It’s the doing of the thing that makes you confident. It’s not thinking about it, it’s not planning for it, it’s not researching it, it’s not deliberating about it for hours and hours, it is actually doing the thing. It’s like we’re waiting to feel confident before we go out there, but again, that is not how confidence works. Confidence has nothing to do with how much you know and we will talk about what confidence is in just a few moments. So if you think that that’s what it is, if you think you’re going to get there from planning, strategizing, thinking about everything over and over again, just please know right now that that is not the way it’s going to happen. That confidence which is never going to turn on from you researching something.

It’s Not About Having No Fear

Okay. And finally, what confidence is not number three, I think we look at confident people and we think that they are just these magical creatures that they were just born differently and that they go through life without a sense of fear which is completely false because I guarantee you every single confident person that you can think of is not that they never feel fear. It’s that they feel the fear and do it anyway. They feel the fear and do it anyway. They’re not magical people that did not get the fear button. They still have self-doubt. They still have the anxiety but they still take action. So if you’re waiting for the fear to go away or if you’re thinking the fear is a sign to stop or if you’re thinking that the fear will magically dissipate when you feel ready, you my friend are keeping yourself stuck. You are going to be waiting for that confidence to come in and it will never come in. And actually the more that you give into the fear, the more that you see the fear and you avoid it, the more that you see the fear and don’t take that first step. You avoid the action step, the more difficult this one is going to be for you to change because again, confident people are taking action, they’re doing the thing and they are not letting those feelings get in their way.

What Is Confidence?

Now let’s talk about what confidence is and I’m going to give you two definitions here and I’m sure we could keep going but you know, this is a podcast episode and I want to respect your time.


The way that I have been defining confidence for the last several years is self-trust, right? It is your ability to trust yourself in any situation. So again, this is not about knowing everything ahead of time, it’s not about knowing what you’re going to do in two years, it’s not about knowing every single step of the business journey maybe you’re making. It’s trusting that you will make the right decision for you in the time. You will know how to act in the moment, you’ll know what to say in the moment, you don’t have to think about it ahead of time. One of the keys to making sure that this happens is making sure that your values are always in alignments. So in truth, sometimes of course we all act out of alignment with our values. But when you know what those values are, it will become very apparent when you were acting out of alignment and it’ll get a lot easier to get back into alignment when you know what those are. So trust is about knowing yourself, it’s about knowing what’s important to you and it’s about trusting your brain. It’s about trusting that you can make a decision on the fly.

It’s about trusting that you can communicate when you need to. It’s about trusting that you can take that action step no matter what is happening. So you don’t need to get stuck in the fear story or trying to worry about every possibility before it actually happens, you are trusting yourself because you’ve seen yourself in action before, you know you have your own back and you also know that if you happen to make a mistake or do the wrong thing from time to time that you will be able to fix it because you trust yourself.

Self-trust is the key to so much of it. And that is really what we should be looking to create. And again, that’s why taking action is so important because you can’t trust yourself until you see yourself in action and you start building that trust over time by taking little steps, making little tiny leaps and then over time you’ll see like okay yeah like I’ve done all of these things that scared me. I did all of these things that I did not figure out ahead of time and in the end I got where I wanted to be. That is the definition of self-trust and that is the definition of confidence.

Not Fearing Your Emotions

Okay and the last one, the last definition of confidence that I wanted to speak on today, this has to do with a podcast episode that I put out a couple weeks ago and it is not fearing your emotions. So this is an aspect of self-trust but it’s a very specific aspect of self-trust. It is so important to know that in life most of us are motivated by our emotions. Our emotions and we react and then we create logic to justify the emotions.

For example, if you have ever impulse bought something you went to the mall and you bought that pair of shoes even though you swore you were not buying anything for the next six months. That was your emotion that made you buy the shoes and now it’s your logical brain kicking in to tell you that it was okay that you did that because they’re really cute and they’re on sale and your other ones are
almost worn out etc etc.

So emotions rule our life in so many different ways but the key here that you want to think about is that our fears of our emotions also run our lives. Not feeling confident many times translates into not wanting to feel a certain quote unquote negative emotion you don’t want to do something because you don’t want to feel shame you don’t want to do something because you don’t want to feel fear you don’t want to do something because if you get rejected or if something goes wrong you are going to feel humiliated. If you like this person you ask them out and they say no you’re going to feel rejected whatever that emotion is is what is keeping you playing small. So in the confident person world is about understanding that those emotions are real those emotions are valid and those emotions suck. We all know how much they suck.

But when you are a confident person when you are a self trusting person you also know that this is just an emotion this is just one tiny feeling in one day or maybe a week or maybe a month but you know that this will pass it always passes emotions always pass and most of the time they pass so much faster than we think they’re going to if you let yourself lean into that shame or that fear or that rejection humiliation abandonment whatever it is and you let yourself feel that yeah okay that sucks you feel angry you feel like crying you feel like hiding you feel whatever it is and if you just let yourself stay there your polyvagal system will eventually most of the time release it right what is happening when we’re fearing emotions is that we know what that feeling is we know we don’t want to feel it and we start to feel it just a little bit and we push it away and we push it away and we push it away and we push it away and we never get practice realizing that our bodies were meant to feel this and meant to process it and move on it is not a solid state it’s like getting a cut on your hand yeah the cut hurts but it’s i mean it’s not like we can avoid bleeding but the bleeding comes and then it stops and then the wound heals itself and it goes away and that is what’s happening with these emotions as well except we don’t trust ourselves we think that’s it if i feel this rejection this abandonment this humiliation i will live there forever and i can tell you you will not.

Side note: yes some long term depression anxiety is caused by us being stuck in one of these emotional state. But there are things you can do to get out of that. If you want to learn more about that I have a whole polyvagal healing workshop inside of my healed program. It really will help you get in touch with your body understand your trauma responses and learn how to move through them in a healthy way.

Humans out of the box were meant to have emotions and these emotions are very fleeting. Learning how to not fear those emotions gives you the confidence to do anything right because like think about a big goal that you would never set for yourself i would never go for that job i would never do this i would never ask that person out why is that you were afraid of embarrassment of shame of rejection but if you could trust yourself to feel those things anyway then you become unstoppable you can go for the job you can go to ask that person out and I’m using very extreme examples here. But it doesn’t have to be that extreme at all! Whatever it is that you have been avoiding, if at the core you were avoiding it because you’re avoiding an emotion, learning emotional resilience learning how to call your nervous system that will give you the power to do absolutely anything you want to in this life.

So i’m gonna leave it there for today my beautiful friend. Thank you so much for being here. If you liked this episode i would love it if you would leave me a review on itunes. And if you’re listening on Spotify you can go ahead and hit the star button. i would also super appreciate that

Once again thank you so much to the girlies who had my back on TikTok this week. I really got to see the mindsets of the incel crowd. And let’s just say that was eye opening. Not sure that i want to do a whole podcast about that.

But anyway i just love this community so much and i love you so much for listening. So i’m gonna wish you an amazing week and i’ll see you in the next one

Jenn Stevens The Self-Worth Project

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Episode #18: What Is Confidence? (& 3 Things It Isn't)

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