Ep #40: How to Excel When You Don’t Feel Confident…Yet

The Joyful Practice for Women Lawyers with Paula Price | How to Excel When You Don't Feel Confident...Yet

As a young lawyer, I was once told by my mentor that I was lacking confidence. He suggested I keep my head up, push my shoulders back, and speak louder. It came from a place of good intention and I definitely tried it on in intimidating situations, but as a generally soft-spoken person, the notion that I was lacking confidence and how to fix it was always in the back of my mind.


The topic of confidence comes up often in my coaching conversations, ranging from my clients wanting to learn how to make decisions confidently, or trying something brand new for the first time. It can be a barrier for all of us, no matter what profession or stage of life you’re in. But the best news I’ve discovered is that you don’t have to employ strategies that don’t feel authentic to you in order to excel. 


Tune in this week as I offer three ideas to help you navigate any situation where you feel like you’re lacking confidence. You’ll learn how to stop letting fear get in the way of your growth, and why confidence isn’t necessarily the most important energy that will support you towards your goals.


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What You’ll Learn from this Episode:
  • How the notion of confidence can often hold us back instead of propelling us forward.
  • Why we each have to determine what confidence looks like for ourselves. 
  • Examples of where I see a lack of confidence holding my clients back. 
  • The ways we try to compensate for confidence, and why these strategies often don’t work.
  • 3 ideas to help you if you’re struggling with confidence. 
  • Why we need to cultivate a different relationship with fear.
  • An exercise to help you navigate a challenge where you don’t feel confident. 
  • How building on your strengths is more fruitful than trying to fix where you’re lacking. 



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Full Episode Transcript:

You’re listening to The Joyful Practice for Women Lawyers Podcast episode number 40.

Welcome to The Joyful Practice for Women Lawyers Podcast. I’m your host Paula Price, lawyer turned certified executive coach. This podcast was created to empower women lawyers just like you to create a life and practice you love. Join me every week for a break from the hustle so we can focus on you, what you truly want, and how you can create it.

If you’re over the overwhelm, done with putting out fires, and ready to create a life and practice that brings you more joy, you’re in the right place. Ready for today’s episode? Let’s dive in.

Hello my friends. Welcome back to the podcast. It is such a treat to have you here week. I just wanted to say thank you for tuning in. I really love connecting with you. I really love hearing feedback from you. Every once in a while, you share with me something that you took from the podcast and how it has made an impact in your practice. I just wanted to say thank you because it is so wonderful and fulfilling to hear how what we’re talking about here and what we’re thinking about here is creating a real impact for you.

So thank you for tuning in. Anytime you want to connect with me, please feel free to do so. You can reach out on LinkedIn. You can send me an email. You can rate and review the podcast. That would be amazing. It will help other lawyers just like you find the podcast and also give me some guidance in terms of what topics you like and what you find to be particularly helpful.

Now today’s episode is one that I am particularly interested in talking about. We’re talking about confidence today. Confidence comes up often in coaching conversations that I have with my clients. Sometimes it looks like this. I want to make a decision on something, but I want to make sure that I’m confident in that decision. Or maybe it’s knowing that you’re going to do something for the first time and be confident in doing that thing.

Sometimes I think that this notion of confidence can be a little bit ambiguous. I think sometimes it can hold us back instead of propelling us forward. So what I want to talk about today is how to excel even in situations where you do not feel confident.

A story that I would like to share with you about confidence is one about myself when I was a very junior lawyer. I was in my first year of practice. I was working at a litigation boutique. I had the loveliest of all mentors. He was a gentleman, I’d say probably middle age. I mean now I’m middle age. So I don’t know. I’ve totally lost perspective, but at the time he seemed to be middle age.

One day we were talking about me. I don’t know if it was performance review. I can’t remember anymore, but he said something along the lines of, “Paula, you are smart. You know what you’re doing. You understand the law, but sometimes you come across as lacking confidence. So what I think you should do is try standing up a little bit taller. Try putting your shoulders back and sticking your chest out.” Funnily enough as I’m recording this podcast, I’m sort of making those body gestures. I’m sticking my chest out, my shoulders back. His other piece of advice was to speak louder.

I really took this feedback to heart. I think it was very well intentioned. I think he was telling me exactly what he thought would be beneficial to me. What’s interesting about it is that like a good young ambitious eager lawyer, I did those things. I did start standing up taller. I did try speaking louder, which was hard for me. I’m quite soft spoken in real life. I had a colleague once who used to make fun of me. There’s a Seinfeld episode where there’s a low talker. So he used to call me the low talker.

Anyways, I’m totally getting off track here. Bottom line is I decided that okay, I need to be more confident and confident looks like this. Confidence is standing up. It’s speaking in a loud voice. I then implemented a number of strategies so that in my practice I would appear confident. That meant preparing for meetings that I had, especially with lawyers who I found to be particularly intimidating or for situations that I would find intimidating.

This confidence thing has always been a bit of a tickle or whatever you want to call it that’s kind of hovered over my shoulders. Like okay Paula, here you really need to be more confident. I share this because I know I’m not the only one.

If you are one of those people who feels like sometimes you lack confidence in certain situations, I just wanted to let you know you are not alone. I don’t think you need to speak in a loud voice or throw your shoulders back in order to be successful. What we’re going to talk about today is really going to dial in on how to excel even when you may not feel confident.

So confidence comes up, and I think this problem comes up in the legal profession in particular. Now I think confidence can be an issue no matter what job you’re in, no matter what profession you’re in. If you’re human, chances are there are moments where you just do not feel confident and that’s totally fine. That’s part of our journey as humans.

In a professional context and for lawyers in particular, you play a role as an advisor. You play a role in which people trust you. Those people are your clients. Those people are other lawyers. Also I would include yourself in that group. You need to be able to trust yourself. People are expecting certain things from you. They want to feel confidence in you.

So this notion of confidence is really rooted in your work as a lawyer, and I think we have all come to view confidence as looking a certain way. So for my mentor, for example, he had a particular idea in mind about what confidence looks like. You may also have an idea in mind of what confidence looks like. The trouble is sometimes we can decide not to do things or we can talk ourselves out of doing things or avoid doing things when we don’t have that feeling that we associate with confidence, and that can really hold us back.

Now before we go further, I just wanted to offer up a definition of confidence. I went online to look at the different dictionary definitions that were available, and there’s quite a range. So even the dictionary definition of confidence is subjective, and I’d like you bear that in mind as we go through today’s podcast episode so you’re really thinking for yourself in terms of what does confidence look like for me. I encourage you to ask yourself that question.

Going back to the dictionary, there were two in the Merriam-Webster dictionary that I thought were quite useful and apt for today’s podcast. The first definition is having a feeling or belief that you can do something well or succeed at something. I like this particular definition. It speaks to feelings and beliefs. So it’s you, what you believe, what you feel about something you can do well at or succeed at. So this notion of performing a certain way, this notion of success is tied into the definition of confidence.

The other definition of confidence that I like was certain that something will happen or that something is true. I also liked this definition because sometimes we are in a position or you are in a position as a lawyer to give an opinion on something, and others may be wanting from you an expression of certainty. You may want an expression of certainty. Sometimes that certainty is simply not available. There are factors that exist outside of your control. So you may feel like because you’re not able to create a certain outcome that there’s a lack or disconnection of confidence.

So I love these two definitions. I’d invite you to think about them and what you make of those definitions. And to think about situations in your practice where confidence comes up and may be a barrier for you in terms of what you decide to take on, how you decide to proceed.

So I see this in conversations that I have with clients where confidence or lack of confidence can be a barrier. Just for a few examples, and I’d invite you to think about examples for yourself, is leaving a job, for example. You may be in a position where you want to try something different. Maybe it’s leaving to join another firm. Maybe it’s leaving to join a different type of organization. Maybe you want to create your own practice.

The thought that’s holding you back is I want to be able to make this decision with confidence that I will succeed.  So that thought may be blocking you from taking any steps at all because you’ve tied in your confidence to that certainty of success.

The truth is you may not be able to say that you will succeed. You might start a new job and decide that it’s not at all for you. That doesn’t necessarily mean that you should not have made that move, but what I’m trying to get at here is that initial analysis. Are you not taking steps because what you’re looking for is that certainty, that confidence?

It may also be that you’re looking to set a boundary with somebody and you don’t do that because you don’t have confidence in your ability to have that conversation. It may be a very difficult conversation. You may receive pushback. It may lead to a discussion that is uncomfortable for you. That might be another example where you don’t have the confidence to make that decision to take that action.

Another area might be learning a new skill. This has come up in coaching relationships that I’ve had with clients around time management with wonderful results. Where maybe there wasn’t that initial confidence that the work that we were going to do together would be successful.

I’ve worked with lawyers who have tried multiple different approaches to resolving time management problems. So the initial feeling or belief going into the work wasn’t necessarily one of confidence. One of feeling like oh, this is of course going to work, but there was something else there. I’m going to talk about that more in this podcast. I just wanted to highlight some examples and invite you to turn that around and think about how that might apply to you.

Now the reason that this problem exists, as I mentioned earlier, within the legal profession. Confidence and trust and authority, these are all characteristics that we expect to have as professionals and that others expect us to have. So there’s a real heightened sense on the importance of confidence. What can happen here as well is that we have a perception of confidence that may be somewhere narrow and not an accurate reflection of all the different ways that confidence may appear.

So, again, going back to this example, head up, shoulders back, loud voice. That is one version of confidence, but it’s not the only version of confidence. I met a female litigator a few years ago at a conference. She was speaking about being true to yourself in practice. One of the things that she shared during her speech was that she was very much an introvert, and that she had a very particular style when it came to litigating that was quite different from some of the other styles.

The message that she was delivering there is that for all of us, we all have our own unique voice. We all have our own unique way of doing things. What may look like confidence to one person isn’t necessarily what it will look like for somebody else. I have every faith and belief in this woman’s confidence and ability to do her work and to do it effectively. It just looked very different.

So I would invite you to think about how this stereotypical perception of confidence may have been something that maybe thrown you off in your practice. Maybe you’ve been looking at that version of confidence and thinking, “Maybe I should be doing it that way.” Maybe there’s another way that’s just as good if not better for you.

Now when we have this notion of confidence as being something that is unattainable or that we lack or that just isn’t there in relation to a specific decision that we’re trying to make then you may try to solve that in a number of different ways.

So one way that you might try to solve for a lack of confidence is to try to do someone else’s version of confidence. So that might be what I talked about earlier, that head up loud voice type of confidence that you try to take on as your own. It may be speaking like other people. It may be dressing like other people. You’re trying to fit into that stereotypical mold of what confidence looks like.

It may be that you limit yourself. You take on work that you are confident doing but you steer away from tasks or projects that would push you out of your comfort zone. It may also be that you take things on. You take on challenges, but you are so worried about doing a good job, about being confident in that work that you end up overdoing it. You overprepare. You work extremely hard. That is your way of compensating for this perceived lack of confidence.

There’s a challenge there. The challenge there, the reason that it won’t work is that in the first scenario if you are trying to be somebody that you are not, ultimately what ends up happening is you’re trying to be a square peg in a round hole or a round hole and a square peg. You’re not a match. You’re not longer a match. What happens there is you can fall out of integrity with yourself.

I recorded a podcast episode, it’s episode number nine, where I talk about integrity and how to be in integrity with yourself. If you haven’t listened to that episode, I encourage you to go back and listen to it. because what I talk about there is the importance of being in alignment with yourself, with your values. So if you’re in an environment where in order to feel confident, you’re constantly trying to stretch yourself into a version of yourself who you are not. That can become exhausting. You may find at a certain point you’ve simply lost touch with who you are.

Another reason that these strategies don’t work is if you are looking at tasks and not taking on tasks because you do not want to fail at them because you lack confidence, you don’t think you’re going to be able to succeed at them then what you may end up doing is that self-fulfilling prophecy of not taking on more challenging tasks, not learning and growing. As a result, you do not develop more confidence in that particular skill.

One example that comes to mind for me is when you meet somebody for the first time and you ask their name and you learn their name. Everything’s great until you forget their name. Then you see that person again, maybe it’s a parent at the school where you drop your kids off. Maybe it’s the person who always happens to be in front of you at the Starbucks lineup. Whoever that person is, there may come a point where it just becomes too embarrassing to ask that person for their name.

This might be happening in your practice. It may be that you are avoiding a certain type of court application. You push it off, push it off, push it off until one day when you feel like oh, a lawyer at my level of call really should feel prepared and poised to do that court application. Now I’m not ready to do it. It may show up in other areas of your practice. Maybe it’s leadership. Maybe it’s something in terms of structuring deals, the size, or the nature of deals you’re taking on as counsel. Maybe it’s taking the lead on a file.

So I would just encourage you to think about how not taking on roles that would challenge where you would feel that lack of confidence, how that would impact you in the longer run.  There’s another episode that I did about self-sabotage. Again if this is a topic that resonates with you, I would encourage you to go back and look at that episode.

Another challenge that can happen is if you are over preparing and overdoing things in an effort to build up your confidence. What you might find there is that you end up completely exhausted and burnt out and working at a pace that is not sustainable.

So these are some examples of how the methods that you’re using to compensate for a lack of confidence may not be working for you. So if you can relate and lack of confidence is something that has been holding you back, what can you do about it?

What I’m going to offer to you are three ideas that can help you when you are feeling that lack of confidence. I think when you focus your energy on doing this work then what you’ll find is that you’ll develop a relationship with yourself and a relationship with confidence that will allow you to move forward more smoothly. So I’m going to jump into those three strategies.

The first strategy is to understand where that lack of confidence comes from. By this what I really want you to think about is what is the fear that is underlying the project, the task, the thing that you’re trying to do. Fear, I think, is one of those emotions. I mean you can call it anxiety. You can call it stress. You can call it discomfort. Usually it’s attached to something you are scared of.

I did a podcast episode all about fear. It’s I believe episode number four if that’s a topic that resonates with you. The reason that I wanted to bring it up today in this podcast episode is because of an image that my daughter drew, actually. She’s seven years old. She drew a picture for me. It’s a picture of a young girl, and she’s on the page with fear. I can’t remember if fear is circled or if it looks like something, but it’s the letters that spell fear. This girl in the image is kicking it. She’s kicking fear. Kicking fear in the face, kicking fear in the butt.

I love the picture. I mean I think I love all of my daughter’s drawings, and I love this one because I think it shows she’s looking to be brave. She’s looking to deal with fear. She’s looking to overcome fear. I think all of those things are admirable, but here’s the catch. It showed me how from a very young age we are conditioned to see something like fear and our instinct is to push it away. It is to fight it. It is to kick it, right? Kick it to the curb.

If you are walking down a dark alley and a shadowy figure appeared in front of you, I would absolutely encourage you to kick that shadowy figure and run in the opposite direction and be rid of it. But if fear is something that’s popping up on your path when you’re looking to do something that can potentially be a growth opportunity for you, then I would invite you to consider having a different conversation or a different relationship with fear itself.

So what does that potentially look like? I think what this means, and if you can relate to this, I’m so glad. I would invite you to think about a particular situation where you have felt fear. Sometimes that can come up when you are having a conversation with somebody who maybe is challenging for you to work with or a client who has a way of making you feel like ooh, I’m just not prepared for this conversation. Maybe it’s when you are preparing for a chambers application and you wonder have you got all the cases?

I mean go to those places where that fear kind of jumps up inside of you and then pause, be still. Ask yourself what message that fear is trying to communicate to you.

Another way of looking at this is to imagine that fear is a person. So imagine that you’re having that conversation, and sometimes you won’t be able to do this in the moment. Especially if you’re having a conversation with another person and that’s when the fear shows up. That has certainly happened to me. I imagine it has happened to you as well.

Sometimes you might need to take a step back. You might need to get through that conversation, and then when you have some time to yourself to be able to reflect on that and to think about the conversation. What was it that was fearful for you? What were you thinking about that conversation that was supporting that emotion of fear?

So really ask yourself what that fear is. Again we’re imaging in that fear is a person. What is that fear trying to tell you? What is the important message there? Because my guess is that the message that the fear is trying to tell you is exactly the recipe that you need to overcome the fear and to interestingly feel more confident in the path going forward.

So what does that mean? Well, maybe you’re fearful about a conversation or being prepared for something that is coming up. The fear might be giving you hints and clues about ways that you might be better prepared for that particular presentation, court application, whatever that looks like. So that’s step number one is to look at the fear that underlies the lack of confidence and to engage with it, to have a conversation with it.

To do that, you might need to sit down and have a cup of coffee by yourself. Maybe you have a journaling practice. Maybe you have a meditation practice. The idea here is to really spend the time focused on that and just thinking about what that fear is trying to tell you instead of trying to push it away or avoid it or kick it to the curb. So that’s number one.

Step number two is to think about what else you might want to feel instead of confidence in order to be successful at the task at hand. So I  would invite you to think about situations in your professional life where you have achieved success. Think about it. It might be finishing law school. For sure you’ve done that. It might be winning a court application. It might be doing a very complicated memo or legal analysis. It may be achieving an excellent result for your client. It may be closing a deal that had a number of thorny problems in it.

Whatever it is, I would like you to go back into that place where you’ve overcome a difficult situation, where you’ve navigated a challenging problem. Think about how you showed up in that situation. Maybe confidence is one of the characteristics that come to mind for you, but my guess is that it was not the only one.

So when you are looking at taking on a new challenge, when you’re looking at making a decision and what you’re saying to yourself is, “Ah I just want to have the confidence to do X.” I would encourage you to think about what else might you want to have in order to do X?

So if I look at my own professional work and the achievements that I’ve had where I’ve been most proud of myself, I can’t say confidence is the first emotion or inspiration or trait that comes to mind. What does come to mind for me, and I would invite you to think about what comes to mind for you, is determination. So that usually is top of the list for anything that I have succeeded at that has been really difficult.

Determination, purposeful, intentional, gritty, maybe it’s willing. It’s a willingness to try or a willingness even sometimes to fail. It’s innovation. It’s prepared. It’s being prepared for the different situations that may arise. And curious. Curious is another trait that I would describe as having led to situations or achievements that I have been proud of in my professional career.

When I look at clients that I’ve worked with who have had goals and challenges and what it is that has helped them be successful, I’m not sure that confidence is the descriptor that I would use for them. I would say that, again, determination, conviction, a decision to continue to persevere, to follow through, to be persistent, to be strategic. I can think of some clients where it was just a willingness to try something. Maybe it’s a willingness to not know what the outcome is going to be.

So I would invite you to think about this. Next time you have a challenge where you don’t feel confident, I would invite you to brainstorm three different traits, characteristics, emotions, feelings that you could turn to other than confidence that would help you be successful at the task at hand. I say three, but really any number is good.

If you go back to the one of the podcast episodes I did about goal setting, this was number six, I provide a framework on how to create goals that stick. One of the criteria that I think is really important in achieving your goals is to align your energy with the goal that you’re trying to achieve. So here you might go back to that episode and look at the framework and think about what energy is going to support you in achieving that particular goal. So that’s step two.

Step three. So step three is all about letting go and allowing space for the unknown, allowing space for imperfection. I’m going to use an example which is a little bit odd, but work with me. I think it will all come together. In 2019, my family and I went on a vacation to Mexico. This was pre-pandemic. We stayed at an all-inclusive resort. One of the things this resort offered was a nightly event.

One night it was karaoke. I can tell you that karaoke is not my favorite thing. I’ve actually never done karaoke, and that was something I really did on purpose. Because the idea of getting up in front of a group of people and singing terrifies me. It’s just not something that I’ve ever wanted to do.

Here we were in Mexico in a room of strangers. At that time, I’d recently started my coaching practice. I knew that part of my coaching would require me to get out in front of people and start sharing the message about the work that I do and why it’s important. So I thought well this karaoke situation here in the middle of Mexico where I don’t know anybody is a wonderful opportunity to try out just to feel what it feels like to stand in front of a room full of people and single. As I think about it now, it just seems crazy.

Here’s what was interesting about that night. So there was a woman. So the first couple that went up on stage, it was a couple and they were singing a duet. I don’t know the name of the song, but it’s one of these country songs and it’s like a really beautiful song. The guy in the relationship, it was a man and a woman. The guy, he was a decent singer. I mean he wasn’t going to sell out in an auditorium full of tickets or anything, but he was good enough.

The woman was, with so much love, just not a good singer. She was probably objectively one of the least good singers I’ve ever heard, frankly. The notes were off key. I don’t think anybody really recognized the tune. Were it not for her companion, I don’t know that we would even know what she was singing.

But I was so delighted to see her up there on stage. Number one, she was having the time of her life. She didn’t care. She was enjoying herself. This was fun for her. Number two, she showed us, everybody in that room, that in order to get up there and enjoy yourself and have fun in this karaoke situation, you did not need to be perfect. You just needed to get up there and sing.

Whatever reservations I had, and believe me I had a lot of reservations before getting on that stage, melted away in that moment. Because I thought I can just get up there and go and do this, and it doesn’t have to be perfect. It doesn’t have to be good. I just have to show up. So our family went up. We sang. I’m sure I was a role model for somebody else in terms of how to not be perfect at karaoke.

The reason I share this story is that sometimes we do something, and it’s not perfect. It’s not somebody else’s version of what confidence looks like. It’s not somebody else’s version of what an ideal karaoke singer sounds like, but there’s some collateral benefit. Sometimes you’re the one who experiences that benefit. Sometimes it’s somebody else. In this case, she gave me that implicit permission to go ahead and take a risk and do something I was scared of doing.

It also can show up though a benefit in moving you or your client forward, right. I can think of cases where sometimes you may have an application that you’re making to court and you may not be able to predict with any certainty that you will win. Sometimes you think you’re going to win and you lose. Sometimes you think you’re going to lose and you win. Just the fact of going forward and making the application and even if it’s not perfect, even if it doesn’t get you exactly where you want to go, it gets you one step closer.

Now obviously as a lawyer, you have an ethical obligation to exercise your professional responsibilities at a level of competence that is required for a lawyer. What I’m trying to say is if you’re allowing perfection or certainty or total confidence that you’re going to be 100% right all of the time. If you’re letting that be your guide, then you might find yourself not taking steps that if you took them and didn’t get exactly what you wanted, it would not in itself be the end of the world. It would still bring you closer to the goal.

So an analogy that might work here is you may lose the battle, but you end up winning the war. So that’s the third piece is to really invite yourself to think about how confidence when it’s attached to certainty, when it’s attached to a successful outcome. Successful, of course, is defined by you. When you’re attaching all of these things to your confidence, you may be talking yourself out of doing things.

Maybe another way to look at it is to say, “I may not get exactly what I want here, but something else may come out of that.” Also to highlight that so much in life and so much in your practice is going to be influenced by circumstances that are completely out of your control, that are not necessarily predictable. Some are, and yes we want to solve for those as much as possible. Sometimes things happen. The pandemic is a wonderful example of that. Sometimes things happen that nobody ever would have predicted, except Bill Gates. I suppose he did predict the pandemic. But to not let that stop you.

So, again, going back to the suggestions that I have for situations where you feel like you’re lacking confidence is number one is to really take a close look at the fear that underlies the lack of confidence and glean from that fear the message that it is trying to tell you. Number two is if you can’t feel confident, what else can you feel? Lean into those feelings, lean into those characteristics in order to succeed in your path. Number three is to allow space for imperfection and to go ahead even if the outcome may not be certain or predictable.

Now if you do these things then you will start to have greater success. You will excel. The reason is number one, if you are focusing on taking number two as an example, characteristics that resonate with you, strengths that you have. You’re no longer trying to be somebody else. You are getting to be yourself.

Another advantage to this approach is that when you’re focused in on the strengths that you have, you’re looking at the equation from the perspective of strength, of the characteristics you feel good about and you’re building on those strengths. As opposed to coming at the equation from a position of lack. If you’re focusing on a lack of confidence, if you’re focusing on the gap between where you want to be and where you are and letting that be the driver, that propels a very different energy and a different type of action than does the situation where you’re building where you’re already strong.

I’ve talked about this in previous podcast episodes, but there’s neuroscience that supports that idea that we learn where we’re already strongest. Building on strengths ultimately is more creative and fruitful than trying to fix problems.

So again going back to confidence. If confidence isn’t the thing for you, what else is there that you can attach yourself to? How is relying on those strengths going to propel you forward?

Another reason why it will work is that you will now start taking on more challenges. As you build those challenges, you develop skills. Your capacity becomes greater. Interestingly, you start to develop more confidence. Now the skills that you are going to need to apply here, number one is courage. Anytime you push yourself outside of your comfort zone, there is an act of courage. It’s you taking a leap of faith and deciding that you’re going to do something even though you may not be able to guarantee that this is going to turn out exactly how you wanted it to.

Number two is creativity. So you’re going to need to think outside the box. If you have been conditioned to thinking that confidence that looks a certain way is the way forward, you’re going to have to be creative and start thinking of other ways to motivate yourself to move forward and to excel leaning into the strengths that you have.

Finally another skill that you’ll need to apply here is the one of acceptance. Acceptance that you may go out there and try something, and you may not succeed the way that you wanted to. It may not turn out the way that you wanted to. You may have no control over how it turns out. So you’ll need to be able to accept that along with the possibility that yeah, maybe it doesn’t look the way that you wanted it to, but it looks so much better than you ever could have anticipated.

An example that comes to mind here is when you, for example, decide to have a difficult conversation about boundary setting. If you might anticipate that a conversation like that would be very difficult, that you might rub somebody the wrong way, that you might lead to a conversation where you now either need to renegotiate the relationship.

I’m thinking here for an example in an employment situation. Maybe you a express a boundary and there’s an issue with that. So it results in a conversation about how things are going to be different going forward. That may be a good thing, right? The initial difficulty or the challenge might lead to a conversation that is uncomfortable but ultimately the result that you create is better and stronger and more in alignment with what you want.

It may be that you have a difficult conversation and what you realize from that conversation is that as much as you love the organization that you work with, the boundary request that you have will never be able to be honored. It’s not because nobody wants to. It’s just that is not the nature of how things work in that particular environment.

So that too is information that will allow you to move forward whether that’s deciding that you’re okay with that, that you can live with a different expectation or that actually isn’t sustainable for you in the long run. So that’s you’re cue to start looking at different options for yourself.  So that’s an example of where sometimes you accept the possible consequences that you may not be able to predict or control but you have faith that whatever comes of that is going to bring you closer to what is ultimately desirable in the long run.

So when you do these things, the results that you will create, you will give yourself a chance to really grow. You’ll take on more challenges. You’ll feel more in alignment with who you are because you’ll be coming at your work from a place of integrity and strength that is unique to you. You’ll end up creating results that only you can create.

Going back to this concept of excellence. You can create a version of excellence that is entirely yours. You don’t need me to tell you that. You can look around at those who surround you who are excellent at what they do. You can see that for each of those individuals, they display that excellence in a very unique way.

One example that comes to mind that has nothing to do with law is to look at singers, right. If you think of Michael Jackson and you think of Pavarotti, they’re two completely different beings. They couldn’t be further apart. Yet each of them expresses excellence in their own way.

So you might ask yourself what is my own version of excellence? If it’s not confidence in the quintessential whatever that looks like way of being confident, what does that look like for you in particular? How does that version of excellence play out in your professional work?

Also as you take on more risks, as you learn, as you grow, as you try new things, you will start creating more success. You’ll create more wins. You may also create some non-wins, but you will start to build. As you do that, ironically what ends up happening is you learn to trust yourself. You learn to be better able to predict those outcomes, and in the end you shore up your confidence.

So my friends thank you so much for joining me for this week’s podcast episode. I hope that this message has resonated with you, and that it has allowed you to rethink confidence and your relationship with confidence in a way that empowers you to go out there and try things. In a way that empowers you to change the way that you see yourself in such a way that you’re able to see your strengths, to see how you are successful, how you will be even more successful, how you will create excellence on your own terms, and that it doesn’t necessarily have to look a certain way.

So I would love to connect with you, as I mentioned at the beginning of this podcast. Feel free to reach out to me on LinkedIn. Feel free to email me. I am continuing to work one-on-one with my clients. If that’s something that you’d like to learn more about, by all means please reach out. I would love to hear from you. So with that my friends, I will wish you a wonderful week, and look forward to reconnecting with you soon. Bye for now.

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