If you haven't watched Amy Cuddy's WIDELY popular TED talk, I highly recommend it, especially for its pertinence to this month's topic of Confidence. (If you don't want to watch the whole thing, I really love the end starting here.) Not only does she talk about how body language can affect how confidently we actually feel, but in the last section, she shares her own personal struggle with BELONGING, which I believe is an important fundamental piece to the confidence pie.
I love this quote because it speaks to what I mentioned in the COURAGE sub-theme. Finding confidence through courage is about knowing you may not have it all together, but pushing yourself to those boundary moments anyway.
Marie Forleo on Standing In The Truth of Who You Are
"Confidence isn't about pretending to be something you're not. It's being willing to stand in the truth of who you are RIGHT NOW."
I've never been one to take the advice "fake it 'til you make it." For me, pretending and faking is always more confidence-rattling than usual because I'm waiting for someone to "find me out." Instead, if I can narrow in on the truth of who I am in a moment, what I'm feeling, what I KNOW to be true, that's actually where I can draw my strength and confidence because the source feels REAL, not manufactured.
If you're looking for a short video to dive into the topic of confidence, I love the simplicity and playful, illustrated nature of this one. It explains confidence in terms that are memorable and easy to understand. It also gives actionable, concrete advice for when you're not feeling confident. (Plus, who doesn't love those red, curly pigtails?)
What I love about this clips is that it echoes the experience I shared in my Editor's Letter when I made the decision to plant a seed of confidence in my own design abilities. I decided to stop focusing on all the places I was lacking or not confident, and instead find a way to shift my attention to my strengths, the things in myself that would support the belief that I was capable.
David Whyte is one of my favorite poets and on BrainPickings, Maria Popova shares a short monologue in which he discusses the path to belonging. I particularly love the juxtaposition he offers here:
"It’s interesting to think that no matter how far you are from yourself, no matter how exiled you feel from your contribution to the rest of the world or to society — that, as a human being, all you have to do is enumerate exactly the way you don’t feel at home in the world — to say exactly how you don’t belong — and the moment you’ve uttered the exact dimensionality of your exile, you’re already taking the path back to the way, back to the place you should be...You’re already on your way home."
To me, this speaks to finding your courage in your truth. By being honest about the ways you feel you don't belong, you're actually then able to find strength in your authentic being and that strength can lead you to your sense of self, sense of belonging, and -- ultimately -- your confidence.
The "Belong" piece in the #MVColorYourSoul Sketchbook is inspired by this video, a clip of a Super Soul Sunday episode with author Wes Moore. Wes talks about imposter syndrome -- something I think we all feel that affects our confidence -- and I love the conviction with which he says you have to realize YOU BELONG. (Pair with the brainpickings article on David Whyte's perspective on belonging!)
I read this book a few years ago, but I found it incredibly powerful in providing real, scientific support on the elements of confidence, and particularly, why women struggle with it so much.
“Underqualified and underprepared men don’t think twice about leaning in. Overqualified and overprepared, too many women still hold back. And the confidence gap is an additional lens through which to consider why it is women don’t lean in. Even when we are prepared to tolerate the personal disruption that comes with aiming high, even when we have plenty of ambition, we fundamentally doubt ourselves.”