If you are sensitive to crass language, today’s post may not be the post for you… Please feel free to bleep them out in your mind or join us again tomorrow. – Love, Megan.
Confidence is that feeling of self-assurance arising from your appreciation of your own abilities or qualities. Sometimes that feeling of confidence can be elusive. So I like to pair any discussion of confidence with its slightly more indifferent or unbothered BFF “not giving a fuck.”
“Most of us struggle throughout our lives by giving too many fucks in situations where fucks do not deserve to be given.” writes Mark Manson in his run-away bestseller The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life. With every diva mentor I talk to or interview for 29 Days to Diva, Studio Class Masterclass episodes, and more, there are a few themes that emerge. I’ve mentioned before that “practice” comes up in pretty much most of my interviews. But, this, this was the holy grail of advice: stop giving a fuck.
Your 29 Days to Diva – Day 20 Assignment: Develop your confidence
Britt Olsen-Ecker is a badass renaissance woman who never ceases to amaze me. (She’s also been a Friend-o-the-Blog™ from way, way, back when…) I have been mesmerized by her confidence and awed by her skills for years. When she wrote, “not giving a f&8k what anyone else thinks,” in response to one of the top skills she had specifically curated in her career, I immediately sat up and took notice. She continued,
Project confidence even when you’re feeling zero confidence. Welcome to my world: IMPOSTER SYNDROME! No matter if you’re trying to secure a job or nail an audition, the people on the other side are hoping you are the best person ever for the job. There will be times that it will be your “first time” doing said job. Whatever. Do it even if you don’t feel ready. Doing it is the best way to learn.
Exactly. That imposter syndrome shows up in so many sneaky and diabolical ways in our art-making practices and creative careers. To know that Britt felt that way too made me feel less alone. It reminded me that when I was mired deep in my own version of imposter syndrome, I went on a quest to figure out how to strategically build my self-confidence, self-assurance, and self-efficacy. I turned page after page of personal development books and scrolled through entirely too many Pinterest pins imploring me to “just be confident.” I cried back, “But how, mf-er? How??”
The two keys to confidence
That’s when it hit me. Now, I teach my students and clients what I call “The Two Keys to Confidence.” Only two keys? Yep, these two unlock the door to progress.
The first key is to “build skill.”
The second key is to “recognize that you have that skill.”
It’s really just that straightforward. We don’t feel confident when we haven’t put the time in to learning a skill. We also won’t feel confident if we don’t recognize the skills we have. No dilly-dallying. I either have the skill and recognize it or I don’t. If I don’t have the skill, I don’t have to worry about feeling confident in it yet. I can apply my growth mindset to the situation and just say, “I’m confident about getting better at the things I work on.” Or, “I’m confident in my ability to learn new things.”
When you’re feeling imposter syndrome creep in, check with yourself:
- Do I have the skills necessary to complete this task?
- If yes, how can I better remind myself that I am ready to ace this undertaking?
- If not, how can I forge the skills required?
- Can this moment be a learning experience to gain those skills?
It’s one thing for me to tell you to stop giving a fuck. It’s another thing to give you some foundational diva skills in not giving a fuck. I’m all about that micr0-action life, remember? Your first micro-action task is to think about the biggest goal that you are currently working on and ask yourself if you have the skills to complete the undertaking. If not, make a plan for how you will strategically bring those skills into your life in the next 90 days.