The Big Idea
Move from self-conscious to self-confident.
Questions I Answer
- How can I feel more confident?
- What keeps me from being confident?
- What steps can I take to increase my confidence?
- How do I recover from a setback?
Actions to Take
- Move from self-conscious to self-confident. Begin to use the 5 Rs to learn to navigate and overcome confidence killers.
- Sign up for my free five-day challenge, Five Days for Finding Your Joy, to learn how to bring more joy into your daily life.
- Check out my most recent TanyaTV episode, How To Start A Successful Book Club
Key Topics in the Show
The 4 factors that are getting in the way of your confidence
Learning to stand tall and hold true to yourself
Getting up and dusting yourself off after staying knocked down
The 5 Rs to battle confidence killers
Realizing you have the ability to do more than you think possible
Resources and Links
- Related Episode: 136: Why Productivity Has Failed You
- The 5 Rs to battle confidence killers:
Welcome to Season 11 of Productivity Paradox with Tanya Dalton, a podcast
focused on finding true fulfillment and happiness through the power of productivity. Join Tanya this season as she explores the theme of small changes for big impact. To get her free checklist, Five Minutes to Peak Productivity, simply go
And now, here’s your host, Tanya Dalton.
Hello, hello, everyone. Welcome to Productivity Paradox. I’m your host, Tanya Dalton,
and this is episode 139, Having Confidence in Your Choices.
All season long, we are continuing that theme of small changes for a big impact. So, in this episode, we’re going to talk about boosting that one little thing that can have a huge impact on your outlook. That’s right, confidence. Having confidence can be the difference between wanting to jump into something that you’re really passionate about or just sitting on the sidelines wishing and thinking about it, and maybe just talking about it nonstop, but not really doing anything.
I don’t want you sitting by the sidelines, and you don’t either. So today, we’re going to work on boosting your confidence. Because when we have confidence, we can make those changes for that big impact. We can really start moving towards that life you really want. And in order to do that, we are going to talk about a few things to help us understand what might be affecting our confidence so then we can shift our mindset in order to go from self-conscious to self-confident. That’s really what we want.
But here’s the question, why do we lack confidence? Why do we not feel self assured? Instead, we question ourselves. It seems like some people must be born exuding confidence, but everyone, even the most confident of people, everyone has times where we question ourselves. And when it comes to making an impact, we can really lean into these, these external and internal reasons. So, I want to really quickly go through four different reasons that really might play into this idea of why you don’t feel confident.
The first one is unrealistic expectations. You know that idea that you anything unless you do it perfectly? You’ve probably heard me say this before, but perfectionism is rooted in the fear of failure. We don’t want to fail; therefore, we think,
now what? I’m just not even going to try because I’m not going to make it perfect.” So unrealistic expectations really do play a role in our confidence
The second thing is self-judgment, that little voice in your head that says, “Hey, you’re not good enough.” My friend Marshawn calls this the voice of little me versus future me, Future me says, “Hey, we can do anything,” while little me says, “Hey, who do you think you are? You can’t do that.” And many times, we let that voice of little me drown out all the other noise, all the other things that we’re thinking in our brain.
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We let that self-judgment really play into how we feel about our days, and that makes us lack some confidence.
The third thing that plays into it is our life experiences, whether it’s a lack of
so you question your own abilities or it’s trauma or hard events in your life. Our life experiences really do have an effect on how we perceive ourselves and the world around us. That can make it easier to just keep our head down staying along that same path, even if it’s not the path we really want to be on.
The fourth thing that plays into our lack of confidence is a fear of putting yourself out there. I get it. One of my very favorite quotes is Oprah Winfrey who says, “Do not think you can be brave with your life and your work and never disappoint anyone. It doesn’t work that way.” You know why Oprah says that? Because it’s true. God knows Oprah’s probably dealt with that herself. I have to say this fear of sticking our necks out and effecting change is rooted in this worry, this fear. We don’t want to disappoint anyone, and, well, we certainly don’t want to be the victim of harsh criticism, so it might just feel easier to just not make waves. I hear you.
There’s a phenomenon called schadenfreude, which is a German word. It translated loosely into English means harm joy. But by definition, it’s the joy that’s acquired by a person as a result of another person’s misfortune, their tragedy, or their setback. So, finding a little bit of happiness, a little bit of a lift in someone else’s misery, in other words. So, when you’re on the receiving end of schadenfreude, it’s not fun. I mean, I think that goes without saying, right? It can feel like everyone is judging you, or laughing at you, or like the world is against you.
And with today’s world of social media platforms and opportunities for people who don’t even know you to scoff at you anytime you fall or fail, schadenfreude can have a pretty negative effect on your confidence. It could even keep you from even leaving those starting gates. It can create this fear of failure and diminish our confidence when it comes to trying new things or making decisions. It’s easy to see why this would affect anyone’s confidence to step out. Because really, anyone remotely in the spotlight or the public eye, it’s almost impossible not to be a victim of even more schadenfreude.
Think about celebrities and people in the media always being scrutinized even for the teeniest tiniest little thing. In fact, Taylor Swift wrote a whole song about it called … Well, let’s be honest, T Swift has written several songs about the haters, the naysayers, the people who try to hold her back. You know why? Because it’s real. We can either choose to shy away and live in constant fear of schadenfreude or we can look at in the eye and tell ourselves that what other people think of us is none of our business, because it’s not. Standing tall and holding true to yourself is one of the bravest things we can do.
And truth be told, I think most people don’t even realize when they’ve engaged in schadenfreude. They see someone running a company and they forget they’re a real person with real emotions. Or they see a person speaking at an event and they
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don’t remember this person has a whole life outside of this tiny space. They see someone online, and they lose sight of the fact that this person has emotions.
Think about it. We’ve all had moments when we’ve engaged in schadenfreude, whether it was reveling in a rival team’s loss at a sporting event, even when it wasn’t against our own team, or feeling happy when the bad guy gets his comeuppance. I don’t know about you, but I sure clapped when Biff got punched in the face in Back to the Future. I felt like he really deserved. It didn’t matter what Biff had gone through in his life or what had gone on in his backstory. In my mind, it was okay to be delighted or to laugh when he got what I felt was coming to him. We laugh when we see someone fall in a home video program. We simply forget. It’s a natural thing, So, you have to keep that in mind when you yourself decide to stand tall and be confident.
People may try to knock you down, but it’s so much easier to get back up when you feel like your actions have true purpose. Trust me on this. I’ve taken plenty of knocks. I get a decent amount of hate mail. The irony that I live a life support women while other people work to tear me down, that’s not really lost on me, but it doesn’t deter me either. You know why? Because I know the work, I’m doing matters, so I get back up. I dust myself off when I get knocked down. Then, I keep on
doing what I’m doing. And you can, too. I know that might seem daunting or even overwhelming, but I have a few ways to keep ourselves getting up and standing confidently. I want to talk about that in just a moment, but first, let’s have a quick word from our sponsor.
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So, we dove a little bit in the first part of the show into why we lack confidence a lot of times. We touched on these four ideas of confidence killers. So how do we battle these confidence killers, especially schadenfreude? I like to call it the five Rs, release, review, reframe, remind and reward. So, let’s dive into each of these.
Let’s start with release. I want to talk for a minute about your internal locus of control. Now, you’ve heard me talk a lot about the internal locus of control on the show before, but it’s the belief that you have ownership over your destiny. The choices you make have a direct effect on what happens to you in the future. So, the biggest thing you can do in most of those confidence-killing situations is to think about what you can control versus what you can’t control. And even when we try to control things, there’s always things that we cannot control. Like we can’t control what people say, or how others react, what they do, or what they post on the internet.
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So, face it, these are things you are powerless to. You can either sit around worrying about these things that other people say, many of them not knowing anything truly about you, or you can take action. And by action, I mean focus on what you can control
For example, in the case of someone posting undesirable about you or your business, you can’t control what they say. But what you can control is your reaction to them. You can decide if you’re going to engage in conversations that are in this negative space and that feed the fire or if you’re going to walk away from them because they don’t really serve you. Think about the celebrities who responded
graciously to negative comments instead of engaging in a vicious tweet battle. Either they’ve said, “Yep, I didn’t wear makeup to Starbucks that day. It wasn’t my best
iven no response, or they have a response that takes the higher road on things. They don’t get sucked down into that negative rabbit hole.
You might’ve even seen the mean tweets on Jimmy Kimmel show where celebrities read the real tweets that trolls have posted on the internet. I often wonder when I see these how those people who said those ugly things felt when the person, they bullied reads those words out loud. Again, I don’t think people think that through. You got to release that fear and anger and know that people who post unhappy things are unhappy people. They’re just looking for an outlet. And unfortunately, sometimes that’s you. Sometimes it’s me. I like to say you’ve got to give grace in order to receive it. So, I try to give as much grace as i possibly can because Lord knows I need a lot of grace in my regular everyday life. So, give grace, and realize people don’t realize what they’re saying or how hurtful they are. When you can release that and let go of it, it really is very freeing.
Now, that second Ris review. Besides focusing on what you can control, another thing that I think is really important for finding confidence is looking at your breadcrumbs, the parts of your journey that are behind you, looking back at events that have happened in your life that have a pattern to them, things that have served you and that will show you that you’re on the right path, the path you’re meant to be on. This helps with that idea we talked about, about dusting yourself off and getting back up, really knowing why you’re doing what you’re doing. But really, that comes a lot of times from looking backwards, looking at our breadcrumbs.
For me, when I first went into business, okay, if I’m being totally honest, for my first five years in business, l lacked confidence in myself as a business woman. For the longest time, I described myself as an accidental entrepreneur, which was a really cute way of saying I don’t believe in myself, and I don’t think I have any business running a
company. After all, I didn’t have a fancy MBA. In fact, I had never taken a single business course.
Now, I discovered that this was a story I was telling myself because I was sharing with my friend about my past endeavors and how I tried my hand at starting one business, and then I had another business, and then I shut that one down. I did another business, these little side businesses, again and again. My friend turned to me
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and said, “I have no idea you were such an entrepreneur.” What’s funny is I had no idea either. All that time, I thought that being an entrepreneur had just happened to me because of circumstance. So, I was this accidental entrepreneur. I was negating who I was, but the breadcrumbs were there all along. I had just failed to see them, to
comprehend that I was where I was supposed to be. It was no accident that I became an entrepreneur. It was part of my journey. I think it’s amazing how looking at your breadcrumbs can really help you realize you are on the right path.
For me, in that moment of realization, I lost that feeling of uncertainty and my confidence rose because I could see that I had been creating this breadcrumb path or these experiences all along. I was simply undervaluing it. My life experiences far outweighed a bunch of fancy letters after my name or some diploma on my wall. Our breadcrumbs do mark more than simply our path. They can remind us that we have the ability to do more than we think. When we look back over our life, we can probably see a regular pattern of commitments that we stuck to. Commitments will help instill confidence. Because when you create a repeated pattern of stick-to-itness,
that’s where confidence comes from. That’s when we really began to believe in ourselves.
Let’s move to that third R, reframing. Here’s something I found really fascinating. When it comes to stress, anxiety, or excitement, the physical experiences your body goes through are very similar, very different emotions, and yet very much the same in your body, faster heartbeat, higher levels of stress hormones. So basically, your body goes through the same feelings when you’re nervous or stressed about something just as it does when you’re super excited for something. Here’s the thing, your brain is designed to move towards rewards and away from threats, like discomfort and uncertainty that comes with not having confidence. Physical and emotional threats are processed the same in our brain, so the fear feels very real.
Think about how you feel when you’re at the bottom of a rollercoaster clicking are way to the very top of that monstrous drop. Nervous excitement, right? It’s exactly the same whether you’re nervous and stressed or you’re excited and anxious.
Now, Harvard business school professor Alison Wood Brooks actually found that people who take advantage of these parallel feelings between anxiety and excitement, these similarities, they can use these feelings to perform even better simply by reframing stress as excitement. So, when it’s time to give a big presentation and your heart beats fast and you feel your palms getting sweaty, choose to say, “I’m excited,” instead of seeing it as fear. That can help you reframe your anxieties and turn them into true excitement.
This technique is actually called reappraisal. So, you embrace those feelings you’re experiencing, only you tell yourself the feelings are not about being scared or anxious, but about being electrified and excited. Simply reframing your mindset can have a huge impact. By doing this reappraisal method, you can help yourself go from wanting to hide under a blanket to feeling like you want to turn that blanket into a cape. So really think about that. When you have these feelings of fear, turn them around and think of them as excitement. Let’s hack your brain so it works for you
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The next Ris remind. When your confidence is taking a nosedive, and it does for all of us, redirect your mind and remind yourself why you’re doing this. Having clarity of your actions will really help. The more clear you are, the more confident you will because you know your desired outcome or what you’re trying to achieve. You can see it in your own head. That means we need to prepare. Getting prepared will force us to think through what we need to do in order to achieve that outcome.
For example, for me, if I want to have a successful speaking engagement, I prepare. I don’t wait until five minutes before and throw a few notes on a napkin and just go up there and wing it. I mean, sure, I could do that, but I don’t think that would be setting me up to walk out on stage and feel confident, ready to talk to hundreds or thousands of people. When you have this clarity, it really does help you have the confidence, and it also gets you ready to start. Because truly, you can create whatever you want out of this life. You just got to begin. Stop waiting, and just start. Take small steps to begin and that will help you build up momentum. Remember, tiny steps lead to small wins, and that leads to bigger steps, which leads to bigger and bigger wins, creating that domino effect of momentum. And that boosts our confidence.
And now I want to end with the biggest R of all. Make sure you take time to reward yourself. When you do move forward, when you do something with confidence, take some time and celebrate. We often forget to celebrate our wins, so be sure to take a moment to really revel in it. Celebrating is not bragging. In fact, sharing your wins can actually help inspire others because you can share the lessons that you’ve learned.
You might remember in my interview a few episodes back with Chris Winfield when he told me that I was being selfish by not spreading my message. Remember when he said that? Well, part of that message is the wins, not just the hardships, but the celebrations and the milestones. When you work hard, let others celebrate right alongside of you. Because you know what that does? It reminds them that all things are possible. It’s true. And I’m telling you because if I can do things that I do, so can you. And that’s the truth. That’s what helps other people to really feel confident in making their impact is seeing what you do in your own life.
My goal with today’s episode is truly to move you from feeling self-co to self-confident. I hope that some of these ideas will really help you look at things differently. Keep in mind those five Rs, release, review, reframe, remind, and reward. I think a small shift in confidence can really springboard you from sitting on the sidelines to getting in the game and making that impact you truly want in your life, That is what I want for you. I want you to feel good and confident. Because those small changes, they really do add up, and they will lead to that big impact that you desire.
All right. We’re going to continue our season on small changes for big impact with next week show with Amy Jo Martin where we’re going to answer the question, why not now? And before I sign off, I do want to make sure that you know that I am
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offering a free five-day challenge that’s starting up in the next couple of weeks. It’s called Five Days for Finding Your Joy. I’m really excited about this challenge. I’ve been working really hard into this idea of what is joy for each person. I did a lot of research, and I found that there are different challenges out there that are related to joy and happiness, but they just didn’t go deep enough, I didn’t think. I wanted to dig into this idea of what does bring you joy. How do we cultivate and grow more joy in our daily lives?
So, if you’d like to sign up for this free challenge … And I absolutely would love to have you on board with this because, again, it’s free. It’s five days. It’s simple and manageable, and yet it really does dive into this whole idea of what does joy look like to you. Simply go to joyofmissingout.com/challenge. That’s all you have to do to sign up. I’ll be sending you daily emails once the challenge begins. I would love for you to take part. Again, the address is joyofmissingout.com/challenge. All right. Let’s keep making an impact. Let’s keep moving forward with confidence. So have a beautiful and productive week.
Thanks for listening to Productivity Paradox. Now we’d love to have you join the conversation. To Join Tanya’s free group simply go to Tanyadalton.com/group.
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