The importance of true confidence and how to find it.
Have you ever wished you had more confidence? Or sat around waiting to do something until you feel more confident to make a start? Or worse still, missed out on that next big thing because you just weren’t confident enough to even try?
In last week’s interview (#081) I talked to positivity rebel and accidental mid-life influencer, Lou Featherstone, who not so very long ago couldn’t find her voice or bring herself to show her teeth on camera. Some 70,000 Instagram followers later, Lou discovered that the more she showed up on camera, the more people followed her and the more confident she became. Why? Because confidence is a result, not a requirement!!
Looking back on our conversation, in this week’s episode I reflect on the biggest mistake we make around confidence and why confidence is so much more than the things that we do. Most importantly I share how, once we understand what true confidence is, no-one can take it away from us.
If you’re a woman on a mission who would love to find your voice and feel more confident in who you are becoming in your mission, this week’s Insights episode is for you.
ABOUT YOUR HOST: SUE REVELL
Sue is on a mission to STOP women playing small so that they can create the legacy they want to leave in the world. With over 30 years coaching and leadership experience, Sue loves nothing more than disrupting the unhelpful thinking that often holds women back, so that they can think, dream and BE bigger in leading the change they want to see. Coaching internationally, Sue’s clients are primarily world-changing women who want to lead with confidence, increase their impact and live a life that matters.
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Episode 81: I Just Couldn’t Find My Voice with Lou Featherstone
Inside Out Confidence with Sue Revell (Interview w/ Karen Laos)
Confidence: Your Ultimate Guide to Finding It and Living It by Barbara De Angelis
Welcome back to the Women on a Mission show and our first Insights episode of Season 6! Anyone else feeling like 2023 could already run away with them?! This week has absolutely flown past and general busyness, combined with those early signs of spring and lighter evenings in the northern hemisphere (and, I understand, some significant changes in planetary alignment) are all creating momentum as we hurtle further into the new year. I know that those of you who took the time to work through the Success in Six mini programme over Twixmas are definitely now feeling the benefit of that thinking time!
And, on the subject of the preciousness of time and energy, let’s get into today’s show. This week, it’s an Insights episode and I’m looking back at last week’s conversation with Lou Featherstone.
If you haven’t had chance to listen to the interview, we heard how Lou is a Midlife Menopausal Mindset Shifter, an Accidental Middle Age Influencer and a Vibratory Advocate & Positivity Rebel. She’s also the CEO of the Zero Fucks Club! Lou is dedicated to empowering women to step outside their comfort zone and try new things & find their confidence in middle age.
Let’s take a look at what I noticed…
Today we’re looking back on episode 82 with Lou Featherstone.
Wow. What was there NOT to notice in this episode! As I was thinking about where to start I made a list of the words that I felt as I reflected on our conversation. Without even stopping to think, these are the words that just flew onto the screen:
Colour, Energy, Passion, Life, Emotion, Fun, Tears, Laughter, Joy, Vulnerability, Courage, Love
I’m sure I could have continued my list but these are the first 12 words that I noticed came to mind – things that I saw, or feelings that I felt or witnessed.
Lou is an absolute bundle of fizzing energy and you can’t help but get swept up in her story as she shares the joy and the pain of being Lu in Lu Land.
I couldn’t help but reflect my biggest observation in the title of the episode because I’ve now been following her for so long on Instagram I had totally forgotten, until she mentioned it, that when we first met she had a real anxiety of showing her teeth and speaking on camera. Absolutely incredible some five or so years on, to see what an extraordinary speaker and performer and influencer she has become.
One of the things that she shared was how she started to find her voice as more and more people were drawn to her confidence. If you haven’t yet listened, Lou described how her vintage rental business ground to a halt during lockdown because no one was going out, and so she decided to cheer herself up by cheering everyone else up on video and YouTube. And the more people were drawn to her confidence, the more confident she became – finding her voice along the way.
I think this is a really important learning – one that I often share with my clients – and one that it’s always helpful to remind ourselves of. So many people think that we need to be confident in order to do something – but confidence is a result, not a requirement. The more we do the more our confidence grows.
But that’s only the beginning. Over the years I have adopted Barbara De Angelis’s teaching on finding our confidence. There’s a little pink book that she published with Hay House – I’ll pop the details in the show notes but I’m not sure it’s still available.
In her book, she teaches that there are only so many skills and abilities we can acquire in life, so if we restrict our confidence only to what we can DO well, we will only feel confident part of the time.
I’m sure that regular listeners can already tell where this is going! It’s another ‘doing versus being’ distinction!
Hold that thought for sixty seconds, and I’ll be back!
Today I’m asking for your help.
I’m on a mission to STOP women playing small so that they can think, dream and BE bigger in leading the change they want to see in the world, and I need your help to reach more women.
As a thank you I’ll be giving away a free online coaching session each month during this season - so four lucky listeners will win an hour with me during Season 6.
It’s super easy to enter.
Go to the Apple or Goodpods platform and leave a review of this episode, telling us how it helped you or why you enjoyed it.
If you take a screenshot and share it on your own socials, you’ll get an extra entry for each post. Use the hashtag #womenonamission and remember to tag me in so that we see it!
The winner will be announced on the first episode of the following month, so do keep listening!]
In her book, Barbara even suggests this ‘doing based confidence’ is one of the reasons why people become workaholics – because they only feel good about themselves when they’re engaged in the specific activity that gives them confidence.
And that’s exactly why she suggests that confidence is so much more than that!
Rather than feeling confident about something you can do, think for a moment about what becomes possible for you if, instead, you are simply confident in who you ARE?
If instead of going after that next promotion or salary rise or investment or relationship, or whatever that next outward recognition of success is for you, you focussed on having true confidence on the inside.
What is true confidence? In Barbara’s book she says this:
“True confidence has nothing to do with what is happening in your outer life. True confidence isn’t created because of what you DO, but because of your BELIEF in the ability you have within to do anything you want to…..
It's a commitment you make to yourself - a commitment that you will do whatever it is that you want and need to do in life….
That whatever you are faced with, you will deal with it and do what you need to do.”
I find this perspective so helpful. That it’s not about what I do, but my willingness to take action. That it’s not about my ability to do any single specific thing, but my ability to take action in my life.
It also shifts the focus from what we think we need from other people or what we need them to think or say. No we can’t always rely on a positive response from others to what we DO, but we can choose to rely on our commitment to ourselves – to do what it takes.
Our confidence builds from the inside out when we can say that we did what we did, just as we said we would. Our confidence then comes from our inner determination to do what it takes – to learn, to try, to try again, until we get where we wanted to go. Not because we are special or smart or super skilled, but because we are completely confident that we will study and learn and practice and grow – until we can.
One last quote to finish. You may have heard me share this before – especially if you heard me being interviewed by Karen Laos last year. Karen has a podcast about Igniting Your Confidence, and I shared this quote from the same book:
“When you base your confidence on who you are, instead of what you accomplish, you have created something that no one or no circumstance can ever take away from you.”
Here's to true confidence, from the inside out – helping us to keep our mission bigger than our fears, so that we create the impact we dream of making in the world.
Let’s leave it there for today. To be honest, when I started thinking about this episode, I expected to find myself talking about permission – but that one will have to wait.
I keep finding myself in conversations with women about confidence and the importance of self-validation, so it felt timely to continue this theme – especially after the last Insights episode where I focused in on imposter syndrome. Do check out Episode 78 if you’d like to dig a little deeper in this area of personal development – it’s a really important area to work on when we are ready to start – and grow – our mission. The resistance can be strong, and building our self confidence and resilience is an important part of our tool kit as women finding our voice and creating impact in the world.
And, on the subject of creating impact, if I can help you to find your voice and feel more confident in who you are becoming in your mission - reach out via my website at Sue Revell dot com, and I’ll be in touch. This would be a great topic for that free coaching session I talked about earlier, by the way – so don’t forget to enter!
My last word, as ever, goes to my guest.
Lou – I loved our conversation in last week’s episode. Thank you for bringing all of who you are to the show - to inspire us and teach us the importance of being our whole selves in the work we do. Thank you for bringing passion and energy and colour and also truth and challenge into my world each time I see you pop up – I appreciate you more than you could know. I am so grateful to you for joining me on the show. Thank you.
Thanks for tuning in again today. I’ve loved spending time with you as always and I really hope that Lou’s story has inspired you to think about who you are being and who you are becoming in your mission.
One last reminder to hit the FOLLOW button wherever you are listening so that you don’t miss the next episode.
And if you’d like to stay in touch with Women on a Mission news, go to the show notes at womenonamission.club and fill in the big pink box on the main page to make sure you get the next edition of Mission Mojo sent straight to your inbox!
Next week I’ll be talking to Natalie Balmain, campaigner, designer & broadcaster AND the winner of the new Channel 4 programme, Make Me Prime Minister, which aired in the UK last autumn. Yet another very different conversation and I can’t wait to share it with you!
That’s it for today, my friend. Thank you for being with me as always. Have a wonderful week, and I’ll see you next time.
Positivity Rebel and Mindset Shifter
Lou Featherstone is a Midlife Menopausal Mindset Shifter, an Accidental Middle Age Influencer and a Vibratory Advocate & Positivity Rebel.
She’s also the CEO of the Zero Fucks Club!
Lou is dedicated to empowering women to step outside their comfort zone and try new things & find their confidence in middle age.