In an ever-changing world of what beauty, intelligence, and success should look like. If one chooses to chase such dynamics, it could produce a constant climate of comparison, inadequacy, discontentment, and unfulfillment. More than ever, we need to be fortified with—confidence. Self-confidence provides the permission and authority to be powerful and authentic while navigating through life.
We recently exchanged with Dr. Juanita Woodson to talk about the vitality and value of confidence in the new decade. Dr. Woodson, also known as the Breakthrough Accelerator, has served nearly two decades as a catalyst for women (and men) across the country and internationally helping them to identify and overcome barriers that keep them stuck in cycles.
According to Dr. Juanita, confidence is a mindset and not a skill. It’s a belief that must start within yourself. A steadfast belief that you can succeed at anything you put your mind to. Confidence gives you permission to go be great despite setbacks. It’s an antidote against fear. Fear, whether imaginary and hypothetical, is an enemy to a person’s confidence. But the good news is that—you can be positioned to always win.
Do you believe that a lack of confidence is more prevalent in women than men?
The lack of confidence is equal among genders but shows up differently. As a coach and counselor, both male and female, can feel inadequate in some way. They express a desire to grow in confidence in various areas, but typically males are conditioned to hide it. Women easily express their state of self-confidence especially on subjects like weight, height, beauty and age. Men may mask that they are fine but when asked in a confidential and safe environment they’ll be open and own their insecurities too.
What would you say is the difference between confidence and conceit?
Confidence is a positive posture of assurance as you properly manage fear. Conceit is based on a false sense of entitlement thinking you’re better than the next person. A conceited person is always in a losing battle with some form of fear.
Talk about how self-identity, self-esteem and self-worth and how they all interplay or interfere with confidence?
Self-identity is knowing who you are and what you bring to the world. Self-esteem is how you feel about yourself, and how you receive what others feel and think of you. Self-worth is what value you give yourself and the value you allow others to confer on you. Someone can be clear on their purpose or assignment on earth, but not feel good about themselves personally. Someone may be exceptional at what they do, but not feel valuable to anyone. All three works together in harmony, and when not, it’s detrimental to the other.
How do you build confidence after failing in a career, business or relationship?
It all depends. For example, if it was a bad business deal that involved lots of money, it could take years to rebuild confidence with that partner, product or industry. The most important thing to do is forgive yourself. Release yourself even if it was your fault. Give yourself permission to be human and make mistakes. For relationships, allow yourself time to heal before entering a new relationship. Accept the reality, learn the lesson(s), and make a commitment to not let it stop you from moving forward even if it’s with a new endeavor or opportunity.
Can you share an experience where you had to rebuild your confidence and how you overcame?
I’ve been divorced several times and lacked major confidence in the area of marriage. I began to feel unlovable, undesirable and couldn’t understand why I wasn’t enough. One day I began to do a self-inventory and dig deep within for answers. I discovered that I didn’t love myself. I thought I did, but it was love for the aesthetically perfected me (outer appearance, makeup, etc.) not the real me. During this discovery journey, I took myself on dates and watched movies alone. I learned to love myself that I enjoyed being alone. The next relationship worked out and is in its 10th year of marriage.
What are your final thoughts?
People can sense the energy you put out. If you like or dislike yourself, it’ll be evident and show up eventually. You can’t fake confidence for long, so just be true to yourself and love yourself. Remember, whatever you think is possible is possible and whatever you think is impossible is impossible. Faith is confidence, so choose what’s possible!
Featured Image by Candace Moore Hight/Remember When Photography