No law states that you have to feel confident, all the time. And yet this universal way of thinking about confidence – that you have to be bubbling with it, all the time – is alive and hiding in the head of every woman with whom I’ve discussed the subject. This invisible law states: NOT FEELING CONFIDENT IS NOT OK. So we shame ourselves – for not feeling confident.

More specifically, our inner bitch* shames us for not feeling confident. (*More on her later!)

Not feeling confident about doing a certain thing – going for the next-level job for example – is not a ‘problem’ in itself. (You get good, get confident, with the act of ‘doing’. Confidence is nothing but a learned skill. Learning takes time.)

The ‘problem’ kicks in with your thoughts ABOUT not being confident. It’s what you make ‘not being confident’ mean that’s the problem.

Do you make it mean that you should not apply for the job? That other people are better than you? Well, one thing is for sure – not taking action will not create confidence.

It will make you feel worse.

Do you make it mean that NOT being confident makes you less-than, not enough, therefore flooding your nervous system with cortisol and adrenaline? Which leads to – guess what? – not doing a great job delivering that pitch because your Fight-or-flight stress response kicks in, making you dart around your deck, losing your place, panicking like a squirrel out of nuts.

So, what to do?

Start by saying HELL NO to the status quo of your unhelpful thoughts about not being confident.

What you make ‘not feeling confident’ mean comes from HOW you speak to yourself.

That pesky inner critic, the inner narrator of doom, is The Creator of Problems and Suffering. I call that voice The Bitch. And was thus inspired to create a process that I call Debitch Your Brain – the playful & profound route to self-mastery.  ‘Debitch’ is a verb – it means to raise awareness of and transform your relationship with how you speak to yourself. You can then create more of what you want in life and less of what you don’t.

It’s easy to believe this internal dialogue of yours – Bitch FM has been the soundtrack of your mind since you were a kid and your sense of ‘self’ kicked in. But now as adults, we get to choose how to respond to our programmed set of thoughts, reactions and judgements. Because now you can see that your thoughts are just fiction of the mind – if they are not serving you, you no longer have to believe or obey them.

By looking at what and how we think, we can change our response to the ‘confidence problem’.

You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated, says the great Maya Angelou. Recognise the power that you have, the infinite potential and the limitless ways to create options over dead-ends. This is what you have when you get out of your way and reclaim what’s yours – your mind, your power, your resources.

Confidence? No problem! Here are some helpful acts of debitching:

  • HELL NO, STATUS QUO: Self-acceptance is the ultimate act of rebellion! So what if I get it wrong? I celebrate my fabulous flaws because they enable my very essence of humanness. Celebrate your imperfections, your willingness to try new things at any age, wearing anything you want because you make the rules. ‘I don’t feel confident to deliver the presentation’ – ‘oh, how human of me!’ It’s what we make it mean, every time! You can adopt the ‘yes-and’ approach and do it anyway or the ‘but’ approach and let it divert you to Suffering Town. YOUR CHOICE.
  • QUESTION YOUR THOUGHTS. Just because you thought it, doesn’t make it true. Just because it’s in your head doesn’t mean it’s real. A woman who chooses to challenge and not accept her unhelpful thoughts is a woman connected to her wisdom. And a woman connected to her wisdom can harness the power of her inner Wise Rebel. The revolution is upon us, sisters. Let’s rise up together!
  • THE POWER OF CURIOSITY OVER JUDGMENT. Instead of making ‘not feeling confident’ mean anxiety, fear and not being enough,  get curious instead. Ask yourself, what would help me step into the courage to have a go? How do I get to feel AFTER I have done this thing? Imagine yourself doing the thing in bright colours to rapturous applause – that allows good feelings to flow so you can crack on. Remind yourself of how far you’ve come already. Don’t fall prey to the dead-ends that judgment creates. It’s your mind: choose to use it to help not hinder!
  • ATTITUDE IS EVERYTHING. Be aware when your brain has tuned into Bitch FM (your radio station of unhelpful nonsense) so you can consciously shift your attitude to CURIOSITY, not JUDGEMENT. The curious soul approaches things with a playful attitude. And if things don’t go to plan? Well, I’ll jolly well just have another go. Bring ‘fuck-it’ vibes with you and do the thing. Even if you don’t do it perfectly (which you won’t, ‘cos that’s impossible) it’s much better to crack on than to carry on brewing up self-loathing in that cauldron of yours.
  • POSTURE IS QUEEN. Make a stand. Stand tall. Stand out. Your body and mind are linked in beautiful biological and chemical ways. Use this to your advantage; just as the mind can lead the body into the terrain of heart-racing anxiety and sweating self-doubt with tabloid-headline-worthy thoughts, the body can lead the mind to higher ground.  The view is much nicer! So stand tall, fill your lungs and put your arms in the air, cheer yourself on in the race of life. Your mind will dutifully follow suit and your thoughts will raise their vibration to support your reign of self-acceptance. Power-posing is as necessary as brushing your teeth. Make it part of your morning routine.

Life is a continuous learning journey. So embrace the wobbles. Wear your stabilisers with PRIDE. Inflatable armbands as couture-catwalk. L-Plates as earrings. Confidence will come in every area of life you choose to take action in. You are learning, yay!

If you want to embrace the HELL NO STATUS QUO way of thinking and debitching your brain, joining one of my programmes could be the next big thing in your life. Debitch Your Brain is my 1:1 journey of self-mastery for leaders; Big Bold & Brave is my group programme for women at the mid-point in their careers who want support to stand out and step up. I also run workshops and training programmes for forward-thinking companies.

So many friends, let us dance and debitch together. A more joyful future awaits when we do!


About the author

Jess is a certified coach and EFT and NLP Master practitioner and is the creator of Debitch Your Brain™ – the playful & profound route to self-mastery. High-energy and passionate, she’s on a quest to help women break free of the unhelpful narratives dictated to them by their inner critics – their bitches. She passionately believes women can live happier in their skin, maximising more of their potential – if they get out of their own way! Ultimately that all starts at home, with the relationship you have with yourself. With her unique take on self-development, she helps women empower themselves to conquer their minds, becoming mentally fit and flexible by learning to self-coach and harnessing the power of their unlimited potential.

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