In order to reinvent our lives and create lasting change, we need to have confidence in ourselves. This really means we have to be able to trust ourselves. But here’s what’s tricky, to get through life we often occupy roles. We create and maintain personas. We bend to make ourselves acceptable to others. We get attached to the armor we develop for protection. And when we live our lives this way, we end up directing our energy, attention, and efforts at trying to manage ourselves, our relationships, and the way people perceive us. So we spend tremendous time in energy constructing an identity and persona to present to the world.
Welcome to Your Permission Prescription. I’m Nancy Levin, founder of Levin Life Coach Academy, bestselling author, master life coach, and your host. I train life coaches, aspiring coaches, and anyone who wants to add coaching skills to their current career, to elevate their life and their business. I’ve coached thousands of people to live life on their own terms, and now I coach, train and certify other coaches to do the same. If you are ready to give yourself permission to finally make yourself a priority and mobilize your vision, you are in the right place. Let’s dive in.
Welcome back to another episode of Your Permission Prescription. I’m so happy to be here with you today as we explore the truth about self-confidence. Now, if you’ve been with me a while, you’re likely familiar with my Transformation Equation of Change = Vision + Choice + Action.
As we begin to dive into self-confidence today, I was thinking that if I made an equation for self-confidence, it would look something like this. Self-Confidence = Self-acceptance + Self-trust + Self-forgiveness.
In order to reinvent our lives and create lasting change, we need to have confidence in ourselves. This really means we have to be able to trust ourselves. But here’s what’s tricky, to get through life we often occupy roles. We create and maintain personas. We bend to make ourselves acceptable to others. We get attached to the armor we develop for protection. And when we live our lives this way, we end up directing our energy, attention, and efforts at trying to manage ourselves, our relationships, and the way people perceive us.
So we spend tremendous time in energy constructing an identity and persona to present to the world. Many of us do this automatically. We’ve conditioned ourselves to believe that we have to hide some part of ourselves in order to be loved and accepted. And at the same time, we just wanna be loved for the truth of who we are.
The disconnect here is that we can’t possibly be loved for who we are unless we’re willing to reveal who we are. And it’s one thing to own our strengths and weaknesses, and it’s another thing to actively, openly, express them. When we display self-confidence, we’re ultimately communicating, I’m willing to be vulnerable and accept myself without fear of judgment.
Have you ever wanted to make a major change in your life but found yourself overcome with doubts and uncertainties? I know I have. For example, you may have a clear vision of becoming a life coach, but now you need to know where to begin. This is why I created the Life Coach Starter Guide. Inside this guide is the same foundational work I used to build my own career from the ground up. It provides everything you need to start or enhance your coaching practice. Simply visit nancylevin.com/resources to download today for free. You can also find the link in the show notes. Enjoy!
We can discover where we lack self-confidence by looking at the personas we’ve constructed. A persona is an identity crafted in order to control how we are perceived. We expend significant energy constructing a persona, a facade, a screen, to filter the truth of who we are and how we are seen by others.
I know that for most of my life, I was first of all very busy projecting an image of perfection to the world. And I was managing the perception of others by giving them a very specific lens to see me through. I wanted to be seen as someone who could make anything and everything happen without ever making mistakes. But what really happened, is that I exhausted myself and burnt out.
Take a moment here just to think about a persona you’ve adopted along the way. What compels us to hide behind our personas, knowing that it takes such a toll, is that we ultimately get something from it. We see some benefit, some payoff from hiding, and we’re afraid of what will happen if we let go of these payoffs and benefits.
Payoffs and benefits can include not having to take a risk and possibly fail, never having to feel rejected, remaining in a cocoon of comfort, even if it means playing safe and staying small, being seen and celebrated as the superhero, manipulating others to get what you want, covering up things we don’t like about ourselves.
The most potent piece of information I can give you here is that our armor is simply part of our ingenious self-preservation. So while it may seem easier to stay small and hidden than face the uncertainty of becoming who we are meant to be, we create chaos when we avoid the truth. It’s time to challenge this impulse because in order to keep yourself in the container of the persona you’ve constructed, you will have to slip into denial, numb out and stuff down your real feelings and your true self.
So the only way out is forgiveness. Making peace with yourself allows you to accept all of who you are, exactly as you are. You no longer have the need to hide behind a persona and portray a false sense of who you are, in order to be loved and accepted by others. Until we release ourselves from the constraints of roles and personas and self judgments on some deep level inside, we know we cannot be trusted.
Forgiveness is a gift you give yourself, so you can release the beliefs you’ve been beating yourself up with. When we choose to stop beating ourselves up and trust we are worthy of our own love, our self-confidence will flourish. It frees us from shame and hiding. Forgiveness is an act of self-love that frees us from the bonds of the past, in order to move powerfully toward the fulfillment of our vision. Forgiveness supports us in finding compassion for our entire self.
We can forgive ourselves for our mistakes, poor choices, negative reactions, disempowering thoughts, and any event we’ve interpreted as negative or made ourselves wrong for. When we don’t forgive, we hold on to resentments and grievances and withhold the gift of unconditional self-love and self-acceptance. Self-forgiveness is the way to gain a fresh start and wipe the internal slate clean. Self-confidence is an integral part of reinventing your life. And it paves the potent pathway to allowing ourselves to be vulnerable, visible, and known.
As you know, I am a poet and I love poetry, and I wanna share a poem called Risk by Anais Nin that so beautifully illuminates the concept of self-confidence.
And the day came
when the risk
to remain tight
in a bud was
than the risk
it took to blossom.
So I invite you to spend a few moments really contemplating the personas you present to the world. Are you the perfect child, outstanding employee, most valuable friend, life of the party, most compassionate parent, ideal sibling? Whatever it is, take a few moments to really hone in on the roles, the personas you present to the world, and how your confidence could shift if you were no longer expending energy upholding the weight of these rolls, if you were able to let the armor down and just be you. I so appreciate you taking the time to be here with me today, and I look forward to being here with you again next time.
Thanks so much for joining me today on Your Permission Prescription. For even more, I invite you to head on over to nancylevin.com and sign up for my newsletter, The Practice, and follow me on social media. If you’ve enjoyed this episode and want to support our podcast, please subscribe, leave a rating and a review. See you next time.