Productivity & Time Management

Episode #343 – Three Things Confident Women Do Differently

May 21, 2024

I’m Cherylanne.
I am the trusted advisor ambitious women want in their corner to help them fully embody their potential.
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Welcome to another empowering episode of Brilliant Balance! Join Cherylanne as she reveals what confident women do differently to excel in their personal and professional lives.

Discover how mastering the art of saying no, boldly asking for what you want, and making decisive choices can elevate your daily life. Learn why courage is the secret ingredient to building lasting confidence and how you can apply these insights to climb higher in your career and enhance your personal fulfillment. 

Tune in to start crafting the confident life you deserve. Don’t forget to subscribe to never miss out on your weekly dose of inspiration!

Show Highlights:

  • Do you feel exceptionally confident every single day? 01:14
  • The reason confidence is shaken for so many people. 02:53
  • Find out how confidence transforms behavior and actions. 06:31
  • How saying no can empower you. 07:21
  • Does every yes have a hidden no? 09:07
  • The key to knowing if you are living the life you desire or not. 12:28
  • The consequences of having a constant fear of conflict. 14:49
  • Are you aware of the impact of a lack of self-trust? 18:12

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Today, we are talking about the things that confident women do differently. So, listen, I know if you are a listener of this podcast, it is very likely that you are someone who has significant responsibilities both at work and in your personal life, right? You take on a lot. You are someone who is responsible for handling many things. And I also know that just because you’re doing that doesn’t mean that you feel exceptionally confident every single day, right? It’s like our own little-known secret that women who telegraph confidence externally may not be feeling it internally. We make choices every single day, sometimes from a position of confidence and sometimes from a position of lacking confidence, right? Where we’re not feeling particularly confident. So, in this episode, I am going to share with you some of the things that shift when you are operating from a place of confidence versus when you are not, right? How does it affect the way you let other people’s opinions matter? How does it affect the way you feel a sense of disappointment or resentment?

How does it feel when you are asking for a lot of opinions versus really standing your own ground and making your own decision? So if this is something that you know is a challenge for you, even if it’s a little bit of a secret challenge, something that maybe not everyone knows about you, you’re going to get a lot out of this episode, and I’m really going to dig into it. In particular, the difference between courage and confidence, because I think sometimes we mix those two concepts up, like those two concepts get inverted, and we start to think that courage and confidence are the same thing, and in fact, they are most definitely not. So, this is an encore episode. It’s one that I put together a while back, and I think that sometimes when I’m looking for themes of what is really coming up in the world at large, right? The ecosystem that I am a part of, what’s going on in the corporate world, what’s going on in the entrepreneurial space right now? I feel like confidence is being shaken for so many people right? It’s a combination of the economy, it’s a combination of that and the rapid acceleration of technology. The way that the world that we’re living in is changing so rapidly it is shaking the confidence of people who have every right to behave with confidence. So, I’m airing this episode because I think it is right for this moment in time. Ok, so take a listen.

Would love to hear what you think. I would love to have you listen to all of the episodes of the Brilliant Balance Podcast. So if this is your first one and you want to plug back in after this make sure that you subscribe to the Show. You can do that on any of the podcast listening services just go and follow or subscribe to the Brilliant Balance podcast and you will then. Never miss an episode. Ok, without further ado here is my take on the things that confident women just do differently.

So as we get started today, I have a question for you. Would you call yourself confident? And I want you to pay attention to how you feel when you hear me ask that question because it’s probably a clue about how you should answer. So today we’re gonna talk about confidence and we’re gonna talk about three things that we do differently when we’re feeling confident than we might do when we’re not, okay? And actually, I should probably preface this episode with a little bit of the discussion about the difference between two words. They both start with C, courage and confidence. Confidence, okay? So I do an entire talk on this. I’ve given this keynote in many places now, and it’s always kind of a surprising mind shift when we introduce this concept that so many of us have spent our lives trying to be more confident and saying, “If only I were more confident, these are the things I would do.” And I’ve actually come to believe that confidence is an after effect of courageous action.

So rather than summoning confidence to then go behave courageously, it actually works the other way around. And when we start to take courageous action, our reward is this feeling of confidence. And I want you to think about a time or two or ten in your life when you did something that requires you to be brave. It required you to take a risk or to be vulnerable or to just do something that you weren’t sure you could do. After you did it, do you remember how you felt? Do you remember the feeling of standing a little taller, you know, your shoulders dropping back and down, like that feeling of, “Yeah, I did that,” right? I went for it. I went for it. Took the chance. Honestly, it’s not even correlated to the success of the endeavor. It’s not even correlated to, “Did you or did you not succeed in your pursuit?” It’s the fact that you went for it. So many times within Brilliant Balance, the women I’m mentoring, I’m telling, “Look, go for it. You have to take action, and then you’ll start to ride that feeling of confidence.

And it’s important. It’s an important and worthy thing to pursue. So if you’ve been saying, “Gosh, I wish I felt more confident,” I understand. I think that is absolutely a worthwhile pursuit because when we’re feeling confident, we behave differently. There are certain things that we are more willing to do. Certain actions we’re more willing to take when we’re feeling confident and I’m gonna talk about three of them today that I think are. Really desirable things that the women that are coming into the brilliant balance community for coaching mentorship support in one of our programs are saying these are things I’d really like to be able to do.

But maybe they’re a little more difficult than I’d like them to be okay so we’re going to talk about three and I’m gonna show. Show you kind of the difference or illustrate the difference between how might we behave if we’re not feeling confident versus how we behave when we are and you see which side of the coin you want to land on, right? And then we’re going to talk about how to get there. So the first thing is when we are feeling confident, we are able to say no. We’re able to say no, okay? When we’re not feeling confident, we feel like we have to say yes to everything. So there’s this undercurrent of belief that our time just isn’t as valuable as whoever is asking for our time, right? Someone comes up to you and says, “Hey, can you be on this committee? “Can you take my kid to this practice? “Can you pick up this project at work?” It doesn’t matter what it is, right? It’s all the things that people ask us to do, and we all get asked all the time, right? When we don’t feel very confident, we feel like we have to say yes, that somehow that will help us avoid conflict and that saying yes is like,That is the pathway to inner peace, right? And to the holy grail, which is everyone liking us, right? If we… just say yes to everything, then everyone will like us and we won’t have any conflict. That is like the misguided belief system when we’re not feeling confident. The truth is saying yes to everything actually creates a tremendous amount of conflict, but it’s internal.

So while we may avoid some external conflict with the person asking, we create a whole bunch of conflict. Conflict inside ourselves because now we’re torn between what we really wanted to do or where we really planned to be and the new commitment that we’ve made because we weren’t able to say no.

Okay, so what’s different when we’re feeling confident? Well, when we’re feeling confident, we have principles for what we say yes and no to, and we’re able to stick to them. And here’s why. There’s a different underlying belief at play, which is that every yes has a hidden no. Okay, every yes has a hidden no. It’s invisible and silent. So we think we’re avoiding saying no, but we’re actually saying this hidden, silent, quiet no. Here’s how it works. Let’s go back to, you know, someone asks you to. attend a committee meeting on Wednesday night. When you say yes, even if you kind of cringe while you’re saying it,

What are you saying no to? You’re saying no to the family dinner. You’re saying no to being able to put your cozy clothes on when you come home from work and, you know, put your hair on top of your head and just chill out for a while. You’re saying no to being able to run errands that night. You’re saying no to any else you could have done with that time that you will now be at the committee meeting, right? Now, sometimes it’s appropriate to say yes, when this is not a bash on being on, you know, doing nonprofit work and being on committee, so bear with me, but every time we say yes to something, we’re saying no to something else. You know, if your child says, “Hey, can we go to the zoo today?” And that’s not what you had planned. And you really, it’s not, doesn’t really fit well. And you feel like I can’t say no, or I’ll disappoint them, or they’ll have a tantrum. And so you say, “Yeah, we can go.” And you begrudgingly go. Anything else that you had intended to accomplish that day is not going to happen. And again, sometimes we’re going to make that choice, but every single yes. Yes has a hidden no, right? We’re playing a zero-sum game with our time. There are always trade-offs. And when we’re confident, when we’re feeling confident, we know this. We have an innate awareness of this, and we’re essentially weighing options, right? We are in a decision matrix all the time. We’re weighing options and we value our own time and our own priorities enough. to even consider no as an option, okay? So when we’re feeling confident, we are better able to say no. That’s the first one. The second thing, the second thing that goes better when we’re feeling confident is we are able to ask for what we want, okay? We’re able to ask for what we want. So let’s look at the inverse. When we’re not feeling confident. Confident, we often just go along with what everyone else is doing, right? Well, sometimes even say, “I don’t really care,” right? “I don’t have an opinion on this, even if we do.” So if we are worried about being judged, because that’s what’s at the root of this one, right? If we’re worried about being judged, if we say what we want, she might not agree with us or he might not agree with us. And that would be traumatic. Right? When we’re not feeling confident, we are not going to ask for what we want. And this, I have seen this play out from very small things, like what do you want for dinner? Or where should we hang this painting?

To very large things, like what career we want to be in, right? Or what city we want to live in. So often, you know, this over the long term can lead to living someone else’s life, living a life that was in no way what you intended. I have coached many women now who are 10, 15, 20 years into a career path with hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of education that they never really wanted to be in because they were afraid to ask for what they wanted and to say no to someone else’s life, their life, right? Maybe it was a parent, maybe it was a spouse. That is a long-term road of resentment, okay? So when we say, I don’t really care or yeah, that’s fine, I’ll do whatever you think I should do, the catch here is we have to really check in with ourselves on do I have an opinion that I’m suppressing? Because when we’re not feeling confident, we’re often suppressed. Suppressing our opinion or our desire, right? When we’re feeling confident, then we know what we want. And we’re willing to ask for it. And here’s the thing, even if we might not get it, right? We’re willing to say, “This is what I’d like,” and carry the risk, carry the vulnerability of, “It may not happen, but I’m going to ask anyway.”

For example, I’ve coached many women now through salary negotiations and this is a classic example of this one, right? We know what we want and we will talk ourselves out of it before we even ask for it because we think, you know what, they’re going to be mad or they’re not going to give it to me. Me. Well those are viable possibilities. It is possible that, you know, your employer is going to say, “No, we just can’t do that or we won’t do that.” It’s also possible that the individual involved is going to get their feathers ruffled because conversations about money are uncomfortable on both sides often.

But if the fear of that conflict… or the fear of that, you know, of the possible no is so high that we don’t even ask for it, then guess what? We’re probably never going to get it, right? We’re probably never going to have what we want. So that’s a classic example. But again, it could be a smaller example. Like, I would really like to go to this restaurant. I would really like to see this movie instead of whatever you want is fine. You know, so when we are not feeling… confident, we often go along with what everyone else does and what everyone else wants. And we say, I don’t really care or I don’t have an opinion. When we’re feeling confident, we ask for what we want. Third thing. So the first two were when we’re feeling confident, we’re better able to say no. Second thing is when we’re feeling confident, we’re better able to ask for what we want. Third thing is when we’re feeling confident, when we are feeling confident, we are better able to make decisions. And this is a big one. This is something that absolutely will change your life. And it will give you so much time back, right? If you know how to make clear-minded, good decisions. So here’s how this plays out. When we’re not feeling confident, what do we do? Well, first of all, we deliver, right? If we have a decision in front of us, we are like

I’m not making that decision today. So, anytime I’m talking to someone and I hear them say, “Well, I need to think about it,” or “I’ll decide later,” or “I’m not quite ready to decide yet,” there’s a prickle of something that is making them feel not confident.

Myself included, by the way. When I hear myself dragging my feet or delaying a decision, it means I don’t feel confident yet in the decision that I need to make. So here’s the danger. What often happens in these situations is the decision gets made by default. It gets made because no decision gets made, right? So the window of opportunity passes. So, this plays out in so many ways and kind of the decision becomes a default, we’re not going to do the thing right, or we’re not going to change the thing. Because you can’t do something or change something without intentionally taking an action. So when we decide by default, the action never gets taken, right, because the decision never got made. And so we made a decision. We just didn’t have to declare it. Does that make sense? I’m trying to think of an example, like… If you’ve been debating with your spouse about, are we going to do a kitchen renovation? And we’re like, I don’t know, should we do it? Should we not? And you’ve run the finances, and should we call a contractor? Maybe someday we’ll do it. I don’t know, should we do it or not? If you’ve been in this discussion for a year, two years, five years, you’ve made a decision that you’re not doing it. It’s happening by default. The kitchen is not getting renovated because there’s no clear-minded, you know what? We’re not going to do it. So here’s what we’re going to do instead. Okay. So that delay of game happens a lot when we’re not feeling confident and again, it can lead to a decision by default. The other pattern that happens when we’re not feeling confident is we will crowdsource opinions. We will ask everyone and their mother what we should do, right? We’re on the phone with our sister, we’re texting our friend from college, we’re talking to our neighbors when we’re out for a walk.

It’s everybody’s opinion about what we should do because we don’t trust ourselves. And so when that happens, we stay stuck because guess what? Everyone doesn’t have the same opinion. So now we have a bunch of conflicting opinions about what we should do and no principle. Principle to use to make the decision. And because of that, we stay stuck, right? Decisions don’t get made. Our options stay open. And here’s what that leads to. It leads to massive overwhelm. It leads to this feeling of, my head is spinning. You know, I’m thinking about it in the middle of the night. I’m thinking about it when I’m supposed to be. Doing something else, right? I can’t be fully present because your head is swimming with all of these unmade decisions and fear that you’re gonna get it wrong. And we’ve all been there, right? That’s that it’s swirling around.

So when we’re feeling confident, it’s different because when we’re feeling confident, we trust ourselves. We trust our intuition and we trust our ability. to gather the data and make the call. Then we can decide promptly and we can actually execute on the decision.

You may have heard me talk about this before. There’s a technique that I developed that really helps me when I’m swirling, which I call the decision sprint. And I can almost pinpoint it as the moment where my decision is made. confidence shifts and I will get out a notebook and write decisions at the top of a page in big bold letters. And then I list out, these are the decisions that I am aware of. I need to make these decisions, and I haven’t made them yet. And it can be as simple as what am I going to get my mom for her birthday or where or which hotel are we going to stay in when we’re at this gymnastics meet or whatever, You know, like they are little decisions, but when they’re not made yet because I’m keeping options open, they’re stealing brain space. Or they can be big decisions like, “Am I going to hire this next team member? And what am I going to pay them? And how am I going to find them?” Those decisions are, the stakes can be high or low, but honestly, the amount of brain space is not that different. A little unmade decisions, like what am I going to get for this birthday gift, can take up as much brain space as really big ones.

So the key here is having a process for declaring, like these are the decisions that need to be made, and then setting some time parameters around what data do I need to gather,  how am I going to make this decision, like what’s the process I’m going to use to make the decision, and then making it. These three things that we’ve talked about today, I probably could have come up with more. I don’t like to cram too much into one episode, but these three things, imagine how different your life would be if you were really good at saying no when you needed to, when it was appropriate. If you consistently could ask for what you want, and if you had a framework to make decisions, imagine how different and how much better you could feel. So that’s what we’re chasing, right? And here, I started at the beginning with this, and I’m gonna end, like, putting a button on this. You don’t have to wait to feel more confident to do these things. In fact, the very act of doing them will make you feel more confident. So my challenge to you is to be confident. go out into your week and find a place where you can say no, where you can ask for what you want, or where you can bring a decision to finality and see how you feel on the other side. And when you do, I want you to let me know. Till next time, my friends, let’s be brilliant.

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