Need more confidence so you can do things like:

  • Talk to professional strangers so they can instantly recognize your brilliance?
  • Raise your fees knowing that your clients will stay?
  • Ask your respected mentor on a coffee date?
  • Write, speak and create in ways that lead to awesome opportunities?

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As I was growing up, I had this idea that there were people who were fundamentally good and people who were, basically, flawed. This belief wasn’t conscious, of course, nevertheless it permeated everything I did.

On some level, I believed that there were people in the world who attracted friends, opportunities, success and people who just… didn’t.

Guess which category I fell into.

Underlying this set of beliefs, was an idea about innate goodness, innate value. For those of us who come from families where, in some way, it was a struggle just to get by, there is an idea that things like fame or popularity or fortune just happen to some people, while leaving other people out.

This is a myth.

It took me a while to learn a lesson that many people who come from generations of privilege already know – consciously or unconsciously.

The reality is that opportunity and money and friendships and health actually come out of developing daily habits that build on each other over a period of time. These habits eventually lead to a solid foundation whereby success becomes merely a by-product.

(If you find yourself saying, “But Tiffany! Sometimes life happens and we cannot control our health or our income…,” calm yourself and read on.)

By doing the things that successful people do – even before having things that successful people have – you are cultivating a fertile ground in which fortune can grow.

By having faith that it is possible to fall into the “lucky” category – not in some woo-woo, spiritual way, but faith based on evidence of the hundreds of thousandth of people who have succeeded before you – it will be much easier to take the actions that lead to the life you want.

If you build the daily habits, create the systems, there is no other possibility except that success will come to you. The only option is that you will achieve greatness.

It’s not about innate goodness or badness. This is the myth of our culture – the overnight success – and that myth doesn’t do anybody any good.

Psychoanalytic Interpretation Warning: Now for a lot of folks who come from struggling backgrounds, there is a looming feeling that if you obtain success, it will inevitably be taken away from you.

In fact, for many groups of people, and this has a very particular history in our country, success was stolen – stripped away by the very government that was supposed to protect.

This is what we call “intergenerational transmission of trauma.” It’s a big term, but basically it means that the injustices, the violence, the fear that happened to our families before us get transmitted unconsciously to us and create constant anxiety that forces outside of our control will inevitably destroy any possibility of success. Psychoanalytic Interpretation End.

So, how does this tie into your confidence?

Many of us sabotage our own success at just the moment when “luck” starts rearing its head.

We miss an appointment. We get sick. We get in a car accident.

We suddenly feel depleted, depressed, doubtful.

OR, we just abandon one idea for a new one, continuing a perpetual cycle of beginnings with no follow through.

This comes from a legacy of believing that our actions cannot really result in success – that some thing or some one will ultimately block us from achieving our dreams. “So,” We say “why even try?”

When this happens, rather than continuing to learn, grow and implement the daily SYSTEMS that would lead to success, we give up, back down, and let insecurity defeat us.

If you can create and follow through with daily systems – even before you’re confident that you can be part of the Chosen Ones; if you can keep taking actionable steps in spite of your anxieties and doubts, confidence will follow.

Love Action Steps? Do the following.

If you want to the confidence to walk into a doctor’s office and offer to do a presentation on maternal depression in order to widen your referral network – then floss. Every day.

I swear!

If you set a goal to floss every day for 4 weeks, you will feel more confident to try the bigger stuff.

Skeptical? I was too. But, try it.

  • You come home at 2 am, after a night of drunken debauchery – floss.
  • You get in a fight with your partner and you’re rip-shit pissed – floss.
  • Got a cold, feeling miserable and exhausted and the idea of flossing is absolutely beyond your capacity? Floss anyway.

If you can do this. You can do anything. Think I’m fucking with you? Do it and see. Then let me know how it goes.

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photo credit: Dirk Herrmann