Confidence Activation Part 1: How to Define Your Essence

From Fear to Freedom
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Earlier this year, I worked with a group of lovely souls on the Confidence Activation Workshop. Through the workshop, we learned how to find your recipe for confidence, the pebbles that stand in the way of your confidence, how to distill your true nature, and how to use your essence to filter decisions. 

Ultimately, the workshop taught how to make soul decisions that ignite your confidence and sense of purpose. The workshop was such a success that I want to share some of those exercises and lessons here for those who couldn’t make the workshop or for those who did and could use a refresher! 

Here in Part 1, I’ll walk you through understanding where you’re at, finding your recipe for confidence, determining what stands in your way, and the difference between your true nature and the impact of the external world. 

In Part 2, we’ll focus on making soul decisions by understanding your own current decision criteria and learning how to use your true essence to filter decisions instead. 

Young woman smiling and looking up confidently - define your essence

Get a pen and paper ready because I have many questions and exercises to help you ignite your true purpose. Let’s get to it! 

Understanding Where You’re At

Let’s dig deep to determine what your recipe for confidence looks like. 

Because each and every one of us, myself included, has our own unique and personal recipe for confidence. But first, let’s figure out where you’re at with your confidence right now.

How confident do you feel?

On an average day to day basis, walking around in the world, going to the grocery store, being at home, going to work, making love, meeting new people, and just generally living your life, how confident do you feel? 

Get out that pen and on a piece of paper, write what comes to mind. Is it 20%? 50%? 80%? 90%? When you look in the mirror and talk to yourself, what percentage of the time are you confident? On an average basis, are you confident? 

Don’t worry about what this number is; just be true to what your instincts tell you. 

Of course, you probably feel more or less confident in different aspects of your life. On that same piece of paper, on one side, write out all of the areas of your life in which you feel confident, and on the other side, write down all the areas of your life that are lacking confidence right now. 

In which of the following areas do you feel confident? 

  • Career
  • Family
  • Spirituality
  • Connection to God
  • Personal authenticity
  • Romantic relationship
  • Interpersonal relationships
  • Sexual life
  • Leadership abilities
  • Technical skills
  • Writing (The Fearless Writing Group may be for you!)
  • Emotional intelligence
  • Decision making
  • Physical self
  • Health
  • Travel
  • Finances
  • Home

In which aspects of your life do you have confidence, and which aspects are lacking? 

What are some distinctions you’ve noticed between when you are confident and when you’re not? I want you to immediately be able to pinpoint how it feels when you are confident and when you don’t feel confident. Because when you understand how confidence feels and how you got there, you can use that recipe to spread that confidence to all areas of your life. 

Find Your Recipe for Confidence

When you think about all those areas of your life where you feel confident, what is it that got you there? 

For me, there’s one word that gives me full permission to access my confidence. When I experience this word, I have confidence. 

What might that word be for you? Take a moment to think about it. Is there something that is required of you in order for you to feel confident? If you have this one thing, you’ll be confident, and without it, it’s so much more difficult and sometimes even impossible to access your confidence. 

Think about this word and write it down on the page beside you. “When I experience _______, I have confidence. 

For me, that one word is CLARITY. 

If I have clarity, I’m pretty gosh darn confident. If I know I’m supposed to do something, and I’m clear about what that is, I’m pretty confident. I might not know the outcome or have any idea what the real results will be, but if I’m clear about my next action, I’m confident. 

What’s that word for you? Is it clarity or something else? For you, it might be certainty, grace, acceptance, self-love, trust, knowledge, or freedom. 

Next, go back to that page and reflect on how it feels. 

When you’re feeling confident, how does it feel, and how do you know when you’re confident? 

What is your personal definition of confidence? I’ve heard from workshop participants that confidence, for them, feels strong, secure, safe, and fearless. Someone else said it feels easy and flowing. 

When do you allow confidence to come through? When do you say “I am confident.” Think about all of the qualities and things you need in order to feel confident. 

What are the A, B, and C you need to feel confident? 

You might say, “I need permission from myself, I need clarity, and I need self-awareness. You might say, “I need certainty, I need acceptance, and I need spiritual truth.” You might say, “I need knowledge, I need God’s guidance, and I need self-love.”

Jot some ideas down and keep thinking about what that magic confidence recipe is for you. What is required? What are the keys you need to unlock the confidence within you? This might not come to you immediately, and it may take you a while to lock down your recipe. 

So now that you have your recipe or at least a few confidence ingredients in mind, what’s stopping you? 

What Pebbles Stand in Your Way?

Texture close up of pebbles

What are the things that keep you from feeling confident? What stops you in your tracks, even when you have the ingredients for your confidence formula? What is it that makes confidence fly out the window? 

Again, write down everything that comes to mind. 

It might be fear of failure, self-doubt, imposter syndrome, apathy, ego, lack of information, fear of harsh judgment, or past negative experiences. 

Whatever it is for you, make sure to write them down under a heading that says: What stops me from activating my confidence? 

All of these things are pebbles in your shoe. You have your formula, and you’re cruising down the highway with confidence, but then you hit a bunch of pebbles, debris, or nails on the road. They get in the way, and they trip you up. You might want to ignore these pebbles, and that can be a good strategy, but if you’re anything like me, it’s really difficult to ignore the things that get in the way of your confidence. It feels too real to ignore. 

Let’s work through another exercise that will help you see your confidence obstacles for the little tiny pebbles they are. 

True Nature vs. The External World

Find those moments of confidence to make them more frequent

Open up to a fresh page and put a line across the middle from left to right so that you have space to write above and below the line. 

Title the top section “The External World.” 

Title the bottom section “My True Nature.” (If you prefer, you can call this section “The True Me” or “My Essence.”) 

Now, take a look back through all of the notes you’ve written so far today—how confidence makes you feel, your formula for confidence, and all of the things that trip you up. Look at it all and determine if these things are your true nature or are they things you’re taking on from the external world? 

Feeling like someone is judging you or that you might look stupid? That’s not your true nature—that’s something that comes from the external world. You might feel it deeply, but it’s not who YOU are. 

What things are a part of your true essential nature or true essence, and which things are informed by the external world in some way, shape, or form? 

Once you’ve separated it all out, what themes do you see? What stands out? Is there anything that surprises you? There’s a good chance you’ll notice how much of your fears are from external sources or how much you’ve been aligning your decision making and confidence with the external world. 

So if you understand your true nature, you can begin to live it and slowly push out those external forces.

Now, I know what I’m asking of you is no small request. Just because you know the right answer doesn’t mean you’re easily able to live that answer. Just because you know it doesn’t mean you live it. 

But the more knowledge you have about the essence of who you are, the more you can apply that knowledge to live from your true nature—to live from the essence of who you are at your core. 

Defining Your True Essence

Legs walking through a sunny forest - true essence

When your external world is bigger and heavier than who you are, it's really hard to knock down that wall. It’s really tough to keep going. Not understanding your true essence will make you want to lie down and give up. It will make you feel hopeless, and you certainly won’t have the confidence you need to live the life your soul intended.™ 

Ask yourself: What is the essence of who you are? Write this down. The essence of who I am is… Start by jotting down everything that comes to mind, and then narrow it down. Summarize the essence of who you are in a couple of words or a sentence. 

The essence of who I am is…

Fearless Workshop participants said, 

  • “The essence of who I am is acting boldly with the willingness to risk being foolish.” 
  • “The essence of who I am is loving, authentic, and kind.” 
  • “The essence of who I am is compassionate, creative, and optimistic.” 

This understanding of who you are will help you tip the scales toward your true essence, and after some time, the external world will become like an annoying mosquito. It can be tricky, but if you know that it’s there—if you can see it—you can flick it away before it ever bites. 

But if you don’t see it, what happens? You get bit by the external world. This is why it’s so important to work through all of this and to continue to define what you need to feel confident and what stands in your way. 

Let’s try to name those mosquitos for what they are. On your piece of paper, write, “I get caught up in the external world when…” 

When does the external world wreak havoc on your life? 

Fearless Workshop participants said: 

  • “I get caught up in the external world when I feel like I don’t know what I’m doing.” 
  • “I get caught up in the external world when I forget my true nature and tap into external past thoughts.” 
  • “I get caught up in the external world when I’m trying to meet the expectations of others.”
  • “I get caught up in the external world when I start making up stories about other people’s opinions of me.” 

What is it for you? When does the external world start to pull you away from your true essence? Because when even one of your fears or insecurities creeps in, it’s like a spiral effect. One insecurity will lead to another insecurity which will lead to another before you know it. And soon, you’ll be stuck in a gutter of no confidence. 

The sooner you can see that mosquito and swat it away, the better. Because that’s what those external triggers are—a small mosquito or pebble in your shoe. It’s usually not a rock that trips us up, it’s often just a small pebble. 

Recognize your small triggers so that you can try to stop the lack of confidence spiral before it occurs. Soon, you’ll be able to see that pebble for the tiny grain of sand it is. 

Implement HALT—Hungry, Angry, Lonely, Tired

So, what can you do to begin proactively shoring up your connection to your true nature? 

A strategy I employ for myself that I believe you’ll find great power in, too, is called HALT. It stands for 

  • Hungry 
  • Angry
  • Lonely
  • Tired

For me, this was one of the first ways I was able to identify my pebbles. I would start thinking, “Oh, this doesn’t matter,” or “They don’t like me,” or “I don’t belong.”

But then I started to ask myself, “Am I hungry? Am I angry? Am I lonely? Am I tired?” 

I could almost always trace it back to one of these four feelings. And the amazing thing about tracing a negative feeling, pain point, or trigger back to HALT is that these four things have simple solutions.

If I was hungry, I’d find myself nourishment. 

If I was angry, I’d take a moment to reflect, journal, or meditate. Sometimes I’d go for a big long walk until my head was clear. 

If I was lonely, I’d call a close friend I could count on or arrange a time to get together in person. 

If I was tired, this one was easy too. I needed a rest, more sleep, or a break from my work before I burnt myself out. 

The next time you’re feeling triggered by something in the external world, before you react, first, ask yourself…

Am I hungry? 

Am I angry?

Am I lonely? 

Am I tired? 

It may sound incredibly simple, but that’s what makes HALT so powerful. 

Activate Your Confidence

If you take one thing away from this guide (which is only Part 1 of Confidence Activation), I hope that it’s the importance of defining and understanding your true essence.

Continue to define it and write it down. Turn to it when you need to make a decision, and keep it in your back pocket when you are unsure, afraid, or feel the weight of the outside world.

Take back your essence for yourself—on your own terms. Don’t let the past define your essence. Don’t let fear define your essence. Don’t let the opinions (or perceived opinions) of others define your essence. Don’t let your low confidence define your essence.

There’s more work to be done in your Fearless journey. This is only Part 1. Continue reading and working away at Part 2 (COMING SOON) of this Confidence Activation series, where I’ll walk you through how to make soul decisions. These are decisions that are led by your essence instead of the external world, your fear, or other filters you usually put on your decision making.

Defining your essence is a journey. And truly living it is not an easy road, but it’s one that must be walked in order to live the life your soul intended™. 

The resources and welcoming community of Fearless You can help! It’s your one-stop shop for everything you need to define your essence, make soul decisions, and build unshakable confidence.

From Fear to Freedom
From Fear to Freedom GUIDE topaz enhance sharpen hiresDOWNLOAD GUIDE

Earlier this year, I worked with a group of lovely souls on the Confidence Activation Workshop. Through the workshop, we learned how to find your recipe for confidence, the pebbles that stand in the way of your confidence, how to distill your true nature, and how to use your essence to filter decisions. 

Ultimately, the workshop taught how to make soul decisions that ignite your confidence and sense of purpose. The workshop was such a success that I want to share some of those exercises and lessons here for those who couldn’t make the workshop or for those who did and could use a refresher! 

Here in Part 1, I’ll walk you through understanding where you’re at, finding your recipe for confidence, determining what stands in your way, and the difference between your true nature and the impact of the external world. 

In Part 2, we’ll focus on making soul decisions by understanding your own current decision criteria and learning how to use your true essence to filter decisions instead. 

Young woman smiling and looking up confidently - define your essence

Get a pen and paper ready because I have many questions and exercises to help you ignite your true purpose. Let’s get to it! 

Understanding Where You’re At

Let’s dig deep to determine what your recipe for confidence looks like. 

Because each and every one of us, myself included, has our own unique and personal recipe for confidence. But first, let’s figure out where you’re at with your confidence right now.

How confident do you feel?

On an average day to day basis, walking around in the world, going to the grocery store, being at home, going to work, making love, meeting new people, and just generally living your life, how confident do you feel? 

Get out that pen and on a piece of paper, write what comes to mind. Is it 20%? 50%? 80%? 90%? When you look in the mirror and talk to yourself, what percentage of the time are you confident? On an average basis, are you confident? 

Don’t worry about what this number is; just be true to what your instincts tell you. 

Of course, you probably feel more or less confident in different aspects of your life. On that same piece of paper, on one side, write out all of the areas of your life in which you feel confident, and on the other side, write down all the areas of your life that are lacking confidence right now. 

In which of the following areas do you feel confident? 

  • Career
  • Family
  • Spirituality
  • Connection to God
  • Personal authenticity
  • Romantic relationship
  • Interpersonal relationships
  • Sexual life
  • Leadership abilities
  • Technical skills
  • Writing (The Fearless Writing Group may be for you!)
  • Emotional intelligence
  • Decision making
  • Physical self
  • Health
  • Travel
  • Finances
  • Home

In which aspects of your life do you have confidence, and which aspects are lacking? 

What are some distinctions you’ve noticed between when you are confident and when you’re not? I want you to immediately be able to pinpoint how it feels when you are confident and when you don’t feel confident. Because when you understand how confidence feels and how you got there, you can use that recipe to spread that confidence to all areas of your life. 

Find Your Recipe for Confidence

When you think about all those areas of your life where you feel confident, what is it that got you there? 

For me, there’s one word that gives me full permission to access my confidence. When I experience this word, I have confidence. 

What might that word be for you? Take a moment to think about it. Is there something that is required of you in order for you to feel confident? If you have this one thing, you’ll be confident, and without it, it’s so much more difficult and sometimes even impossible to access your confidence. 

Think about this word and write it down on the page beside you. “When I experience _______, I have confidence. 

For me, that one word is CLARITY. 

If I have clarity, I’m pretty gosh darn confident. If I know I’m supposed to do something, and I’m clear about what that is, I’m pretty confident. I might not know the outcome or have any idea what the real results will be, but if I’m clear about my next action, I’m confident. 

What’s that word for you? Is it clarity or something else? For you, it might be certainty, grace, acceptance, self-love, trust, knowledge, or freedom. 

Next, go back to that page and reflect on how it feels. 

When you’re feeling confident, how does it feel, and how do you know when you’re confident? 

What is your personal definition of confidence? I’ve heard from workshop participants that confidence, for them, feels strong, secure, safe, and fearless. Someone else said it feels easy and flowing. 

When do you allow confidence to come through? When do you say “I am confident.” Think about all of the qualities and things you need in order to feel confident. 

What are the A, B, and C you need to feel confident? 

You might say, “I need permission from myself, I need clarity, and I need self-awareness. You might say, “I need certainty, I need acceptance, and I need spiritual truth.” You might say, “I need knowledge, I need God’s guidance, and I need self-love.”

Jot some ideas down and keep thinking about what that magic confidence recipe is for you. What is required? What are the keys you need to unlock the confidence within you? This might not come to you immediately, and it may take you a while to lock down your recipe. 

So now that you have your recipe or at least a few confidence ingredients in mind, what’s stopping you? 

What Pebbles Stand in Your Way?

Texture close up of pebbles

What are the things that keep you from feeling confident? What stops you in your tracks, even when you have the ingredients for your confidence formula? What is it that makes confidence fly out the window? 

Again, write down everything that comes to mind. 

It might be fear of failure, self-doubt, imposter syndrome, apathy, ego, lack of information, fear of harsh judgment, or past negative experiences. 

Whatever it is for you, make sure to write them down under a heading that says: What stops me from activating my confidence? 

All of these things are pebbles in your shoe. You have your formula, and you’re cruising down the highway with confidence, but then you hit a bunch of pebbles, debris, or nails on the road. They get in the way, and they trip you up. You might want to ignore these pebbles, and that can be a good strategy, but if you’re anything like me, it’s really difficult to ignore the things that get in the way of your confidence. It feels too real to ignore. 

Let’s work through another exercise that will help you see your confidence obstacles for the little tiny pebbles they are. 

True Nature vs. The External World

Find those moments of confidence to make them more frequent

Open up to a fresh page and put a line across the middle from left to right so that you have space to write above and below the line. 

Title the top section “The External World.” 

Title the bottom section “My True Nature.” (If you prefer, you can call this section “The True Me” or “My Essence.”) 

Now, take a look back through all of the notes you’ve written so far today—how confidence makes you feel, your formula for confidence, and all of the things that trip you up. Look at it all and determine if these things are your true nature or are they things you’re taking on from the external world? 

Feeling like someone is judging you or that you might look stupid? That’s not your true nature—that’s something that comes from the external world. You might feel it deeply, but it’s not who YOU are. 

What things are a part of your true essential nature or true essence, and which things are informed by the external world in some way, shape, or form? 

Once you’ve separated it all out, what themes do you see? What stands out? Is there anything that surprises you? There’s a good chance you’ll notice how much of your fears are from external sources or how much you’ve been aligning your decision making and confidence with the external world. 

So if you understand your true nature, you can begin to live it and slowly push out those external forces.

Now, I know what I’m asking of you is no small request. Just because you know the right answer doesn’t mean you’re easily able to live that answer. Just because you know it doesn’t mean you live it. 

But the more knowledge you have about the essence of who you are, the more you can apply that knowledge to live from your true nature—to live from the essence of who you are at your core. 

Defining Your True Essence

Legs walking through a sunny forest - true essence

When your external world is bigger and heavier than who you are, it's really hard to knock down that wall. It’s really tough to keep going. Not understanding your true essence will make you want to lie down and give up. It will make you feel hopeless, and you certainly won’t have the confidence you need to live the life your soul intended.™ 

Ask yourself: What is the essence of who you are? Write this down. The essence of who I am is… Start by jotting down everything that comes to mind, and then narrow it down. Summarize the essence of who you are in a couple of words or a sentence. 

The essence of who I am is…

Fearless Workshop participants said, 

  • “The essence of who I am is acting boldly with the willingness to risk being foolish.” 
  • “The essence of who I am is loving, authentic, and kind.” 
  • “The essence of who I am is compassionate, creative, and optimistic.” 

This understanding of who you are will help you tip the scales toward your true essence, and after some time, the external world will become like an annoying mosquito. It can be tricky, but if you know that it’s there—if you can see it—you can flick it away before it ever bites. 

But if you don’t see it, what happens? You get bit by the external world. This is why it’s so important to work through all of this and to continue to define what you need to feel confident and what stands in your way. 

Let’s try to name those mosquitos for what they are. On your piece of paper, write, “I get caught up in the external world when…” 

When does the external world wreak havoc on your life? 

Fearless Workshop participants said: 

  • “I get caught up in the external world when I feel like I don’t know what I’m doing.” 
  • “I get caught up in the external world when I forget my true nature and tap into external past thoughts.” 
  • “I get caught up in the external world when I’m trying to meet the expectations of others.”
  • “I get caught up in the external world when I start making up stories about other people’s opinions of me.” 

What is it for you? When does the external world start to pull you away from your true essence? Because when even one of your fears or insecurities creeps in, it’s like a spiral effect. One insecurity will lead to another insecurity which will lead to another before you know it. And soon, you’ll be stuck in a gutter of no confidence. 

The sooner you can see that mosquito and swat it away, the better. Because that’s what those external triggers are—a small mosquito or pebble in your shoe. It’s usually not a rock that trips us up, it’s often just a small pebble. 

Recognize your small triggers so that you can try to stop the lack of confidence spiral before it occurs. Soon, you’ll be able to see that pebble for the tiny grain of sand it is. 

Implement HALT—Hungry, Angry, Lonely, Tired

So, what can you do to begin proactively shoring up your connection to your true nature? 

A strategy I employ for myself that I believe you’ll find great power in, too, is called HALT. It stands for 

  • Hungry 
  • Angry
  • Lonely
  • Tired

For me, this was one of the first ways I was able to identify my pebbles. I would start thinking, “Oh, this doesn’t matter,” or “They don’t like me,” or “I don’t belong.”

But then I started to ask myself, “Am I hungry? Am I angry? Am I lonely? Am I tired?” 

I could almost always trace it back to one of these four feelings. And the amazing thing about tracing a negative feeling, pain point, or trigger back to HALT is that these four things have simple solutions.

If I was hungry, I’d find myself nourishment. 

If I was angry, I’d take a moment to reflect, journal, or meditate. Sometimes I’d go for a big long walk until my head was clear. 

If I was lonely, I’d call a close friend I could count on or arrange a time to get together in person. 

If I was tired, this one was easy too. I needed a rest, more sleep, or a break from my work before I burnt myself out. 

The next time you’re feeling triggered by something in the external world, before you react, first, ask yourself…

Am I hungry? 

Am I angry?

Am I lonely? 

Am I tired? 

It may sound incredibly simple, but that’s what makes HALT so powerful. 

Activate Your Confidence

If you take one thing away from this guide (which is only Part 1 of Confidence Activation), I hope that it’s the importance of defining and understanding your true essence.

Continue to define it and write it down. Turn to it when you need to make a decision, and keep it in your back pocket when you are unsure, afraid, or feel the weight of the outside world.

Take back your essence for yourself—on your own terms. Don’t let the past define your essence. Don’t let fear define your essence. Don’t let the opinions (or perceived opinions) of others define your essence. Don’t let your low confidence define your essence.

There’s more work to be done in your Fearless journey. This is only Part 1. Continue reading and working away at Part 2 (COMING SOON) of this Confidence Activation series, where I’ll walk you through how to make soul decisions. These are decisions that are led by your essence instead of the external world, your fear, or other filters you usually put on your decision making.

Defining your essence is a journey. And truly living it is not an easy road, but it’s one that must be walked in order to live the life your soul intended™. 

The resources and welcoming community of Fearless You can help! It’s your one-stop shop for everything you need to define your essence, make soul decisions, and build unshakable confidence.

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