Balance & Beyond Podcast
#22: The Truth About Calm and Confidence
Want more calm and confidence in your life?
Join Jo and her Mindset Coach, Jaclyn, for a fresh perspective on the two emotions women want to experience more. We engage in a compelling conversation about fostering presence and accepting what we cannot change, which may be the keys to finding that elusive calm. Jaclyn shares her insightful expertise, advising us to resist disempowering narratives and embrace the peace of living in the moment.
But that's not all. We also unravel the concept of true confidence. It's not about being impervious to self-doubt but about believing in your worthiness deeply and unwaveringly. Together, we challenge the notion that we must constantly prove our worth and instead consider the power of prioritising our personal convictions. Jaclyn's expert guidance provides valuable insights into strengthening self-esteem and creating a life of calm and confidence. Don't miss this chance to discover a refreshing take on tranquillity and self-belief.
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INTRO: Welcome to Balance and Beyond, the podcast for ambitious women who refuse to accept burnout as the price of success. Here, we’re committed to empowering you with the tools and strategies you need to achieve true balance, where your career, relationships and health all thrive, and where you have the power to define success on your own terms. I honour the space you’ve created for yourself today, so take a breath, and let's dive right in…
On today's episode of the podcast, I'm joined by our mindset coach, Jaclyn. Again, hi, Jaclyn! Lovely to have you here. We are talking about all things calm, confident, and multiple states that people keep saying to us, “This is what I want to do.” “My life is in chaos. I'm looking for calm.” Tell me, what is really going on when people are saying they want calm on demand?
So what's really going on is people usually want to control their lives, control circumstances, and usually that's crazy! Making lots of C words here. So, if we're trying to get calm by controlling, we're going to feel crazy! So, if you're feeling that way, you should come to the right spot to take a listen today, because we're going to unpack what you can do instead. Instead of trying to create calm, we have a better antidote.
I love it. So what is calm? What is that state, Jaclyn?
When I think of calm, I think of measured responses. I think of it as emotionally neutral. When I think of calm, I think of the word “peace”. And I think a lot of people would agree with that definition, right? That's calm. We want to feel calm, and, of course, that's a beautiful state to want to cultivate, and we can cultivate calm. However, what I notice so often, is that people come in, like I said already, trying to get calm by controlling circumstances, which just makes you crazy, or also weaponising this idea of calm against themselves.
Like, “I should be calm.” “There's something wrong with me, because I can't be calm more often.” Or, “Yeah, I’m feeling like calm is impossible.” And just creating calm, this thing that they're chasing, or, like I said, weaponising it against themselves. And so, to me, the best thing to cultivate instead is presence. So, presence is being in the moment.
Another word that I like to use with presence is “acceptance.” Because when you're present, you're being with the moment without resisting it. That's what you would call acceptance as well, right? So, you're not trying to change it, you're not making the moment wrong, or bad, or making it a problem. You're just taking a step back and saying, “Okay, this is where I'm at right now.”
Yeah, and it's always those stories, isn't it? That robs us of the inability to accept it. And, I know you do a lot of your work yourself, and that acceptance is something that I've been working a lot on over the past six months, and it's a game changer. How would you define acceptance? It sounds really easy. Just accept what's going on. But, we're meaning making machines, and we are great at creating stories. What are some of the stories that we make and where do these stories come from?
Oh man. Yeah, so we create all these stories about what's happening. I think, when we create stories that usually don't feel good, usually they're disempowering stories. Like “Oh, you know, I'm not calm.” So, it's their fault. Like, “If only they, my kids, would behave, then I could become calm.” Or we make it a story about ourselves. Like, you know, “There's something wrong with me because I can't become calm.”
Whatever the story is, it usually paints somebody, or something, as wrong or bad. And that's just a habit. That's just human nature. As far as where that comes from, it's one way we try to make sense of something. But it's a habit. So, the good news is that you can break that habit of creating stories that are disempowering. So, instead you can notice if you're in a situation you don't know, you'd rather feel calm in it, and slow down.
You were asking about acceptance, right? Like, how do you actually just accept where I am? Well, you decide not to make any meaning out of it. In that moment, you could catch yourself making a story about yourself. Or about other people and say, “Okay, instead of making a story, I can just acknowledge that right now I'm uncomfortable.” “I feel upset, angry, sad”, whatever is happening. And just taking that step back, and acknowledging how you're feeling without again turning it into a story, or making it wrong. So, that's the first place to start. Around acceptance.
Yeah, and there's some beautiful memes that go around with acceptance. And it’s one of my favourites. There's a picture of two rain clouds, and on one side it says it's raining. And then it's raining, “I'm now going to be late, everything's going to get wet, I'm going to be miserable, I can't get it done, and that's all the story.” And the other side says it's raining, and it just says, “Yep, so it is raining.” Just, as a matter of fact. And I think, for so many people listening to this, we create so much meaning around everything. You know, “Oh, I have to unload the dishwasher every morning.” “Oh, I have to do it, it's all on me.” And then it turns into this crazy narrative. And we wonder why we can't have calm mornings? Because we're too busy in our head weaving layers and layers of story about obligation, and it's all on me. And we wonder that we can't find calm in those moments, isn't that right?
Right, right, exactly. And then we get mad at ourselves for not being calm, which is ironic, creating less, and less calm. Right, yeah, and not fun. Not a fun ride to be on. So yeah, it starts with being right where you are. And just saying “What if?” “What if, instead of going down a story that there's something wrong, or you know, criticising someone or something, just being with it.” Okay, “This is not how I would prefer this to go.” So, “I'm feeling frustrated”, or “I'm feeling sad and disappointed”, or whatever is actually there.
But that takes presence, right? It takes acceptance, being in the moment without resisting it. It takes presence. What is actually going on here? Getting curious, and then calm, can actually get a result. After you pause and allow the acceptance, and allow the presence, then you can respond with whatever's actually accurate, and whatever's actually there.
So, let's say we're trying to cultivate more calm in our lives, and we've spoken a little bit about what really is going on there, and how we can find that presence and that acceptance to help us. Then, we can step into that state of calm. Another state that we're often hearing everybody in our world say that they want more of is confidence. So, like confidence, Jaclyn. Is there something that we actually need to be cultivating instead? And then, confidence can be a natural outcome from that.
Yep, absolutely. It's several words for it. I use the words “personal power.” “Worthiness.” ‘Conviction.” Like, “Self-conviction, or self-assuredness.” So I'll mean the same thing. It's this connection to an unwavering belief in self, and your value as a human being, simply because you exist. And so, that's really fundamental to confidence. Because, if you're not connected to your inherent worthiness simply because you exist, then you're always gonna be trying to prove your worth and your value.
There's another component that I would call self-esteem, which is kind of like a branch off of self-worthiness, and self-belief. And self-esteem really has more to do with feeling connected with your skillset, or with your knowledge base. So, it's like self-worth is like, “I am valuable as a human being, because I exist.” “Just because I breathe, and I take up space, I am worthy, I'm valuable.” And then self-esteem is like, “Oh, I have this skill-set.” “I have these tools, I have these strengths, and I'm proud of them, and I know that they make a difference.” And, for me, self-esteem is really more around what you have to offer specifically, and being grounded in that.
And so first, connecting to your fundamental worthiness will support your self-esteem. And then, when you look at self-esteem, sometimes we do need to develop ourselves in a skillset or we have weaknesses that we might need to strengthen, and that could just be a matter of fact. We don't need to make a story about it and that's where you might be catching yourself trying to force confidence. But if you're judging yourself and making a story about where you just simply need to expand your toolkit or your skillset, that's the shift right there that's worth looking at to support you in accessing confidence.
Yeah. I was told early on in my career, “Just fake it till you make it, Jo.” Just pretend that you're all that. And the danger? I've certainly seen it. I'm sure you’ve seen this, too. All the women we work with, it's almost akin to having a table with no legs. So, you can have “fake it till you make it” confidence. But, then the moment someone asks you a question, your legs can be completely taken out from under you. And also, what I see is if you've got this, whether it's intellectual confidence, as opposed to true worthiness, which is what you're saying is really at the root of all this, is that you might.
If I looked at you in a meeting, I would think, “Wow, she knows her stuff, and she's nailing it, and she's confident.” But, what I don't see is the person who is lying awake at night, beating themselves up, overthinking, because, “I shouldn't have said that.” And they're worried about it, “And I've got to be on top of everything.” And they incessantly prepare, and they overthink. And there are absolutely some symptoms that we can see, when you've got perhaps, a relatively strong self-esteem.
But, it's not built on a foundation of inherent worthiness. You mentioned having nothing to prove. “I don't have to do anything.” It's not when I've achieved XYZ goal, it's not when I've done enough. And that's a really interesting piece, because everyone comes to us saying, “I want more confidence.” But, they're not asking themselves, “Do I yet feel worthy?” Are they?
That's right. That's exactly it. And the people that we do perceive as confident? We don't really know what's going on behind closed doors, for them. But, what I know is that all confident people still experience self-doubt sometimes, or are second-guessing themselves. It's not that they're impervious to it. It's just that when they are rooted in their personal power, or self-belief, they just don't get taken out by it. Or if they do, it’s not for very long, right? They might experience some self-doubt, and then catch themselves. And just stop, because they're just not willing to tolerate that. That's how I like to word it.
How long are we willing to tolerate doubting ourselves? And we get to decide. We get to choose, ultimately. And “Oh, I don't wanna beat myself up anymore.” “I don't want to second guess, or belittle myself anymore.” I'm just gonna quit doing that, and then focus on, “I am worthy, just because I exist.” “These are the skills.” Or, “This is what I'm bringing to the table.”
It sounds really simple, doesn't it? I'm just gonna not tolerate this anymore. And I know when I was in the heat of beating myself up, and “faking it until I make it”, that I heard things like that and thought, “Oh, that's rubbish!” “Do they not know that?” “I'm in this room with all these other people, and I've gotta be on top of everything, and I've got to know everything, and I've gotta prepare.” And yet, I'm the first to tell you that it literally is that simple.
It's when you make a declaration, and it might be what I need. “This is something I need to work on.” “This is now a priority for me to build that inherent sense of worthiness, to not feel lost anymore.” And that's a bit of a sign too, isn't it,Jaclyn? A symptom of when we don't have that deep sense of worthiness. We might have some “fake it till you make it.” We might be able to go in, and have a confronting conversation with an employee. We can act. But yet, when we still feel a bit lost and empty inside, that's a clue, isn't it? That something is not right, from that foundational worthiness.
Yep, that's right and that's what brings women here to our community. Right, because they know they're starting to hear that whisper, that there's something deeper here that's wanting their attention and they're ready to do that. They're ready to, you know, look back at calmness. They're ready to actually be able to respond, and not feel like they're just reactionary all the time. Like, they're starting to notice I'm just reacting all the time, and I feel like, “I'm stuck this way, but there's gotta be a better way, right?”
And it’s the same thing with confidence. It’s like, “Oh, you know, sometimes, I can work myself up and put myself up for a meeting, but deep down, I still feel a little wobbly, like I know there's gotta be something better than this.” Like, maybe there was a time where they used to believe in themselves, and they want to return to that time. And that's really what brings women here. Ultimately, it's not really the calmness, or the confidence, per se. That's what they think they want. But, what they're really looking for is that ability to cultivate presence. In any moment, that's true power. Or to cultivate that personal conviction, right, and self-worth in any moment. Again, that's true power.
Yeah, because, what I think is also important to acknowledge is that the lives we lead are never going to be externally calm in terms of, “Well, I wake up at seven on an island, and somebody brings my breakfast, and I just hang out on the island, and go to the beach.” And my biggest decision is, “Margarita or Pina Colada?” The lives that we have chosen are inherently chaotic, and by chaotic, I mean, there are lots of people in them. There are lots of moving parts. And so you can choose for it to be chaotic, and to cultivate calm, or you can also just accept that, “This is the life I've chosen.”
It's a life that's full. It's a life with lots of people. It's a life with lots of energy. And for most of us, it's a life that we wouldn't give up anyway. And likewise, we can acknowledge our intelligence. But we're always the type of people who are gonna put ourselves out there, and push our comfort zone, because the reason everyone comes to ours, is they're in their comfort zone. And it's not good enough. They know that they've got more, they know they've got a lot of potential, and that's what we want. I love that.
I wrap this all up in saying that we want calm. We want confidence. But, ultimately, it's the whole, “Ask them for what they want, give them what they need.” What everybody is really looking for, and what we really encourage you to cultivate, it's starting to understand, “What does acceptance mean for you?” “How do you find it?” And, at the same time, how do you cultivate this deep sense of worthiness? “That I'm enough, just as I am, regardless of how much I have or haven't done?” And from there we can step into this full life, with lots of people, with lots of activities, with lots of fun! And also, we can step into this life, where we get to reach our potential, and see what's possible. Without wobbling at night, without second guessing ourselves, or if we do, it's momentary, and it's a chance to grow, and we can move on. So that’s what you want, isn’t it Jaclyn?
That's right. Yeah, that's right, that's exactly it. Absolutely. And underneath all of that, what you were just sharing is that, we have choice. So hopefully, those who are tuning in, are waking up. And I suspect that's why they're listening to begin with. Because, they're starting to wake up from the slumber of, “I don't have a choice.” And instead, waking up to the truth is that you always have a choice of who you want to be in the face of anything and everything. And cultivating presence, and cultivating that self-worthiness, are two dynamite states of being. If you cultivate that, you can be anything, absolutely.
That's what we want. We signed up for a big life. Let's make sure that we can empower everybody in our ecosystem to go and achieve their best. As always, Jaclyn, thank you for the chat. I hope this has given you something to ponder. And may you find your own sense of presence. And may you find your own sense of worthiness, so that you can get the calm and get the confidence that you want.
OUTRO: Thank you for joining us today on the Balance and Beyond Podcast. We're so glad you carved out this time for yourself. If you enjoyed this episode, please share it with a friend who might need to hear this today. And if you're feeling extra generous, leaving us a review on your podcast platform of choice would mean the world. If you’re keen to dive deeper into our world, visit us at www.balanceinstitute.com to discover more about the toolkit that has helped thousands of women avoid burnout and create a life of balance, and beyond. Thanks again for tuning in, and we'll see you next time on the Balance & Beyond Podcast.
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