Confident People Talkin’ About Confidence, Part Two

To better understand confidence, I asked confident people what the heck confidence is and how to get it! Check out Part One here.

imageIn Part Two, we hear from a local career coach, the aptly named Alyssa Best. I worked with Alyssa for about four months this year on goal-setting, the anguish of the application process, and the strain of the job transition. Although I spent solidly 50% of our time together crying, if you hire her, you can choose to use your time together in whatever ways you find most helpful. Crying included. 

In one of our most striking sessions, Alyssa printed out the update I had sent her to frame our conversation that afternoon. Then she highlighted every time I put myself down in about two pages of text. There were a lot of them. Way too many. I’d been feeling lousy that week but that kind of negative self-talk was so deeply ingrained that I didn’t even realize I was doing it. She reassured me that many of her clients struggle in this way, so I asked her to describe how she works with them on this common career impediment. Please enjoy! 

Among your clients who struggle with confidence, what do they have in common? How do they differ?

A common theme among the clients I serve is that they’re tackling big and important goals in their lives. When people put themselves out there in a new way, common roadblocks include a fear of taking risks and a fear of rejection. My clients differ in the nuances of their lives and how their values shape their goals, but I see many similarities in helping people get un-stuck and gain momentum.

How do you help your clients develop confidence regarding their careers?

First, I have tools for clients to identify their core values and the intersection between what gives them meaning, their strengths, and what they enjoy. That sets an important foundation for our coaching work. Once clients are moving towards goals aligned with their values, confidence is a more natural outcome. I also like to celebrate my clients’ progress and focus on what they’re doing well, which builds positive self-esteem.

I have a very big and unfair mental line drawn between a “confident person” and a “competent person.” Do you have any advice for wrapping my head around the idea of a confident, competent person?

I consider competence to be a mastery or command of a skill or subject matter. Confidence, on the other hand, is a belief in yourself and that you possess that skill or knowledge. I think it’s important to identify which barrier is holding you back — or perhaps it’s a combination of both — and start there.


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