What happens when you bring a successful actress and film producer, a badass champion NASCAR driver and an entrepreneur turned women’s empowerment expert in front of a room full of professional women and have them talk about how to build killer confidence? Suddenly the room feels full of energy and the confidence boost is spreading, touching everyone as if it was electricity.
This wonderful panel was organized by Ellevate, the international women’s network focusing on advancement of women in business, and consisted of these powerful women:
- Alysia Reiner, an award winning actress & producer, known for her roles in “Orange is the new black” and “Sideways”. She is also a mother, humanitarian and outspoken environmentalist.
- Julia Landauer, a multiple time championship-winning race car driver from New York City. Julia is currently racing in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series, with races televised on NBCSN.
- Claudia Chan is the CEO of S.H.E. Global Media Inc., the multi-platform women’s empowerment and education company behind the renowned global women’s conference, S.H.E. Summit.
- The panel was moderated by Mandy Antoniacci, a Sports Business Analyst, Entrepreneur & Columnist. As the Founder of ChangeUp, LLC she is an Advisor, Board Member & Investor to companies & a Business Coach to pro athletes.
Here are 5 powerful lessons they brought us as part of an inspiring evening:
- Think about how you can help others: focus on the greater good
As a child, Alysia Reiner was shy by nature and lacked confidence. She broke out of her shell by thinking about what she could give back. “Focusing on how I can serve gives me most self-esteem on a daily basis”. Claudia Chan’s story is the living example of that. As a women’s empowerment expert, she is passionate about giving women a voice and helping them rise to their full potential. She believes in the limitless potential we are born with and that we have a unique purpose in life. Her advice on finding your purpose? Instead of being rooted in your own popularity or quest for money and making it all about you, ask yourself: “what is the greater good I want to go after?”
- You can build up your confidence: train it like a muscle
But how do we realize what we are meant to be and how do we get there? Claudia Chan has an answer for that as well: by talking through struggle, working through rejections, trials… “Every struggle has helped me to be who I was set out to be and understand where I want to focus my time, energy and money”, she admits. Our failures and mistakes teach us the most as struggles build our confidence and resilience muscles. Claudia adds: “We are all born with this limitless potential and sense of purpose. What we need is relentless courage to take action to work and reach that potential. Then confidence becomes a walk in the park.”
- Give yourself a boost: be positive
At 24, being a NASCAR driver, Julia Landauer is competing in a male dominated world, full of testosterone. Having started go-kart racing at 10 and making history at the age of 14 as the youngest and first female driving champion from the Skip Barber Racing Series, racing cars has been an outlet for her from a young age where she could be independent and tackle her fear. She says being cocky helps her stand out less as the only female competitor and a stopwatch does not care if you are male or female. Still, there are moments where she has fears about making it on a professional level and her best remedy for that is positive self-talk during the day. Just like 16 year old Olympic gymnast Laurie Hernandez whispering to her self “I got this” before acing her beam routine. Julia underscores the importance of analyzing what you’re saying to your self and cutting out the negative. “Be your own biggest cheerleader, celebrate little victories”.
“Talk to yourself like you would to someone you love.” Brene Brown
- Get out of your head: there are many tools who can help you
Statistically, men have more confidence than women. Indeed, many women are wired to think more and have a strong inner critic, whereas men are often seen as more one-dimensional. In the film “Equity” about the women of Wall Street that Alysia Reiner recently produced, has a scene where the female protagonist says “Men don’t run shit over and over again in their head”. In fact, it is important to find tools to get out of your head, here is a short list from what I heard over the course of the evening to help you get started:
- start a yoga practice
- get a coach or mentor
- celebrate your successes
- meditate every day
- find (female) role models
- get a hobby you like
- be of service to someone else
- take up your role as a leader
- find a spiritual outlet
- read inspiring books
And remember: it does not matter what it is, that does the trick. “Once you feel good, that marinates in other parts of your life”, excellent advice by Alysia Reiner!
- Work on who you are: be intentional and protective of yourself
Your confidence has to build up internally first, you cannot really fake it. You need to work on who you are and toss out the unhealthy stuff and work your muscles to build confidence. “Who cares what other people think?” says Claudia Chan, “It is more important what you think”. You also get what you focus your energy on. For example if you fear financial scarcity and focus on it more, it will manifest itself more. That is why Claudia is a big believer of morning mantra’s. For example, you could say every morning “I am financially abundant and I will find a way to increase my finances”. Whatever your limiting beliefs are that you were programmed with in your youth, reverse them and turn that into a mantra.