It starts with a kernel of an idea

Women and Confidence

Photo courtesy of Alexander Possingham

Photo courtesy of Alexander Possingham

A year ago I was walking with my friend and colleague, Linda Ford and we stumbled upon an idea for a book.

It was just an idea.

A simple idea.

But with that one idea, the seed was planted and began to take root.

Day by day, step by step, word by word, we turned what was once formless into form.

From nothing came something.

It always starts that way. For each of us.

For many, however, ideas and dreams remain in the ether…never to become form.

Quite often, the culprit of these dashed dreams is self-doubt, second-guessing, insecurity and self-consciousness. In other words, the degree of confidence brought to an idea or dream — which happens to be the subject of our book.

Confidence, however, affects more than just our hopes and dreams. It affects the quality of our lives.

This fact was made even more clear to me during a meeting with town and school representatives as we reviewed the results of our Youth Risk Behavior Survey - which measures various behaviors and mental health issues amongst our middle and high school students. What struck me most profoundly was the significant divergence between the sexes (male versus female) on issues such as depression, anxiety, and self-harm. Girls rated significantly higher in all of these categories. This statistic reinforced in my mind the need for our book since issues of self-doubt, insecurity, self-consciousness often begins in adolescence and can develop into a pattern of thinking that spans a lifetime, if not understood.

As Linda and I spoke that day about our idea, we recognized the effect that confidence has on ones’ life. We realized that there were too many smart, talented, articulate, and brilliant women--who despite all of that--continued to sit on their ideas instead of sharing them; continued to second-guess themselves; and continued to let their insecurity hold them back and play small both in their work and relationships. We also saw how we had done the same at various points in our own lives.

As coaches, we were only too familiar with the grip that insecurity had on women, despite all of the tools and strategies proposed by the self-help genre. We understood why many women were still unable to close the gap of insecurity and change the habit of being their insecure self.

It was in that moment that we felt compelled to share what we now understand about confidence so that other girls and women can benefit.

In our book, Women and Confidence, we begin by making a bold claim: confidence is not something we have to achieve or create but is in fact, an innate quality every single one of us possesses. We turn everything we thought we knew about confidence on its head so that we can begin to point people in a new direction of understanding.

Through personal stories from our own lives, as well as metaphors and stories from the greater world, we illuminate the key role that thoughts and feelings play in how our experience of insecurity and confidence gets created. Each chapter argues and refutes the “lies” (misunderstandings) women tell themselves about why they can’t be confident--why they believe it’s not possible to be confident--both in their professional and personal life.

It is our intention that by revealing the illusion of our insecure thinking, we can finally get free of it and move on with our big, bold, beautiful lives.

Our book is a gift to all of those women and girls out there who think that self-doubt and insecurity is their burden and identity for life.

Can you imagine what we could create without such a burden?

xx Lana

Here is a new video I created about the book:

Lana Bastianutti