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Rock Your Trade Show: Inspiring interviews with Industry Insiders, Executive Leaders, Marketers and Influencers who share their insights, challenges and lessons learned so you can rock Your next trade show.

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Jul 17, 2017

Have you ever had something happen to you where you started to question yourself? This is a loaded question and yet we often don’t think about the messages we give ourselves every day and how that impacts our performance.   Dove did an experiment where they placed two signs above a door-one said average and one said beautiful.  They did this all over the world and the response was the same.  Women either walked through beautiful and smiled or went through average and doubted.

Here is what one woman said: “Am I choosing because of what is constantly bombarded at me, what I am being told, or what I believe?” This test demonstrates how people see us and what we see in ourselves impacts our confidence.

Let’s talk about how we can crack your confidence code-using the book “The Confidence Code” by Katty Kay and Claire Shipman as our inspiration.  Because with confidence and a slight mind shift, you will be amazed at the things you can feel, share and become at work and in personal life.

Here is what you can learn to do in this episode:

  • Assess your own level of confidence
  • Recognize thoughts, habits and attitudes that undermine confidence
  • Identify actions you can take to increase your confidence and communicate that to others

When we recognize our current thoughts and behaviors, understand their causes and effects and resolve to developing new behaviors, the habits will form into new actions and will take you where you want to go.

Let’s start with 3 common beliefs:

  1. The way we see ourselves in the mirror isn’t how others see us-this disconnect is limiting our ability to feel good about ourselves.
  2. After we do something, say something or express something-we second guess that action-and think about it over and over and that self-assessment is holding us back from moving on.
  3. The biggest challenge that women do-and my personal struggle-is the pursuit of perfectionism.

How can we help change the conversation?

  1. Embrace our image and if you aren’t sure how to do this-watch the Dove Real Beauty sketches – You’re more beautiful than you think you are
  2. Failure is your friend. When you realize how many failures mankind has made in order to discover greatness it liberates our minds and we can stop wondering “what if...” and think “now this”.
  3. Accept 90% is good enough. I was once this by a very wise boss and it is true but hard to remember when you are in the moment.  If you strive for 110% and resist less it hinders you in the end. Kim Feil, CEO of BizHiv described in episode 5- how perfectionism slows down progress.

Now let’s talk about our personality types and how that impacts how we come off to others.  There are many combinations, introverts, extraverts, introverted extraverts and so on.  If you are an introvert and fall back on telling people “I am shy” as a reason for not participating or why you don’t speak up in a meeting for fear of what someone might think.  The outside perspective of someone who is totally introverted is that you are unapproachable.  

Being unapproachable impacts how people respond in meetings to your idea because you make them nervous.  Find ways to boost how you feel to overcome your desire to not speak.  One of the easiest ways is to take up more space.  Amy Cuddy, in her Ted Talk shares that when you take up space-chemicals in your brain boost confidence-this was documented in a study she conducted at Harvard Business School.

If you are thinking-I am an extrovert or an introverted extrovert (someone who likes to be alone but can rise to the occasion socially) you still may have moments where you feel uneasy and using the “take up space” methodology for overcoming shyness works.  I use it before a presentation, speaking to an audience, networking or going to a social gathering.  Try it out and let me know what you think!

Now there is one last thing in cracking the code that we all need to do and that is banish negative self-talk.  This is that nagging voice in our heads that says “I am not good enough, not worthy or fill in the blank”.  You are thinking well that is easy to say but how can I really do this? I am going to share a story about my own self doubt thoughts when I first met Katie Krimitsos.

After the event, she sent me a text that brought me to tears and it made me realize that the crazy negative thoughts were just that-CRAZY.

Here are two things you can do to help you when you have those moments:

  1. Keep a log of kindness-when people send you a note of gratitude or share something that you did that was exceptional save it. Look at those words when you start to experience those negative thoughts.
  2. Find a friendtor. I am so very grateful to my friendtor of two years Susan Crawford whom I met-in the Courageous Confidence Club!  We have a weekly call-sometimes more but always every week and we boost each other up.  You can do that too!

Everyone has their moments, even accomplished speakers like Brené Brown who shared that after her first TedTalk she wanted to steal the tape so no one could view it!  Thankfully she didn’t and by her sharing her own vulnerability it transformed how we see ourselves and encourages us all to “enter into the arena”.

Now it is your turn to do something for yourself-to take ACTION.

  • Write down 3 things you want to do try differently to boost your confidence.
  • Put these words in a weekly reminder to yourself in your calendar
  • Check back in 90 days look back and see how different and empowered you feel.

If you liked what you heard, I would be so honored if you would share this episode with a friend or colleague.  And if you have a question, comment or need help with confidence, reach out to me.  I love hearing from you! 

Check out Rock Your Trade Show for more episodes to lift you up, and give you just what you need to rock your next show!


The topic “Cracking the Confidence Code” was featured in a panel discussion that Natalie Benamou gave at the Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association (HBA) National Conference along with Roz Usheroff, Cat Bui and Wendy White.  Natalie also led this panel discussion for HBA Chicago and HBA Michigan. The topic was developed from the book "The Confidence Code" by Katty Kay and Claire Shipman.

Dove-has many YouTube videos to help inspire women to show their natural beauty. 

Editing: Special Thanks to Christy Haussler and Team Podcast for editing this episode!