Bring Your Self-Confidence to the Show


I was talking to a super talented, smart, intelligent, and amazing friend of mine the other day – you know, the conversations where you share your deepest fears and desires and then suddenly you hear something that stops you dead on your tracks because it sounds so out of alignment with logic and common sense.

An awakening?
An epiphany?
A shock?
All the above?

You see, somewhere in our energy-infused intense conversation, self-confidence found its sneaky way in. Or wait, was it lack of self-confidence? Yes, I do believe that it was the lack of self-confidence.

How is it that the most talented and gifted among us is sometimes lacking this one crucial element to succeed on their golden path to their dreams? It did not make any sense to me that my gifted and brilliant friend felt this way and yet boy did I relate. Yeah, it’s hard to admit such things but my story has a good ending and hers is just about to begin and it might just help you too so do keep reading.

I related because on so many levels, I have felt that way too often in my life. And clever that I was, I have managed to hide it well, which explains why no one from my past will ever describe me as lacking any confidence of sorts. “Who? Farnoosh? Ambitious and confident, that woman!”, “Yeah, she always seemed really confident!”, “Oh yeah, the Iranian chick? She had no confidence issues. Nah. Not her!” Ha! How I fooled them all!

Instead, despite constant accomplishments to reinforce my own worth in this world, I always felt a massive lack of confidence in my abilities to make it as a true success. Of course, being on the wrong path and in the wrong place for over a decade did not help matters but seriously, that is just an excuse.

Ideally, your self-confidence should be immune to the outside world. It should be invincible to noise and clutter. It should stand on such a strong foundation that it weathers any storm rather than shake like a leaf when some stranger out there says something generally stupid or entirely unrelated to you or when your client complains that your fees are too high or when a new friend says that the way you do business is not how she is used to doing them. Your self-confidence should not so much as wink when you get attacked, harassed, criticized or questioned.

If you believe with all your sincerity that what you are doing and how you are doing it is right for you, then be very careful what you choose to believe. You certainly need to take care of business when people treat you poorly and preferably cut ties with those who no longer serve you well in your personal or professional life (another topic for another day) but to let your self-confidence get tainted? To allow strangers or even friends and family and peers have that much power over you when you know deep down that you are worth every ounce of your dreams in gold, now that is just plain silly – ok, I really wanted to say stupid! – not to mention extremely harmful to your success in life.

Anyway, listen, do not feel bad because I have let my self-confidence go to pieces and so has my brilliant friend but there is good news: it is something we can reverse and change and set on the right course.

For me, it was not until I started to exude with self-confidence in every cell of my body that the pieces of my puzzle started to fit. If it were not for my self-confidence, I would never leave the corporate world, create a business infused with art and creativity, give up years of certifications and investment to start over from scratch, launch a podcast and let the world hear my voice, or create videos and share my skills and ideas in hopes of improving other people’s lives.

No way! I would always let others do it.

Funny enough, the kick in the butt for me was in fact watching others do it, and these others, I know them to be far less experienced, far less knowledgeable, far less qualified, far less talented, and yet they have proven to me that all the other stuff has little to do with eventual success because in the end, it comes down to who has the guts to go for the gold!  These others (reminds me of TV show LOST) have the confidence to claim their dreams. If they can do it, why not you and me?

Because if you lack self-confidence, you might as well go home now. Or you gain it by reading the famous words of Marianne Williamson:

“We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be?”

When I finally found my roots and my foundation, I proudly stood on my own two feet and grabbed hold of my self-confidence – the poor thing had taken a huge beating in corporate life and engineering school, and in a stern tone, I commanded it to stay put and not ever think about deserting me again because we have work to do in this life and we badly need one another, my self-confidence and me.

The simplest way to awaken your self-confidence is by asking the right questions:

  1. What are you afraid would happen if you are full of confidence? [Immediately followed by] SO WHAT?
  2. What is the worst-case scenario if you are never confident in your abilities? [Be honest!]
  3. What is the best-case scenario if you are wildly confident in your own amazing abilities and your fullest potential? [This you shall not know until you try]
  4. What is there to lose if you just try to find out the answer to the previous question?
  5. What does it feel like to be full of self-confidence and what can it let you do with your life? [Think of seriously confident people you admire to answer this. Heck, sometimes even they feel low on confidence and yet they manage to hide it and thrive]

So my darling readers, look deep inside you and take hold of your self-confidence today – or preferably right now – because if you do not have this ally on your side, the war out there is going to be disappointing and you might be looking at casualties rather than the happy returns you are dreaming about. That’s no fun, especially after you’ve been there and done that. It most certainly does not interest me.

Let’s come out as the warriors we were meant to be: strong, tall, full of purpose and intention, and supremely confident. What do you say?

Get Confident in 21 Easy Steps

  • Aileen | Kaizen Vision

    This post is the most powerful and accurate statement about the truth of confidence – what it is – why we need to accesses – and how it’s already there. “Self-confidence should be immune to the outside world. It should be invincible to noise and clutter. It should stand on such a strong foundation that it weathers any storm …Your self-confidence should not so much as wink when you get attacked, harassed, criticized or questioned.”

    I’m not used to looking at confidence as something that lives in us – on its own radiant light. Rather I’ve seen it as something to “grow” or “cultivate.” Looking at it they way you describe – is more empowering. Since it’s already there – it’s not “missing.”

    You’ve really shed a new light on this. We don’t need to see it as something that’s missing – rather, we need to let it BE.

    • Farnoosh

      Aileen, I love that you are first to comment here and I am so happy that this post spoke to you. It is how I believe confidence to be and in fact, I just talked to Andy – the hubby – about it and he said the noise and clutter of society just buries that natural self-confidence inside us… But not anymore because we know better and the time to act on that beautiful self-confidence is now! Thank you for reading and more importantly, for believing!

  • Uzma

    Absolutely Farnoosh. It does begin with having faith in oneself, knowing that its okay to stumble, to keep going on. Have noticed that when one is confident, when one just gets up and does the work, we do better, than if we were not confident. State of mind effects state of life :) Thanks for a great post

    • Farnoosh

      Dear Uzma, hi! Ah faith, yes, we need that indeed, and knowing all that you say here in your own poetic prose, which I love so much and which you know well. Thank you for gracing the blog with your lovely presence.

  • Betsy Cross

    Hey Farnoush!
    If you lack confidence find the desire to live every minute to its fullest knowing that in the doing WHO you are, even confidence has limitations.

    • Farnoosh

      Hi Betsy, nice to see you here and thanks for leaving a comment. Yes, it’s all about who we are. I wrote an epic post on this and I could probably write a few more. Thank you for that punch of confidence, Betsy.

  • Jeanie

    “Make it” as a “true success?”

    Farnoosh, sweetie…I KNOW you’re further along in your spiritual journey than I…however-

    I’ve been drinking in Raam’s little bombs that are shredding my Self’s conception, and the internal journey I’m on is turning out to be mind/soul blowing.

    The language I’ve put into quotes could potentially be a minefield for you later…just be aware of it. 😉

    You ARE a success simply because you exist. Let me link to a brilliant TedX talk by the gorgeous Thandie Newton–

    I’ve always looked at the 8 limbs of yoga as hokey. Yes, it’s toning, helps breath, posture, mental clarity. Ditto for the universalist Buddhism.

    I’m a practical southern gal, and I want ACTION STEPS! This is partly why I’ve continued to develop the relationship with you–you superbly yoke energy, enthusiasm, practicality, and actual results together.

    Diving deeper into these meanings though…revelatory. I’m glad to see that you are becoming more inner directed vs. outer. *hugs*

    • Farnoosh

      Spiritual journey? Are you kidding? I am still at the door, waiting to get in, probably at the end of the queue which is as long as the WDS queue if you recall our first day! 😉
      Practicality is wonderful, Jeanie, and I will give you more action steps if I did not give you enough in this post but only after you answer the questions. Those are pretty actionable, right?
      The way you give encouragement is like no other. I love that existence equals success in and of itself. About to check out the Ted talk. Thanks so much for gracing my blog post with your beautiful presence.

  • Marcus Sheridan-The Sales Lion

    You’re such a moving writer Farnoosh. Seriously, absolutely love the way you toss words and thoughts around. :-)

    Regarding confidence, at the risk of sounding a little conceited, I have felt for sometime like I was meant to do really special things. I honestly don’t look at A-listers or ‘geniuses’ and think I have less to offer. I see my weaknesses, and understand my strengths. But for me, the key is that I only focus on those strengths, and run with them.

    I believe one of the problems with society is this idea that we shouldn’t stand proud and recognize the gifts/talents we’ve been given. I think that’s crap. As long as we’re not vain, we should stand tall and embrace who we are and the gifts we have.

    I know such an attitude is tough for many, but for me this mentality has lead to all my current, and surely my future, success.

    Thanks for being so awesome Farnoosh.


    • Farnoosh

      Now this absolutely makes my day and it’s not just the glowing compliments and seeing you and your lion face here on my blog, which is enough to do that, it’s that you admit to your greatness and your gifts, Marcus. It gives me hope because I want people to feel the way you do, empowered to pursue their art, their gift, their amazing strengths in the face of all that seems to be getting in the way. A million thanks for being here and sharing it and awesome back at yourself.

  • Angela Artemis

    Hi Farnoosh,
    Wonderful post on reaching down deep and finding we do have a well of self-confidence within us. All of us are so much more capable and brilliant than we give ourselves credit for.
    My motto is: Feel the fear and do it anyway.
    The best way for me to overcome lack of confidence is to jump in – head first, even if I’m scared. What I usually learn is that there was nothing to be scared of and that I’m more capable than I thought. I think for me lack of confidence feels like fear. I don’t think I’m any less smart or deserving or engaging, etc., just less experienced. Doing what I’m afraid of helps me to gain more confidence in myself for future endeavors.

    • Farnoosh

      Hi Angela and your fantastic motto, thank you for stopping here and sharing this with us. And thank you for emphasizing how we are more capable and brilliant than we think. It is ever so true!!
      I didn’t think about the experience aspect – you are right, that does affect the confidence but unfairly. If we do not have the experience, we can still do a lot of things and in fact, we have to do them so that we get the experience. Good example and jumping in can be the best way to facing that fear. I am feeling super confident after reading this, Angela. Thanks!

  • Vic Hubbard

    Extremely uplifting post, Farnoosh! Self confidence is much like anything else in life. You obtain it by feeding it. It has to be an aggressive dialogue that never falters. You become happy by choosing to be so. You become successful in whatever you want by believing you have what it takes. That requires you to actively grow those things that propel you and discard those thing/people/beliefs that don’t. One of my favorite things to say to myself when I do falter is: “I’m good enough, I’m smart enough and, doggone it, people like me.” LOL…yes, it’s silly, but it’s to the point. This is from an old Saturday Night Live. YouTube

    • Farnoosh

      Yes, that is a very silly YouTube video, Vic, you are lucky I like you so much ;)! Plus, the words are really really true and doggone it, you ARE right because I do like you so I can attest to that. Sigh, but it’s so hard sometimes to think so clearly and simply. It is a constant work in progress, never finished or complete. And I think I rather like it this way most days. I bet your woodworking exposes you to an interesting personal journey too. Great to see you here. Here’s to living confidently!

  • jef menguin

    A speaker asked the audience who among them believe in themselves 100 percent. Few hands were raised. Mine included.

    I do not need to be perfect to be very confident. I am confident not because of I do not have what I want, but because I know I can have what I want.

    Today I will define my tomorrow.

    • Farnoosh

      Hi Jef, I remember you are big into public speaking. No, perfection and confidence should probably never be confused. Very good point. Thank you for sharing your thoughts here with us.

  • Connie McKnight

    What happens to so many is they compare themselves to the outside of others. They have no idea what’s going on in the inside of those same people.

    One of my very good friends has accomplished so much in her life and she acts like she is confident in every area, yet when you get to know her, there are things that she lacks confidence in as well. The thing is, she only focusses on the things that she loves to do and is good at.

    Like Marianne Williams said, “We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be?” We just need to know that we are all fabulous at something. Focus on that something and you’ll gain confidence.

    Thanks for the incredible post.


    • Farnoosh

      Hi dear Connie, thank you so much for sharing all of this here with us. It’s just natural for us not to be good at a million things but to be very good at a few things. Where to focus, that’s the question! And where to find that positive source of energy … Your friend is very smart to focus on the things she knows well and I love the reminder you give us here. Thank you and so nice of you to take the time to leave this comment.

  • Tom Sorhannus

    Great post Farnoosh! It´s my experience that most people lack self-confidence in some areas. They might be full of self-confidence in what they know, but when it comes to things they have no or little knowledge about they become unsecure. And this goes also for those who seem to be the most successful in society. I guess it is much about how you handle new situations. Can you meet the new with an open mind? And be careful but not scared? Thank you!

    • Farnoosh

      Hello dear Tom, so nice to see you back regularly lately. It’s funny; Connie above alluded to a similar thing. It is so natural to feel that insecurity, I think, but if we can just keep it in check and not let it take over to where it deletes the warm fantastic self-confidence in the other areas, that would be the best way to greet life. Thank you for sharing your thoughts, Tom. So nice to see you here!

  • Jen Gresham

    Ah, Farnoosh, is there any more beautiful than the confidence that allows us to be vulnerable? What a service you do here, admitting that even the ones who seem like they have it all and everything comes easily to them struggle with confidence (and yes, you DO give that impression, because you are so impressive in your accomplishments and generosity).

    The biggest gift though, is helping people see that confidence can be grown, it isn’t just something you’re born with.

    Thanks for linking to me on a topic you know is near and dear to my heart. Let’s spread the word!

    • Farnoosh

      Jen, it’s really lovely to see you here. Seeing that photo reminds me of our Las Vegas meet-up, which was such a great trip.
      Yes, I think self-confidence is quite the beast if we don’t have it under control. I was surprised to find out someone like Chris Brogan struggles with self-confidence at times and it just goes to show us that as humans, we are so vulnerable indeed. Thank you for writing a post that expanded on this beautifully.
      Are you settled nicely in Europe and will you be blogging again soon? I miss your writing, Wonder Woman!
      Thank you so much for stopping here, Jen and see you soon, hopefully :)!

  • Tibor

    Fantastic blog Farnoosh! Thank you, you’re awesome! :)

    • Farnoosh

      Tibor, it’s so nice to hear from you and to know you still read and enjoy the blog. Thanks!

  • Rand

    Hello Farnoosh,

    I feel confident and qualified enough to add to this post…particularly from my recent first hand work place experience at the ‘BlogHer’ 11 Covention held in my home of San Diego.

    As a stagehand I did not set up or operate for this event, because I was working The La Jolla Music Society concert at La Jolla Cove. I was at ‘BlogHer’ 11 for the ‘Out’ though.

    It takes a great deal of confidence to be a moderator, presenter, panelist…let alone a keynote speaker. As a video/audio operator, believe me I know how even the greatest expert can be nervous. I am the last line of easing the nerves as long as I am calm and confident myself. Many times the professional presenter is the calming one for us Techs!

    I would like to give you a perspective of what you do not *see* behind the scenes during one of these events. The *scene* I am refering to is the ‘Loading Dock’.

    The tractor trailer for the AV company from Orlando was a 50 foot one. After taking down and packing up all the equipment, everthing all went down the freight elevator to the loading dock. From there I worked in preparing the different cases, etc for going into the trailer. The pack had to be from the nose to the tail filled up to the ceiling!! We had a forklift stacking heavy cases as much as 5 high! Each stack had to be carefully rolled up over the dock plate where at the highest point there was only an inch and a half clearance from the ceiling!

    The *confidence* of one worker in particular inside the trailer comes to mind. This was the first time in 3 months back to work after seriously slicing his big toe in three different places with a iron base plate (same site where BlogHer’s had their breakfasts and lunch held). I was there…his replacement had his foot crushed!

    What I appreciate here is that not much has changed over time. The wonderful women at BlogHer’11 are still doing the wonderful caring and loving things needed for a secure home and work place. The courageous men (and some women) are still doing the physical and dangerous work to help secure home and workplace.

    With this insight in mind, I would like to offer this poem from Carl Sandburg:

    People’s Eyes

    Thank you Farnoosh!

    PS…Gretchen Rubin was the only person that I recognized “Your Perfect Imperfect: Blogging Your Way to Self-Acceptance”. No doubt you know many of the speakers…

    • Farnoosh

      Thank you for stopping by, Rand. And for sharing your thoughts, stories, experiences. There is no question that it takes a herculean effort to pull together an event. I am sure the people who work the hardest don’t really get much of the spotlight either. And I like Gretchen a lot, she is a very good writer and story teller and has done amazing things with her website. Perhaps one year, I will make it to BlogHer. For now, I am in digital product creation mode and in heads down work zone. Thanks again for your thoughts.

  • Susana


    I loved to read your post. One time or another, I had to go into battle with my own problem with self-confidence and it is definitely not easy or simple.

    Anyway, it is always good to “listen” to other people’s input and experience with the problem. It kinda puts it all in perspective.

    So, thank you for sharing. :)


    • Farnoosh

      Hi dear Susana, just checked your blog. Very nice. And I am so happy you are here. It is *not* easy – no! I hope I did not imply anywhere that fighting the bouts of self-confidence is easy…. And it is more common and normal than we think. So long as we do not let it win … as in, so long as we keep self-confidence alive and well :)! Thanks for stopping in and come back anytime!

  • wan id

    Thanks for linking to me on a topic you know is near and dear to my heart. Let’s spread the word!

    • Farnoosh

      Hi dear Wan Id, you are very welcome.

  • Prashant Dave

    Farnoosh,Thank you very much from my deepest breath,YOU Awesome energetic Blogger..

    • Farnoosh

      Prashant, you are very welcome. This has got to be one of the nicest comments I’ve ever received. Thank you.

  • Mary Jane

    I needed this inspiration today. I have to really work very hard to keep my confidence up. Am finding that part of doing so is having the confidence to walk away from situations that intentionally undermine my confidence. I think the confidence issue is more common than we think, and people often just cover it up.

    • Farnoosh

      Hi Mary Jane, so glad this helped. Walking away is not easy and you are right, it is very common – I don’t understand how we let it have so much power over us. Our minds can change an innocent situation from something that really is not true to something that is very debilitating. I am sure you are not going to allow that to happen, right, Mary Jane? :)
      Thanks for sharing your thoughts and here’s to self-confident living!

      • Mary Jane

        Thanks, Farnoosh. In this instance, walking away from a situation of disrespect will take care of things.

  • Karen Sigalas – Coach Karen

    This is a great post with questions that will get our confidence going.

    In addition, confident people make mistakes, aren’t always right first time. Confidence for me is about embracing failure and learning from it and having the will to have another go.

    The minute you stop learning is the minute we resign ourselves to being mediocre. Confidence is about learning and knowing you don’t always have to be right.

    There’s four more practical steps on how to double your confidence in 7 days with this free vid if you want to take a look.

    Speak soon – Karen Sigalas – Coach Karen

    • Farnoosh

      Thank you, Karen. Having the will to have another go seems to take the most confidence, I think. Thanks for stopping here and sharing your site. I think it’s wonderful to help people achieve more confidence through your work.

  • Negar

    “Ideally, your self-confidence should be immune to the outside world. It should be invincible to noise and clutter. It should stand on such a strong foundation that it weathers any storm rather than shake like a leaf when some stranger out there says something generally stupid or entirely unrelated to you or when your client complains that your fees are too high or when a new friend says that the way you do business is not how she is used to doing them. Your self-confidence should not so much as wink when you get attacked, harassed, criticized or questioned.”

    Brillant. Simply brillant. :) I have a few people I am definitely going to share this with…!

    • Farnoosh

      So so glad you enjoyed this. I wrote this for a friend and would be happy to see more people boost that self-confidence and get back in control. Thank you dear Negar for reading and for sharing!

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