Full Episode Transcript
Well, hello my friend, how are you? Welcome to the podcast. I’ve just recently completed the Midlife Upgrade course, which is a course that I’ve put my heart and soul into, made specifically for women in midlife. All of the mindset stuff, the psychology, the emotional well being, and of course, our confidence.
And that is a big one that so many women that I talk to begin to struggle with in mid life. And, and it can arise even if they felt confident in themselves in their 20s or in their 30s. And you’ll know if you’ve lived through it. Your confidence in your 20s is quite different to your confidence that arises in your 30s.
But when we come into perimenopause, menopause midlife, our confidence can slowly and sneakily downgrade or take a knock year by year. And so a lot of women that I talk to, and my own experience as well, my confidence on many levels. was waning as I was going through perimenopause and it sort of can happen quite slowly it’s not something that we’re hit with from one day to the next it’s just sort of a slow downgrade well, the good news is that with some Awareness and attention and understanding of what’s going on inside of ourselves, which is what we’ve just gone through in the eight weeks in the Midlife Upgrade course.
Confidence starts to rise again. So the volume starts to get turned up on confidence again. But I will say that it’s It takes a different form, it shows up differently in midlife and so I have been calling it authentic confidence. And we know there’s lots of different ways to think about confidence and I think as women in midlife we understand Societal and gender conditioning, or we, we move to understand that, to learn about how that might have influenced us.
Our belief in ourself. How we might show up or not show up. How we might hide. In our career. In our social lives. And just who we are in life.
This is all around the subject of confidence. But before I jump into that, I just really briefly want to speak to the Midlife Upgrade course. I’ve just completed the pilot round with this amazing group of women, who didn’t know each other from day one, and then we’re complete eight weeks later, and the connection in the community is…
Just so beautiful. It really has been an incredible course. And because it was the pilot round, their feedback has really helped me to mold the course into being something that I think is so needed for us women in midlife. And it is from that perspective of confidence. Mindset, psychology, emotional well being, purpose, and the next round will be starting soon, soon.
So if you want to hear when the doors open and when it’s available to register, jump on the waitlist. So it’s just on my website, Meegancare co. nz forward slash waitlist. Pop your name and email in there and then you will be the first to know when the doors open for registration.
I’m going to keep the group small for the next round because I want to be able to give that one on one support to our group as we go through the live calls. What I’ve seen in that last round is that for each of us being able to speak and being able to be supported and Have our experience reflected back to us on those live calls has been so so valuable that I don’t want to like crowd the room.
Um, so I’m going to keep the group small. So my expectation is that this will sell out. And so if you want to be in for that next round. Then jump on the wait list. On my website and you’ll be one of the first people to know right so now let’s jump into talking about authentic confidence So this We cover a lot of modules in the course and the very last one is actually authentic confidence because I believe That there is so much that are the building blocks of
For authentic confidence, and some of those include looking at perfectionism
boundaries, myths around aging, the voice and the patterns of the inner critic Deconstructing. Conditioning, gender conditioning, what it means to be a woman in our society, in our culture, our upbringing, our younger parts, our history. There’s so many building blocks that really lay the foundation for authentic confidence.
And I want to talk about it today from that perspective of we’ve grown up as a woman in our society and culture and there will be beliefs and ways women are perceived that flavor and impact how we feel about ourselves, how confident we are in ourselves, and how we portray that out in the world.
And because it is about our gender and social conditioning, it’s actually really hard to see until you start Unpacking it, and looking at ways that you think about yourself, and ways you show up in the world, and taking that broader view, and if you can, stepping back, and seeing it from, as best as you can, a neutral perspective, and questioning, is this actually really true?
Is this still serving me? Thank you. Is this helpful or is this holding me back? So, that’s what I mean by looking at our conditioning. That it’s really important, because very often the way we show up is very unconscious.
A lot of times when I talk to women they tell me, you know, in midlife, I just don’t feel confident. Anymore. It’s gone. I’ve lost it. I’ve lost myself. It’s a really common experience. And gaining confidence, and I’m not going to say back, because I don’t think we necessarily gain confidence back.
I actually think we grow into an authentic confidence and radical self acceptance is part of that. There is an opportunity to do that in midlife. So, I believe that confidence is not the persona, is not the bravado,
authentic confidence to me. Um, is in part a capacity for emotional, psychological, social courage to be willing to risk, to be willing to fail, to be willing to put ourselves out there combined with very importantly self compassion. When I do fail, when I do fall over, because that is what is going to happen when I grow, can I be kind to myself?
Can I accept my failings and my faults? Can I accept that I’m not maybe anywhere near where I want to be when I’m growing something new in my business and myself and my life? Can I offer myself compassion when I’m not meeting the standards that I’ve set for myself? If I can have courage to reach out of my comfort zone and I can combine that with self compassion for not meeting the marks that I’ve set for myself, this is what it takes to grow.
I think then I can. Have a much better chance of embodying and expressing a feeling of authentic confidence. If you think to yourself right now, how do I feel when I’m confident? Like, what is that for you? And just notice, are you imagining or picturing someone outside of yourself? And who is it and what do they look like?
That can be very telling because are we looking at templates of confidence that have been shown to us that are actually not helpful? Maybe they are of men showing up in a particular way. There’s no way I’m going to be comfortable in my own skin trying to template off that kind of resonance of confidence.
That is not for me. But when I tune into myself and I notice what does confidence feel like in me, well, what does it feel like in you? What is that sensation in your body? Is it possible for you to imagine it now? Even if you’re not feeling it, can you imagine what that might be like? Is there a sensation in your chest, in your heart area?
Is it open? Is it flowing? Is there breath flowing into your body? Is your gut and your belly relaxed? Are you feeling your legs and your feet on the ground and the floor? Are you feeling like really embodied?
And then when we consider, well, what is it like if I take that sensation, that bodily experience of authentic confidence out into my world and out into my relationships. How does that open up my life?
I think for many of us because of our conditioning, we tend to wear this cloak of what we think confidence should be. This is what we’ve been shown. But that cloak doesn’t fit us. Maybe it did once, but it definitely doesn’t fit us anymore. And we need to discard it and find what is confidence for me.
And confidence is not a destination. It’s not a place that we get to and it remains forever. I think of it more as a quality that I’m going to bring with me. I’m willing to open to courage. Self compassion. That is going to give me a good basis for authentic confidence.
That can walk with me in my life.
And because of the changes of our hormones when we go through perimenopause, our brain is actually changing its pathways. And the way it functions. And so whilst going through that time, we might actually feel that our confidence is downgrading. This is actually a beautiful opportunity for us to grow a new level of authentic confidence.
Because if you think of those pathways, they’re being built up and they’re being torn down because we’ve got that fluctuations of hormones and perimenopause. So no wonder we walk around and live our lives thinking, who the hell am I? What is happening here? Because these connections in our brain are changing and changing quite dramatically over a number of years.
This is challenging. However, it gives us an incredible opportunity to grow into authentic confidence and the woman that we want to be for the rest of our lives, or just the person that we want to be for the rest of our lives.
So we need to have a look at what is our social conditioning around being a woman. Uh, for me, there were certain tasks and roles in the family and community as a woman that I really had to look at and go, well, no, that’s not for me. I’m not satisfied being that person. I don’t want to be that person. And I had to unwind that, which is the task of each generation of being a human, right?
We need to look at unshaming emotions. Because again, this is something that hasn’t really been templated to us. If you’re a woman in midlife now, chances are your parents or whoever supported you when you were growing up, didn’t really have, most likely, a healthy relationship with their emotions. And so there’s a lot of shame for us around emotions until we start unpacking that.
And, and really being okay with the emotions that show up in us. That is something else that we’re learning. We’re practicing self acceptance and self compassion. These module.
And the first step is to decide. We make a decision. This is my time for growing my own version, my own resonance of authentic confidence. I am going to decide that. No one else can do that for me. I’m taking this for myself. This is important for me. We make that decision. And then the next stage is information, so it’s more of that heady, mind based stuff.
What does authentic confidence mean to me? What has my upbringing taught me about confidence? What do my behaviours show me about my own authentic confidence? And gathering information or understanding around, well, what does authentic confidence look like? What would it say? How would it behave? What would it try?
And so that we understand that more fully within our mind. And then, The next stage is embodiment of authentic confidence and this is the piece I think that is a lifelong journey because you might on one level you know generate confidence, enough confidence to step out of your comfort zone and then you’re trying that new thing and then what happens with that confidence it drops down, right?
And then we’re, you know, we’re back with that beginner’s mind, learning again, learning again. It’s all really bloody hard, but, but then you grow that confidence within that area. That’s a normal, you know, rhythm of a life where we’re continuing to evolve. But on that level of embodiment, We’re not just able to cognitively be aware of what authentic confidence is, how it behaves, how it relates, but we’re actually starting to have moments where we feel that within ourselves.
And so we might start out feeling that within ourselves when we’re by ourselves, when we’re with someone who we really trust. Who reflects back to us or holds space for us in a really neutral way, or a positive, affirming way. And then we might get to that next stage where, where we’ve been with someone who, or we’ve been interacting with someone who maybe we feel intimidated by
in the workplace in a professional capacity. And as our authentic confidence grows within us, we start to notice that how we relate to that person has started to change for the better. Maybe there was a lot of people pleasing going on. Maybe there was a lot of hiding. Maybe there was a lot of trying to make them notice us or to praise us, even unconsciously.
Maybe that drops away. Or maybe We felt threatened when we were around that person. Maybe the next stage for us, when we’re embodying that authentic confidence, is that we feel neutral with them. Or we might feel more empowered and get annoyed by how they relate to us and stand up for ourselves.
I’ve seen that happen for clients and it is such a beautiful thing where we have enough of that authentic confidence, it’s showing up on that day and we stand up for ourselves with someone who we would not have done that with in the past. And then that person might get a, you know, relationally, that’s surprising because your behaviour changes, but then they’re learning how they are going to be around you.
Because they can see where your boundaries are and they can see what you will tolerate and won’t tolerate. What’s okay and what’s not okay, where your no is. And you’ll be more willing to express your no in a neutral way. Without needing to over explain yourself. Without it needing to be really aggressive.
You know, sometimes that can come through when we’re trying to really… bolster ourselves up when the no is difficult. It can get a bit overly complicated.
Or we can be in a difficult, conflicted conversation with someone. And at some point we might feel neutral and at other points we might feel shaky. But we’re also able to To be embodied within ourselves, to feel our body, to feel what’s happening with our heart rate, to find our voice, even though it’s difficult.
These are expressions of authentic confidence and it is available for all of us.
Midlife is often a time for women when our confidence Has a bit of a nosedive But there’s also a promise in there and an opportunity in that that we can Rewire the pathways and actually create new pathways So that we can grow into this experience in this quality of authentic confidence that is Well, more authentic, right?
And when something is more authentic, we don’t have to work as hard for it and with it. We don’t have to posture as much or at all. We don’t have to perform confidence. We embody confidence. And so you can feel the difference with those two, right?
And this is our opportunity in midlife.
And I think it’s very much worthy of your consideration to think about is my confidence at the level that I want it to be? Is it where I want it to be?
Am I able to feel authentically confident? To think in a confident way, to express confidently in my life, maybe not all the time because We’re always human. There’s always going to be tough days or Difficult situations and we don’t have to be on a hundred percent of the time, right? But am I able to access that authentic confidence?
Can I really come home to me and know that I am okay. I am okay in my imperfections. I am okay in that person that is growing and becoming more authentically me, day by day. It’s worth the work because there is a lot of internal freedom. and liberation that happens when the door opens for this. And from that place of authentic confidence, it’s hard to see we’re on the, when we’re on the other side of the door, but we’re much more able to make decisions that are interesting, exciting, expansive.
So our world continues to grow and evolve in midlife and beyond midlife. Because I think as a collective, we are the generation that is rewriting collectively what it means to be a midlife woman and then an older woman living a life on our terms.
And it is so worth the work and the inquiry that we put in.
So go after it.
It’s an inside job.
You are so worth the effort and the work that you’re putting in for yourself and that feeling of empowerment, that experience, that lived experience of empowerment and internal liberation. It’s available to you.
You deserve to feel authentically confident. Your way. Done your way. Not anybody else’s way. Not anybody else’s way of showing up. You be you. You’re incredible. Let me know how this lands. Let me know what it’s like for you to examine those early life beliefs, that conditioning around confidence. What does confidence mean to you?
I love it. I adore it. When people send me a little message about what came up for them in the podcast, what they noticed for themselves. I know. That we’re talking about this as a community. And I love hearing from you. Have an amazing week, my friend. That’s it for this episode on Authentic Confidence. You deserve it.
You deserve to feel that. You are so worth it. Go well, and I’ll talk to you next week. Bye for now.