5 Key Insights to Confidence

Average reading time – 13 minutes

As a life and success coach I know that your confidence and mindset are deciding factors for success for anyone achieving their goals, whatever their goal is. The good news is, anyone can get more confidence and improve their mindset, you just have to learn how.

I am passionate about helping busy professionals like you, especially in these two areas, as I know so many of us are not achieving our potential and are wasting time not living the life we want. This use to be me by the way so I am not saying that to be critical but because I know it can be changed!




Key insight one: Confidence is about mindset

A lot of people wrongly think that confidence is just something you have – you are born with it and that’s that. There is nothing you can do, it’s just the luck of the draw. Well take it from someone who has had some terrible confidence knocks in the past thanks to things like redundancies, depression, an eating disorder, body image issues, cultural struggles etc… confidence is something you can learn, and for me it stems from my mindset.

I think it is no coincidence that when my mindset was bad and low, my confidence levels matched, and the more I work on my positive ‘growth’ mindset, the more confidence I acquire.

And I will let you in to another not-so-secret secret… you know another funny thing I notice? The more I practice the more confidence I have. Funny that!! Perhaps the old adage of “practice makes perfect” is utter rubbish (and let’s be frank, no one is perfect) but it should have been “practice makes confidence” (although I appreciate it lacks the alliteration but hey as I said, no ones perfect).

Anyway. My point is confidence comes from your mind, what you believe in yourself. When I am working with clients to improve their confidence for whatever goal, I often get told that their lack of confidence comes from their worry that they don’t know if they can do something. I.e. their mindset is one of “I can’t” rather than I can. You need to change your mindset to start improving your confidence.

Key insight two: Confidence is not the absence of fear

A few years ago, I had an amazing experience and got to go to Japan for five weeks with the purpose of immersing myself to connect with my Japanese family, learn a bit of the language and connect with the culture. But I’ll be completely honest with you – I was totally bricking it before I went!

The year before that I had gone to Japan to see the family, the first time in 18 years, so whilst it was an amazing trip, it was also one that was fuelled with emotion, pain, regret and sadness. Here I was in my late 20’s, and I didn’t know half my identity and family who were on the other side of the world, lost in a language barrier and cultural differences. It was possibly the loneliest two weeks of my life. Yet it was also the push I needed to reconnect with a lost family and the step I need to repair a damaged relationship with my Japanese mum. So, I vowed I would come back the next year but this time for five weeks (two weeks just wasn’t enough time to immerse myself).

A year later, true to my word, I was on that plane on my own, bound with a suitcase full of British delights for my Japanese family (what nationality isn’t going to like a McVities Hob Nob!). But as I said, I was bricking it. I wasn’t full of confidence and assertion. Fear, apprehension, and uncertainty were in its place.

Did I do it though? Yes of course I did.

Every day my confidence grew just a little bit more because confidence doesn’t come from a place where there is no fear but from a place where you push past that fear.

Key insight three: Confidence needs continuous conduct

Coaching a client the other day, he came to the realisation for himself that he needed to engage with positive affirmations and mental prep before he done any sales calls. Alan* told me that whilst in some areas of his life he had “oodles of confidence”, he lacked it when it came to his work sales calls.

Alan knew rejection was normal in sales calls, but the fear of it was knocking his confidence. This probably sounds familiar to you as fear of rejection is something a lot of us suffer. He decided a little mental prep, positive self-talk and positive affirmations would massively help him before every sales call. He seemed really happy with this action… and then rather reservedly, he asked, “erm, do you ever do anything like this for work or before you speak to people?”

Of course I do!

This is where I explained to Alan and need to share with you, that confidence is like a muscle, and it takes practice and time to grow. The crucial thing too though is that it needs continuous conduct. I.e. you have to keep at it.

You cant expect to gain confidence in an area of your life and then never have to work at it ever again – if that was the case, top doctors would stop learning medicine, sports stars would jack in the training and people would never lose their confidence once they had it, and you know they do sometimes!

So, remember this about confidence – work on it, regularly, consistently and never stop.

Key insight four: Remember your achievements and success

Are you the type of person to be your own worse enemy, or struggle to recall your strengths?

At a workshop I hosted in Kent on the topic of “confidence and mindset for success, one the participants shared a story of how good it made him feel when he recently was doing a spring clean and found some old sports trophies and medals, so much so they were now proudly displayed in his office.

I love this because it totally backs up my point I always make when it comes to confidence… we’re too harsh on ourselves (I get it by the way, I am always being told I am my number one critic!) and we often fail to give ourselves credit, that pat on the back or take a moment to remember our achievements.

Displaying them physically (certificates, pictures, memorabilia) is a great way to nudge your memory on to times when you were a success and when you had confidence, but you can also do this by simply recalling a time you had confidence and projecting that ‘self’ to the situation you are feeling unconfident.

Ask yourself, what did I do, say, feel, think, carry myself, act etc. Take that learning for any situation you are not confident in.


Key insight five: Confidence comes from what you tell yourself

Chatting to Angela, a attendee at one of my confidence and mindset workshops c she told me that she lacks confidence when it comes to job interviews. “I am just no good at them, I am useless when it comes to interviewing” she said, “this is why I am so worried and lack confidence”. Err, no wonder when you have that attitude!

What follows the words “I am…” are so crucial to your self-belief thus your confidence!

Tell yourself, you are stupid, useless, a failure, or whatever crap you are feeding yourself, then of course you are not going to feel confident! Confidence comes from what you tell yourself!

How on earth can you say things like “I am no good at X…” then expect to be confident at it!

Start being your own cheerleader, and using confident words to express “I am…”


*as a life and success coach I am bound to Code of Ethics as set out by the Internal Coach Federation which includes strict client confidentiality. Therefore all names and examples are slightly modified to protect the client.


The Next Level You – How to Overcome What is Holding You Back”  Confidence Workshop on Monday 22 July 2019

On  Monday 22nd July 2019, I held a  “The Next Level You – How to Overcome What is Holding You Back” confidence workshop in London. This evening workshop was all about helping you improve your confidence, unlock the power of your mindset and finally stop self-sabotaging! Isn’t it time you stopped screwing yourself over?

Topics covered included:

  • Confidence: what confidence really is, how you can learn to be more confident straight away, and practical tips to implement this in your daily life
  • Mindset: how your mindset is crucial to your goals, why it is informed by input, not fact, and how to develop a growth mindset to take charge of your life so you are in control
  • Self-sabotage: why you self-sabotage, how to stop and real-life support

Thank you to all the people that came, and also for the amazing feedback you gave me!

“Helpful and informative event. Alice was really knowledgeable and had practical tips” – Amy Miller, Pharmacist.

“Useful and entertaining journey through the mindset of confidence and self-sabotage. Very enjoyable” – Kendal Overy, Fleet Manager

I will re-run this confidence workshop soon.  Please sign up at the bottom of the page for dates and times of future workshops.


Like this article? Then why not share it on social media? Also, check out the “resources” section of www.alicedartnell.com and download the free guide and check list to goal writing. 



Other Blog Articles on My Web Site

Below are links to other blog articles that you might be interested to read.

If you asked me what was one of the things I was most proud about in my corporate career it would also probably be my work-life balance.Your  guide to getting the work-life balance you deserve

If you asked me what was one of the things I was most proud about in my corporate career, apart from moving up the ladder fairly quickly, it would also probably be my work-life balance.



I just want to point out that “failure” isn’t a word I use too often. It’s harsh, negative and not an accurate reflection of the situation that occurred.Five Reasons Why Failure is Actually a Good Thing

Many of us get hung up on failure, or even just the thought of failure, and it can be so debilitating that it stops us from trying again and living the life we want to. But in fact, I strongly believe that failure is a good thing and that we could all do with a healthy dose of it once in a while.


Why a ‘SMART’ goal is stupid. (How to improve Goal Setting)

When it comes to goal setting, you’ll have heard about SMART goals.  But if SMART goals are the way to do it, then why do so many of us not achieve our goals?  Here is why SMART goals are stupid and some top tips how you can improve your goal setting!


The First Thing You Should Be Putting In Your Diary For Successful Time ManagementFirst Thing You Should Prioritise for Successful Time Management

Essential tips for organising your diary plus how to include  “non-negotiables” when you plan your diary for effective time management without sacrificing your health or relationships.  What  Non-negotiables?  Click the link and read my blog to find out!


Let’s Work Together

If you are serious about wanting to make life-long changes and positively transform your life, then I would love to hear from you to see how I can support you.



This article is written by Alice Dartnell, life and success coach of Alice Dartnell Limited. Alice empowers busy professionals to be successful, transform their lives and achieve more by improving their confidence, mindset and time management.

For more information please see www.alicedartnell.com.