It’s all about confidence… pt 1

The ABC’s we never learnt at school

“It’s the slowest burn. I’ve done so many tours, but nobody knew who I was until this year. But would I have been able to maintain this type of mainstream success 10 years ago? Hell to the nah! I needed this 10 years.”
- Lizzo

If there’s one thing that unites us all around the world, it’s the search for confidence, and the struggles we face in discovering, understanding and holding onto it. There’s no doubt about it, confidence can be an elusive beast at any stage of life… but it doesn’t have to be!

The 2 Types of Confidence

What we’re not taught in school, is that there are 2 important variations, with different ways to understand and unlock each one.

1. Performance Confidence
This refers to the confidence we develop in our jobs or studies. It’s the faith we have in our human-doing skills, and often the one we (mistakenly) fixate on in our efforts to improve overall performance.

2. Self-Confidence
Our sense of trust and belief in being worthy of love, belonging and connection. This also refers to our willingness to be vulnerable and put ourselves out there, despite the uncertainty of life. At Mojo, we find that most people enter the self-development arena seeking performance confidence… but what they most, is self confidence.

As human-beings, we all need self-confidence, and as human-doings, we need performance confidence. But it’s only when we build a foundation of self-confidence that we can really reach our potential. This is why every journey through the Mojo Mindset Course starts with the Chapter 1 question of ‘Who Am I?’ — we have to first learn to accept and believe in ourselves before we can achieve anything at our full potential.

The ABC toolkit

No matter who we are, or where we’ve come from, confidence doesn’t just happen. It’s a real process, and one that we can’t rush or under-cook. The good news is, we can start this work at any stage of life, because the key ingredients are always the same. At Mojo, we liken these ingredients to our ABC’s:

A is for Acceptance (or self-acceptance).
Our reptilian brains love to focus on the negatives; making it hard to see that the way forward is always to accept, rather than to compare, judge, or avoid. The key here is to practise self-compassion, acknowledging our strengths, weaknesses and quirks for what they are — neither good nor bad. They are what they are, and no one is perfect. From here, we get to work on maximising those strengths and improving the weaknesses from a place of vulnerability and authenticity. We’re all on different journeys, and to live a life that is true to ourselves is the ultimate competitive advantage… because there’s only one you.

B is for Belief, (or self-belief).
Our belief system is shaped by our life story, but what most of us don’t realise is that we are the authors of this story. It is our interpretation of the story — not the negative events themselves — that shapes our beliefs. As kids, it’s natural to confuse “that was bad” with “I am bad,” but as adults, we have the opportunity to re-frame our belief systems entirely. This is arguably the most important part of the process, and why the work in Chapter 1 is where most of our Mojo Tribe have found their biggest aha’s. The reward to doing this work is discovering that we are enough (and really believing it); that we’re worthy of stepping into the arena, regardless of the final outcome. Then, and only then, do we get to the C, which is where we find Confidence (more specifically, self-confidence).

Mind the myths!

“Confidence is like respect, you have to earn it.”
Mindy Kaling — Actress, Comedian, Screenwriter, Producer

If you’ve ever thought of confidence as something reserved for the ‘lucky few.’ The ones who have seemed to hit the genetic-lottery-jackpot… You wouldn’t be alone. It can be easy to put our heroes on a pedestal, and before we know it, we’re buying into a series of cultural myths that do nothing but sabotage the very thing we’re searching for.

The truth is, real confidence is a work of art. The operative word being work. Mindy Kaling — a multi-award winning, quadruple threat — is one of our favourite examples of confidence work in-action. “For the record, I, like everyone else, have had moments when I felt unattractive and stupid and unskilled,” she says. “When I started at The Office, I had zero confidence. Whenever Greg Daniels came into the room to talk to our small group of writers, I was so nervous that I would raise and lower my chair involuntarily, like a tic… Years later I realized that the way I had felt during those first few months was correct. I didn’t deserve to be confident yet.”

The idea of a confident ‘personality trait’ is yet another persistent myth that seems to do the rounds when it comes to self-confidence. However, new discoveries in the world of Neuroscience now show us us that self-confidence can be attributed to the unique patterns encoded within our brains, and that we can actively change this over time. So whilst we can’t necessarily control our conditions, we can control the meaning we assign to these experiences and as a result our belief system and our levels of self-belief — a critical ingredient to finding more self-confidence.

When it comes to performance confidence, many of us can also be fooled into thinking it comes from results. The trouble with this idea is that it tends to lock our self-worth under If/Then conditions. If I win the competition, then I’ll feel worthy. If I get that promotion, then I’ll feel more confident. The reality is, confidence only comes to us after taking repeated action. Not before, so there’s no use in waiting for it arrive. You only need to look at skaters and surfers to see this in action. You can think about balancing on a board as much as you like, but it’s got nothing on physically practising the act. Falling down and feeling silly is an essential part of the process, so you might as well enjoy the ride!

So, whether we’re talking self-confidence or performance confidence, remember that both types are born from hard work — never results, or sheer luck. Take it from the likes of Lizzo and Mindy — to become the most confident players in any field or performance, we’ve all got to practise our ABCs, invest in building skills, and not be afraid to find a little more play in the process.

Find your mojo with the Mojo Mindset Course & App
You can’t work out what you want until you work out who you are. The Mojo Mindset course and App helps you figure out the answers to these questions in a simple, practical way.

Start your journey now:

Not quite ready to begin the journey? All good, we’ll be here when you are. All good, we’ll be here when you are. Check out our article on Confidence: Part 2 in the meantime!



Mojo Crowe is on a mission to inspire the world how to be a good human first & a great athlete* second. And if you play, have fun & compete… you’re an athlete!

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Mojo Crowe

Mojo Crowe is on a mission to inspire the world how to be a good human first & a great athlete* second. And if you play, have fun & compete… you’re an athlete!