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10 Things That Truly Confident Women Do Differently

confidence Jul 27, 2021
Nothing is more
beautiful than 
a confident 
woman who
doesn’t pretend
to be something
she’s not.

                                                                               ~ Unknown

Have You Ever….?

Have you ever met a truly confident woman?  I mean really, and truly confident.  

How would you recognize her? 

How does she look, speak, act? 

What kind of energy does she exude?

How does she make others feel? 

Can you tell if it’s really her who’s confident, or if she’s giving a ‘performance’ of confidence? 

How can you tell?

And if you can think of a woman who is truly confident (maybe it’s you!), would you say that she’s truly confident in all aspects of her life, or only some?  Is there a pattern? 

Small group/large group, personal/professional, interactions with males/females, young/old, etc.?  

These are important questions.   Why?  Because how you answer them tells you a great deal about you - not them.

Ha.  Gotcha.

Think about how you answered: did you say she was always stylishly dressed or did you say she was always uniquely dressed?  And what is the difference between those two for you (because it’s not actually a defined thing - it’s just perspective).   

What about how she made others feel?  Did you think ‘comfortable’, ‘safe’, ‘energized’, ‘confident’, ‘motivated’, ‘understood’? 

What does that tell you about what you believe confidence’s effect will/should be on others?

How about if you thought about a specific confident woman, and you realized that she was confident in large groups and with men, but in small groups with women, she’s completely at sea? 

What might you deduce about the situational nature of her confidence, the authenticity of her confidence, the motivations, or the larger culture around her particular style of confidence? 

And in answering that, ask yourself: why do I think, feel, believe these things, how many are ‘fact’ versus ‘opinion’, and how does my perspective colour it all?

See what I mean?  You’re learning more about you than you’ll ever learn about the other person.  

A Defining Moment

Which, to me, begged a very interesting question:  If you were a truly confident woman, what would that even mean?  

I took it further (of course I did): if I was a truly confident woman, what would I be able to say about myself?

I generated a 10-point list (that you now get to see in this blog!).

It was based on everything I’d seen, read, learned, experienced, observed, researched, and so on, through all my years of doing this work. 

I had assumed, when I asked this question of myself, that I was a truly confident woman (though I hadn’t gotten far enough to define it clearly, I felt I must be one).

Truth Bomb-Time

Reading my list was humbling: I discovered that, while I have spent a very long time helping women find and build confidence as part of my coaching, writing, speaking, etc., I have not always been able to ‘practice what I preach’, from the deepest part of me. 

I was damn close in most respects (after years of work), but if I was being totally honest with myself, I wasn’t quite there yet.

This is where I ran smack into one of my favourite models of thinking: the belief, think, feel, act [BTFA] continuum.   

I’m sure you can see where I’m going with this. 

Sure, I knew what I should think, feel and do. 

I would say that I was living from that place in 90% of the areas of my life, in recent years.  I would also say that I would have told you that the remaining 10% was just the acting bit - the ‘fake it til you make it’ last bit of my growth into true confidence.

Hell, I fooled myself.

However, the areas that ‘popped’ off my list showed me something clearly: there were areas where I didn’t believe

Because I didn’t believe, the ‘think-feel-act’ part of the continuum was only a ‘performance’ of confidence - not true confidence. 

It might be that I didn’t believe myself physically ‘good enough’, and so - while putting on a helluva good show of it - I was only ‘acting’ confident with my body.  I could more-or-less mask it professionally, but personally?

Nope.  Not even a little bit.

People sensed it.  That’s what I was asking you to consider earlier on, too: do you sense it? (you do) Can you articulate it? (some of you can) Do you turn that evaluation upon yourself? (only the brave do: the rest of us keep ourselves focussed outwards, on others).

So, when faced with this embarrassing epiphany, I had to ask myself why, despite my ‘best efforts’, was I still getting stuck?

And that’s when the lightbulb went off: belief.

I didn’t believe the things that led to the ‘thinking-feeling-acting’, so when the pressure was on, I reverted to what I really believed and thought-felt-acted from that place.

Only I was super-sneaky, and I tricked myself into layering the ‘performance’ of confidence on top, and - voila! - the perfect storm of feeling like an unworthy person lurking underneath the ‘worthy persona’.  

It’s insidious.  It’s in many ways worse than knowing you’re not confident.  It’s the source of beasts like “imposter syndrome”, too (which we’ll chat about another day).  

So, what’s this list I was working with (valid question!)?

Ten Things That Truly Confident Women Do Differently

When I was generating this list, I was looking at it as the ‘in totality’ model - that a truly confident woman would act in the ways that clearly evidenced her belief in her intrinsic worth.  It would be automatic, authentic and unaffected.

It wouldn’t be formulaic, performative or circumstantial.  It would be just who she was, at all times and in all contexts.  

Here’s what I landed on - 

“A Truly Confident Woman….”

  1. Speaks with conviction.
  2. Listens with curiosity.
  3. Forgets to be “on” and simply just “be”. 
  4. Makes no excuses.
  5. Gives explanations only when she chooses.
  6. Embraces her unique everything: body, voice, message, talents, stories, style, flaws, dreams, etc..
  7. Gives herself grace to fall, fail, change, rest, cry, and/or do absolutely nothing at all.
  8. Takes delight in ‘not knowing’ - the future, the answer, the ‘right choice’, etc.
  9. Leads by example in all she says and does.
  10. Believes in the power of the possibility of transformation for herself, and absolutely everyone and everything else.

The Impact of Living in True Confidence

As always, I’m curious about the ‘so what’? 

Knowing about all these things is lovely, but why should you care?  Why should it matter to you?

In the simplest terms, having true confidence in oneself is the wellspring from which possibility springs. 

You know this to be true: think about how easy something is when you’re not confident? 

How willing you are to withstand failure, how persistent you are, how happy and at peace you are, how much the world seems to bend (or not) to your will? 

I’m sure, if you consider it, you know that life is simply easier when you’re truly confident - all of that energy you spend hiding, second-guessing, procrastinating, avoiding, controlling, compromising could be spent on possibility, right?

So why - WHY - doesn’t EVERY woman pursue true confidence at nearly all costs?  I mean, what’s NOT to love about living from this place?

Beliefs, Truths, Stories

You also know this answer (or versions of it): not worthy, too busy, too scary, too risky, not important enough, others need my time/money/energy/focus more, you can’t change, there’s no hope for you, it’s too late, you’re too old, too young, you don’t know what to do, you don’t know where to start, you always fail, you secretly believe that the stories that lead to your beliefs are actually Truth (with a capital ‘T’). 

The usual, right?

Let’s assume for a minute that you accept everything I’ve said up ‘til now.  Now what? would be my next question.  Heck, it always is my next question, no matter the question. 

For instance, “I’ve truly dug down and realized that there is a body confidence issue: NOW WHAT?”   Here’s what I did when this was MY realization about my beliefs:

  1. I pretended I would go on a diet.
  2. I straightened and whitened my teeth.
  3. I got my brows microbladed. 
  4. I got eyelashes.
  5. I started walking with my kids.
  6. I joined a style confidence group.
  7. I joined a challenge group on style.
  8. I got branding shots done (and shared them far and wide).
  9. I did a lot of work unpacking my stories around what my previous experiences meant - and who decided what those experiences meant - journaling, visioning, etc. 
  10. I started reading romance novels about curvy girls.  I shit you not.
  11. I started acting from the premise that attractiveness was energetic, not cosmetic.

You can see from this list that I did a lot. 

I wish I could say there was rhyme or reason to it, but there wasn’t - in fact, the pursuit of this pathway was not even terribly conscious. 

I just knew that I saw a picture where I looked my age - and I looked dumpy and depressed - and I realized that that’s not how I wanted to look, because that’s not how I wanted to feel

At first, I went with the idea that I should lose weight (skinny people are happy and fulfilled, right?). 

I started with externals, privately, then made them more public; then I began the work in my head; then I changed how I felt and acted.  I was all over the road, but I got there.

And I guess that’s my big idea: you can get there from a lot of places, as long as you start.

It takes time, persistence, support, creativity, imagination, and flexibility to make changes to your core stories/beliefs. 

You can do this on your own, and it’s hard; you can also do this work far more consciously (and likely more efficiently than me, that’s for sure) with support.

I know I’ve come a long way (longer than I thought I had to go - but I was wrong!), and I know it’s a “Work in Progress” that I have to keep at. 

You can have a beautiful house (in this case, it’s the “House of True Confidence”), but it doesn’t stay beautiful without maintenance, upkeep, and investment.  Facts. 

The Challenge 

I’ll leave you with this challenge: what would your life be like if you could say the following about yourself?

“I’m a Truly Confident Woman who….”

  1. Speaks with conviction.
  2. Listens with curiosity.
  3. Forgets to be “on” and simply just “be”. 
  4. Makes no excuses.
  5. Gives explanations only when she chooses.
  6. Embraces her unique everything: body, voice, message, talents, stories, style, flaws, dreams, etc..
  7. Give herself grace to fall, fail, change, rest, cry, and/or do absolutely nothing at all.
  8. Takes delight in ‘not knowing’ - the future, the answer, the ‘right choice’, etc.
  9. Leads by example in all she says and does.
  10. Believes in the power of the possibility of transformation for herself, and everyone, and everything else.

Just askin’.


Until soon! xoxo d

ps. check out to follow and/or like the stuff I’m talking about, plus take the opportunity (while you’re there!) to join The TEEHouse, a wee group I’m starting to build to support and connect women interested in the sort of stuff we ‘serve’ at TEEwithD.  Find me on LinkedIn at to see when and where I’m speaking next.  Check out weekly blogs/vlogs/podcasts, a fun quiz, reflection guide, and lots of sass on my Mother Ship:    See you there!  xoxo

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