How To Be More Confident with Alyssa Dver

How To Be More Confident with Alyssa Dver

“Yes or no, you’re confident. Now here’s where the definition gets really interesting for me personally. People often say they feel confident or they are kind of confident, and that is not correct. You either are or you are not. Just like being pregnant, you are or you are not.” - Alyssa Dver

Today we’re talking about something that is such a hot topic, and that is confidence. Confidence is magnetic, but how do we be “confident?” Our guest for this episode of Brave By Design is an expert on this topic, and she explains how not only is confidence a choice we can all make, but you can empower your own as well as the confidence of other people.  

Alyssa Dver is the Chief Confidence Officer, CEO and co-founder of the American Confidence Institute (ACI) which shares science-based ways to sustainably increase personal, academic & professional confidence.

If you’ve ever wondered how some people can be confident and seemingly radiate it at will, what Alyssa reveals about confidence in this episode could change everything for your life and career. 

Brave by Design helps creative consultants get booked solid with clients they love.Your most profitable year begins today. Take the quiz to discover the hidden revenue in your business. bravebydesign.net/quiz


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Transcript
Alyssa Dver:

Yes or no? You're confident. Now here's where the definition gets really interesting for me personally. People often say they feel confident or they're kind of confident. And that's not correct. You either are or you're not just like being pregnant you are or you're not.

Laura Khalil:

You're listening to brave by design the show dedicated to helping creative women thrive as entrepreneurs. My name is Laura Khalil, and I'm a business coach. Helping creatives get booked solid with clients they just love. Since 2013. My marketing agency has consulted with some of the world's biggest brands. You'll hear interviews, strategies and tools that can help you do work you love with people who energize you while building your bank account. And today I mentioned we're kind of fun. Stay tuned. Yo fam. What's up? This is Ed It is our hot girl summer first episode of the series. Okay, I will stop trying to like impromptu sing to y'all. I am so happy though. Because this is the kickoff to our hot girl summer series. You heard me say it last week. And I'm going to repeat it today. hot girl summer, it is a vibe. It is a mood and it is a feeling internally. It is not just what you're wearing. It's how you're feeling with what you're wearing on. It's how you're feeling so great at your age, whatever age that is, in whatever body you are in whatever business you're in, because you are worth it. And that is hot. Am I right? Or am I right? Because honestly, I think I'm right. So in this hot girl summer series, we are going to have a slew of episodes for you this season, this summer that are all about building that hot girl energy. And we're going to start today with one of my favorite conversations I had last year with Alyssa de Vere. This is all about building confidence. building confidence is at the center of your hot girl summer. It's how you feel about yourself. It's how you feel confident about your dreams, how you feel about your goals and how you show up confidently You know what, even when you're scared, it's okay to be scared and to say, I'm gonna go do this anyway. That's okay. That's kind of how life is remember, y'all, we don't know what we're doing. Everyone's figuring this out. Nobody has a script, right? Nobody got like the book, prior to coming on to this planet that they remember like, Oh, this is actually how it works. We're all figuring it out. And you can say, I'm confident that I don't know everything, but I'm confident I'm gonna figure it out along the way. And that is a great attitude to walk into each day with. So I am so excited for you to hear this episode with Alyssa we have had great conversations on brave by design and I want to ask you, before we kick into this episode, what helps you feel confident? What can you start doing and embodying over the summer that makes you feel good? You know, for me confidence. That's a verb, that's an action. That's something that by doing action is going to bring me confidence confidence isn't just sitting doing nothing or overthinking. You know how I feel about overthinking you have heard me say it before. So it is about doing it is about moving forward. You don't want it moving forward, let me say this in imperfect action, but it is a movement. And any time we move forward, we learn we grow we course correct. You cannot drive a parked car. Alright, so if you are staying stuck, where you are not moving forward, I guarantee you you're not going to build confidence doing that way. You've got to try things out, you've got to take one step forward. And I hope that today's episode makes you feel a little more confident about doing that. So right before we roll into the episode, I want to let you know about something really cool that's happening over at brave by design. If you are a creative entrepreneur, you could be an agency owner, you could be a consultant, you could be a solopreneur I want you to head over and take our quiz about having the most profitable year yet. If you have been feeling like many people, that the world has been turned upside down by this pandemic, you're not sure where to get clients or clients have dropped off and you're feeling really stressed about getting back into the swing of things. I want you to go take this quiz. It's under 10 minutes on how to have the most profitable year yet you still can do it. It's not too late. And guess what, that's exactly what I teach y'all to do. That's what we do over at brave by design in the business coaching with me, and then some of the other offerings that we have as well. So head on over to brave by design dotnet forward slash quiz. You can take that quiz you can learn how to make this your most profitable year yet. Even if you don't know what you're Doing that's okay, that could be your first confident action you take today. And if you did that, holy hell, I would really applaud you. Alright friends, without further ado, let's jump into this great conversation on building confidence.

Alyssa Dver:

With Alyssa de Vere. arched into it early. It was something that he loved. And he was really good at it. And I'm watching him play tennis. And at this point, he's about 14 years old. And he's not showing any symptoms. And so when I went back to the neurology geniuses and said, why they had no answers. Hmm. So it was kind of that maternal motivation that said, I got to figure this out. And I started reading every, you know, scientific dissertation and all kinds of, you know, test results and things and trying to figure it out myself. And, you know, I didn't question ever that I wasn't qualified, I never questioned that I couldn't do it, because I had to do it. This is my, what other choice do you have? And it dawned on me with my marketing background, and why, you know, I started really analyzing what I wanted to do with my life going forward. You know, the reason I liked marketing wasn't because of the money or the title or any of that I liked marketing because I found human behavior. Fascinating, right? So it became kind of a marriage of interest in need at the same time, and I wrote a very saucy at the same time relevant book, many years ago now called misinform, Laura might that asterik BFF, I can't even say that it was my bad ass reveal. It triggered something in me to kind of really dig into this. And I did it in the form of a hobby book. But at the same time, it caught on pretty crazily and ended up in the lap of HR comms leadership director, who somehow my co partner in the Institute. So that's, I said it was a short version, I guess it's a little bit longer than I intended. But I think there's tidbits in there that everybody who's listening may go, Oh, my God, you know, we've all had our aspect. And we've all had, like, throw bombs at us. And I think to some extent, you know, my lesson has been, of course, the name of the new book is confidence as a choice, because at the end of the day, you can choose it neurologically, and definitionally is what I want on a mission to prove.

Laura Khalil:

So wait a minute, can we just finish? How is your son now?

Alyssa Dver:

Other the fact that he's gorgeous? Just saying, No, he's phenomenal. You know, he is I won't say that he is completely asymptomatic. But he is known and has had Botox in the system for I don't know, seven or eight years, he's on very minimal medication. He is a junior at the University of Vermont and the captain of tennis team and is flourishing, awesome preparing to go to grad school and he is magnificent.

Laura Khalil:

I love I love hearing that. So you're going through this experience, and you keep plugging away, nobody's gonna stop you. And that's kind of like the love of a mother or the love of a parent, right? for their child is like, No, I'm not giving up. What did you learn? And so you, like displayed an incredible amount of perseverance, and also confidence in that moment. And tell us a little bit more about what actually is confidence. cuz sometimes we can recognize it, but we have a really hard time defining it.

Alyssa Dver:

We do. And so we spent probably the first two years one after we started the institute really digging into this. We asked 15,000 people, we have a we put out a survey work and did 15,000 interviews and every one of them was different. And it cracked me up sometimes that people be like, well, I'm confident when I have a good job or I'm confident when I'm in a good relationship. I'm confident where I wear my red stilettos, you know, I mean, like it was all paid for. So here's we got very, very precise Of course, not just because of being an institute, but because if you look in the dictionary, literally any of them there is a common definition that says this the confidence is the truth of something is that there's a certainty about the truth of something. Hmm, okay, now, if we were going to talk about the weather now I'm in New England right now, I'm looking out the window and it's sunny. Yesterday was about 61 degrees outside Fahrenheit. And so if I say Am I confident that it's not gonna rain today? Right, I could ask myself that question. My confidence not gonna rain today. So if I go outside, I really need an umbrella. I don't have to worry about getting wet and so forth. I say to myself, well, yesterday was warm, looking outside. It's it's pretty good outside. There's not many cars in sky. My hair's not too frizzy. I you know, I can go down a list of things and I can come up with a decision whether or not I'm confident about the likelihood it's going to rain or not. Very easy to think about confidence in terms of the weather or if I asked you, Laura, you know, how's the stock market going to be tomorrow or Oh, you know, what about the Like you start to get data points that you are aware of, or you know, you can access, you put them into your brain. And we can talk brain science a little bit if you'd like. Yeah. But needless to say, you, you correlate all that data, and then you come up with an analysis and you decide yes or no, you're confident. Now, here's where the definition gets really interesting for me personally. People often say they feel confident, or they're kind of confident. And that's not correct. You either are or you're not just like being pregnant, you are or not.

Laura Khalil:

I'm not saying to pregnant. Oh,

Alyssa Dver:

it's black and white, it's binary, you are confident or you're not. And the wait a minute,

Laura Khalil:

Alyssa, are you confident than when I say oh unconfident? Does that mean? I'm confident in everything, or does that mean I'm confident in this specific area?

Alyssa Dver:

Yes, it depends. No, it depends. It's contextual, right? So here we are, here's where the nuances This is what I mean, it gets interesting. Even if you're talking to a scientist, and they say they are confident about a result, and whatever they're doing, there is always a margin of error that's acceptable, that they say there may be things we're not aware of, or there is some error variation, you know, standard deviation of potential incorrect is so the key is not to be certain about the truth. It's certain enough about the truth. And that we're not in the dictionary, but it appears in our definition. So confidence, again, we're talking in a very general, you know, vocabulary level confident about whatever, huh, the other nuance is that the opposite of confidence is not not confident. Because here's the thing, Laura, I don't know about you, but there's a lot of things in my life. I'm not confident about like my cartwheel ability. Right, Donna,

Laura Khalil:

I'm there with you, girlfriend, I'm there with you. Alright, good.

Alyssa Dver:

You know, I am not confident in a lot of areas. But it doesn't mean you're not confident as a person. Because when you it's your quote, weaknesses or areas of confidence, it actually increases your confidence. Wow. Right. So the opposite of confidence can be one of two things, it can either be indifference, you really just don't care. You don't give a poke. That's not really confident. And guilt. When you feel guilty of something means you're not not this is why you're saying she's guilty. I never thought of guilt is the obvious comments. Here's the reality. We've been talking about kind of what I would consider relatively objective things, the weather, the stock market, the presidential launch, and whatever. But when you talk about the person, yourself or someone else for that matter, what are you confident about? What's the truth that you're seeking? And so our definition at the institute again, the reason it took us two years, is trying to figure out what is it that is driving people's motivation, driving their persistence driving that maternal stuff that we talked about earlier? What is it that makes somebody see the truth about themselves, and here's what it is, is one, they are very clear or clear enough about their values, their wants and their needs. Because when you are very clear about those things, you bulldoze over everything that's in your way, if you really want to save your son, no neurologist, nothing is going to get in your way. If you are really saying to yourself, I need those pair of shoes, and I want those pair of shoes. And I really, really value those pair of shoes, you're going to buy those shoes. It's the minute that you start to question your values needs and wants or you act against them, you transgress them, you do something that's outside your comfort zone, because you really don't value doing that thing. That's when your confidence wanes. It's when we really want any value something that we don't do it and we don't live up to it. That's where the opposite of guilt lives. So in other words, you know, I was one of your speakers on your summit, right? And I'm sure when you made the decision to do your summit, tell me if I'm not correct, you probably were like, should I do this? Can I do this? Will people come? Will they talk? Well, they listen, is that not true? Sure. Yeah. Right. And you doubted maybe your confidence in your ability to do it, the value of doing it and you go through that whole roster of things. But at the end of the day, you obviously made the decision. There's something you could do, you should do and you want to do, and you did it and you're now what top 100 in the universe. Not just Apple's universe, but the universe.

Laura Khalil:

Oh, my God, you know, can I hire you as my hype woman? You know, so as I've been hearing you speak, there's something that I keep hearing and it sounds to me, like confidence and certainty seem like a very clear marriage of those concepts. Do you also see it that way? Because when I hear you talking about confidence, I also hear certainty in your voice about what that confidence is about.

Alyssa Dver:

Absolutely. So certainty. Again, needs boundaries, you need to be able to say I am certain within these parameters. So if I'm very clear what I value needed want, those are my parameters. Those are my boundaries, my bumpers. And if I'm staying within those, it creates certainty. Just like if you were to look at like a scientific bell curve, and again, I don't wanna get too techie on people, but they'll cut off the ends on each side, the outliers, as Malcolm Gladwell, so coined, right, the ones that are, you know, may not fit the typicals. But within the belt within those standard deviations within those lines, we have certainty. So, and again, it's not absolute certainty, you will never 100% or about anything, but if you are certain enough, this is something I value need and want, you create those boundaries that you can operate with certainty and subsequently confidence.

Laura Khalil:

Okay, so then let's move on. Okay, this is really interesting. So for those people who are listening, who are saying, I really just want to feel more confident in my career, you talked about values, needs and wants, all being really aligned and clear. What is so what is the next thing they can do if they're saying, you know, I really want to develop more confidence in how I, you know, move it through my career, how I present in a boardroom, how I advocate for my projects, what do you recommend, as the next step?

Alyssa Dver:

Well, that's a wonderful question. Because 99% of the time, other people are going to tell you, you can fake it till you make it. Otherwise you can learn how to write, you can learn how to have executive presence, you can just stand or do certain things in a certain way. And I am not only an adamant I can prove to you that it's wrong. It's a lie. It's bs fat.

Unknown:

Does that sound good? Alyssa? Does

Laura Khalil:

that mean you do not believe in like the quote unquote, power poses? No, I

Alyssa Dver:

do believe in power poses because power poses are something that's called a structure. It's a neurological psychological technique called the structure. Okay, which again, if we had more time got into the deep brain science, I'd explain it to you in detail. But the different think of a power pose like a lucky charm, or a mantra, or something that you're basically warming up your brain and you're telling your brain, we're about to go on stage. We have to bring it right now. Yes, it does is it triggers all kinds of neurotransmission, dopamine, and all kinds of good stuff, read Amy Cuddy, or read my book, get all the details, but different, that's not faking it, it's okay. It's like creating a neurological chain in your body. And if you practice that they work now that every power pose or power pose, in general don't work for everybody. But the concept of a structure is what professional athletes do, every time they get up at bat. They're doing that kind of crazy. Whatever their little routine is, that's also a structure. It's the same concept as a power play. Got it? Right. But fake it till you make it is when you go to a class and they tell you to sit and stand and say and do certain things. And underneath the hood, your engine, your confidence is not there. And that shows through no matter what you're going to try and cover it up. It's like putting makeup on the pig, right? Yeah, you can't fake it. No, you can't. But what you so our methodology is as follows. There are a couple of steps, the first thing is to really understand what confidence is, we've done a little bit of that today, you know, we've kind of tipped the iceberg there. But really understanding it getting it solid in your head because you can't necessarily be something you don't know what it is right. So we do a lot of exercises to recognize and understand what it is what it isn't. And then really get into your values needs and wants so that you understand your own bumpers. My bumpers are different than yours, Laura is different than anyone else's. And we have to understand what our boundaries are. And when you understand what the boundaries are, then it makes it a lot easier to understand when you're outside them and also when other people want to pull you outside. Because what happens in the world, particularly in the business world, is we live amongst a ton of confidence villains and kryptonite. But we don't even know it's there until it's too late. So we have to recognize it, identify and understand what it is in our own little worlds but also how we're going to deal with it. So we get people really nice tools and strategies, tips kind of weapons if you will armor for ways of not only avoiding those villains and kryptonite, but dealing with them when they show up because they do show up every day several times a day. Once you kind of get past that now you're like you know you're in superhero mode, then you can start to layer on. And we have some incredible simple techniques to communicate verbally, non verbally, in ways that come out, make you feel more confident, but also make everyone else feel confident and also see you as more confident there's there's three pads there that you got to lay down. And then the last piece of the process which is really in my opinion, I don't even know how to say it. It really is the badass read piece of it is that when you are at that point, now you can help other people be more confident you can start to coach them even if you're never going to be a professional coach. You can be a better parent, a mentor, a manager, a citizen and a B a role model for everyone around you. And you know, Simon Sinek. God bless his heart. He's another Ted talker, more famous than I am. At this moment. I have to say that because I'm the confidence queen to say, Oh, hang on,

Laura Khalil:

hang on. Hold on to your seat, Alyssa.

Alyssa Dver:

Yeah. There we go strap it on. Needless to say, Simon Sinek has made everyone paranoid about trying to find their purpose. And my claim is this, we all have the ability to not only be confident to get it, but to give it and when you give it to somebody else. Like you just did for me. What? Okay, yeah,

Laura Khalil:

no, what does it look like? When you give someone confident? You just did

Alyssa Dver:

it, my friend, you just hang on, like, you're like, Okay, that I'm going to be like, that makes me feel good. Yeah, I know how I made you feel on the other side, because great podcast land. But let me tell you, when you deliberately deliver confidence to somebody else, and you see that you've lit up their world, it only reflects back onto you. So the fastest way to get confidence is to give it away and it is renewable, no more controllable than karma, it is the greatest gift you can give, because it keeps giving it back to you.

Laura Khalil:

Oh my gosh, that that is. So I mean that that just really hit me. And I would imagine, as you know, sometimes, you know, adjacent to confidence, I often look at the area of charisma and magnetism and why certain people are very attractive to others. And I don't just mean that in a physical sense. I mean, there's certain people we want to be around. And one of the things that I am kind of listening to when I hear you talk is helping lift other people up is very magnetic.

Alyssa Dver:

Oh, it is not very it is magnetic period, you know, and my TED talk, I literally say it is confidence is what makes the law of attraction happen. It is what gives people confidence. It's what allows people to achieve more. And it allows you to have impact, and you can walk into a crowded room COVID after and look around and not even know the person and you can feel and see their confidence from the other side. It's just coming off them. It's coming off them now Who do we want to hang out with? Look, the older I get, you know, just saying there are very, very quick judgments about people I want to spend my time with. And it's not the people who are toxic, or make me feel less than they're not the villains, trying to steal my confidence. It's the people who I want to help in a positive way. But at the same time that are you know, like you like you want to help me I want to help you. We're good. It's a good healthy relationship. Yeah, that confidence, you know that you get the energy that you give kind of thing, but at the same time, the confidence that, you know, has to be a mutual equation, you can't just keep pushing confidence in somebody who just wants to keep taking it.

Laura Khalil:

Right. Oh, yeah. Oh, my God, I love that elicit because I want to this is what I want to ask you about is let's talk about the people. Because what I hear you saying is one primarily, this is an inside job. So you got to work on yourself. Like, because there are a lot of people out there who will try to look to external authorities, external individuals for having their needs met. And what it ends up doing, at least in my case is it sucks the life out of me. Oh, yeah. You know, you can't just get confidence, like from other people telling you, you're a great person, if I understand correctly, you got to work on it yourself. Look, you

Alyssa Dver:

know what, again, I'll refer back to the TED Talk, not just because it's self promotional, but because you know what I said this at the risk of pissing a lot of people off, and I'm going to do it again here. I get really upset when people say they say, oh, you're a motivational speaker. I'm like, No, because motivational speakers are going to get up on the stage. And they're going to tell you a story, like I told you in the beginning, because you asked me but I refused to tell them on stage these days before and after my talks. Because my sob story, my hero's journey, as they call it, is not yours, right? And because I had my maternal motivation to do something that gave me confidence, you might be inspired by it. It's like a car, you're gonna swallow it today. And tomorrow, when you have to deal with your own obstacles. My story doesn't help you. So yeah, maybe you get a message of all I can do what I can do it but at the same time, the reality is you can't vicariously learn confidence like that. But what you can do is you can mindfully notice people in your world, that you see every day that you hear every day or even for that matter, on television or wherever media you're looking on that you go, that person's confident, why, and what is that they do and are saying and behaving in a way that makes me see that that I want to imitate and at the same time, find all those people in your world because there's probably a one to 10 ratio one confident to 10 not confident, and find those not confident people and be like I don't want to do those things. Right. I don't want to be rude and I want to interrupt you But I don't want to be cocky. I don't want to be, you know, bitchy, I don't want to be one upping I don't want to all that stuff that not confident people do

Laura Khalil:

yet. Tell us a little bit about what are the tells, so to speak of people who are not confident. All right?

Alyssa Dver:

I'm gonna do my exercise that I do in my workshops and keynotes and you're going to be my audience. All right, here we go. Okay. All right. So pick somebody, you know, don't name them. We don't want to does anyone go? Nope. Okay. But you know, somebody that, you know, personally, not a celebrity or somebody like that. But some of you really know, that's not confident and describe that person.

Laura Khalil:

Okay, the person I'm thinking of gains a lot of their desire for being like, okay, in the world, by other people telling them they are okay. Do they ask it? Or do they? Do they solicit that they solicited and then everything is taken very personally, when it's not meant to be personal, it's kind of like, it seems actually quite self centered, to be honest with you, someone who sees the world as spinning around them. And if you're not catering to that, you know, to their universe, so to speak, they can be very, very immediately incredibly upset by it.

Alyssa Dver:

So here is just a perfect snippet of an example. You know, when you see it, you know what cause looks like when you see it? You know, what not confidence I'm not you notice I'm not using writing secure for the reason we said earlier, yes, secure about a lot of things. But this is not confident behavior. You know, what, immediately, here's the thing, you often feel almost pity for those people, you may get frustrated, aggravated, yes, a future, I call it brain mark, you know, like a bookmark brain mark in your brain, I'm not doing that. And that person just needs confidence, too bad for them, if you want to say it that way. Or That's a shame. But it's not your problem, right. And whether you choose to feed that need of theirs or not, you can make that again, choice. But the choice I really want people to make is to say, I don't want to be like that, because it's not confident behavior. So you don't have to go through my training stuff to know what confident looks like or not confident we know and intuitively, but we don't pay attention at the time. So start to pay attention. And there's something in your brain called mirror neurons mirror neurons is what allows us to learn anything in the world kind of in a physical level, like grab a bottle or drink for that matter. Okay? And I'm not saying that has to be an alcoholic drink, but you know, any kind of drink. But okay, our mirror neurons, you turn those mirror neurons on you call them to attention when you start to notice things like somebody acting confident or not confident you say to yourself, you know what, I'm going to do more of that, or I'm not going to do that. That's hugely a step in the right direction. Because we know what what looks like and what it doesn't we just don't always pay attention.

Laura Khalil:

Wow. Okay, so that really that mindfulness piece is so important here. I love that Alyssa, I could talk to you for ever. Oh,

Alyssa Dver:

I obviously love the subject that I love the fact that what it does is it empowers people, and empowers them on a personal level. And then also it was a way to really have impact in the world. So yeah, you get more charisma and magnetism yourself. But you can really help other people once you get there. And so the more people that we can reach just makes my day thank you for allowing me to do it today. My

Laura Khalil:

pleasure. Now, for those who are listening, how can they learn more about you? How can they find your book? Where do they dive in? Oh, perfect.

Alyssa Dver:

So depending on when you're listening to this podcast, the new book confidence as a choice real science superhero impact. You can go to the website which is American confidence Institute calm elicited here.

Laura Khalil:

Thank you so much for joining brave by design. It has been such a pleasure, Laura, thank you so much. Did you enjoy this episode of brave by design as much as I did? I certainly hope so. If you did, please share this episode with a friend on Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, wherever you do your socials and you are welcome to tag brave by design we would love to help support that. We spend a lot of time on Instagram these days. So head on over to I am brave by design on Instagram. If you'd like to be our friend and don't forget about the quiz over at brave by design dotnet forward slash quiz. You can learn about finding the hidden revenue in your business and making this your most profitable year yet. Until next time, stay brave.