Kathy McAfee, Professional Speaker & Executive Presentation Coach - America's Marketing Motivator

Kathy McAfee, Professional Speaker &
Executive Presentation Coach
Let's Talk. 860-371-8801 or Email me
Kathy McAfee, Professional Speaker & Executive Presentation Coach - America's Marketing Motivator
Kathy McAfee, Professional Speaker & Executive Presentation Coach - America's Marketing Motivator

Kathy McAfee, Professional Speaker &
Executive Presentation Coach
Let's Talk. 860-371-8801 or Email me
Kathy McAfee, Professional Speaker & Executive Presentation Coach - America's Marketing Motivator
Kathy McAfee, Professional Speaker & Executive Presentation Coach
Kathy McAfee, Professional Speaker & Executive Presentation Coach
Let's Talk. 860-371-8801 or Email me
Where Does Confidence Come From?

I’ve been thinking about the role that confidence plays in a person’s career and life success.  An ongoing lack of confidence, self-doubt, and low self-esteem can become a disabling professional condition commonly known as “the imposter syndrome.”

I’ve often thought that confidence was such a fragile thing, kind of like fresh fruit. It’s great when it’s just picked, but can perish quickly if mishandled in transportation, sitting around too long, or waiting forever to be selected.

And yet, there are those people who appear to have an over abundance of confidence. Some of them display their confidence in exuberant, showy and bombastic ways, distorting the quality into unattractive arrogance.

And we all know people who can somehow manufacture confidence on demand, with a “fake it till you make it” method.

But there are many people who appear to be driving on an empty tank. No confidence to fuel them. They seem to be without a reserve of confidence to draw upon to help them through the hard times, like unemployment, sickness, divorce, financial hardship, death in the family, depression, etc. Encouraging words and free webinars don’t seem to be enough to boost their confidence and restore their resilience.

I’m sure there is something in our brains that is responsible for the feeling of confidence. A chemical perhaps? A physiological response? The pre-frontal cortex, perhaps? Or do we all just need to exercise more often to ensure that our bodies release chemicals such as dopamine  and endorphins in our brains that make us feel happy?

But deep down, I do believe that WE THE PEOPLE play a huge role in either fostering confidence in ourselves and in others, or destroying it. Our thoughts, words, actions, posts, and gestures have a big impact on individual and collective confidence. And I think we can all do better on this front.

Remembering my Uncle Chuck

Today I came across a wonderful remembrance of my Uncle Chuck. He passed away in 2014 from pancreatic cancer. This photo was taken of him on one of his last big travel adventures in Athens, Greece in 2010. His positive influence on my life and on my personal confidence was substantial and lasting,  and continues to carry me forward to this day.

While getting ready for a tax preparation meeting with my CPA today, I happened upon an old thumb drive  in my home office. On it was a bunch of documents and presentations from 2013 and 2014. I was tempted to just erase them all (they are way in the past!), but curious to see what was on the thumb drive, I scrolled up and down the file list and was surprised to see my written tribute to my Uncle Chuck. I had composed this tribute on the plane ride from California to Connecticut after visiting with his family in his dying days. It was written with heart and soul, and with plenty of tears! If you’d like to read it (all 1,748 words), here it is:  Tribute to Uncle Chuck – if you’ve got it flaunt it

Be an Encourager, not a Critic

Nowadays, it’s so easy to criticize. Technology and social media allow us to send zingers (and praise) without having to take personal responsibility for the outcome.

If we are not happy with a service for whatever reason, even if we were the root cause of the problem, we can send off a scathing 1 star review, a thumbs down, or a warning telling everyone on the planet to never shop there/eat there/go there/work there again.

If we don’t like someone or if we hold a grudge, we can unleash hell on people with a few social media posts. And that critical action temporarily boosts our sense of power in the world. The problem is that that resulting feeling from that critical action is negative power. It’s rooted in our own insecurity, cruelty, fear and lacking.

We have forgotten the sage advice from Vince Lombardi, “Praise in public; criticize in private.”

And while there is a definitely a need for and a place for constructive feedback, we can all do better. We must do better. Let’s invest our time and energy into generating positive energy, not destructive action. Let’s lift up others, especially our youth and the most vulnerable in our communities. Let’s work to make confidence sustainable, lasting and weather proof.

And let’s not forget about “the hidden leaders” – those talented, hardworking people on our teams and in our networks who lack traditional access to mentoring, sponsorship and growth opportunities. Rather than just fending for ourselves, we can use our influence and encouragement to help close the gap in equity and inclusion for women and minorities by raising up the hidden leaders in all sectors of our society. That’s part of my personal mission and the focus of my new program, The Fearless Leader. 

It’s up to each of us and all of us to increase the local and global supply of confidence. Let’s invest in ourselves and our future by investing in each other. 

In closing, I’d like to leave you with these motivating words of encouragement that were originally gifted to me by my Uncle Chuck. The phrase, “If you’ve got it, flaunt it” was something that my Uncle said to me a thousand times when I was growing up. Only now, some 40 years later, do I understand what he was trying to tell me and do for me. He was building up my self-esteem and self-confidence. And I would like to do that for you, my dear reader! 

It’s Time to Brave Up

Earlier this month the world celebrated International Women’s Day (March 8th). It is a day where we commemorate the cultural, political, and socioeconomic achievements and contributions of women. It is also a focal point in the women’s rights movement, bringing attention to issues such as gender equality, reproductive rights, and violence against women. Rather than [read more]

Dining IN Around the World

Are you suffering from COVID-19 fatigue? Tired of lockdown restrictions? Feeling boxed in from working, living and schooling at home? Are you hungry for the opportunity to meet up with friends at a nice restaurant, enjoy good conversation and the energizing sounds of hubbub, and savor the delightful tastes of superb food that is well [read more]

Mindful Unemployment

One of my most memorable and enlightened networking meetings was with mindfulness expert Cheryl Jones. Our meet up happened in the summer of 2009, right in the middle of a global recession. Her guest article first appeared on my website on June 17, 2009.  I feel it is still highly relevant and worthy of reposting [read more]

Wishing you a 2021derful New Year!

finds you in good health and positive spirits. With the COVID-19 vaccine distribution underway, we can see light at the end of this long and dark tunnel. But we must stay vigilant and do everything we can as individuals and communities to safeguard each others health and well-being. Our fates and futures are all connected. [read more]

Last Call for Fearless Leaders

Don’t miss out on the opportunity to become a more fearless leader and to develop more fearless leaders within your organization. August 3rd is the deadline to submit your application for The Fearless Leader program. The charter cohort group of the new 8-week group mentoring program with Kathy McAfee will commence on August 5 and run through [read more]

Cultivating Tolerance

Ever since the COVID-19 virus outbreak and the ensuing crises, I’ve noticed something about myself. I’m becoming increasingly intolerant of other people. Perhaps it is because of the increased isolation, or the fear and concern, or the frustration over the ongoing failure of leadership during these crises. Maybe all of the above. But the net [read more]

Interrupt Racism

Yesterday was a somber day. Another day when an unarmed Black American man was laid to rest after being needlessly killed by the police. Another day when we are reminded that racism exists and it hurts us all. His name was Rayshard Brooks and he was a father, a husband, and someone’s son. He was [read more]

We Need More Fearless Leaders

I feel as if we are witnessing history in the making. It’s both terrifying and exhilarating at the same time. Ordinary people are standing up with enormous amounts of courage and conviction. They are saying what needs to be said – that Black Lives Matter. They are doing what needs to be done in order [read more]

Demonstrate Courage in the Face of Injustice

I have been thinking a lot about courage and social justice and the critical role that these two factors play in upholding a civil society. Like many of you, I am deeply disturbed by the recent murders of three Black Americans – George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery – at the hands of current and [read more]

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