The One Phrase I Say For Instant Confidence

Did you know why I earned my Ph.D.?

I earned my Ph.D. because I thought if I did I'd finally feel smart.

I did all the work, I conducted all the research, I (barely) passed Statistics and I wrote that big dissertation.  I was certifiably smart. And I felt good. I did!  For a little bit. 

But eventually, old feelings of doubt about my intellectual abilities started to creep back in with every new teaching job, every new challenge.  I continued to feel like a fraud...a really well educated one.  

Turns out, feeling confident about who you are is a total inside job. 

Nobody else can convince you that you are smart except you.  No degree or mentor or partner or friend.  Sure, they all help, but eventually, there are no more degrees to get.  And your mentor is done mentoring.  And hearing it from your friends and partner becomes not enough.  

This is when you have to believe it for yourself.  You are perfect.  Perfectly smart.  Perfectly lovely.  Perfectly capable.  Perfect. Perfect. Perfect...because that is how you were created.  You were born perfect and NOTHING CHANGED.

I had a friend in high school named Devin who was wise beyond her years.  One time she said, "Celeste, you just have to believe you are perfect.  Because you are gonna mess up and if you don't believe you are still perfect anyway, life's gonna be really hard."  And I thought she was just bonkers because I saw so many ways I wasn't perfect.  (Thanks to my Enneagram 1 wing.)

So through therapy and shared experiences with friends and a great book for my morning devotionals, I started to believe I was smart and good and, well... perfect.  Not because I don't mess up, but rather because that's just the way we are all born. 

Don't misunderstand me, I still experience doubt and insecurities.  And I even still feel like an unintelligent fraud sometimes.  But I have tools that help me acknowledge those thoughts, validate where they come from and get those thoughts moving down the line.  Then I replace them with really, really good ones. 

In fact, I'll give you a little secret. I have a ritual that gives me confidence in three seconds flat.  Right before I go on stage to speak or anytime that my confidence is wavering, I look in the bathroom mirror and I tell myself these words:

(And I'm not joking here...I REALLY say this...stolen from one of my favorite movies, "Cool Runnings")

"I see pride!  I see power!  I see a badass mother who don't take crap off nobody!"

(Here's the clip if you need some inspiration too!)

Okay my friend.  If you are waiting for somebody or something else to tell you you are:

- smart
- attractive
- worthy
- capable
- desirable
- lovable

Here is your sign.  

You ARE. 

Don't take crap (like those limited thoughts) from nobody...including yourself. 

Baby you were born this way and NOTHING HAS CHANGED.

Rooting for you,


Celeste Holbrook