TRANSCRIPT: Ep. 102 Confidence Philosophy with Karen Donaldson

THE INSPIRATION PLACE PODCAST

Miriam Schulman:
Well hello, this is your host, artist Miriam Schulman and you’re listening to episode number 102 of the Inspiration Place Podcast. I am so honored that you’re here. Today we’re talking all about confidence and in this episode, you’ll discover why your words matter, you’ll learn three body language tips that will instantly boost your confidence and you’ll also discover how lack of confidence affects every area of your life including things like time management.

Today’s guest is a celebrity communication body language and confidence coach and international speaker. AKA the confidence disrupter. She is the go-to expert for Cosmopolitan, Women’s Health Magazine, and Bustle and a regular guest expert for both local and national media. She’s committed to helping ready and willing individuals become that confident leader and communicator who’s comfortable in their own skin and whom others are drawn to and want to follow.

Our guest disrupts what people believe to be true about confidence so they can show up as the best possible version of themselves. She not only coaches professionals, senior executives, celebrities, and entrepreneurs across the globe. She also speaks and has spoken on stages and virtual stages across North America, Europe, and Africa. Please welcome to the Inspiration Place, Karen Donaldson. Hey Karen, welcome to the show.

Karen Donaldson:
Hey Miriam, thank you so much for having me. I am excited to be here.

Miriam Schulman:
This topic about confidence is probably the number one stumbling block I see with artists whether they want to paint for fun or whether they want to make a career out of it. This is the number one thing that they say they struggle with so I’m so excited that you’re here and I know we have a lot to talk about today but before I hit the record button you started to tell me about some sort of backyard vacation and I want to hear a little more about it.

Karen Donaldson:
Oh, thanks so much for asking. Vacation is huge for me and one of the things that I’ve instituted into my business and my life is that I work for three weeks out of the month and the last week of the year I take a vacation and I currently reside in Canada and I normally head to summer hot but because of what’s happening in the world I can’t travel or I can’t fly right now so my husband for my birthday he created a beach oasis. So we have two chairs that you’d have at the resort, we have a middle table and it’s a stone patio and he bought a piece of turf to put underneath it.

Miriam Schulman:
Really?

Karen Donaldson:
Oh yeah, it’s so gorgeous. So that’s my backyard oasis right now and as I come to the last week of the month that is my vacation spot.

Miriam Schulman:
Did he put a kiddie pool out there too?

Karen Donaldson:
We were tempted. You know what it’s something I’d do but my kids would kill me. They’re like, “Mother don’t you dare.” Because right now Miriam I go out in my swimsuit with my cover-up. I totally go out in my bikini. I don’t care, so my kids would have been so embarrassed, so no kiddie pool.

Miriam Schulman:
Yeah, I’m so tired of guys complaining about wearing a mask. I mean us girls wear a bra in this heat all the time. It’s like just try wearing a bra for a week in July.

Karen Donaldson:
Tell me about it.

Miriam Schulman:
It’s like we know all about the hot sweaty bandages around things.

Karen Donaldson:
In any weather, yes we do. Too familiar.

Miriam Schulman:
Yes. Yeah, I’m definitely missing vacation time too. Thank God we do have an annual vacation we like to take to Cape Cod which is great because you can drive there. When we’re there we’re pretty much social distanced anyway because we’re all vegetarians and it’s really hard to eat vegetarian on the Cape because everything’s seafood and french fries and stuff like that.

Yeah okay so let’s dive in because I don’t think people really want to hear about my vacation. Okay, let’s start with what I’m burning to ask you about because this confidence disrupter, what is that? Why do they call you that?

Karen Donaldson:
They call me that because the way I go about helping people show up more confident in any area of their life is slightly different, right? And I want to share my philosophy around confidence if it’s okay with you.

Miriam Schulman:
Yeah.

Karen Donaldson:
Okay, let’s do it.

Miriam Schulman:
That’s one of my questions. I should have asked that first. Karen, what is your philosophy about confidence?

Karen Donaldson:
Great question Miriam.

Miriam Schulman:
Okay so by the way, my listeners, just so you know Karen and I do know each other already. She played a practical joke on me earlier today. Are you ready for our 7:30 interview? I think you remember that’s when I already have pajamas on and have told my family I’m going to bed.

Karen Donaldson:
Totally.

Miriam Schulman:
Oh, you too right? Or you just remember that about me.

Karen Donaldson:
No, I remember that about you.

Miriam Schulman:
Because I’m such a nerd oh my God.

Karen Donaldson:
That’s okay. That’s okay. All right, so let’s get to the goods. Confidence. Here’s the thing when people think about confidence Miriam the first thing they say is, “I want to know how to feel more confident. What do I need to do to feel more confident?” And what I tell people is you’re going about it the wrong way and if you continue to try to feel confident you will never ever succeed.

Miriam Schulman:
That is not what I hear. What I hear from people and I hope your cool with this back and forth.

Karen Donaldson:
Oh heck yeah.

Miriam Schulman:
What I hear from my artists is they will feel confident when they have successful events. So for my artists, they will feel confident after they sold art and I’m always trying to tell them it’s the other way around. So is that still in line with your philosophy?

Karen Donaldson:
Nope, not at all. Perfect conversation.

Miriam Schulman:
Awesome, yes let’s talk about this.

Karen Donaldson:
[crosstalk 00:07:15] Let’s talk about it here. Here’s the reality whether people believe it or not. Confidence is not an emotion. Happiness, sadness, excitement is an emotion. Confidence is not an emotion and that’s the misconception people have. Here’s what confidence actually is. It’s a behavior and an attitude which we’re always in control of.

Confidence is actually a choice and when I work with my clients and collectors around shifting their beliefs that’s when their life starts to shift.

Miriam Schulman:
I love what you’re saying by the way. I never thought of it as not being an emotion but I 100% agree that it’s a choice.

Karen Donaldson:
Right.

Miriam Schulman:
And you have to choose to be confident first, yeah?

Karen Donaldson:
Definitely but let me go deeper. So when I tell you confidence is not an emotion people can continue to try to feel confident but I’m just trying to show people how to stop wasting time. Here’s the reality, I want you to think back to a time where you acted confidently. A time where you acted confidently. So everyone envision that. Take a moment and envision that. Now ask yourself in that moment where you acted confidently how were you actually feeling? Right? And what was happening for you?

Miriam Schulman:
Do you want me to play the game with you?

Karen Donaldson:
You got it, please do.

Miriam Schulman:
All right. For me and what I think a lot of other people feel, it’s more like they feel confident when they’re certain.

Karen Donaldson:
All right so let’s stay with that word certain. What do you need to be, who do you need to be, what do you need to do to feel more certain going into situations? And that’s what we look at controlling because that’s a choice. Got it? So now if we focus on whatever you identified which was for you, certain now we play with the certain.

Okay, Miriam how can you feel more certain in life in these scenarios where you “don’t feel confident?” And when we put the emphasis on and show you that you know how to feel certain at any given time then you can act confidently at any given moment and when you start to redefine it in that manner I challenge people to try that for the next seven days. Let go of the word feeling confident.

Ask yourself what is a true feeling that had you act confidently because that’s what it’s truly about and that’s how we get results faster and that’s what everyone’s looking for. So you can work with the feeling of confidence or shift it just a bit.

Miriam Schulman:
Okay but certainty, I’m thinking about this out loud is not really a feeling either. Because that’s something that happens inside your head. That’s not something that happens in your heart.

Karen Donaldson:
You’re absolutely correct but what I have shared with you was what do you need to do to be more certain in life, right? I’ll continue, it would be a longer conversation, how else do you feel? So I want you to describe your feelings. So you need to be certain, so that might be prepared and X, Y, Zed. How have you felt when you showed up with confidence in a certain scenario? How were you feeling?

Miriam Schulman:
Okay, you’re asking the wrong person I have no feelings, I’m like a robot.

Karen Donaldson:
That’s what my kids say to me.

Miriam Schulman:
We’re badass businesswomen. All my feelings I put in my art I don’t like to talk about my feelings. I have feelings I just don’t like to look there.

Karen Donaldson:
No, I got it. So this is just the question I ask all the listeners.

Miriam Schulman:
Lets us a case study like somebody you’ve worked with that actually has feelings since we’ve already established that I don’t have as many feelings as maybe your ideal client does.

Karen Donaldson:
Oh absolutely. So I actually had a coaching call, so she’s a communications/confidence coaching client. So she is currently a senior manager and her intention was to be more confident in her interactions so she can lead up to advancement in her organization and when she was on of course right now it’s all virtual meetings and people are working from home.

Karen Donaldson:
She was not apparent so she’d show up at the meetings and no one would hear her. When she spoke up she didn’t show up powerfully so people didn’t know who she was or she wasn’t consistent either. So here is the key thing, the question I asked her was have you ever shown up confidently in your life and the answer is yes. Don’t relegate it to the area that you think that your “unconfident.” Let’s talk about that time you were confident and what happened around it and what were you feeling?

So for her, her whole thing was okay when I acted confidently, and I can’t remember the example, we’ve been coaching for about two months but nonetheless, the thing she identified was she’s super happy and excited. So I asked her, “What is it you need to do to feel happy and excited?” And she said and we have to find it for ourselves that’s the one here Miriam, there’s not one fit for all.

Happy and excited those were her feelings so whatever she needed to do to feel happy and excited for her it was look at pictures of her kids. She’s a mom, look at pictures of her kids. Whenever she went into certain scenarios right now she looks at images of her kids that she has on her phone. This is her tool, I’m not saying it works for everyone but she found that feeling and she had a tool to bring about that feeling.

So when it was time to show up on the call, the virtual call which is what she’s doing right now she could act confidently because she had that feeling, happiness, and excitement of being a great mom. So it’s refinding those things and being intentional about what we need to do instead of waiting for a feeling and closing our eyes and hoping it comes. That’s what success is about. It’s about intention.

It’s why I always ask the question what are you intentionally doing to set yourself up for success?

Miriam Schulman:
Do you use visualization with your clients to visualize that they’re going to be successful at the meeting before they get there or that’s not really part of it for you?

Karen Donaldson:
It absolutely is and what I want to share is different things work for different people and we’ll go over a bunch of things here but one piece is that. Visualization is huge. Where do you see yourself? Where are you? See yourself there right now. And another big piece outside of the visualization Miriam is this, be conscious of the conversation that you’re having about yourself in your own head because that fuels or detracts from your ability to act confidently.

So ask yourself as you go into different scenarios what are you saying to yourself? Is it supportive or is it pulling you back? Right?

Miriam Schulman:
The self talk you mean, the negative self-talk.

Karen Donaldson:
You got it, negative self-talk and if you haven’t stopped yourself and said, “I choose to speak to myself in this way.” Your assimilating to what you’re used to. You’re running a pattern that’s basically been running for five, 10 years, weeks, 20 years for some people. It’s about intention. When it comes to building your ability to show up confidently it’s all about intention.

Miriam Schulman:
Okay, I want to circle back now about something you had said earlier just to make sure I understood it. So with your client who looked at pictures of her family to feel happy, is it always feeling happy? Is that the emotion you’re always trying to feel happy or is it a different emotion that sometimes somebody needs to plug into?

Karen Donaldson:
You have to define what that emotion is for you. For her, that’s what she identified. So don’t try and find a fit as far as my client, find a fit for you.

Miriam Schulman:
Got it. Okay, so we have to think about when we have felt confident.

Karen Donaldson:
No, when you’ve shown up and acted.

Miriam Schulman:
Okay, love that.

Karen Donaldson:
You got it.

Miriam Schulman:
When you’ve shown up confidently what was the feeling associated with it is that right?

Karen Donaldson:
Absolutely.

Miriam Schulman:
Okay. My pandemic project was the re-read the entire Harry Potter series from scratch, all seven books, and then when I finished that we started watching the movies. One of the movies, my favorite one is Prisoner of Azkaban where Harry has to produce a patronous which is this special charm and the way to produce it to get this spell to work, his professor says you have to think of something really happy.

And the whole movie was about leading up to trying to produce the spell the chase off the, they call them dementors but really it’s also a metaphor for these negative feelings. And at the end of the movie, he’s finally able to do it. There was some time travel happening where he saw himself in the future already doing it. The way he was able to do it was he knew already that he could do it.

In order to produce the spell, he had to have the confidence. He had to get there with this very strong emotion and for this spell, it happened to be happiness. So you say it doesn’t always have to be happiness but it has to be a very strong emotion. So to get there, he had to come up with an emotion that was strong enough to get him there. So when you’re working with your clients do you ever find well wait a minute this emotion maybe isn’t even strong enough to get to where you want to go? Can we find something that’s in your client’s case, happier or what would be another emotion that gets them to that next place other than happy?

Karen Donaldson:
We go deeper and the question that I have for people is, what do you believe to be true about yourself? What is your self-belief? In any given situation and let’s talk about this area that you would like to show up more confidently in. What is your current self-belief? Because quite often if you’re “not feeling confident” it’s because your self-belief has not been intentional.

And if you’ve never asked yourself that question what do I believe to be true about myself it has been placed in your head by someone else. What you’ve read, what you’ve listened to, what you’ve heard, what you haven’t heard, the mistakes that you’ve made, or the achievements that you haven’t achieved. So this is where we pause for a moment and we tie it to what you believe to be true for yourself. Let’s bring it back to my client.

So when we went deeper, this happy feeling and excited feeling I went deeper on okay your kids drive that emotion got it? What do you believe to be true about yourself as a mother? She was like, “Oh when it comes to being a mom I am a kick-ass mom. No one can play with my kids.” So do you see this big emotion around it? So when we can tie an emotion to what you believe to be true about yourself and if you can find it within somewhere it’s fine but if not you have to intentionally choose it. That drove her to the emotion of excited and happy which had her and allowed her to show up confidently when she’s now online.

And let me tell you what happened. We had a conversation today, her coaching call and we always start our coaching calls where I say, “Okay we’re only talking about wins, what worked? Tell me what’s happening?” And she said her director had her lead a meeting with senior managers. She’s a senior manager she was working with senior VPs and managing the meeting and now they’re able to acknowledge who was on the call which was her. Right?

Then she received an email from her senior manager’s manager, so the VP who reached out to her. I was just about to say her name. I didn’t. Who reached out to her and said, “You know what? I am so happy to see you show up. I don’t know what you’re doing but keep doing it because we now see you.” And it’s not a visual meeting, it’s over the Zoom platform but it’s only an audio meeting. So you see when your intentional about wanting to show up confidently and it’s driven by a belief and it’s driven by intentional self-belief, anything is possible.

When I work with athletes it’s the exact same thing. What are you choosing to be true about yourself? Because whatever you think, we talk about why your words matter, it’s not why your words matter when you’re talking to other people. The first conversation, the most important conversation is a conversation we have with ourselves.

Miriam Schulman:
Okay so let’s back up a little bit because when you say our words matter, you’re not talking about word choice are you?

Karen Donaldson:
Not when we start. Absolutely not. It doesn’t even matter what you choose to say. It matters about the choice of words that you have with yourself about yourself.

Miriam Schulman:
Those words, okay.

Karen Donaldson:
Those words.

Miriam Schulman:
Hey. Sorry to interrupt this awesome conversation but I wanted to make sure that you knew that I do have room inside my Artist Incubator program. If you’re lacking a solid strategy and a winning mindset and your disappointed with your current art sales I can help with that. If you’ve been listening to this podcast and you find my tips helpful then maybe its time to take the next logical step and work with me on a deeper level.

The Artist Incubator program is for professional artists who want to take their art business to the next level. If you’re ready to invest in your art career and join a dynamic community of artists who are doing the same thing you can go to schulmanart.com/biz as in letter B-I-Z to apply now. There’s no fee or commitment to apply and those who qualify will get a free strategy call with me. Just go to schulmanart.com/biz. Now back to the show.

I love the examples you’re giving of the clients but I do want to pull in from my world and my audience the things that I hear. Oh, I haven’t been doing it long enough. No one will pay that for my art. These are all lack of confidence and they say it like they’re true. Like this is the facts. And I was just speaking to a potential client today and her art is unbelievable. Unbelievable. Like I went through the Facebook group, picked out three people, she was somebody I contacted. She said, “Yeah but I’ve only been doing this a month.” I was like, yeah but… For her, that was the big excuse stopper.

And I was like, “Okay well what are you trying to say? You don’t want me to help you?” Because she says she wants to make art for a living and then the other thing that comes up is not even able to, and I really feel this is a confidence issue, Karen. I’ll ask them, “How much money do you want to make a year?” She couldn’t even fill that number into the application because she had so little belief in her ability to produce anything with her art. Do you see that too with clients? The confidence connected to the ability to earn, confidence connected to how long they’ve been doing it, and some sort of story that they’re saying?

Karen Donaldson:
Correct. Great question and great examples and I get those similar examples with clients who say “No one will pay for my work or my coaching.” Or in your case art. We have to pause and I encourage people to pause. Ask yourself where this belief came from because I promise you primarily it’s not from you. You’ve heard it often enough or you’ve experienced something often enough that you believe it to still be true right now. And what I challenge people to do is choose what they believe to be true not based on yesterday, not based on the event that you did two years ago and no one showed up. Not based on that one art show that you did but you didn’t sell and art piece. But based on it right now.

What do you believe to be true? And it can be simple and I always tell people the small wins count. So what do you believe to be true about your art right now? Do you love your art? Do you like your art? Why do you like your art? Allow people their moment within their world because when you believe in yourself within your world that’s what you project. But what we do instead of giving ourselves grace and cheering ourselves on within our world the opposite side of that is we compare with everyone else outside.

Miriam Schulman:
Yeah. Let me ask you a question because this client that I’m speaking about specifically, the beautiful art, we’re going to make up a name for her just to make it easy. This is not by any means her real name. Jane.

Karen Donaldson:
Jane.

Miriam Schulman:
Jane, poor Jane.

Karen Donaldson:
Let’s talk about some Jane.

Miriam Schulman:
So, Jane, I was one the Zoom call with her a long time and what she wanted from me was she just wants me to meet with her and to give her feedback on her art to make it better and I’m already telling her your art is beautiful just as it is. So when I’m asking you about confidence, lets just play the game that I did exactly what Jane wanted and I met with her every week and we looked at her art, I says, “Yes it’s beautiful, yes you’re ready.” Does that even work to build somebody’s confidence to keep complimenting them?

Karen Donaldson:
Absolutely not. Absolutely not.

Miriam Schulman:
Yeah, I didn’t think so.

Karen Donaldson:
No, it’s surface.

Miriam Schulman:
Because she wanted it to be like a bridge before getting… Like I don’t even know what to tell her. Her art’s fine just the way it is. So what are we going to do together?

Karen Donaldson:
I would ask you to switch it because when we commend people, people believe and that’s what we’ve been trained and groomed to think. The more compliments someone receives it boosts their ego. It can but it doesn’t last. It doesn’t last because if I have to wait for external factors to boost me, there will be a lot of times in life where there will be no one on the outside saying, “Go, Karen, go you can do it.” And what do you do? And that’s just called life if you’re a human being.

So let’s go back to Jane for a second. As she receives the compliments in between those weekly calls which is why she needs the weekly calls, she doesn’t have a clue about how to control how she feels about herself.

Miriam Schulman:
Yeah, and by the way, she came up with that weekly because I was just playing along with her. I said, “Well what would this look like for you? Once a month check-in and we do a feedback?” And she said, “No every week.”

Karen Donaldson:
Yeah.

Miriam Schulman:
I was like, “Okay.”

Karen Donaldson:
I get that. I would flip the question and say when you look at her artwork or she brings it about, I’d ask a question, “What do you like the most?” And I don’t use love yet when people are just starting out. What do you like? Give me the top three things that you like about your artwork? And why do you like that? So that’s what it is. That’s what you want to portray. I love this art piece because my favorite color is yellow and when I see yellow it just brings me so much energy and it reminds me of being on the beach on vacation and that’s just my happy place.

Then I switch it and I move into, don’t you want someone else to experience that happy place? So why are you keeping it to yourself? So what’s true about you? Are you a great artist? Tell me about this. Keep it simple instead of going grand let’s talk about this piece, why do they love it?

Miriam Schulman:
Sorry I just have to interrupt this interview because I wanted to let you know that I just started a brand new totally free Facebook group called the Artist Profit Lab. This new group is designed specifically for artists who want to make a living from their art. And during the month of August, I’ll be sharing resources for learning how to create online art classes.

Unlike selling your art in person through galleries or the art festival circuit online class creators can truly live life on their own terms. Not only has 2020 proven the online class market to be recession-proof but the additional income and flexibility allows you to enjoy financial and creative freedom all year long. If you’re looking for more information and support to build your online art classes then I invite you to join us inside the Artist Profit Lab. Just go to schulmanart.com/lab as in L-A-B. Now back to the show.

The big thing that I know is a big overlap between people you coach and my artists is that whole idea of but I’m just starting out.

Karen Donaldson:
I love that comment no matter who you look at and the only reason you’re making that comment to all of the listeners who say that is because you’re comparing yourself to someone else. Please do realize that whoever you’re comparing yourself to just started out at some time in their life and the question you need to start asking yourself, why don’t I believe that I’m enough right now? Why is it always later? And then you switch it to why am I enough right now? Why am I worthy to receive instead of Miriam I’m telling I think I should charge $20 for this piece and you’re saying, “Are you crazy? It should be at least $500.”

Miriam Schulman:
By the way that would be the exact conversation that I might have with somebody. I was like, “Is this an original or a print?” You’re trying to exaggerate but I’ve seen that.

Karen Donaldson:
And I’m devowing it. And going back to the self-belief, what’s true about you as an artist? What do you believe to be true and what do you want to be true? And what you want to be true you have to plant there, it’s not going to show up because you will find someone who will come to you, this might be an experience or not, who has been doing this for five years but to them, I’ve only been doing it five years. Because they’re comparing it with the artists who’ve been out there for 25.

And I say this, my signature language is this, stop it. You were born enough. You were born with everything you need to succeed and the only person who doesn’t believe it is you.

Miriam Schulman:
I’m going to give Jen Lane her credit for this. This is a mic drop thing. We were talking with another friend and the other friend was talking about her podcast and saying it’s not ready, “I feel it’s not ready.” And Jen was like, “You want to give birth to a toddler. You have to give birth to a baby first.”

Karen Donaldson:
I love it.

Miriam Schulman:
Right?

Karen Donaldson:
You have to start to get better and correct along the way.

Miriam Schulman:
Right? You start with a baby and the baby grows. You don’t give birth to a chubby toddler or to a 16-year-old or an adult doesn’t come out of her vajajay. It’s like it’s a baby first. It’s the same thing with our talent and our business and our careers, they all have to start as babies and we can’t just hide them until they’re grown up.

Karen Donaldson:
Correct. Correct.

Miriam Schulman:
They wouldn’t grow up normally.

Karen Donaldson:
You have to start it. They would never grow up.

Miriam Schulman:
Imagine that child how damaged it would be.

Karen Donaldson:
I’m birthing a teenager. There you go. Welcome.

Miriam Schulman:
And it comes out smoking pot or something. Like we didn’t get to do the fun stuff. That’s why you’re already an issue for me.

Karen Donaldson:
Oh my goodness Miriam you know but the thing is when people start the other piece is I push people across the start line because sometimes people need that. And here’s the thing, now you no longer have the excuse of it being your first time. After it’s your first time you can go back there again and know that your first time will be different than your third. Your tenth time will be much more improved but you have to start to get there. Right? You have to start to get there.

So choose your belief about yourself no matter if it’s just you know what, I’m great with watercolors and because I believe that I’m great with watercolors I won’t even go to oil paintings. Watercolors, this is what I’m going to do right now. This is what I’m going to do and put out in the world but get started. But the really important piece that people really walk over Miriam is you’ve never asked yourself what you believe to be true about yourself. And it’s formulated by everything else, right? Based on assimilation and just honestly osmosis.

If you hear enough things it’s called conditioning. If you think of yourself anyone who has family or kids when you drive or when you’re driving different places you hear a recurring song on the radio and at no time did you ever read the lyrics but by the fifth time you’ve heard that song you know all the words and you might even hate the song. It’s the same thing. If you keep running a verbal message about yourself in your head that you haven’t chosen you believe it to be true.

Miriam Schulman:
It’s like my mom used to say, change that tape in your head.

Karen Donaldson:
Yes. Yes.

Miriam Schulman:
She said it mostly to my sister, I was not guilty of that of course because I’m perfect.

Karen Donaldson:
Of course not you.

Miriam Schulman:
No. And we already established I have no feelings.

Karen Donaldson:
We already know that.

Miriam Schulman:
My audience loves tips.

Karen Donaldson:
Right.

Miriam Schulman:
Now I know what we’ve talked about so far is a much bigger conversation that tips but Karen we promised three body language tips so please help us with that.

Karen Donaldson:
All right. Let’s talk about body language. This is such a huge conversation.

Miriam Schulman:
By the way, go to karendonaldson.-

Karen Donaldson:
Karendonaldsoninc, I-N-C.com

Miriam Schulman:
Okay. That one. What she said and this is the freebie but go ahead and give it to us now.

Karen Donaldson:
Absolutely, so body language cues that help to boost your confidence. One of them is essentially taking up more space. When we’re fearful or feeling powerless we make ourselves smaller. So to physically feel better about yourself you want to take up more space. So if you’re standing you want to ensure that your feet are below your hips.

Instead of putting your legs closer together when you feel your legs directly underneath your hips just picture this, I want you to picture that you have a thread or a rope through the middle of your skull at the top and you’re like a marionette so like a puppet.

Miriam Schulman:
Okay clearly she too ballet, I just want everyone to know because that is what every ballet teacher said to me.

Karen Donaldson:
Yes. Yeah, I’m a professional dancer. That was the first chapter of my life. And you pull yourself tall and you bring your shoulders back and then exhale so you’re not sticking out your chest and you straighten from the base of your back. That is essentially a power pose and the energy that actually flows through your body increases and we also cut off any areas that blood would be constricted.

So on a physicality level, your blood starts to flow which gives us more energy because the blood is being pumped to our organs as we’re supposed to. So take up more space. Now for those of you who are sitting down you also want to take up more space and what I mean by that is don’t cross your arms, don’t cross your legs. Sit comfortably. So if someone wants to push you over you wouldn’t fall over easily. That is one confident body language cue that we should all be using.

Another one is super simple. Smile. You might say, “Karen are you serious?” Yeah, I’m totally serious. And you want to ensure if you’re with other people one of the quickest ways to build rapport with someone is to smile. Now you might say, “Well Karen I’m an artist I paint by myself.” What I want you to do is find moments where you can go in the mirror, find a mirror, and look into your own eyes and smile at yourself. And this exercise is super hard for a lot of people because we hate to look at ourselves.

What that also helps with is your self-belief. Building your self-belief that you’re enough and that you’re worthy. That also builds your confidence. So I have some clients before they go on stage because I also train public speakers and speakers in general. They bring either their phone or they bring a little compact and they smile behind the stage to give themselves energy.

Miriam Schulman:
Oh, interesting.

Karen Donaldson:
Absolutely. So-

Miriam Schulman:
Okay, so number one, power pose, number two, smile even if nobody’s looking and what’s number three?

Karen Donaldson:
And number three when it comes to body language, I’ll have to give you two. Now when you’re with other people because here’s the thing we don’t work in silos and we have partnerships and things like that. One of the ways to show that you’re interested in whoever you’re speaking to or speaking with and this is a face to face interaction, you want to ensure that not only is your body squarely facing the person in front of you, you want to ensure that your toes are pointed in their direction.

So studies show, so subconsciously when we want to be somewhere with someone or be in a conversation, our toes point in the direction of where they are. Now, when someone does not want to be in a conversation, they’re feeling nervous just don’t want to be there, their toes are pointed away from the person. This is a subconscious cue. So you’re going to watch for it as well.

Miriam Schulman:
I’m a huge introvert I don’t know if that also comes across as part of my nerdy MO.

Karen Donaldson:
Nope not at all but go ahead.

Miriam Schulman:
I like small groups. I often have or had I don’t know if it’s present tense or not trouble figuring out when to break into conversations. And one of the visual cues that I use is that if the two people their feet are both facing each other I know I can’t really break into that but if at least one of them their feet are opened up not totally away, not like what you’re talking about, like they really want to get away but maybe it’s first position.

Karen Donaldson:
You got it.

Miriam Schulman:
Then I know that I can easily break into that and join that conversation.

Karen Donaldson:
You are right on track and that is a subconscious body language cue that most people don’t realize that they’re in tune with but that’s how we also read situations. You were a bit more intentional because of your background you have some experience [crosstalk 00:35:15].

Miriam Schulman:
Well, I always had trouble with that and then my friend Michael Roderick a guest of this show, I’ll be sure to link to his episode he taught me that little trick just look at their feet and you can tell and I’ve been using it ever since.

Karen Donaldson:
Exactly. Exactly.

Miriam Schulman:
Okay, I love it. So we have posture, we have smiling and we have feet.

Karen Donaldson:
You’ve got it.

Miriam Schulman:
Okay. So now we also promised to talk about how increasing your confidence is going to help you in other areas of your life.

Karen Donaldson:
Right.

Miriam Schulman:
Or the reverse question which is really how a lack of confidence adversely affects your life. So you can take it either way.

Karen Donaldson:
All right let’s talk about lack of confidence and it adversely affecting your life.

Miriam Schulman:
I think that’s what people are more familiar with actually.

Karen Donaldson:
Right, definitely. Lack of confidence. It has a showing up in a manner that’s powerless. When we have a lack of confidence we don’t speak up for ourselves. When we have a lack of confidence we don’t know how to get what we have in our head and want to say actually out of our mouth. Right?

When we have a lack of confidence we are living in our fears and here’s the thing and I want to say it if there’s any guardians or parents listening to this when we show up with a lack of confidence we teach the people around us that it’s okay to live in fear. You know we always say as parents, we always say something like “Do what I say not what I do.” They totally don’t and I don’t even want to say it’s just kids. There are people who are looking up to you.

You’re showcasing that you live in fear so lack of confidence just stops you in so many different ways. So let me talk about how you can switch that and one exercise that I give my clients to do is this, it’s called the seven-second rule. And once you have an idea or you feel motivated to do something you need to act on it ASAP and I will say give yourself seven-seconds.

Because here’s what happens, when you have an idea and you don’t act on it within seven-seconds doubts start to set in and what happens next is the doubts take over and you take no action at all. So I have people who count in their head seven, six, before they get to one they need to take action because what also happens and I won’t get into neural plasticity, the science of neural plasticity is we revert back to our pattern.

And the way we create and let’s say your pattern is not speaking up when you want to. So we have to create a new pattern and the way we create a new pattern is we have to replace it with something and reduce the amount of time we do something else. It even comes to addictions as well. So when you want to replace an addiction pattern if you don’t replace it with something else you’ll always go back to that pattern. So seven-second rule once again everyone, seven-seconds to take action on it.

You build this new habit, you keep doing it then all of a sudden you won’t find yourself hesitating to raise your hand or hesitating to speak up. That’s one thing to build your ability to act confidently. You’re just building a brand new muscle. Another thing that I often have clients do is this, and it’s basically third person declarations or some people call them affirmations and it goes back to that self-belief and self-talk.

Third person is, “Karen you’ve got this. Karen your work is beautiful.” Studies show that when we speak to ourselves in the third person it helps to regulate our emotions.

Miriam Schulman:
So let me just highlight what you said because this is huge. I should say to myself not “Hey you got this.” Not I got this but, “Hey Miriam you’ve got this.” I just felt this vibration go through me when I said that. That’s so cool.

Karen Donaldson:
It is cool. Let me tie in something here.

Miriam Schulman:
Why is that? Because it’s like I become like an exterior voice?

Karen Donaldson:
Okay, let me give you a concrete example. If a friend came to you and said, “Miriam I have this piece of artwork it just sucks. You know what I did it, it was sloppy. It sucks.” What would you say to me? You’d say something supportive correct? Do you see how easy it is to respond to an outsider in a way that’s supportive? When we talk to ourselves in third person we can’t go back to that natural behavior as if we were speaking to someone.

So our pattern to support someone who says, “Miriam I suck what do you think?” We’re not going to say, “Yeah I think you suck too.” We’re saying, “Karen no way that work is beautiful.” So that’s our pattern, got it?

Miriam Schulman:
Basically, it’s the complete opposite of inner critic, it’s outer I don’t know what the word would be.

Karen Donaldson:
Outer supporter.

Miriam Schulman:
Outer supporter, thank you.

Karen Donaldson:
You got it. You got it. So those are two, like I mean if there’s anything you leave this podcast with, this fabulous podcast with the beautiful Miriam is leave with the seven-second rule and third-person… I like the word affirmation but I love declaration. You’re declaring that I’ve got this right? You’re switching from I got this to Karen you’ve got this. You just feel that different because that’s how we support other people. We do whatever we need to show up confidently in every situation.

Same thing with athletes. When they’re on the track, when they’re playing a hockey game, when they’re on the penalty line it’s not I got this, it’s Michelle I got this. Sam, you got this. Chantelle you’re an outstanding speaker. Mike you’re going to show up like a powerhouse. Right? Sam you’re going to walk in this room like you’re a million bucks. And all of a sudden your walking in like a million bucks. It all goes back to choices.

Miriam Schulman:
This is a perfect place to wrap up, I love this. All right so if somebody wants to work further with you tell us about the boot camp. The confidence boot camp for men and women.

Karen Donaldson:
Thank you so much for asking. I’m a believer as you’ve been hearing here that confidence is a choice and it’s not an emotion and when we start to become serious about wanting to show up in more situations in a confident manner we need something to support us so we can switch our patterns. So I developed something called the confidence boot camp for men and confidence boot camp for women where the focus is to learn how to speak up. I give you the tools to learn how to speak up more.

Miriam Schulman:
It is a segregated program.

Karen Donaldson:
It is. There is one for women and there is one for men. Because a few different concepts in there. So the one for women specifically called Learn How to Speak Up, Master Your Body Language, and Be Heard in Your Relationships. And with the boot camp for men, it’s Learn How to Speak Up, Show Up Like an Alpha Male, Master Your Body Language, and Be Heard in Your Relationships.

And it’s not a traditional or it’s not your typical confidence program. It’s an online program so you can take your time with it but it’s made to be done over 30 days. And I promise you that the knowledge that you read and listen to in it can be used ASAP because I’m a practical person.

I know you don’t want theory because theory doesn’t matter. It’s the ability to put whatever you’ve learned or re-heard into action and that’s what I provide in a confidence boot camp for men and confidence boot camp for women. So many fabulous rating reviews.

Miriam Schulman:
We’ll make sure that we link to both of those inside the show notes, which is schulmanart.com/102. All right, do you have any last words for my listeners before we call this podcast complete?

Karen Donaldson:
Definitely. Words and actions of others do not define you. You define you. There comes a time when you have to choose and be intentional about what you believe to be true about yourself and in any given area of your life just a reminder, if you are feeling not as up to par or not feeling as excited or realistically seeing that you’re not as confident and you can’t act confident in a situation it starts with your self-belief. Pause and ask yourself what do I believe to be true about myself in this situation? Those are my parting words.

Miriam Schulman:
Beautiful. Karen thank you so much for joining us here today you are so awesome. Above and beyond expectations. All right, if you loved what you heard today as well would you please leave me a review? We’ve now made it so much easier for you to do that. Just pop on over to ratethispodcast.com/inspire.

By the way, if you add your Instagram handle at the end of the review I’ll even give you a shout out over on my IG stories. Oh and let me let my international listeners know I only see the U.S. reviews so screenshot it and sent it to me and then I’ll give you a shout out I promise. All right guys thank you so much for being with me here today. I’ll see you the same time, same place next week. Make it a great one.

Thank you for listening to the Inspiration Place podcast. Connect with us on Facebook at Facebook.com/schulmanart, on Instagram @schulmanart, and of course on schulmanart.com.

Miriam Schulman:
Hey there if you like what you’ve learned today in this podcast or all my podcasts please make sure you visit our brand new free Facebook group The Artist Profit Lab. In August, I’m running a free workshop for those who want to build digital art classes. We’re doing a challenge that kicks off August 17th in the Profit Lab. In this challenge, you’ll learn how to narrow down your course topic, choose your technology, and get started. I’d love for you to join the party so please consider this your personal invitation. Just go to schulmanart.com/lab.

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