I posed naked for an art class.

The girls who ran the Art Club asked me “How do you want the lights? Brighter, dimmer?”

I remember laughing & joking “Can we just turn them off?”

I dared myself to do this. Although it was nerve-wracking, I’m SO glad I did.

See, I used to RUN from things that scared me. Now I run towards them.

For the last 8 yeas, I’ve been a Confidence Coach. But it wasn’t always that way.

In fact, I was a shy anxious kid who barely had any friends (cute, eh?)

Here are 3 things that helped ME become my most confident self.

Try em. Soon you’ll look in the mirror and say “I really like that person.”

1) Don’t Do Busywork to Avoid Vulnerable Work.

One time I learned how to make cheese from scratch just to avoid having a tough convo with a friend. I couldn’t meet up because I was “busy.”

Look, we are all good at procrastinating. Moving important things to “later…” But we don’t actually procrastinate because we’re lazy. We do it because we’re scared. Sometimes we’re scared of failing at something we REALLY want. Sometimes, we’re scared of having a painful conversation, with others or with ourselves.

THIS, my dear, is the Vulnerable Work. Where all the magic happens. All the growth. All the pain. All the triumph.

For example, I see many amazing experts finding EVERY excuse to avoid the Vulnerable Work of sales. They’ll input data for their business… they’ll write content all day… behind the safety of their computer….

BUT when you ask yourself to be courageous… to do the hard thing you’ve been avoiding…. you can’t HELP but become more confident.

YOU have just proven that you are bigger, better, stronger, badder than this “tough” thing.

And you’ll learn SO much about yourself in the process.

In university, I realized this. I was on a mission to prioritize the Vulnerable Work.

It changed my life.

I signed up for a debate tournament.

Went to NYC for a month alone.

Performed at a poetry slam in front of a HUGE group of strangers.

Had tough, honest conversations with people I loved.

What’s your Vulnerable Work? Quit making homemade cheese and do it!

 2) Have a Daily Negotiation Practice.

Free chair. Free lemon. Free case of Oreos to prank my friend.

These are just SOME of the fun results of my daily negotiation practice.

I ask my clients to do this as well.

One reason you’re not as confident as you want to be is because you fear rejection.

The word NO can break you; it makes you feel undeserving & unworthy.

Try this. Every day, ask for something.

Something courageous. Perhaps something for free, an exception to a rule, a collaboration or barter. Propose a deal.

(Go to the Farmer’s Market. Or a garage sale. Or call your phone company….)

If you DON’T ask, 0 points.

If you ask & get a YES, 1 point.

If you ask & get a NO…. 2 points!

Why? I want you to start celebrating NO.

It means you tapped into your courage & asked for what you wanted!

It doesn’t matter the result…. just show up, ask & you win either way.

In the process, you’ll become remarkably confident.

You’ve completely desensitized yourself to NO!

Now you’re primed to fearlessly get YES.

 3) Cut Out Toxic People Unapologetically.

When I got into a fancy pants Masters program that only accepts 7 people a year, I was SO excited!

I went to tell my dad and he said “yes… but what will you do with it?”

When I graduated 2 years later, having written a book, I was excited & told him.

He said “yes… but what will you do with it?”

There are some people who are PROFESSIONALS at killing your joy.

They find the worm in every apple.

They laugh at your ability to see possibility everywhere simply because they… don’t.

Nothing kills confidence more than toxic people.

They transfer their emotional state to you… and your state is your biggest asset.

One of the FIRST things I ask my clients to do is what I call Paloma’s People Audit.

21 questions to determine if a particular person is worth keeping close.

Standards for who deserves the PRIVILEGE of being in your inner universe.

But what if these toxic people are your close friends & family?

Dilute their influence by adding in new wonderful people.

With 7 billion plus people on this planet….

There are AMAZING, empowered, magical people in this world who will not just cheer you on but be happy to help you actualize your vision.

Life is a group project.

And just like high school, everyone in your group gets the same mark.

Be careful who’s in your group.