The Inner Game of Confidence With Suzanne Vara

Most of us see confidence as an absolute. You have it or you don’t, right? Las Vegas-based internet marketer Suzanne Vara offers a different interpretation. Instead of seeing confidence as a fixed object, she explores the difference between inner and outer confidence and, more importantly, how to cultivate each type.

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Most of us see confidence as an absolute. You have it or you don’t, right? Las Vegas-based internet marketer Suzanne Vara offers a different interpretation. Instead of seeing confidence as a fixed object, she explores the difference between inner and outer confidence and, more importantly, how to cultivate each type.

The Difference Between Inner and Outer Confidence

This is where things get confusing. If I asked you to define confidence, and then asked your colleague, and then your children… you’d all give different examples.
[Here is the video from Suzanne – her blog post is called The Entire Package]

If you watch a salesperson in action, ‘confidence’ seems like an ‘act’ or performance of some sort. It looks artificial and doesn’t ring true. At least not usually.
Whereas ‘confidence’ for a sports star is often determined by their current performance. When things change, they lose their confidence. Which begs the question: were they really confident in the first place?
It depends.

The Difference Between Confidence and Bravado

Let’s step back a moment. If I’m honest, I like black and white answers. I know I shouldn’t, but I do. And this is one of the reasons why defining ‘confidence’ is so difficult.
The more you examine it, the harder it is to produce one definition that works across all scenarios.
And this is the point Suzanne makes on her blog.
Instead of seeing confidence as an external act – such as bravado, Dutch courage, faking it til you make it – look for areas where you feel confident internally.
For example…

  • I’m not confident speaking in public.
  • I’m not confident parallel parking.
  • I’m not confident cooking.

But…

  • I am confident working with others on a one-to-one basis.
  • I am confident working to tight deadlines. I’ve developed a nice workflow and get things done on time.
  • I’m confident baking.

You’d get very fat if you lived with me. My pies are pretty tasty especially with lashings of cream!
What’s going on here?

Recognizing Inner Confidence

One way to do this is identify areas where one has Inner Confidence and then build upon it, for example:

Inner Confidence is how we view our own abilities

Whereas

Outer Confidence is how others judge us

AND how we let this affect our self-image. In other words, the opinion of others determines how we value our own efforts.
Remember what Eleanor Roosevelt said, ‘No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.’

Developing Inner Confidence

One suggestion given to me by a good friend was to, ‘do the things that make you feel strong.’
They meant to absorb yourself in those small, un-championed activities that make you feel good in yourself and see them as the seeds from which greater things will grow.
For example, I’m a fairly tidy person. Too tidy some would say. So, one way I use this is to help others put a little structure on things – in a way that doesn’t preach to them or make them feel inferior.
They can do things I can’t – and I can do things they can’t.
We all have our respective strengths. And I’m sure you’re the same.
The difference is that when you do these things – that should make you feel more confident – you take them for granted. Or dismiss it, ‘Oh, that was nothing! Anyone could do it.’
But they couldn’t. Give yourself the credit you deserve. It all starts from there.
PS – I’m sure you have some ideas on this, please share them below.

4 thoughts on “The Inner Game of Confidence With Suzanne Vara”

  1. Ivan
    This is exactly what I was trying to say! You captured it completely. I do am not very confident with the parallel parking however I am quite good at the middle lane u-turn in the middle of the street that we have here in Vegas.
    The outer confidence is the way that we perceive people to judge us. It is hard to have to admit that but really that is what it is. I have to have my hair look right as maybe someone would notice that it was out of place and focus on that, I may move around a lot and that is hard to watch in a video, I could talk too fast or too slow. It is a struggle for me as in my head I think of these things and the video becomes compromised as my mind is going wild.
    The inner confidence is very different as it is how we perceive ourselves. It is the part that we show people through what we tell them or show them. It is the work, the cooking, the cleaning.
    I really love this article and the way that you break it all down. The small accomplishments need to be praised within ourselves so we can grow and accomplish more. Even if they are internally that we praise and work harder for the next accomplishment, we still need to acknowledge them.
    Thanks so much for watching and using the video and really explaining the inner and outer confidence as we know that this is very real and not explored as much.

    1. Hi Suzanne,
      It’s also interesting the way weaknesses become strengths, sometimes without us knowing it.
      For example, stammering was a big problem for me as a child and I took voice lessons to overcome/mask it.
      So, it was odd when someone told me how jealous they were of me for being so well spoken and confident when talking.
      It certainly wasn’t how I perceived myself but everyone else in the room did.
      PS – I have actually kissed the blarney stone so this may have helped 🙂

    2. Hi Suzanne,
      It’s also interesting the way weaknesses become strengths, sometimes without us knowing it.
      For example, stammering was a big problem for me as a child and I took voice lessons to overcome/mask it.
      So, it was odd when someone told me how jealous they were of me for being so well spoken and confident when talking.
      It certainly wasn’t how I perceived myself but everyone else in the room did.
      PS – I have actually kissed the blarney stone so this may have helped 🙂

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