Twenty-two years ago, as I was about to give birth to my daughter, I shared with my closest woman friend my fears about the pending birth. I wondered aloud if I was "strong enough" to do it well. Without a moment's hesitation she replied, "You'll be fine—in fact, you'll be great. And if you begin to lose your way, I'll be there to remind you of who you are."
I never forgot her words, "...to remind you of who you are," and it was holding my daughter in my arms that sealed my decision to stay home and build a successful career from home.
Success, as I would learn, is born from within and becomes who we are, rather than being something we acquire. It is about being rather than simply doing, about being authentic and true to oneself. Knowing from within versus seeking from without.
How do women become confident and powerful in their lives, whether in business or in any other aspect of life?
Sarah Fairless Robbins discovered that what drove her to succeed was her passion for creating a foundation that would help women and children in need. She consciously changed her self-talk, took control of her doubts and fears, and became the top earner in her company.
Onyx Coale found that models of confidence as power over others or being certain never worked for her, and instead came to a kind of confidence she calls a "state of grace," stemming from the conviction that who she was and what she had to share mattered.
Too often as women we accommodate and follow. We take a path we may not fully resonate with because we want to do the "right thing" or be a "good girl" who makes no waves. We allow our ambivalence to lead instead of our clear intentions. I hear women say, "I'm hoping to hit a specific title by ..." and then cite some far distant date. But hope is not a strategy! Listen from within: does your self-talk embrace confidence, or ambivalence?
For the last two years I've been by my eighty-five-year-old mother's side as she has endured six surgeries. During this time I've appreciated the value of residual income and the freedom this business offers. Yet I've also watched as some people in my business quit because I wasn't "leading them," others defined our economy as "the problem," while still others blamed the company or the "system" for their lack of business growth—all circumstances they saw as outside their personal control.
Yet the confidence to define things differently was always within their control.
The truth of confidence is simple. It's not about belief in something outside of ourselves. It's that true place inside ourselves where know what we want. We see it, we own it, and we live it.
Confidence is about truth and being is believing.
ANA GABRIEL MANN, M.A., has been a network marketing leader
for sixteen years; she lives in Florida and Massachusetts with her husband,
author John David Mann, and her beautiful daughter, Kaia.