Working with a confidence coach

29 Dec 2023

The number one feedback I get during my performance reviews is to “have more confidence”. Once a colleague even made me a diagram:


I try hard to fake the needed confidence but I also get frustrated sometimes. One of these times I posted a question to wearexena women community channel asking if there is anyone who struggled a lot with having the impostor syndrome, and after constantly being told to “have more confidence” and “take on bigger challenges’’ found a good way to deal with this? One of the people who responded was April Frazier. She shared this article: Overcoming feeling like an imposter. A Few things there resonated with me:

We chatted a bit, had an intro call and I decided to use my learning budget at Vinted to buy access to her course + 6 coaching sessions. Here I want to reflect a bit on how it went.

What did our work together look like?

The course. The recommended way for going through the course is to dedicate at least an hour to it each week. So I tried (more about this below) to do that.

Coaching sessions.We had biweekly coaching sessions. The first ones were more oriented towards the course material e.g. discussing in more detail what my vision for myself could be. Later I shifted it more towards analyzing situations at work that I find stressful and discouraging.

Homework. Every coaching session also had a ‘homework’ that I was supposed to practice until the next session. The tasks were based on the issues I’ve raised. A few of these assignments really stood out for me were:

Discomfort vs resentment

Confidence: expectations vs reality. Whenever I get the feedback that I should have more confidence I imagine what that would look like: I would be always relaxed, energetic, cheerful and would take any task, lead any meeting without breaking a sweat. I also think about what the people who give me that feedback imagine: me taking up all the tasks, leading all the initiatives, saying ‘yes’ to everything. The definition that April suggests is a lot different - confidence is knowing what you want and what you don’t want. Saying no to things that clearly do not align with your goals or values. It might just be that the confident me would take on less tasks and opportunities in order to spend more time in nature or reading.

Active constructive reactions. The most amazing thing about working with April is her enthusiasm. She is always super excited about all the ‘homework’ she gives me or any ideas that I have. Recently I’ve listened to the ‘HBR’s 10 must reads on mental toughness’ audiobook and there was an article that made me understand why this is so important. The article talked about 4 types of reactions people can have to you sharing something (they are grouped in terms of the impact that it will have on you and your relationship with them):


April is a master of active constructive, so our sessions always feel very uplifting and inspiring.

That one molecule of Serotonin trying to keep me going through the day. You know this meme?


It tends to get shared among my friends during winters, when we seem to have a lot less energy for things than we are used to. It is also when I am taking the course and having the coaching sessions. I also decided to adopt a cat, which turned out to be a lot more taxing and complicated than anticipated. As a result I always felt like I’m not taking as much out of the experience as I could:

This is why I decided to take a break on the course in December, relax and regroup during the holidays, and try harder in January. One could say that this means the course is already working as I manage to name and claim what I need.

© 2024. All rights reserved.