How to build a body of evidence to boost your confidence

No matter how many years you have been in business, it is normal to be faced with a project or client challenge and think: “What the hell am I doing? Do I even know what I am talking about?”

My former retreat co-leader and business brother Charlie Gilkey says “Some people or situations are kryptonite to your superpowers.”

If you are committed to your craft, making an impact and truly helping people, you will find that the journey can be confounding at times. You need reminders that you are a strong, capable person.

Build your body of evidence

In Body of Work, I called the totality of your skills, strengths, experience and scars your “ingredients” that you can use in a big variety of situations, or recipes.

If we do not keep track of our ingredients, we can forget we have them and end up feeling like we know nothing.

I recommend doing a “body of evidence audit” where you record the many things you have experienced, learn and done in your life up to this point.

Use a journal, doc or project board like Notion – whatever suits your fancy.

Here are some categories and questions to help you take inventory:

Evidence of the spirit

What life and soul-changing experiences have you navigated?
Have you faced death?
Have you experienced incredible hardship and somehow made it out the other side?
Have you healed deeply?
Have you had a spiritual epiphany?

Evidence of the brain

What have you learned, both formally and informally?
What courses or programs have you participated in?
What things do you know a lot about?
What books have you read or podcasts have you listened to?

Evidence of the heart

What deep relationships have you formed?
Have you lived through betrayal or heartbreak?
Have you loved deep and big, despite the vulnerability?
Have you committed to a cause bigger than yourself, and contributed for the good of the collective?

Evidence of the gut

What street smarts have you developed and how?
When has your intuition served you well?
What things do you just “know,” even though you have never formally trained in them?
What tricky situations did you navigate exceptionally well?

Evidence of the hands and feet

What have you created?
What assets have you built?
What projects have you completed?
Whom have you developed or mentored?

Call upon your body of evidence

These categories and questions are not exhaustive, they are intended to help you remember things you may have forgotten.

In the future when you get embarrassed, feel insecure or like an imposter, reach into your Body of Evidence, and reframe things like:

“Disappointing this one client was really rough, but over the past 15 years, I have received rave reviews from hundreds of clients. I will learn from this experience and turn things around.”

“Starting this business is so much harder than I anticipated and I feel like a fraud half the time. But you know what? When I was 16, I traveled to Finland by myself as an exchange student for a year and learned a whole new language. I can do hard things!”

“Getting ripped off by someone I thought was my friend makes me feel like a poor judge of character. But in the big picture, over decades, I have cultivated a strong circle of trustworthy and loyal friends. This guy is just an asshole.”

 Remember who you are.

Reader Interactions

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *