We take knocks to our confidence and self-worth all the time without even noticing it. From a family member commenting on your parenting style, a frenemy who plants seeds of doubt over a decision, an in-law who doesn't quite think you're good enough, to a niggling boss you criticises you daily. We can't help but take their projections of us on board, along with those in our own head. But what if there was a way to get rid of the power we give them?
In the new book, Confidence Feels Like Shit, award-winning confidence coach Erika Cramer, aka The Queen of Confidence, provides a practical guide to creating unshakeable confidence and unstoppable self-belief. As host of the incredibly popular podcast The Confidence Chronicles (over 1 million+ downloads), Erika walks the talk – and this no BS book draws upon her own personal experiences to help women everywhere stop accepting less and create true confidence where you retain 100% of the power to choose how you feel, what you believe and how you want to experience your life. Erika shows readers how to:
• Reclaim your confidence and stand as your fully expressed self (filter and apology-free)
• Create the ultimate confidence mindset
• Stop obsessing about what other people think of you
• Let go of people-pleasing once and for all
• Stop constantly comparing yourself to others.
With life-altering questions and exercises, and a step-by-step guide to help you coach yourself into the confidence you deserve, Confidence Feels Like Shit is a raw, real and relatable guide to real confidence – and how it will transform your life.
About the author
Erika Cramer, The Queen of Confidence, is an international confidence coach and popular 5-star podcast host. The Cardi B of the personal development world, Erika is a full-flavoured, spicy inspirational speaker, with a large dose of heart and humour. After surviving many traumatic experiences, from childhood sexual abuse, being in and out of the foster care system, car accidents, being widowed and going through a whole lot of loss, Erika is a beaming and beautiful example of how you can heal your personal story to transform trauma into triumph. This is her first book.
Confidence Feels Like Shit
Question: What originally inspired the idea of Confidence Feels Like Shit?
Erika Cramer: It was a podcast I did 2 years ago where I started thinking about the difficulty in women creating confidence. I felt that so many of us had the idea of confidence confused. Like it was the gold star to achieve and that "Once we were confident all our problems would go away". It felt like you were either born with it or without and only the select few could identify as "confident ones."
The more I dug deeper into what it REALLY takes for a woman to identify as confident, the more I realised that it was actually a really hard thing to do. And because of how hard and uncomfortable it felt to put yourself out there and create your confidence the less we went for it. It became easier to see women use the line "I am just not a confident person" or the "I'll never be confident" and I wanted to share what it really takes to be confident. It's hard work, it's uncomfortable and requires us to not play it safe but rather step up, step out and put ourselves out there, something I know that many are afraid to do. It's not easy to create confidence, it's hard and it feels like shit when you're in the creation of it.
Question: What did you learn, about yourself, whilst writing Confidence Feels Like Shit?
Erika Cramer: Firstly I learned that I CAN write! To be honest, I always told myself "I am not a writer" so it was great to notice once I started writing, I became better at it. Second, I learned about the importance of letting myself be me, what I mean by that is I was able to use my voice and not try and sound like anyone else in the writing world. I wanted my book to sound like me. I wanted readers to identify with me in the same way that my podcast listeners do. In order for me to do that I had to let myself be raw and real and honest about what I felt it takes to cultivate confidence and be willing to have people not like my style. It was refreshing and scary all at the same time.
Question: Was it difficult reliving certain aspects/times of your life, whilst writing Confidence Feels Like Shit?
Erika Cramer: It wasn't hard sharing my story and my past as I've always been an open book as I don't feel like my story is really mine. I feel that the more I share about my experiences the more others will feel seen and heard as my story is only an insight into so many other women's stories. The one chapter that felt heavy to write was Chapter 2 where I shared about my husband's death. I wanted to take the reader into my experience and it was pretty emotional to get it out on paper and reading it back in my audiobook version was super difficult, I had to do a few takes as the emotion really came out.
Question: What's the main message you hope readers take from Confidence Feels Like Shit?
Erika Cramer: That confidence is hard but awesome and it's something we need if we're going to create the life we desire and that just because it feels hard, it doesn't mean we shouldn't try. That Confidence isn't reserved for the "special" women, that it's available to every single one of us if we're WILLING to do what it takes to create it.
Question: Can you share some tips with us featured in the book?
Erika Cramer: Some of the main points I cover are about Letting go of the option of others otherwise known as #FWOT (fu$# what others think). How can we let go of the opinion of others? Let people be wrong about you. Notice yourself trying to please everyone around you just so they will like you or think you're good enough, the more you try and please them the less you please yourself. Find out what it's costing you to actually live your life based on the opinion of others, what are you missing out on? What does it actually cost you? The most common answers: it costs your happiness, your financial freedom, your joy, your purpose, I mean it costs us everything.
Next commit to a confidence mindset, this is where you manage your mind and pay attention to the thoughts (also known as stories) you tell yourself. You become the guardian of your mind and you inquire anything that doesn't serve or support you. Lastly you commit to practicing confidence with the 5 C's - you make CHOICES to the things that are important, you stand in COURAGE which means you're scared as hell but you show up anyways, you CREATE and take align action and small steps toward that which you want, you CONSIDER your actions, did you really "fail" or did you LEARN what didn't work well and lastly you CONTINUE, you keep moving in the practice and make another choice, stand in courage, create aligned action, consider your results and continue to do it all again.
Question: What research did you do, prior to writing Confidence Feels Like Shit?
Erika Cramer: I had worked with thousands of women from around the world for 10 years before writing the book. I used all of my own personal experiences and case studies from the most common challenges the women I served experienced. I got all my stories and quotes out, I wrote about personal intimate moments from my past and I got everything out on paper so I wouldn't forget all the metaphors and important points I wanted to cover. I also captured some of my favourite books and teachings from the mentors who helped me transform my life. I was able to showcase a portion of a life changing process from one of my mentors and kindly the creator gave me permission to use it in my book, definitely the highlight of my writing process.
Question: What advice do you have for aspiring writers or artists?
Erika Cramer: Get your work and life message out there. Not later, not when it's "perfect" get it out now! As the amazing Wayne Dyer says "Don't die with your music still in you". If you're called to write, sing or share your art, listen to the call. The world needs more of this and the self-doubt, procrastination and imposter syndrome only feeds off our inability to put our work into the world due to a fear of criticism.
Question: What or who inspired your love of reading/writing?
Erika Cramer: My husband is the person who inspired me to write. He was always into personal development and growth. He listens to 52 books per year and it really inspires me to see the opportunity in reading (or listening to books) . He was also the one who helped me write this book. I felt like it was "too big" or too much to get out but I realised that just like life, if you take it one step at a time, you'll get there and that progress is better than perfection. I am now a lover of writing which I never thought I would be!
Question: What's next, for you?
Erika Cramer: I am looking forward to book #2 which feels very exciting (and it's kind of writing itself at the moment) so stay tuned ya'll! Up next for us is building a school to certify coaches, healers and change makers who want to use their message to help others. The legacy I want to leave is greater than my story, I want to help others in my industry impact the world and build successful businesses while doing so.
Interview by Gwen van Montfort