Episode 10: How to build confidence, even if you have low self-esteem (who doesn't!?)


I’m about to release my book, Find Your F*ckyeah: Stop Censoring Who You Are and Discover What You Really Want (via Chronicle Books, in September 2019!)—so naturally, I’ve been having a crisis of confidence, because, you know, sharing art is always terrifying. So, today’s voicemail is as much for me as it is for you—because I’ve learned some stuff about confidence you just CAN’T UNSEE, stuff that will change your life.

In this episode we talk about the difference between confidence and self-esteem, according to science (it turns out you only need to work on one). We also cover how to build up your confidence even if you have low self-esteem (spoiler alert: It has nothing to do with innate personality traits , looks, or talent; it’s all about TRYING.) This is all thanks to a little mechanism in your brain called the “dorsal raphe nucleus”…long story. Actually, it’s only a 14 minute story.

BONUS: You also get to hear me admit my two most hated smells in the world, and also cough loudly in your ear. My bad.

Follow my soon-to-be-published book on Amazon, here!

Science I reference in this episode:

Taking risks builds our autonomy, one of our 3 Psychological Needs, according to SDT (self-determination theory). This counterbalances the pain of failure + making mistakes.

Martin P. Seligman, the founder of positive psychology (and one of my professors from the Specialization in Applied Positive Psychology I just earned from the University of Pennsylvania) talks about default helplessness and the dorsal raphe nucleus in his book, The Hope Circuit.

You can also read an academic paper on it here:

Maier, S. F., & Seligman, M. E. (2016). Learned helplessness at fifty: Insights from neuroscience. Psychological review123(4), 349–367. doi:10.1037/rev0000033

So…Call me when you get this?

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Song Credit: “Semicircle Song” by The Go! Team

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Looking for a transcript of this podcast episode? Shoot me an email: alexis@alexisrockley.com