Through my work in front of the camera as a TV personality and model, I learned what it truly means to be confident. (It’s not what you think). The truth is, you already have what it takes. You were born with it. You just need to remember what that feels like.

As a confidence coach, I hold space for my clients to awaken their inner wisdom and guide them back to their fiercest self. I don’t believe it serves any of us to coddle our weaknesses or neuroses when we can choose to honor our greatness instead.

It is our birthright to be unstoppable. We just have to rediscover what it means to be free—of judgment, fear, doubt—of anything that weighs us down.

I know it can feel scary and overwhelming to put ourselves out there in a big way and actually do what our hearts are urging us to do. We think, “Who am I to start this business?” “What will people say?” “Am I smart, talented, good enough?” and so on.

But whatever pain we may experience from another’s judgement of us is nothing in comparison to the pain we will undoubtedly feel by playing small.

What does it mean to play small? It means shrinking so others won’t feel insecure around us. But when we dare to write our book, leave the unhealthy relationship, quit a job to start our dream business or whatever it is, we inspire others to do the same.

The real question then becomes: Who are you not to start your own business (or anything else you feel called to do) and show up fully for yourself and others? Who are you not to be gorgeous, brilliant, wildly successful and joyful?!

Expressing our full potential is not just our right, it’s our responsibility. And it starts with confidence. To have confidence, we first must define what it means for us. So take a moment to write down what confidence means for you.

*I believe confidence is remembering who we truly are (love) and owning that—each and every day. Confidence is honoring who we are—perceived “flaws” and all—and presenting our highest self to everyone we meet, with a smile.

*Confidence is making our own rules, and refusing to settle for societal standards we don’t believe in. It is forgiveness, kindness, grace, and the ability to laugh at ourselves. It is taking our lives seriously, so we don’t have to take ourselves so seriously.

*Confidence is more than just knowing we deserve the best; it’s making choices that reflect that. It is saying “no” when we want to say “no,” and not feeling bad about it. It’s staying in bed when we need to rest without feeling guilty, and listening to and caring for our bodies.

*Confidence is choosing to be the victor, not victim. It is admitting when we are wrong and sincerely apologizing. It is following our heart’s desires, and asking for help.

*Confidence is knowing we were created by the same loving force that created the sun, moon and stars, and living from that magnificent space. It is not needing anyone’s approval, validation or applause.

*Confidence is looking within and asking, “Who do I need to be, to transform this relationship/situation/society/world?” It is the recognition that the peace, love, freedom, and abundance we wish to experience starts with us. It’s the willingness to show up fully, speak up passionately, and stand up straight.

*Confidence is the spark that lights up any room. It doesn’t label, judge, shame, blame, condemn or attack.

If you struggle with feeling confident on a consistent basis, don’t fret! You’re normal! Thanks to the power of meditation and regular self-compassion practices, I’ve discovered a few perspective shifts that have transformed my self-confidence:

1. When I base my self-worth on who I am and on my inherent value as a human being, rather than on what others think or how much I achieve, my confidence soars and my inner critic quiets.

Mantra: I am willing to see myself through a lens of love.

By looking at ourselves through a lens of love (rather than fear), we are able to weather difficult situations, be confident in our true worth, and see ourselves as lovable. When we take full responsibility for our lives, we are able to change them.

2. Whatever I want from others (love, attention, validation), I give to myself.

Mantra: Instead of feeling offended when people fail to acknowledge me, I see it as an opportunity to expand and grow.

As long as we are doing our best, honoring ourselves and our purpose, we will feel less and less inclined to seek the approval of others.

The less we depend on people to validate us, the stronger our emotional muscles become, and in turn, the stronger our sense of self-worth. Focusing on the special characteristics that make me ME is much easier and more rewarding than waiting for someone to say or do something that makes me feel good … for a matter of minutes until I need my next “fix.”

Our lives truly become fuller when we turn our attention inward to the miracle that we are, release expectations, and stay detached from outcomes and other people’s opinions.

3. The answer to any question can be found within.

Mantra: I give myself the space and time to grow still, present, quiet—and then listen to my inner wisdom and guidance.

Any outer limitations (like stress, anger, unhappiness, feelings of lack or unworthiness) are just reminding us to get steady inside. Our strong urge to take ourselves overly seriously can be tempered by giving our inner child some attention.

Start by giving yourself a hug! I think I’ll do the same.