Like She Owns the Place is the long awaited sequel to the girlboss bible ‘Girl Code’ by Cara Alwill Leyba. In her new book, Cara sets out to inspire and coach her readers on how to build sustainable confidence from the ground up. I had the pleasure of catching up with Cara to speak with her about her new book where she aimed to remind women that,
“we all have the power to create our best lives, we all have the power to be bold, we all have the power to make those decisions that will ultimately change the course of our entire life…”
Having read Like She Owns the Place, I have to say I really admired Cara’s perspective on how and why we need to introduce more confidence into our lives. For women, the advice on having more confidence is so often linked to our looks. My favourite thing about this book is how Cara seeks to redefine confidence and beauty as an energy and as a feeling. Cara explained that making this mindset change could really change the world, our own lives and the women around us. And I have to say, from having read the book, I truly believe her.
As well as our looks, confidence can also be linked to external achievements. One of the chapters in the book that really resonated with me was Chapter 7 “Success is a state of being”. Cara reminds us that although having goals is important, ultimately achieving them does not bring us happiness. Cara stresses that it is the experience that you gain when working towards your goals, the living through the ups and downs of putting a huge project out there in the world, the sense of fulfillment, the sense of anxiety, the sense of pushing past your comfort zone…these are all the things that will bring you sustainable confidence and day to day happiness.
But what about when a lack of confidence in our ability can stop us from even starting to work towards our goals? Cara shared her strategy for dealing with self-limiting thoughts,
“When you make your work bigger than you, you’re able to get outside of the ego driven thoughts, like making a certain amount of money or having a certain amount of sales. When you realize that ultimately you’re working towards contributing to the world and helping others and lifting others up – that’s everything!”
Even the most confident of us can sometimes still suffer with imposter syndrome from time to time. For some, the strategy is to adopt the “fake it til you make it” approach, but Cara suggests that the best strategy is instead to focus on living authentically. Cara explained that she finds inspiration in the realness and the vulnerability of people’s stories and she thinks that other people feel the same way. Cara explained her approach,
“I’m always very transparent…I don’t always get it right, I do experience feelings of inadequacy or fear or not feeling good enough…but I think I’ve learnt how to move through it a little bit quicker and that’s where I’m really able to share in my work. It’s not that I’ve got it all figured out 100%, but I have some tools on how to move past those things. It’s not “I’m perfect” it’s “I’ve messed up too sometimes and here’s how I make sense of it…”
Putting yourself out there authentically can feel very vulnerable and many of us can struggle with worrying about what others might think of us. I asked Cara about whether she worried about what people thought of her and I loved her response,
“Ultimately it always comes down to how I feel, yes my job is to inspire others but I have to worry about myself first, and if I’m beaten down and I take comments to heart, I’m not going to feel as good as I know I can feel to ultimately put out the best work.”
Feeling secure in our actions is a key part of confidence, but what about if or when we have to deal with negative comments? I asked Cara how she dealt with receiving negative feedback and she explained that its gotten easier through the years but that it is never “easy”.
“It really hurts at first when you get your first negative comments or if people don’t agree with you and it never goes away…but eventually I just got to the point where I realized that if I’m going to make an impact and if I’m going to put myself out there, I have to realize that this comes with the territory and I just have to let it go and focus on the positive and focus on the people who do get what I’m doing and do celebrate me.”
A common strategy for trying to avoid negative feedback can be the process of seeking validation from our friends and family before acting. True confidence is when we can act without seeking permission from others, as ultimately we don’t need their permission! Cara spoke about how this was something that she did a lot during her twenties, but that the process of learning to trust her own intuition had saved her a huge amount of time when it came to making decisions.
I asked Cara how can we learn to trust our intuition and she explained that for her,
“The way that I’m able to maintain that sense of knowing and really trusting my gut and moving forward confidently is by spending a lot of time alone, by quieting the noise around me and being alone with my thoughts and being comfortable with my thoughts even if they feel kind of erratic and crazy and just learning what it takes to put me in a high vibe…we can’t make informed, intuitive decisions if were in a state of panic and anxiety.”
We discussed at length about how introducing mindful day to day actions can help us to get into a good feeling place which makes it easier to listen to our intuition. I asked Cara what advice she would give to someone wanting to bring more mindfulness into their life and she shared her favourite way to start the day,
“When I first wake up, when I’m still laying in bed when I first open my eyes, before I even reach for my phone I think of three things that I’m thankful for that day. Usually those three things turn into five or seven or ten things because gratitude is to me like a ripple effect…I think everyone can do that, it doesn’t require a lot of time and it’s just one of the quickest ways to feel good.”
Importantly, Cara stresses that we need to find what works for us as not everything will resonate for everyone. For example, Cara shared that she isn’t the best at meditation so she has found alternative ways of introducing mindfulness into her life such as lighting her candles, putting on a playlist that she loves or free writing in her journal about how she wants things to be in order to make sure she is feeling her best. I love the idea that by paying attention to our mindful actions we can create a solid foundation for building true confidence.
Speaking to Cara was a true pleasure and I cannot recommend Like She Owns the Place enough for any girl or woman who is thinking about who she wants to be in her life.
If you’re interested in finding out more about Cara’s other books I have also reviewed