415 Alyssa Dver: Confidence Wins

What does it take to manifest confidence in your life? There are a lot of people out there boasting false confidence in the “fake it till you make it” school of entrepreneurship. The real confidence comes from “failing forward” and overcoming obstacles.

I’m Melinda Wittstock and today on Wings of Inspired Business we meet an inspiring entrepreneur who has made confidence her cornerstone.

Alyssa Dver is the CEO & Chief Confidence Officer of the American Confidence Institute and the author of 6 books. Also recognized as one of Boston’s Best Speakers, Alyssa teaches at Wharton’s Innovation Center, she’s an advisor at MIT’s Trust Center, and a judge for the Stevie’s Women in Business & Best Employer awards.

Alyssa is recognized as the world’s Chief Confidence Officer. One of Boston’s most sought after speakers, Alyssa teaches growth-minded individuals how to use basic brain science to inspire confidence in themselves and others.

Alyssa is the CEO & co-founder of the American Confidence Institute that shares confidence research through keynotes, workshops, online and coaching certification programs. Clients include Spotify, Wayfair, Pepsi, State Street, Staples, Panera, The Royal Bank of Canada, the US Tennis Association, The US Air Force, plus dozens of other high-performance organizations, conferences, and associations. Alyssa is the author of 6 books, blogger and co-host of the podcast, “In Confidence – Face Your Workplace”.

With prior success as a corporate marketing leader and then serial entrepreneur, Alyssa‘s unique expertise is leveraged as a professional advisor at MIT’s Trust Center, as faculty at Wharton’s Innovation Center, and as a finalist judge for both the Women in Business & Best Employer annual Stevie awards. She chairs the ERG Leadership Alliance, which shares employee diversity & inclusion best practices across companies.

Are you ready to fly with Alyssa? I am – let’s put on our wings.

Melinda Wittstock:         Alyssa, welcome to Wings.

Alyssa Dver:                      Melinda, I’m so glad to be here. Thank you so much.

Melinda Wittstock:         I am so excited to have you, too. Because confidence is something that a lot of women struggle with. So I want to really start at the beginning with how you define confidence? How is someone behaving when they are truly confident?

Alyssa Dver:                      So, first and foremost, you said women. Let’s be clear, everybody, right? So, whether you are a man listening, or you know men, don’t assume that they have confidence, and hopefully as we go through the definition I will be able to prove that because the truth is we all can use more confidence, we manifest our need for it differently. And so, the clinical definition, and I mean clinical like in the dictionary, Google this up while you’re listening or otherwise, you’re going to find a commonality in any source that sounds something like this. It’s we are certain, when we are confident, we are certain about the truth of something. Okay?

Alyssa Dver:                      So Melinda, I’m in Boston at the moment, the weather’s kind of eh, looks kind of overcast, and if you said to … if I said to my colleagues here, “Do you think it’s going to rain today?” The answer would be yes, because the weatherman said it’s going to rain, it looks kind of lousy outside. I know you can’t see me but my hair is very frizzy right now. So, all the signs it’s going to rain. And so, there’s a certainty in my head that the likelihood it’s going to rain is yes. Now, could it possibly not rain today? There’s always a little margin of error in there that says things are not as we know. There’s more information, there’s other things that can happen, certainly, absolutely, especially in New England. It can change on a dime.

Alyssa Dver:                      But I’m confident that it’s going to rain. Now, that’s great if I’m talking about something with that kind of dataset, right? The really heart of your question I think, relates to well how does this look and feel, and turn into self confidence? Right? When we apply to ourselves, not the weather or the stock market, or something else, right? But ourselves. And the facts, the things that we look at, at the institute to really define confidence is the certainty about your values, your wants and your needs. So, if there’s something that you really value, you’re going to be confident about behaving in alignment with that. And I’ll give you a great example. You and I prior to our recording, we were chatting about why you do this podcast. And you said you have this personal value to help female entrepreneurs. True?

Melinda Wittstock:         Yes.

Alyssa Dver:                      Right. So, it’s clearly part of your value system, you’re motivated to do it, and my guest is deciding to do it, doing it every day, and now 400 plus episodes later you have a confidence about this is something that’s really important to you that you do it with confidence. Fair?

Melinda Wittstock:         Oh, absolutely. Yes.

Alyssa Dver:                      Okay, so your values have really guided you in the decision making and the execution of it. So, it’s a beautiful example. Same thing would happen if you saw a really great pair of shoes in the store. Just to trivialize this definition. But at the same time, you see, you’re shopping. You’re like, “Oh man, I need those shoes, I want those shoes”, and the more that you’re clear that you want, need, and subsequently can tie it to your values, it’s going to make me a better person on earth. It’s going to help me help the world. You can justify it, you’ve become more and more confident with your behavior.

Alyssa Dver:                      So, at a very, again, kind of definitional level, when we understand with clarity what we value, need and want, those are the guide posts, the boundaries, the border, sometimes I like to call them the bumpers like in the bowling lane, right? That keep us behaving confidently. Now, how that manifests, which is the last part of the question, I’m going to do a little exercise with you if you would allow me.

Melinda Wittstock:         Sure.

Alyssa Dver:                      So, I would like you to think about somebody that you know, or knew in the past that’s confident. An individual, male or female, doesn’t matter. They don’t even have to be alive at this point, but just somebody in your life that you experience, that you knew personally, that was confident. And I would like you to give me a couple phrases and words that describe that person in terms of how they behaved. What is it that they said? How did they speak, talk, walk, smell, whatever it was, that you had those signs that that person was confident?

Melinda Wittstock:         I guess there’s a certain surety. Like they know where they’re going.

Alyssa Dver:                      How did you know that?

Melinda Wittstock:         Yeah, that’s a really great question. Because sometimes I’m so intuitive, it’s just a sense. But if I had to break it down, let’s see. They’re not easily deflected, they’re always … they’re able to kind of listen, and take in other people’s stuff, but they don’t get blown off course. They’re able to listen without their … without feeling, I don’t know, questioning their entire existence, or worried … they’re not so much worried about how other people perceive them. You know that phrase, what other people think of me is none of my business? Right?

Melinda Wittstock:         Actually, if we can go into a metaphor for a moment, I love to sail. And you can never sail in a straight line. It’s impossible. You have to tack, and jive, and go back and forth. It’s sort of like a zigzag to get to where you’re going. But you’re always clear where you’re going. And I find that people with confidence in my experience, are people who are able to keep their eye on that North star, and just be … really love themselves, you know? Have real self value and self worth. Be able to learn easily, be curious about others, and be constantly learning, but not be blown off course.

Alyssa Dver:                      Beautiful. So, everything you said in our research, and we do this kind of exercise at all our workshops and my keynotes, I have a dataset of almost 350 000 responses now, yours mapped 100%.

Melinda Wittstock:         That’s awesome.

Alyssa Dver:                      So, it’s not to say that you passed or failed, because there’s no such thing, but your examples and the words that you used really are profoundly accurate. And what I mean by that is we know that confident people, the way … things that they do, we all can see it, feel it, there’s a magnetism. There’s an aura, no surprise. But often times we live around all these beautiful role models, and we don’t take the moment to notice, pay attention, and subsequently train our brains so that we can act like that, too. Right? So, if you see somebody like this individual who you’re describing, who is a really great listener, to really say to yourself, “How are they listening? What are they doing? How are they walking? Are they standing or sitting? Are they speaking in a certain way? Certain speed, certain tone?”

Alyssa Dver:                      All these things is what we study at the institute as a kind of benchmark, but the reality is that you knew it when you saw it. When I asked you for somebody, you said immediately, and of course we could do the flip side, which is think about somebody you know that’s not confident, we won’t use podcast time for that now, but if you start doing that as well, it’s a way of training your brain so that you know what not to do. And there are behaviors that are so clearly obvious that pop off the chart, like better listeners, that they own their decisions and at the same time they’re diplomatic about them. So, there’s things that we know as human beings that are kind of intuitive, as you said.

Alyssa Dver:                      I think we’re all, to some extent, intuitive. We don’t always pay attention to that intuition so when you start to pay attention, you’re mindful as we call it these days, you can actually train your brain. And people say, “Ah, [pashooey] on that.” And I’m like, “No. Because we have now technology that proves it.” That the more you do say to yourself, “You know what? I’m going to make sure that when I’m in meetings, that I actively listen. I don’t listen and then plan my next sentence, I’m going to actively listen and I’m going to ask selfless questions to people to really understand what their needs, priorities and wants are so I can embolden their confidence, in those conversations, such that I also can then really be thoughtful in what I want to say and do.” That’s what confident people do.

Alyssa Dver:                      They’re very conscious about those behaviors, and subsequently they kind of infuse and infect other people with them. So, right today, starting today, as you pick that one person, you, people who are listening, start to look around and find those role models that are in your lives, that are all over, and the more you start to dissect what they’re doing and thinking about it, the more it impacts your own behavior to do those things as well.

Melinda Wittstock:         This is beautifully said. I think often, when we talk about women in entrepreneurship and where I see lack of confidence, it can be expressed in a number of ways. One of the things that I see most often though, is if that we don’t value ourselves, we tend to get into a cycle of over delivering with our clients, or our customers, and under pricing. Or, we fall into perfectionism. We’ve got to make everything so perfect, it’s never going to be good enough. And I see these traits quite often in female entrepreneurs. And to me, that shows a lack of confidence. Would you agree?

Alyssa Dver:                      Well, I would term it differently. Because at the core of what creates confidence and what diminishes confidence, again, not to do too much brain science and get into too many weeds here. When we have some kind of a fear, right? Fear plays into our brain, particularly a part of the brain called the amygdala that sets off an alarm. And the alarm then can either go and be handled by the bottom of our brain, bottom of our brain area called the brain stem, which is our autonomic system, which is really where we do stuff on autopilot. We don’t think about it, so breathing, sweating, heartbeat, those things are all handled in the brain stem but so is all of our irrational behavior.

Alyssa Dver:                      All of our defensive behavior, all of our aggressive behavior. I refer to it as cave man because cavemen originally, pretty much that’s all that was in their head was brain stem because they had so few decisions to make. It was fight or flight. Right? Go get the boar or run away from the boar. And so, those behaviors, when we act, behave in a way that are identified, socially identified as not confident, that’s because those behaviors are not in our full control.

Melinda Wittstock:         Yeah. We’re being really driven by fear most of the time. And often it’s subconscious. So, we don’t even know it. And that’s why I think something like perfectionism, we just think we’re … we confuse it with mastery, I think sometimes. Because we just want it to be great. We want to be the best we can be, and we’re working hard, and all that’s great. But there’s a certain line where it crosses over in some way.

Alyssa Dver:                      Well, yeah. And I kind of want to change your lens a little bit, because it’s not a perfectionism problem, that’s the symptom.

Melinda Wittstock:         Yes, oh no, I totally agree with you. It is a symptom, but I think that it is fear that drives it, yeah?

Alyssa Dver:                      Right. But there’s three fears. And any time you … you can feel … so, with the autonomic system in particular, and of course the game here is to prevent it from falling in the brain stem and push it into your prefrontal, which is the top of your brain, the front part of your brain, behind your forehead. Because that’s where all your brilliance is, that’s where your rational, analytical, correlative, you can say to yourself, “This is just, I’m acting like a dummy.” Or, “This is irrational and I’m going to be smart about it.” So, in order to grab that moment before it falls into the brain stem, to be conscious of it, because we are conscious of it.

Alyssa Dver:                      Here’s the clincher. Actually, let me come back to that, because here’s the reality. When you have a fear, inevitably you can feel it. You can feel … my business partner, she calls it itchy. There’s some kind of discomfort, and you may start sweating, you may start palpitating, but in reality, most of the time we’re just, we know. Our guts are screaming at us that we know. And that’s why it is conscious, but we made a decision somewhere in the back of our brain that we don’t want to deal with it. We don’t want to do something so subsequently … because it scares us. And there’s three things that scare us when it comes to confidence. Fear of failure, which why we’re perfectionism, we’re scared we’re going to fail, fear of regret, and fear of rejection, which is possibly the strongest of all.

Alyssa Dver:                      That somebody’s not going to like us. Now, socially wired women in particular, not to say that men, again, are not included in this. We’re scared that people aren’t going to like us or like our work. And so, the perfectionism is a symptom of fear of failure, fear of regret, fear of rejection, and if we recognize that and we say, “You know what? That’s why I’m acting a little scared, that’s why I’m acting like a crazy person, that’s why I have to be a perfectionist”, we can actually stop ourselves from going down that path.

Melinda Wittstock:         Yeah. Absolutely. So, how did you get interested in confidence? You are recognized as the world’s chief confidence officer. You’re the CEO and co-founder of the American Confidence Institute, and you’ve had many businesses before now. So, what was it? What was the spark that made you take this on as a mission, to help people increase their confidence?

Alyssa Dver:                      I appreciate you asking me that. You and I have a lot of parallelisms, right? We’re both serial entrepreneurs, and we have very strong value systems driving us to help other women entrepreneurs. And that has always been kind of part of my value system, and when I was a corporate chief marketing officer for companies, there were things that I enjoyed doing, but at the end of the day it just wasn’t filling those buckets of my values. And so, I was always kind of looking and doing. And I started taking note of some of the things I really liked to do, like public speaking and writing. And the impact on people was really, really kind of, it got me high, honestly. And so, as I was starting to try and figure out what I really wanted to be when I grew up, I was probably about 40 at the time, something happened in my life and I will admit that motivation theory was always interesting to me even back when I was in college, which is kind of why I ended up in marketing to begin with.

Alyssa Dver:                      So, I had been studying that, and looking at it, and brain science was very nascent 15 years ago. So anyway, all that soup was going on, and then at about that time where I was like, “You know what? My value system is just not happy. I like marketing but it’s not doing anything for my soul.” My oldest son, who’s now 20, had a neurological crisis. He was diagnosed with something called Estonia, that they had predicted he was going to end up a paraplegic.

Melinda Wittstock:         Oh my goodness.

Alyssa Dver:                      Yeah. It was pretty horrible. And for a couple years, I went into a maternal fog because I didn’t know what to do, I was blaming myself, all the stuff we parents do when our children are in a situation like that. And I talked to thousands of parents, it could be anything. Anything from Asperger’s to serious diseases and things. You blame yourself and your confidence gets killed. And at the same time, it was kind of maternal motivation. I was determined to help my child, and the shorter version of the longer amazing story was that after two years of, not so much fighting with the neurologist and other brilliant people, but realizing that they just only knew what they knew, and they didn’t know what was going on with my son, they couldn’t answer any questions.

Alyssa Dver:                      And when I would propose ideas and things, they’d look at me like I was sideways. So, I started to say, “You know what? I’m going to take this on myself.” So, I dug into, at that point then, more brain science that was available more than ever, was just starting to really come to fruition, and worked with people in all different fields. Not just neurology, but psychology and social science, and started to put together some of these hypotheses that we subsequently proved, and then lo and behold a doctor who was in Spain, showed up in Canada and I went and saw him with my son’s doc, and we started working together. And when I saw my son being cured by the same concepts that we kind of dabbled in earlier together, Melinda, I was like, “I got to bring this to the world.”

Alyssa Dver:                      And so, for the sake of not just my son but all the other sons and daughters out there, and men and women who not only struggle with confidence kind of in just a esoteric way, people say to me, “I don’t have enough confidence”, but ways that it’s physically injuring them, I want to help them.

Melinda Wittstock:         So, I think it’s so interesting Alyssa, that we often create businesses around a mission that we get from something adverse that happens in our lives. A personal challenge or a challenge to a loved one, or just a problem that we see, or something that we have to overcome ourselves. And in overcoming it, we find a way to help millions of other people.

Alyssa Dver:                      Yeah, sometimes I still to this day think it’s a little selfish, right? I want to help all these people, and I’m like, “That’s selfish.” But I will tell you Melinda, I speak to somewhere around 10, 20 000 people on a good month, directly, as part of my keynotes and so forth, and the hundreds of people that will write me, or the half dozen that come on up and crying, and hugging me afterwards, it’s real reinforcement that you’re doing something right. And so, I think as an entrepreneur, sometimes you don’t always recognize the impact you’re having, and I think it’s really important to build that into any business, that you have not just for marketing purposes but for your own confirmation purposes, that you’re not crazy. That what you’re doing is not selfish. Part of it is, for sure.

Alyssa Dver:                      I do it because it makes me feel good, but I know that it’s important work, and as a very good friend of mine who is spiritual more than religious said to me, “If you weren’t supposed to be doing this, you would have signs. You wouldn’t be making money, you wouldn’t have all these fans. There would be things that would tell you not to do it.” And at the same time, the kind of feedback that I get is so rich that I can’t ignore it. So, it does fuel my mission in that way.

Melinda Wittstock:         Beautiful. So Alyssa, when you work with clients, what is the thing that they come to you for? Obviously they want to increase their confidence, but what is their understanding of it? And what is it that’s motivating them to take that step where they say, “Oh my God. If only I had confidence, everything would be good. I need help”?

Alyssa Dver:                      Well, I’m going to … there’s two kind of high level kinds of clients. We have corporate clients that are not individuals but they want to increase employee engagement, or they want to support diversity inclusion initiatives. Or, they are looking to bring some energy to even just an event or a particular initiative so we get hired to kind of explain a lot of this brain science in a very layman way, but at the same time very, very specific to what their particular objectives are. In terms of engagement retention, and so forth. So, that’s a big part of our business.

Alyssa Dver:                      Often coming out of that, or independent of that then we work with individuals, and the individuals are either coming to us because, and you’re going to find this fascinating I think, one is they personally need some confidence. Maybe they have a really horrendous boss, or they really want to change careers, or there’s something that’s just kind of blocking them from achieving something they really want. And so, we work with them one on one, coach to client, kind of thing. Or they take one of our E-classes. And it’s really a way for them to reassess what is that fear that we talked about earlier? What’s the fear that’s really triggering them to behave and subsequently stop them from doing what they really want to do?

Alyssa Dver:                      And the other side of that is we also have coaching certification. So, a lot of times people will come to us, quite honestly women make up the lion’s share of the population, and typically they’re over 40. And they’ve said, “You know what? I’ve been an X, Y, Z, accountant, a marketer, a product manager, whatever it is for the last 20 some odd years, and I want to do something bigger, better, more important.” And so, what I tell everyone, and you’re doing it with me here, is we all have a super power and that is to give other people confidence. And so, whether that manifests as a mentor, or a manager, or a mom, yay, but some people want to take it even a step further and want to be a little bit more formal.

Alyssa Dver:                      They may never want to be an actual paid coach, but they want to learn that the ideas of how to coach for confidence so they can help everyone around them a little bit more effectively. And so, a lot of people come to us kind of looking for their why, looking for their mission, and what it becomes is being a confidence crusader just like me and you.

Melinda Wittstock:         I see so many people in the entrepreneurial world, in that kind of fake it till you make it sort of thing that so many people do displays sort of a false confidence.

Alyssa Dver:                      Yeah. It’s not just false, it’s just totally fake.

Melinda Wittstock:         Yeah, it’s a fake confidence.

Alyssa Dver:                      It’s totally fake. And you know, people will say to me, “Oh, you can fake it.” I’m like, “You can fake it for maybe a minute or two,” but even an Oscar winning actor or actress is not really going to be able to fake confidence for any length of time because as we started our conversation, you recognize confidence, you can also recognize not confidence, right? So, and by the way I don’t use the word insecurity. It’s different. We all could be insecure at times, but not confident people have equally visible behavior. So, fakers, we know it. And over confidence, cocky, bitchy if you’ll allow me to say that on the podcast, arrogant, indifferent, people who one-up, people who one-down for that matter.

Alyssa Dver:                      People who are condescending, pedantic even. All those behaviors we know are negative confidence, we actually call them imposters because they aim to steal other people’s confidence.

Melinda Wittstock:         Oh my goodness, they’re like energy vampires.

Alyssa Dver:                      Yeah, we call them villains. Same thing, they are confidence villains, absolutely. Because they are sucking confidence, they’re bullies. They’re clinically, technically bullies. They want to take somebody else’s confidence so they can feel better about themselves. So, we recognize that. There are other behaviors that I lovingly call bonehead behaviors because they’re things that we do, not necessarily maliciously or the intent of stealing other people’s confidence but we do it all time, so much so that we don’t even recognize it. And it happens to us so much, again, we kind of take it and roll with it. But I’m sure you’ve been in a situation where somebody maybe you’re having conversation and they’re looking at their cell phone?

Melinda Wittstock:         Oh yeah, right. Or the people in a room, right? Where they’re looking past you for someone else more important to talk to, you know?

Alyssa Dver:                      Oh, yes.

Melinda Wittstock:         Don’t you hate that?

Alyssa Dver:                      Right. And so, when you’re 20, 30, you kind of get annoyed. You may act a little caveman like, you kind of get agitated, you feel that itchy feeling of why isn’t the person paying attention to me? Why am I not important enough and all that. Reality is, that other person is a little bit of a bully at that moment, and at the same time the older you get, the more confidence you get to say to the person, “Excuse me, I’m here.” Right? Or, maybe more politely, “Seems that you have some other things that are important right now. If you want to reengage with me, I’ll be in that corner of the room.”

Melinda Wittstock:         Right.

Alyssa Dver:                      But that’s hard to do when you’re 20 or 30, and it’s even harder if the other person is your boss, right?

Melinda Wittstock:         Well, it’s hard too, to identify what you call the villains, right? When they’re actually taking your confidence from you, how not to fall into that trap. I see a lot of people have that happen to them. So, they start out with confidence, they have a natural confidence, they know where they’re going. Say they’re a young entrepreneur, or it’s their first business, and they’re excited, it’s this amazing idea. They know their mission, they know where they’re going, and then they fall into that trap of having the naysayers around them, or the actual energy vampires, the people who tell them all the reasons why they can’t, and it defeats them. It blows them off course.

Melinda Wittstock:         So, what are some tactics or some ways that people can get savvier, I guess, about understanding when that’s happening? When to listen to people, and when not to.

Alyssa Dver:                      Honestly, I think that’s an enormous, incredibly important question, but it’s an enormous answer that I’d have to take a lot more of your-

Melinda Wittstock:         You’ll just have to come back on again.

Alyssa Dver:                      … podcast. I think the short answer, well, there’s two short answers. One is obviously that’s what we teach, we teach classes on how to identify these kinds of what we call triggers. Things that literally hit your amygdala and make that alarm go off, so that you can not only manage it better, but you can avoid just having it impact you at all, and quite honestly having you impact other people, triggering it in other people. So, our courses are a little bit longer than a few minutes on a podcast, but the short answer for today is, when you start feeling that little bit of itchiness, that insecurity or whatever you want to label it where you literally are saying to yourself, “I can’t, or I shouldn’t”, that’s the alert to grab.

Alyssa Dver:                      And if you start to become more aware of those things just by that feeling, you’re already ahead of the game, because now it’s no longer subconscious. Now it’s a conscious thing and you give yourself that microsecond of a chance to say, “You know what? Stop. Think about this. Don’t react.” One of the things that I do a lot of teaching on how to pitch. And a pitch is not a presentation. A presentation, you can kind of be [inaudible 00:44:51]. You can be kind of … And still be successful in a presentation because you’ve delivered the information people came to hear. You go to pitch something, yourself in an interview, or you’re asking for money as a venture capitalist, or you’re talking to a venture capitalist, or an angel, or you’re trying to get a customer and you pitch poorly, the game is over.

Alyssa Dver:                      It’s over. So, when you walk in that room, both sides of the table know that you’re asking that other person to do something. So, the brain, the neuroscience behind it is completely different than presenting. And those buttons, the failure, regret, rejection are so high alert that it just makes you act and behave differently. So, I teach people a lot how to handle that, right?

Melinda Wittstock:         Oh, that’s so important for all the women out there, who, like me, who’ve gone out and raised money, successfully, but also unsuccessfully. I think of all the different pitches, you know? And all the technology company sites on, right? And how intimidating, and different, and you’re up against some unconscious bias, and you’re up against a bunch of things, and it’s a different world, and you’re not necessarily in that world on Sand Hill Road, you know? And you walk into a sea of guys in khaki pants, and all that kind of stuff. And try and pull that off with confidence when it’s not your normal [Foreign Language 00:46:12] if you would, right?

Melinda Wittstock:         It’s just not what you know.

Alyssa Dver:                      Not your hood, I get it. But you know what? Here’s the thing. So, you can go and polish a pitch, and there’s a bazillion consultants out there that will help you polish your pitch, right? And it’s fine. They’re not going to use brain science necessarily, but they’ll get you saying and doing the right things. But as an example to your earlier question what can you do? Where people fail pitching, and I’m sure you’re going to go, “Oh my God, it’s so true”, is in the Q&A.

Melinda Wittstock:         Yes.

Alyssa Dver:                      Because what happens is we fall in … we get through the pitch, we’re like, “Woo hoo, I did it”, and then you get thrown a boner of a question, literally. Like what makes you so sure Google’s not going to do that?

Melinda Wittstock:         Right.

Alyssa Dver:                      Like that, right? And you go into caveman.

Melinda Wittstock:         Yeah.

Alyssa Dver:                      Because you can’t help yourself. But if you stop yourself and go, “Wait, time out. That person on the other side of the table is in a little caveman mode themselves. They’re trying to throw something at me, intentionally or not.” You stop yourself. So, it’s not necessarily slowing down, but it’s slowing down your brain enough that you have control over what comes out of your mouth, and out of your face, and your body, that would otherwise convey that you’re in panic mode. Because you are. So, I guess my best advice, I know it sounds kind of high level, there’s all kinds of techniques for breathing, to kind of the way you stand, there’s all kinds of ways to kind of get your brain in a place where it’s a little bit more receptive to those things.

Alyssa Dver:                      But it’s just paying attention to the way you’re feeling any time that you’re in a Q&A situation, or you’re walking into a pitch or a presentation and you’re starting to feel that itchy sweatiness, it is your brain telling you that you have those fears swirling and to just stop, acknowledge them, and then try and be proactive to deal with them. And again, it’s kind of a short version of the whole thing that we would teach people in terms of recognizing the triggers and how to really create the brain training so that you don’t go into default mode as a caveman.

Melinda Wittstock:         Mm-hmm (affirmative). So true. So Alyssa, you’re going to have to come back on this podcast. There’s so much stuff to talk about. Seriously, we could take … seriously. Really. Because this, I feel like we covered so much depth, but at the same time, scratched the surface. This is a big, big issue. And I just want to thank you for all the work that you’re doing out in the world, and I know that you’ve got … sorry. I’m just going to pick up there. And I know that you do amazing work with companies and individuals, so how can people find you and work with you?

Alyssa Dver:                      Oh Melinda, you’re so sweet. Thank you and right back at you, too. Because you’re doing amazing work, too. But here we go. WWW as in American Confidence Institute.com. Best way to find me, we’ve got all kinds of free resources and cool tools, so I hope people will check it out, new E-class we just launched, and we’ve got of course the certification program that I mentioned before, so lots of information there. But also my email and signing up for our mailing list, we promise we won’t hit people too hard but it will keep you informed as stuff rolls out. We do all kinds of cool research and share that as well, so thank you so much.

Melinda Wittstock:         Awesome. Well thank you so much for putting on your Wings and flying with us.

Alyssa Dver:                      Any time.

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