Christy Wright talks about confidence partnered with habits

How Can Goals Build Confidence? By Partnering With Habits.

Christy Wright, #1 bestselling author of Business Boutique, Take Back Your Time, and Living True, joins the 4word community for the first time to chat about all things confidence and how goals can help you build confidence…if you don’t forget to prioritize building supportive habits.

You can listen to this conversation with Christy on our podcast, Work, Love, Pray! Listen below or click here to find your preferred listening platform.

I’m Christy and I’m a mom of three kids, ages nine, seven, and four. I start with that because it’s the realest, truest most time-consuming awesome part of my life! I’m also a certified business coach, bestselling author, and keynote speaker. I have spent years training people in business and in other topics like growing their faith and life balance. Many people may know me from my time with Dave Ramsey and his team, where I was a Ramsey personality for 12 years. About two years ago, the Lord called me to leave Ramsey and go out on my own. I had no idea what I was doing, but I’ve been building my business ever since!

There’s fascinating research that starts in early childhood focused on how we are wired. As a generalization, women tend to have lower testosterone than men, and testosterone is a kind of confidence hormone. When you have high testosterone, you feel powerful. You feel confident, more fearless, and you’re willing to take on bigger challenges. Men typically have higher levels of testosterone, so you see how this will play out. A man will apply for a job even if he only has 60% of the qualifications, whereas a woman will not apply for the same exact job until she has 100% of the qualifications. 

So you can see this gap forming, right? If you go for less, you’re going to get less. I’m not trying to simplify the wage gap or anything similar to that, but lack of confidence is a piece of it. I think it was Michael Jordan who said, ‘You miss a hundred percent of the shots you don’t take.’ Women are taking less shots, and I think confidence is a big part of why.

Women tend to be more burdened by the imposter syndrome, which is that nagging feeling that you’re going be found out for being something other than what you’ve said. I read in James Dobson’s book, Bringing Up Boys, that little girls break sooner when learning to ride a bicycle. That sounds really simple but think about the implications of their fear: fear of a mistake, fear of falling, or fear of crashing. Boys, on the other hand, are slower to learn from calamities, because they tend to externalize mistakes and internalize success. Girls do the exact opposite: we externalize success and internalize failure.

This has happened to me several times. I’m a runner, so I’ll go out for a run, and I will run faster than I think I’m capable of running. In my mind, I’m a nine-minute-mile runner, but then I finish my workout and see that I’ve run eight-minute splits. This is so embarrassing, but it’s true: I will go back on that course with my car to map it to see if my run was the right distance and I really got those results. 

We have ideas about ourselves that really have major effects in our lives. I think understanding our limitations or understanding just uniquely how we’re wired, then we can work to build our confidence and understand that imposter syndrome doesn’t have to hold us back. You can do it scared. You can apply for the job when you’re only 60% qualified. Your past mistakes don’t define you. You’re going to get yourself back up and do it. When you understand how you’re wired, failure doesn’t hold you back as much and you can build confidence just like everyone else. 

Goals are really powerful because they give you a vision to aspire to. I’ve recently read Atomic Habits by James Clear, and it’s really changed how I view the purpose of goals. I used to be more focused on goals than I was on habits. I’m an achiever, I’m an Enneagram 8. I love to go for big things, so that’s always been my focus. While goals definitely have a purpose, I’m also now equally interested in these small wins and daily habits that get me to a goal.

You may set a really big goal that inspires you, but you also need small, very achievable daily steps to get to that goal. Skipping this is the reason so many people fall off of their goals. In fact, 92% of people abandon New Year’s resolutions by the end of January. We set big, lofty goals, but we don’t have a plan to get there. I don’t believe goals on their own give you confidence. Goals give you vision and push you to go for bigger and better things. But daily steps, plans, or processes that you put in place to get to that goal are what give you confidence. And remember: seeing progress is what builds our confidence, so acknowledge progress when it happens and let it motivate you to make more progress. 

Think about the major buckets in your life. The top bucket for me would be family. Michael J. Fox once said, ‘Family is not an important thing. It’s everything.’ For most people, family is a massive part of the fulfillment of their lives. Whatever your family looks like, it’s good to have goals for family, like having more one-on-one time, or taking more vacations. Just be intentional with those people that you live with and love.

The second most common type of goals people will set focuses on money. Zig Ziglar said, ‘Money isn’t the most important thing in life, but it’s pretty close to oxygen on the gotta-have scale.’ You need to have financial goals because most of the things you want to do in life require money, whether you want to travel more or be more generous with giving.

I would also encourage you to consider adding goals that pose a challenge to you. There’s fascinating research on how our brain is wired for a challenge. We need to be learning or we will get bored very easily. Challenging goals can apply to any bucket in your life, whether that’s your career, your walk with God, or even learning or reading more to grow your skillset. Think of how goals can serve as a springboard for you this year, professionally, personally, and spiritually. Then set up your daily steps towards those goals and get ready to celebrate your progress!

Picture of Christy Wright, author and speaker

Christy Wright is the #1 bestselling author of Business Boutique, Take Back Your Time, and Living True. She is a certified business coach, dynamic speaker and personal development expert. Christy hosts two top-rated podcasts. On her show Get Your Hopes Up, she encourages people to get to know God, get closer to Him and get their hopes up again. Her Business Bootcamp show gives business owners the practical steps they want and the tough love truth they need to succeed. Christy has been featured on The Today Show and Fox News, and in Success, Entrepreneur, and Woman’s Day magazines.

Whether she’s running on stage in heels or running after her kids, coaching leaders or cleaning up goldfish crumbs, Christy makes the most out of life and loves to encourage others to do the same. Christy lives in Nashville, Tennessee with her husband, Matt, their three children Carter, Conley and Mary Grace, and their dog Cooper.