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“Whether you’re on an athletic team, a sales force, or a symphony orchestra, you better be honest about what you think about yourself. What you think about yourself and what you think about all the things that happen day by day, that’s what constitutes your confidence.” – Dr. Nate Zinsser

This Summer, I’m delighted to offer you our “Summer Pick” series which brings you a selection of the most popular listener favorites from the past few years of shows. Today’s episode originally aired as a two-part installment on January 27th and February 3rd, 2022. Hope you enjoy them!

Confidence is a character trait that has relatively little to do with what happens to you, but rather it’s a function of how you think. Today’s Finding Brave guest reveals how you can change your level of confidence, but first you must be aware of certain things. You absolutely can develop confidence for any situation that you care to, and our guest shares the ways that confident performers think differently from the average person in order to do this.

​​Dr. Nate Zinsser is an expert in the psychology of human performance who consults for individuals and organizations seeking a competitive edge. Nate’s latest book, The Confident Mind: A Battle-Tested Guide for Unshakable Performance, hit shelves January 2022, and has been endorsed by two-time Super Bowl Champion and MVP Eli Manning, bestselling authors Jon Krakauer and Steven Pressfield, and US Olympic Bobsled Head Coach Mike Kohn.

Nate was a regular consultant to the Philadelphia Flyers and New York Giants for twelve seasons and has been a keynote speaker for General Electric, Facebook, McDonald’s, Staples, UBS, Major League Baseball, the NBA, and many more, as well as a consultant for the FBI Academy, the U.S. Army World Class Athlete Program, (mentoring four Olympic medalists), the U.S. Army Recruiting Command, and the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit.

Since 1992, he has directed a cutting-edge applied sport psychology program at the United States Military Academy’s Center for Enhanced Performance, personally conducting over seventeen thousand individual training sessions and seven hundred team training sessions for cadets seeking the mental edge for athletic, academic, and military performance.

He also helped launch the highly successful magazine Sports Illustrated for Kids and was presented with an American Library Association award for his 1991 children’s book Dear Dr. Psych: A Kid’s Guide to Handling Sports Problems.

I’m happy to re-air this important mini-series on confidence, to give you the action steps and mindset shifts needed to overcome obstacles that often get in the way of building our self-confidence. 

Highlights from this Episode:

  • How Nate entered this field of work and the way that a school sports team from his youth helped him understand the concept of self-fulfilling prophecies [7:38]
  • The impact that your thoughts will play on the overall level of confidence that you have in yourself [12:04]
  • What Nate had to do at an early age to develop a strong belief in himself [15:00]
  • The key factors that influence our own systems of beliefs and approach to growth, success and progress [16:01]
  • The 7 deadly sins and limiting beliefs that hold us back and lower our confidence [18:28]
  • Why being socialized to the norms of society is often a formula to be mediocre [22:13]
  • Something that will help create a great deal of energy as you build your confidence [23:45]
  • Why it’s absolutely critical to be your own best friend [23:39]
  • How you can use both logic and creative fantasy to begin creating your own reality [25:38]
  • A reframe for failure and what you can do to protect your confidence from internally generated thoughts about yourself [30:46]
  • The factors that separate top performers from the others, and the way that our beliefs will produce our behaviors, and not vice versa [32:10]
  • How your work feeds your confidence, plus the one big thing that most people are missing with this [36:09]
  • The importance of knowing and trusting yourself in this process [37:43]
  • The way that Nate approaches his work with athletes in order to help raise their confidence and performance [44:08]
  • Whether or not he ever personally lacks confidence [46:43]
  • The biggest lessons that Nate learned by writing his latest book [49:15] 

For More Information: 

Nate’s Latest Book, The Confident Mind: A Battle-Tested Guide for Unshakable Performance

Resources Mentioned:

Porcelain on Steel: Women of West Point’s Long Gray Line by Donna McAleer

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In reading a great deal about leadership today, and interviewing top leadership experts, I’m recognizing a disappointing trend – that the general concept and understanding of leadership has become so vague and watered down that most of it isn’t helpful at all, and it’s not suited to a majority of women who want to lead differently.

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Order Kathy’s book The Most Powerful You today! 

In Australia and New Zealand, click here to order, elsewhere outside North America, click here, and in the UK, click here.

If you enjoy the book, we’d so appreciate your giving the book a positive rating and review on Amazon! And check out Kathy’s digital companion course The Most Powerful You, to help you close the 7 most damaging power gaps in the most effective way possible. 

Kathy’s Power Gaps Survey, Support To Build Your LinkedIn Profile To Great Success & Other Free Resources

Kathy’s TEDx Talk, Time To Brave Up & Free Career Path Self-Assessment

Kathy’s Amazing Career Project video training course & 6 Dominant Action Styles Quiz


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“At the conclusion of my junior year, our wrestling team had our first winning season in a long time, and in my senior year it had another winning season. I don’t think it was so much because we were all that physically gifted, but it was just as much a function of the fact that we did not buy into that negative self-fulfilling prophecy.” [10:58]

“I don’t recall moments in my earlier childhood where I received a series of messages that really encouraged me to believe in myself. I had to work at that.” [15:00]

“We’ve got to be honest about which [limiting belief] is hanging us up, and be willing to let it go to cultivate an alternative belief.” [23:18]  

“We have been socialized to be our own harshest critic, exclusively. Be your own best friend, and be honest with yourself” [24:24] 

“I really encourage a good mix of logic when you’re doing simple things but fantasy when you’re looking long-term, and try to combine them in your preparation for performance.” [28:42] 

“If you got your butt handed to you, the first thing that you’ve got to do is decide that this disappointment or poor performance is not the definitive statement about who you are or what you can do.” [30:05] 

“There are not a million things that separate the top from the bottom. It’s just one little thing that is done on a consistent basis. Let’s find out what you can be good at and let’s make sure that you’re applying that time after time, day after day, and moment after moment.” [32:10] 

“We have to be very selective in what we choose to tell ourselves about ourselves. We’ve got to be careful about the kinds of conclusions that we are drawing from our experience.” [37:11] 

“If I don’t think I’m the right person at the right time for that moment, then I’ve got no business being there [for the client].” [46:02]

Watch video versions of my interviews on Finding Brave! 

Don’t forget – you can experience each Finding Brave interview episode in both audio and video formats! Check out new and recent episodes on my Youtube channel at And please leave us a comment and a thumbs up if you like the show! 

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Kathy’s new book The Most Powerful You: 7 Bravery-Boosting Paths to Career Bliss shares vital information on the 7 most damaging power gaps that 98% of professional women face and how to overcome them. Boost your power and confidence today!


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