How to Get Confidence

How to Get Confidence

Confidence is something we all struggle with at times so it makes sense to keep a few tips and tricks up your sleeve for the next time you’re not seeing your true self. Read on for Tara’s insight.

Co.OfWomen founder Tara Lorigan shares how confidence featured in the development of the organisation, along with the how-to of building this must-have success trait.


Confidence is a critical element of success, and as women, we have a distinctive relationship with it.

My relationship with my confidence has often been a very stressful one. For a big part of my adult life I felt I had very little confidence; it was the thing that seemed most vulnerable in the challenges of life.

Before I discovered the power of neuroscience, I genuinely felt that I would go through life with my confidence always up for grabs. I can’t tell you what a relief it is to consider my brain as a machine that can be tinkered with, rather than looking at myself as the broken vessel requiring fixing – exhausting, to say the least.

For years, there was so much pain associated with my success journey as I was working on my career and businesses in relative isolation. The pain wasn’t real, but it may as well have been. The source of the pain was the regular and at times frequent questioning of my ability to achieve what I had set out to do.

If you find yourself asking the question, ‘why would you do that to yourself?’, the answer is easy. My early life experience had set me up to believe that I was unlikely to succeed, and as an adult, it took me a long time to work out that that wasn’t true – that success is built from belief, mindset and knowledge, in that order. It wasn’t until we launched Co.OfWomen and started working closely with members that I realised my response to my success journey (which I had thought to be my version of crazy) was almost identical to the vast majority of women.


This realisation prompted the process we developed for working with our members. Our first goal beyond getting to know these women is to clarify what their vision is, or, the level of ‘game’ they’re going for. We have no vested interest in it being at any particular level – big, small and everything in between is welcome, but it’s essential for us to know what members are going for to ensure they get the practical support and resources to achieve it.

The penny-dropping moment came near the end of that first year. I realised that for the most part, women share their vision of the future with passion, energy and clarity, but that two identical statements quickly follow: “But I don’t know how to do that” and “I’m not sure that I can.”

This was an unexpected realisation of revolutionary proportions, and I had two different responses to it. First, I felt a little relieved to discover that I wasn’t alone. But much more so, I was horrified as I realised that this lack of confidence was tantamount to a gender epidemic and Co.OfWomen would never be able to come close to achieving what we had set out to do if women didn’t believe in themselves.

To be clear, it’s not that low confidence means we won’t achieve success. Our success is fuelled by a range of things we draw on daily, but it’s absolutely the case that it will come unnecessarily slowly, and painfully.


There’s no question that confidence can be built, that it’s easy to build and that once we have it, it can’t be lost. 



You may be wondering how the founder of a female organisation could be unaware of this. The answer is easy. The only conversation about female success in the public domain, propagated by the media for decades, focuses on challenges that relate to employed women; the glass ceiling, pay equity, women on boards – a critical but disturbingly myopic trio.

If I’d ever considered the gender aspect of building a practical business support model to see women experience the fullness of their financial success, I would have discounted it on the basis that it didn’t apply to me.

One of the things I love most about the entrepreneurial journey is the agility we have. We can respond swiftly to problems and opportunities, and doing both reactively is often how a business develops.



Fast forward a couple of years from my disturbing revelation, we had made considerable strides in working with hundreds of women on this aspect of their success, and finally, the answer on how to get the word out to thousands of women emerged. I had been trying over and over to get the media interested in writing about female success to no avail, and as I was again turned down, I thought ’you know what, we’ll make our own publication’ and just like that co. magazine was born.

The magazine was the perfect strategy for so many reasons. In addition to having a platform to share what we believe to be important for women, it exclusively showcases our incredible, generous members and their businesses. It reflects our community’s belief that everyone has something to bring and to benefit from, no matter what stage you’re at. It allows us to share the ‘been there’ intelligence of women across the growth spectrum and importantly, the how-to business tools and neuroscience-based tools of personal performance. It literally is the gift that keeps on giving. It’s worth reminding ourselves that all those spectacular outcomes are the eventual response by us to so many ‘nos’, and a reminder of the importance of them on our journeys.


When we stop the habit of assuming we don’t have what it takes, we are 50 per cent of the way closer to confidence.