How to Cultivate Unshakable Confidence: The 5 Cs Approach

When you hear the word confidence, what does it make you think of? Maybe there's a certain person that comes to mind. What do you notice in that person?

In our 20 years of leadership coaching, we’ve shared plenty of ideas about what confidence is, while also addressed our clients’ questions about developing more of it.

Confidence does not need to be an elusive concept. It isn't something that only other people have. It’s certainly not something we have to pretend to have or to fake our way through. It's also not something that's fleeting, or situational. 

Confidence is a belief in our skills and our commitment of continuous development. With guidance and plenty of practice, these skills create a rock-solid, impenetrable foundation. This rock-solid foundation is the key to confidence. It’s what the whole idea of building your confidence muscle depends on. 


We like to call this foundation the 5 Cs of Leadership Confidence.

The 5 Cs, when combined, and practiced, open the door to confidence and help you lead with your own wellness first. That, in turn, will help you lead more authentically, and more effectively.


So, here are the 5 Cs of Leadership Confidence:

  1. Communication
  2. Clarity  
  3. Connection
  4. Community
  5. Courage

As you strengthen your communication, clarity, connection, community, and courage, you will begin to see that unshakable confidence building up within, and around you. That’s your impenetrable foundation. Here are some tips to strengthen each of the 5 Cs:


1. Improve Communication

When stress is communicated through words and actions, it’s almost always unhelpful, but it can be hard to even recognize without practice. As a leader, if you speak in a way that inspires fear, guilt or shame that hurts your relationships and results. And what does that do to your confidence?


First step, know the energy (emotion) from which you're communicating. A great way to do this is to first pay attention to the emotions you're experiencing, moment to moment, and what communication (internal thought or dialogue with others) preceded that emotion. To get to a place where everyone feels heard and understood, you need to be able to hear and understand yourself. 

You probably know what your knee-jerk reactions are in certain situations. Do you know how to read and respond to people’s different reactions so they feel supported? 

Practice how you listen and speak to yourself and others as a crucial first step toward building confidence.


2. Gain Clarity

It can be especially difficult to see clearly when you’re stressed or overwhelmed.

An obscured view can lead to impaired judgment and poor decision-making. We all know that. So, do you have a way of creating clarity for yourself and the people you lead? In particular, can you help them:

  • Clearly understand your vision
  • See a way forward
  • Feel more secure when faced with a breakdown in communication or process?

If not, you may need to find some clarity in your own life and business. To get there, you can start with self-reflection to uncover what your values are and what your personal mission is. Unearth the foundation of you and grow more confident from there.


3. Deepen Connection

Connect to your needs and to your sense of purpose to increase your confidence and motivation. Forge strong connections with your team by understanding their needs. When you align your purpose with the collective vision, work satisfaction and performance soar. Embracing the "why" behind your actions strengthens your sense of purpose and prevents you from merely going through the motions.

Do you recognize the connection between your needs (values) and the work you do? In your leadership roles, do you help others make this connection?

Connection is essential to confidence because it allows us to align with our why and to develop empathy and understanding of other. People feel this difference, and trust and respect build quickly. 


4. Build Community

We were born into community and we continue to exist in community. The quality of our community experience is the quality of our life. Developing authentic, trusting relationships helps you understand yourself (if you pay attention) and how you can both support and be supported in times of need. Community helps you understand the balance between respecting personal boundaries and remaining open. This promotes collective wellness, and feels amazing as you begin to open and expand.

Have you ever stopped to consider all the communities you're a part of? How could a heightened sense of community in the office contribute to collaboration and motivation? If you focus on building community your leadership confidence will likely flourish. 


5. Move Forward in Courage

Doubt and fear hinder progress in all areas of our life. Moving toward more confidence requires courage — the courage to commit to your vision and speak truth in a way that creates understanding rather than guilt. A real honouring of your values. Having moments of courage develops ongoing confidence.

Where could you apply a little courage to adjust your thinking and actions to better align with your values or vision? What conversations keep cycling in your head where some courageous conversation may create the movement you desire?

Remember, confidence is like a set of muscles that can be strengthened over time. Embrace the 5 Cs, treating them as equal parts of your personal growth journey. Dedicate yourself to consistent practice, and you will witness your confidence flourishing.




If you want to go deeper into conscious leadership, access our FREE 4-step course "Communicate Better as a Conscious Leader". You'll learn how to navigate mistakes, misunderstandings, and miscommunication with compassion.


Want the confidence to lead with purpose? Sign up for our FREE Leadership Confidence Booster masterclass. Discover the 5 Cs of Confidence: Communication, Clarity, Connection, Community, and Courage.

Unlock your inner confidence as an inclusive leader. Lead with compassion. Create inclusive spaces. Inspire others through purpose. Move equality forward through your vision.

 As a promoter of equality, build more inclusive and equitable spaces. Sign up now for our FREE Conscious Equity Masterclass.

Let's build our confidence muscles for equality together!