Michelle Bowden: Fly like an eagle and back yourself

Self-confidence can make you or break you. If you have it you’ll soar, and if you don’t, you wont. But as persuasion expert Michelle Bowden explains, there’s a lot you can do to build your self-confidence up so that you’ll back yourself every time.

It’s common to suffer from self-doubt and not put ourselves in situations where we might make a mistake or feel embarrassed.

After all, no one wants to be thought of as a fool, especially when we are persuading someone to agree with our big idea.

The Commanding Eagle is one of the four approaches to persuasion.

Commanding Eagles have undeniable personal authority and naturally exude confidence and conviction in their ability and ideas – they always back themselves.

It is contagious when you back yourself and have faith in yourself and your ideas.

My sassy daughter Holly says to me, “Mum, moods are contagious, is yours worth catching?”

Ha ha! She’s so sassy, and she is so right!  

What does it mean to back yourself?

To back yourself is to have faith in yourself.

You know you can do it.

Commanding Eagles are confident about their strengths, they know they have the runs on the board and are the best person for the job.

They are passionate and committed to their causes.

They are confident at articulating their perspective, and they don’t back down easily unless the evidence is compelling.

Commanding Eagles take advantage of opportunities to collaborate with others and contribute to their favourite causes as a way of building their expertise and skills. They generally move through life feeling excellent.  

How to back yourself

Commanding Eagles don’t shy away from difficult issues.

  • Journal. One way to make sure you back yourself is to use a journal to note down all your strengths.

Don’t be shy about this.

Write them all down and celebrate them daily.

Another way to build your confidence in communication is to use your journal to express what you think (and why you think it) about a variety of issues and challenges.

Use your writing to clarify your thinking and refine your perspectives.

This, in turn, means you’ll be better able to express what you mean when the time is right.

  • File compliments. Start a file or folder where you store positive memories, including compliments and praise from others. 

When you feel less than confident, you can read through the file and give yourself a boost.

  • Remember, you are the expert. Do everything you can to be an expert in your field and own your lane.

Strive to know everything you can about all aspects of your niche.

It’s important to believe you are the best person for the job, your idea is excellent, your products and services are second to none.

You’ll be best placed to feel this way about yourself if you’ve done the work.

Best-selling author Malcolm Gladwell says it takes 10,000 hours to become an exceptional person who is superior in their field of expertise.

Today is the day to start getting those 10,000 hours under your belt so you can back yourself in every circumstance.

  • Manage conflict. We all move through life dealing with the contrary opinions of others that test our boundaries.

When someone tries to railroad you or force you into something you believe is wrong, it’s time to stretch your Commanding Eagle wings.

Strive to deal with conflict in a functional way where everyone wins.

There’s a fantastic model for managing conflict that involves five steps; state the objection, say ‘and’ or ‘so’ or pause, then say ‘actually’ or ‘in fact’, then solve the objection, then use the word because. 

Lydell’s story

Lydell is a wonderful client of mine.

He’s clever, experienced, and incredibly innovative in his thinking.

He achieves ground-breaking wins for his business.

Do you know what? He knows it! 

Before you groan and say something less than friendly, he doesn’t know this in an arrogant way that is a turn off to the people he works with and for.

He just knows that he is the right person for the job. He knows what he is doing.

He has years of exciting, relevant experience. He’s an expert in his field, and he knows this about himself.

He backs himself.

Lydell exudes confidence when he speaks up in a meeting, and I can tell you he is very attractive and persuasive to his colleagues, suppliers, team members and leaders. 

Lydell is undeniable. 

What could you do to start the process of realising your strengths so that you are better at backing yourself and your ideas?

Happy persuading!

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Michelle Bowden

Michelle Bowden is Australia's expert on presenting persuasively in business. She's a best-selling, internationally published author of How to Present: the ultimate guide to presenting your ideas and influencing people using techniques that actually work. For more information visit