What If You Had “For Reals Confidence” In Your S£x Ed Business? – The 3rd of 4 C’s

by Reid on August 9, 2023

What If You Had “For Reals Confidence” In Your S£x Ed Business?

What would your life (and business) be like with more authentic Confidence, Sex Geek?

Welcome to the 3rd post in this series.

The first two posts covered Competence and Courage. If you haven’t read them yet, you can find them here: What’s Blocking You From Seggs Educator Success? and here: Where Do You Find the Courage to Create a Successful S£x Ed Business?

Confidence means having a conscious self-awareness of your own power and an ability to rely on yourself. Confidence is about how much you can trust & count on YOURSELF.

How much can you trust yourself & your power when it comes to your business, Sex Geek?

Boyonce's many face montage GIF

We know what confidence looks like on the outside… The way someone walks, how they hold themselves, how they speak.

If you have access to talented makeup people, directors, photographers, lighting people, wardrobe, etc… Talented people can help create the illusion of confidence… They could help you put on the air of confidence and help you make a show & spectacle of it, like when you see a great headshot or website photo and enviously say to yourself “Damn”. But REAL confidence —the kind of confidence-in-action you see when someone is tackling tough and challenging times without shying away— THAT kind of confidence has a feeeeeeling & realness to it that resonates with or without the fancy lights and makeup. 

THAT kind of confidence is palpable. It’s real… It’s what I’m going to call For Reals Confidence. 

What Is FOR REALS Confidence?

For Reals Confidence (which is a term I just made up, BTW!) is what I call the kind of confidence that comes from making mistakes, feeling scared, and sometimes wanting to quit AND still making progress. For Reals Confidence is the broken tea cup mended with gold (Kintsugi) kind of confidence. It’s stronger and more powerful because it’s imperfect. It’s human, flaws and all. It’s when someone knows in their heart that they’ll step up and take action even when odds are they might fail.

Superman is the most powerful alien on planet Earth and Wonder Woman is a god. Sure omnipotence & invincibility are cool but when you know nothing can hurt you —when nothing can bite you in the ass because your ass is literally bulletproof— is THAT confidence? 

Superman headbutting Wonder Woman and her headbutting him back GIF

The Right Instagram Filter Never Saved a Marriage

Folks out in the influencer sphere tout that they’re flawless, have yet to make a mistake, and know what’s best for you… That feels like “fake it ’til you make it” phoniness. That’s not For Reals Confidence. That’s an inspiring vista behind you at sunset, a good smartphone camera, and shooting as many takes as you need until you get juuuuust the right one… And while there are influencers out there who re making money off of sponsorships & collaborations, how is good lighting and the right Instagram filter going to help the couple who is struggling to connect, who hasn’t had sex since their wedding night?

Confidence for us mere mortals is about knowing you can trust yourself to show up and take action even when things are hard & scary. Stepping up and trying again even when you’ve made a mistake… That’s confidence + courage.

Cliff diving back flips GIF

It’s the confidence and courage mixed with some good communication tools that are going to help that struggling couple confront their fears, heal old hurts & resentments, and reconnect.

You know what’s NOT going to save their marriage? A great photo or Instagram reel hashtagged #livingmybestlife #Ibiza.

Surround Yourself With For Reals Confidence, Then Share It

When you’re tackling something scary, do you want the flawless fakes supporting you or mentors who have confidence for reals and are tackling scary things in their own lives & businesses because they’ve learned from experience, made mistakes, and tested & learned what works in the real world? 

Being scared AND having the confidence to take action anyways… Learning from your mistakes… Not being afraid to seek out support and always improving your skills… THOSE are the people a smart person wants guiding them: Real people with real fears and flaws but who know know in their heart —for reals— that they’ll step up and take action even when times are tough. And they know it because of the courage and competence they’ve built up.

People like this have the recipe for helping others. If they don’t have the exact recipe, they will lead you by the hand and help you find it. These people are role models. 

What if YOU had that kind of FOR REALS confidence in your business? How would it help you with your clients? How would you share it with your clients & followers?

As sex-positive educators, we know the world is full of people trying to face their shame, traumas, and social conditioning around sex. And the work each of us has already done (and continue to do) on our own shame, trauma, and conditioning gives us a confidence our fans, followers, and current & future clients can see and feel. 

You and I having more confidence & competence about relationships & sex helps us reach & speak to people more powerfully. We share things online that most people won’t even share with their therapists! That courage & confidence can deeply touch & inspire people, which helps us help them tackle the tough, scary challenges they’re wrestling to overcome. 

You got this GIF

The Confidence/Competence Loop Starts With a Single Step… But Which Step Is It?

There is a concept in psychology known as the Confidence/Competence Loop, and it is usually described as feeling confident/gaining confidence about a task increases one’s competency at it, and the increase in competency magnifies the confidence, and so on and so forth as it continues to “loop.”

But what happens if you don’t have any confidence or competence yet? If you’re starting a business or launch a whole new pivot for your career, how do you get your foot in the confidence/competence door?

Cat struggling to get under a closed door GIF

And what if you’re trying to get your foot in the door and the door slams it’s self on you? Ouch! Set backs are to be expected but really can set you back when they happen early on. 

As educators, the loop isn’t just two things, but three… As we help our fans and clients feel more Competent at sex & relationship skills, it’s not just Confidence that’s a part of the equation. It’s Competence, Courage, and Confidence. 

Let’s say you’re helping a couple learn how to give and receive erotic massage with each other. 

You start off by teaching them how pleasure and bodies work… You teach them the importance of slowing down, why focusing on the whole body and not just the genitals is important… You teach them how arousal can differ from person to person and how to map their own arousal and find words to help describe it… You teach them physical techniques, why lubrication is important and how it enhances sensation, and how to take deep breaths and let out sound… You teach them how to get better at listening to their body and their lover’s body… You teach them how to communicate & check-in with themselves and their partners… You teach them what to expect and how to hold space for ecstatic experiences of pleasure… You teach them the importance of aftercare… And, as they practice these giving/receiving skills and experience their partner’s enjoyment and their own enjoyment, their Confidence increases.

Look what my body can do GIF

A great teacher also helps their clients avoid set backs AND prepares them for the future feelings that can, if left unaddressed, also set them back.

Prepare For The Shame

We know as educators that learning pleasure skills and diving into pleasurable, erotic experiences can kick up feelings of shame & self-worth for our clients… They can feel broken if they’re not making progress fast enough… Past traumas can bubble up and make things feel very scary… 

Knowing this, we also help them learn how to pause, take a breath, recenter themselves and tap into the courage to lean into feeling their feelings… We help them learn how to not make themselves wrong, how to process their feelings rather than getting blocked or shut down by them… We teach them how to show up for themselves and their loved ones (who might be having similar feels)… And we teach them how to gently take the pause button off pause, continue breathing and staying connected, and sink slowly back into the giving/receiving experience of the massage or communicate and honor without shame that they would like to stop the massage.

Romantic couples massage GIF

Over time, their competence + courage around erotic massage increases and that, in turn, deepens their skills and self-awareness until they start to feel confident that they can handle anything that arises during a massage.

That confidence encourages them to practice more, which ups their competence, which emboldens their courageousness… They start applying their newfound skills & awareness to other parts of their relationship, courageously talking about topics and feelings that they previously withheld, bravely holding space for each other as the intimacy & honesty deepens, and they start experiencing positive, often VERY different, outcomes than they’d had in previous relationships… The Competence/Courage/Confidence Trifecta alters the trajectory of that couple’s relationship forever.

Imagine applying a similar trifecta approach to your business life, to your relationship with your business… What might THAT yield for you? 

Knowing how your business works, how to keep breathing when you’re having feels about it, and knowing what skills & platforms to use to accomplish those important business tasks… Would you feel more Competent?

Rocky at the top of the steps shadow boxing and being cheered on by a crowd of children GIF

When you start to prove to yourself that you can step up and tackle the scary & unexpected challenges your business (and life!) throws at you because you know how to access your Courage… How would THAT feel? 

And when you combine your growing competency with your at-the-ready courageousness… When you know YOU KNOW  how and which skills and tools to reach for and that you know you can COUNT ON YOURSELF to HANDLE YOUR BUSINESS… What might that do to your Confidence?  

Again, there are a lot of “Fake” confidence people out there. We discussed the “Fake it ‘til you make it” trap in Post #1. Pretending, hoping no one will look behind the curtain and see the fear and worry… Fake confidence people spend a lot of time and energy worrying that they will be called out and doubling down on the “fake it” if there’s even a whiff of failure in the air… All the energy and time they’re spending worrying and doubling down could be more usefully poured into the Trifecta of learning how to be competent, courageous, and confident.

What About Imposter Syndrome? 

“But what about imposter syndrome?” you might ask. GREAT question. 

Imposter Syndrome is REAL. However, “faking it ‘til you make it” feelings of fakery are VERY different from Imposter Syndrome. It’s possible to feel confident AND feel like you’re a fraud. I’m living proof of this. 

Hamster stuck on a hamster wheel as it's hitting them in the butt GIF

If I “faked” that I’m super secure, never have doubts, and have all of my shit together, then my fans & clients might think they’re broken for “not being like Reid.” How is THAT going to help them have better sex and deeper, more authentic intimacy? Faking it just makes me a shitty role model. 

Montage of sex and relationship educator Reid Mihalko of ReidAboutSex.com appearing on the Netflix show "Chelsea Does..." with Chelsea Handler

And while wearing my insecurities on my sleeve feels vulnerable, I feel Competent in my ability to “hold” my vulnerability and insecurities rather than make them someone else’s responsibility. And THAT gives me access to the Courage to admit my insecurities and love myself for all of who I am and how I show up in the world. 

For Reals Confidence is often quieter, more steady, and much more charismatic and engaging than the false bravado of fake-it-‘til-you -make-it, manufactured confidence.

It's too much Schitt's Creek GIF

And don’t get me wrong, I still have plenty of noisy, negative self-talk blaring inside my head. I’m having it even as I write this post — “You suck at writing, Reid. This post is waaaaay too long and sooooo obtuse. Look! You used the word obtuse! Who are you trying to impress, you moron! You’re a terrible teacher, Reid, and no one likes the GIFs!”

The difference between me now and me 20 years ago is that I know my Imposter Syndrome and negative self-talk are actually signs that I’m doing at least a decent job (If not a great job) at teaching — There’s even a study that indicates how Imposter Syndrome ends up being an advantage. And because of my competence, courage, and confidence in how I show up for my insecurities, my survival brain often remembers that “I got this” about my feelings & negative self-talk… And in remembering that, I can take another courageous baby step towards continuing to help and serve folks regardless of what I think about myself. 

Why Our Survival Brains Respond To Confidence

It’s my experience that our survival brain relaxes when it recognizes For Reals Confidence, not just in others but even in ourselves (when we’re having a good day!).

[Here is a great Youtube video about Survival Brain VS Learning Brain]

We are drawn to want to learn and spend time with confident people because our survival brains, from an evolutionary point of view, know that a truly confident person is a much safer person to be around in case something goes wrong. Just think of how a brand new workshop leader handles a heckler in their class, versus someone with good training and/or lots of experience… In general, the class attendees will come through with less stress and more ease with the experienced instructor who knows how to facilitate and hold a room. 

Shut Up and Take My Money GIF

Our survival brains, FYI, are heavily (and unconsciously!) influencing our decision-making processes all the time. This is especially true with your fans, followers, and future clients.

Where, when & why humans make their buying decisions, especially those impulse buys… Yep, you guessed it: Survival Brain!

Our survival brains are influencing what classes, experiences, and teachers we feel “called to”… We tend to buy things & experiences that soothe us, provide clarity, and help us avoid pain. That means we also tend to buy from teachers who are soothing or inspiring to us.

Shut Up and Take My Money GIF

We rarely hit the buy button on things that are confusing or cause us to freak out MORE (There is an exception called Pain Marketing, but great educators don’t shame people into buying their services).

What Does YOUR Confidence Need?

What would you need to work on to feel MORE confident about your business? Your career? Your skills as an educator? 

Is it knowing how to write inspiring, kick-ass copy for your workshops and retreats? Copy that helps draw to your offerings clients who are GREAT fits for the work you do? 

Is it feeling confident using microphones, speaking to camera, how to give GREAT INTERVIEW whether you’re on a podcast or making an appearance on a NETFLIX show? Is it knowing that you can coach as powerfully on Zoom as in an in-person 1-on-1 or couple’s session?

Is it losing your fear of self-promotion, posting “too much” on social media, or tooting your own horn by inviting people to check out your online store? Maybe it’s knowing that your “behind the scenes” parts of your business are actually dialed in, that you have systems in place to help your business run smoothly, and that you no longer feel that your business is being held together by Scotch Tape and luck. 

Developing confidence becomes useful in all areas of your career and business (as well as your personal life, too, I might add!). And For Reals Confidence helps your clients feel safer and more trusting of you. Remember to use your powers for good and never for evil!

How Do I Know When It’s Really Working? What If I’m Delusional And Don’t Know It?

For real, for real! GIF

With Imposter Syndrome lurking in the shadows of your brain, how do you know if it’s real confidence that’s showing up? Like, for real, for real?

How do you know you’re not delusional or that you’re so bad at business that there’s no way you could actually tell that you’re a failure?

Celebrate Yourself, Damn It!

If you want more actual Confidence of the For Reals kind…

If you want to keep building the other “C’s” of Competence and Courage (we’ll reveal the 4th “C” next post!)…

AND if you want to become MORE aware of how they —the “C’s”— are show up in your life and business (rather than worrying that you’re wrong about it all)… Start celebrating yourself!

Person petting a white hamster's head GIF

When you notice those negative self-talk hamsters in your head, give them a few pets behind their cute little hamster ears and thank them for doing such a good job. Their worrying likely kept you safe at some point in your childhood… And after you’ve thank them, invite them to help you look for ways you’ve been winning, been courageous and bold! And congratulate yourself on how far you’ve come!

You talk about sex and pleasure and stuff to other people… To strangers… TO THE WORLD!

That is some brave shit right there.

If you’re new to the hamster analogy, BTW, we dive deep into how to manage your negative self-talk hamsters as we go through Implementation Boot(y) Camp —See below.

After you and your hamsters are done celebrating yourself for being so kick-ass, if you’d like my help (and my friend Cathy Vartuli’s help as well) with building your business confidence & prowess, here are some proven offerings below that can help you boost your career skills to rock-star levels!

Cathy and I hope you join us for some or all of these courses we’ve got coming up… All of these courses (1:1 coaching excluded) have multi-pay and some partial and full scholarships available. Click the images and links below to learn more.

Upcoming Events & Courses

Implementation Boot(y) Camp: Build the foundation of your business or fill in missing gaps so you feel competent that you have the infrastructure to help people and to reach new folks that need your help! With AI to speed up your growth and to save you energy! And Reid and Cathy at the helm. — Register + More Info HERE.

Copywriting Deep Dive with AI for Sex Geeks: Learn how to write in ways that engage and invite your audience that lights a spark in them and has the right ones signing up in droves for your offerings. Plus, we’ll use AI to help reduce your workload by up to 70-percent! Two day Event. Reid and Cathy will be guiding you. — Learn More and Register HERE.

Sex Geek Conservatory: 3 Days working on your public speaking & teaching skills can change the trajectory of your career…Too many people fumble through when learning how to speak & teach and they leave bad impressions before they become great at it. Spend three days accessing your inner power & upping your teaching/speaking game so YOU can rock people’s worlds & leave GREAT impressions immediately! A Reid Mihalko offering. — Learn More and Register HERE.

Sex Geek Summer Camp’s 10th Anniversary: Celebrating 10 years! 6-Day/5-Night Sleepaway Business/Marketing/Facilitation Skills Development & Education retreat for Sex Educators & pleasure professionals. A Reid Mihalko offering. — Access Camp’s FAQ + Register HERE.

Coaching: Reid and Cathy offer 1:1 coaching to help you uncover your blocks and gain the skills you need to power your mission and make a difference that will echo around the world.
Coaching Info for Cathy HERE.
Coaching Info for Reid HERE.

Building a successful business alone is hard… And the mission you’re on is too important to risk going at it solo. People need your intimacy & relationship advice NOW so let’s put the foundation in place for you and your business so YOU can reach more of your future fans & clients and serve them with less stress while also paying your rent!

Cathy and I believe in you, Sex Geek! And whatever ways you gain the confidence to run a successful, thriving business & career helping people… Go do THAT!

Big thanks to Cathy Vartuli who drafted the ideas for this series of posts, and helped kicked me in the pants to send these out… Cathy is quite confident when it comes to helping folks, if you didn’t already know.

We hope this post helps you understand the power of confidence when it’s for reals and not faked and that it emboldens you to go MORE for yourself, Sex Geek!

Ted Lasso Mucho Mucho Joy GIF

To quieting the hamsters and building a successful career for yourself,
REiD (and Cathy!)
Ps. Watch for an upcoming post to learn the fourth and final “C”, the secret #4 sauce that tops them all. #TedLassoReferencePowersActivate

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: