Been dreaming and scheming about making that career change…but not feeling confident enough to make it happen?

If so, you’re not alone.

Everyone tells you that you need to have the confidence to just “go for it” and “be you”! As if it was as easy as miraculously spotting a $100 bill on the sidewalk and picking it up.

After all, there are all these messages about simply “being” confident, self-assured, yourself, fearless, etc. all over Twitter…and really everywhere.

That’s great as a reminder if you already have that level of confidence!

But, the problem is nobody tells you how to get from being at the level of confidence you have right now to being so bold and brave that you trust yourself to “just do it” and “put yourself out there.”

My friend Maxie McCoy and I will show you this method to help you grow more confidence, starting exactly where you are today.

Maxie says that the #1 biggest misconception about confidence is that you need it before you take action. I think she’s right. Take a listen to my conversation with her as she breaks down what people don’t tell you about confidence AND how to do something about it right now!

I know: when we see people who have made huge, epic changes in their lives, they always seem so confident and self-assured. We have episodes of our podcast with former students and clients where they sound like certifiable badasses: Mike Bigelow networked like a boss to get a big raise and custom designed compensation package as he moved in the Pacific Northwest. Tanya Malcolm-Revell had a job created for her at her dream wellness company as an American ex-pat living in London.

They both sound like they must have been completely confident and comfortable in putting themselves out there, asking for what they wanted. And by the end of putting in all the hard work, creating strategic relationships, and re-branding themselves so hiring managers jumped with glee, I’m pretty sure they were a heck of a lot more confident.  

But having spoken to each of them personally along the way, I can tell you that even the most confident, self-assured individuals on the outside have at least a tiny bit of self-doubt on the inside — especially at the beginning.

In observable results, boosted confidence tends to be the product of taking action, rather than the cause.

Maxie’s philosophy matches many other performance coaches for ambitious professionals. For example, when it comes to developing confidence, Strategic Coach founder Dan Sullivan talks about his framework of the 4Cs. He says that in order to get Confidence and Competence, you must start with Courage and Commitment.

Confidence is a product of committing to courageously take un-confident action over and over again.

And action doesn’t come from feeling completely ready and comfortable and 100% prepared. It comes from noticing the excuses you’re making, not letting yourself get away with them anymore, and going for it.

“One of the steps in being able to build that sense of self-belief is knowing you don’t have to be comfortable in order to believe, you don’t have to believe in yourself to make that uncomfortable decision or conversation. Taking that uncomfortable step forward will build you believing in yourself.” – Maxie McCoy

When you’re considering any big, bold change in your career, making it happen is going to require some guts. On the podcast today, Maxie walks you through a step-by-step system to start developing your confidence.

Step 1: Identify What You Want

First things first, get really clear with yourself on the answer to the question: “What do you want?”

Give yourself permission to dream here. If you don’t really want something, it will come as no surprise that you won’t put in a whole lot of effort to cultivate the confidence you’d need to get it.  

So ask yourself: if money was no object, you had unlimited time, and anything was possible, how would you want to contribute to the world?

What would be most meaningful, exciting, motivating for you to look back in a year and say you were able to accomplish?

Step 2: Identify all the thoughts and beliefs you have around that career desire that might be impacting your confidence

Listen up: as soon as you create an idea of what you’d like to do in your career, pay careful attention to the thoughts inside your head. Often times, they won’t be immediately supportive or 100% on board with your idea. But rather than try to ignore them and pretend they aren’t there, pay extra special attention during this stage.  What kind of messages are your thoughts sending you? What beliefs are you unconsciously scanning for data to support?

Write down each and every thought, belief, worry, or idea, so you can get them out of your head and on paper where you have some psychological space to evaluate them. Look at each thought and decide which ones you’d like to put back IN your head. What are the stories you want to be telling yourself?

Step 3: Prepare your arsenal of self-doubt defeating weapons so you can leave low self confidence in your past.

Once you’ve identified what you want and the thought patterns you need in order to get it, you’ll also need to remind yourself that you’re awesome.

Stay with me here!

How often in your life do you stop and acknowledge your strengths, gifts and accomplishments? If someone asked you to list the top 10 accomplishments of your life right now, how easy would that be for you?

If you can’t immediately recall the data points that show that you’ve tackled tough challenges in the past, walking through a reflective exercise might be super helpful. 

Some great questions to reflect on are:

  • What are the the things I’m most proud of accomplishing in my life?
  • What experiences in my past prove that I’ve successfully survived challenges or setbacks?
  • What did the biggest disappointments or mistakes in my life teach me, and how did they positively shape the person I am today?

Each of these questions challenges you to frame (or re-frame) your abilities in terms of your grit, perseverance, and historical performance. These traits are critically important to your future performance and successes — and feel darn good to get to reflect on.

Another way to reinforce that you’re awesome, incredibly capable, and an awesome problem solver is to seek out that validation externally.

Who are the people who believe in you and relentlessly cheer you on?

I’ve heard these individuals referred to as your “CEOs,” or Chief Encouragement Officers.

Consciously choosing the people who you allow to influence your life — and ensuring you overindex on supporters — is critically important when you’re cultivating courage, because as Jim Rohn famously said: “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.”

So focus on surrounding yourself with positive, thoughtful, excited people who help you show up as your best self.

If doing this part of the reflection helps point out that you need more uplifters in your life, you can use our podcast episodes to rent-a-friend for 45 minutes of knowledge bombs, positivity and inspiration every Monday.

A final thing to do to reinforce the new good thoughts is to develop a mantra. Maxie and I talked about this a lot in the podcast episode, and each shared a couple examples of ours.

If you’re new to the world of positive self-talk, a mantra is a short and powerful phrase you can repeat over and over again in your mind that helps you focus on the task at hand without the distractions of self-doubt filling up your mind. I think about a mantra like a worry stone or a security blanket for the brain.

Mine is “You can do this,” which my daughter MacKenzie has picked up and uses to psych herself up before the school play.

Two of Maxie’s mantras are: “Big magic requires big discomfort” and “Trust it, trust it, trust it.”

A former Navy Seal and founder of SEALFIT, Mark Divine’s mantra that allows him to do feats like hold a plank pushup for 5 minutes is: “Looking good, feeling good, I should be in Hollywood.”

What’s an empowering mantra you can use to re-wire your brain to be 100% committed to your success?

Step 4: Evaluate the worst case scenario, and create a game plan to deal with it

The last piece in the confidence puzzle is allowing your fears to play out.

I know this seems counterintuitive, but trust me on this. Take a moment to articulate: what is the worst case scenario if you go after your dream?

Write down the specific harms that could come to you in taking this risk. Don’t let the fears swirl around inside you as uncomfortable feelings — make them real and tangible potential results of taking action.

Now that you’ve got a fairly uncomfortable picture painted in front of you, we can face the reality that the likelihood of your Worst Case Scenario coming true is rather low. Low, but perhaps not completely impossible.

So the true last step of the confidence boost process is: If everything you’re afraid of all came true, and it all happened exactly as you imagine, how would you handle it? What would you do?

A simple question with incredibly empowering answers. Writing it out helps your brain see the problem clearly and process it accurately. And usually, this is the part where you realize: “Oh, I would survive if this happened. Maybe have a bruised ego or be out some money, but I could find a path to the other side.”

The truth of confidence is that when you’re courageous and committed to action, you get incredibly scrappy because of your grit, and you find a path forward. It may not look anything like you’d planned, but you’ll find a way.

Download the worksheet now to walk through this exercise to start boosting your confidence right now!

Download the Worksheet

Let us know in the comments: do you think you have low confidence? After you’ve walked through this process and used our worksheet, how do you feel equipped differently to get out there, take action, and start developing more confidence and self-belief?

Resources Mentioned:


Transcript from Episode


Scott Barlow: This is Happen to Your Career. We help you stop doing work that doesn’t fit you, figure out what does, and make it happen. Whether you are looking to do your own thing or find your dream job you have come to the right place. I’m Scott Barlow.

Scott Barlow: I’m here with my guest, who I’m so excited to bring on today. I’m going to dive deep into her story because she has a really interesting one and we will spend a big chunk of time discussing something I’ve really wanted to on the show for a long time, which is all about self-confidence. We’ll get into that. Welcome to Happen To Your Career Maxie McCoy. How are you?

Maxie McCoy:  I’m wonderful thank you for having me today. I can’t wait for the conversation we are going to have.

Scott Barlow: We are going to do this, we are diving right in. All of the things for all of the people. I told you before we hit the go button that you have an interesting story and I want to start with that. But before that how do you describe what you do now?

Maxie McCoy: I answer based on what I am on this earth to do right now. Pure and simple I’m obsessed with giving people the tools they need to believe in themselves. I think self-belief and confidence opens up a gate to move our lives forward. I write and I speak and that takes different forms. Anytime I say that to somebody in a cab or lift line they say that is very kindergarten of you. It works.

Scott Barlow: How kindergarten of you.

Maxie McCoy: Yeah, thanks guys.

Scott Barlow: That makes me more curious. Where does that start for you? Let’s go way back.

Maxie McCoy: I’m going to go back to obsessing over watching Oprah from the second I had a television on. You will appreciate, I would watch and watch, I love her, and I’d pitch stories to try and get on the show. I don’t know what I came up with as a young kid but I was always obsessed with broadcast and writing to her and putting stories out into the world. She is the reason I got my first email address. I’d write stories and they shifted to submitting via email. My first email was because I pulled my big sister aside and told her I need an email so I could write Oprah. We will find the ridiculous things I wrote one day. It has been in my DNA to be able to use my voice, and my natural inclination of being comfortable in front of groups, and conveying messages, and being naturally passionate. It became a journey of figuring out where you focus that so it’s true to me and being the highest value and intent to help other people.

Scott Barlow: I’m curious, I’ve gotten to know you a little. I think I know what you mean, but everyone else is getting to know you now. When you say “of the highest intent to help other people,” what do you mean?

Maxie McCoy: I mean being able to hold up a mirror so other people can see what I see. That they have everything they need to do what they want to do whether it’s a job transition, launching their own business, taking the next step in their life that might seem scary at the time. For me it’s holding up the mirror so they can see their own potential and ability and believe in that to take that action. That is what I mean.

Scott Barlow: Interesting, I love that. I’m curious where do you think all these things come from for you? You talked about being comfortable in front of groups, were you born with that and grew up with it? Where does it start?

Maxie McCoy: What is interesting about that question, at the time, it started young, there are so many stories of me always, and it looked negative at the time, people telling me I was too loud and I talked to much. Whether it was just wanting to be in front of people started early and then I was able to funnel those into skills. I started theater and wanted to be on the speech and debate team. As you get older, and then into sports broadcasting, and we’ll get into the story. It was the refinement of taking what was natural to me, that I got a lot of crap for growing up, whether from friends or people around you or neighbors trying to put their thumb on your fire to be more normal. I’ve never been a “normal” person. I fit this into the framework of talking to people in believing in themselves.

Those differences that make us unique from a young age, that we try to fit into someone else’s molds, society or Instagram’s molds. Are the exact things, and I’m sure you have a similar story. Often those who have started showcasing their talents for the good of other people have these stories of things that made us different and thanks to a mentor or community or own development started showing as not something we should change but something to be bold enough to take forward. For me that was being able to have a message and be comfortable with groups, be writing, and be a cheerleader for people. The frustration for a long time was how do you make a business out of that, what does it mean? Slowly but surely it has turned into this. I’m very grateful.

Scott Barlow: That is so interesting. We call that whole concept of the negative side of things that are innately you, the anti-strengths. Which is the perceived downside. We had to make up a term because I couldn’t find a term.

Maxie McCoy: Like the shadows to your strengths.

Scott Barlow: What some other people will perceive as the down side. What we perceive as the down side to the stuff ingrained in us and the stuff we are good at. There are always two sides.

Maxie McCoy: There are. When you talk about strengths my biggest is woo – winning others over. It’s amazing as a tool in my business but the shadow to woo is the people you are the most comfortable with, you recharge with. You aren’t as on. For me I’ve had to realize how to taper that so a whole bunch of strangers weren’t getting the best of me and the people closest getting Maxie recharging. I agree. It looks a lot of different ways over the course of our lives.

Scott Barlow: I don’t think people think about that. For you it sounds like it came out that people were putting their thumb on you trying to make you more normal.

Maxie McCoy: Putting their thumb on my fire.

Scott Barlow: That is kind of the progression everyone goes through to some degree. No one is normal truly.

Maxie McCoy: No one is normal. We are only as normal as we let other voices allow us to be.

Scott Barlow: Knowing that and as you are trying to find a way out from other people’s thumbs for your fire when did you move into you first professional gig? Let’s start there.

Maxie McCoy: All of this started to evolve. I played volleyball in college and grew up in Texas, the biggest football fan and obsessed with sports. I was part of a sports family and an athlete. In college my holy grail of an experience was being able to intern at ESPN. That is all wanted. If you know anything about this internship, it's some ridiculous number like 30,000 people apply and 72 kids get it. I just made those numbers up, but it is something like that. I won’t forget being like holy cow. I knew I wanted to eventually end up there. I wanted to be in communications and PR in college. I went in knowing I was going to be a journalism major. I love communication more than anything.

I ended up having no idea how to end up at ESPN when the numbers are against me with no contacts. My junior year I decided nothing is going to stop me. I joined a few associations where I knew they gave you the manual of people that worked in various companies and contact information. That was part of joining. For one of them I took a highlighter to the directory, The Association of Women in Sports Media. I highlighted every woman that worked for ESPN and cold emailed them. The only one to respond was the highest ranked woman there at the time, Rosa Gatti. She took a chance on me, took a phone call and circulated my resume and said she would help me, and the rest is my door to run through. I got an internship at ESPN. I’ll never forget that interview or experience. I was in the communications department and looked around me and I thought this is amazing on Facebook and to tell people this is my first big internship coming toward the end of college. I had small jobs before that. This was a big name and ego boost.

It just become a conversation of looking around and feeling the emptiness. This coolness wore off and now what do I do with this. Someone in internal communications pulled me aside. They have an entire internal television show and programming that goes to all 7000 employees around the world. He said I had a face and voice and energy for camera work. We did that and I loved that. I started putting in all my other experiences to various internships and doing stuff with NFL films, and freelance stuff for ESPN while still in college. My first big opportunity out of college, once I had real experience, like got on camera and landed at Fox Sports SW in Dallas my hometown covering high school football. That is the end all be all of southern sports. The segment was three minutes every week. Nothing, but such a big deal to me. I was in a top five market. It was massive entrance into the world in something.  I’m doing it. My big star of a goal is to host SportsCenter on ESPN one day. It was a great first beginning.

Scott Barlow: That is super cool. In a lot of ways, it also begs the question what happened next? You did all this. First of all, let’s acknowledge you took the time to cold email an entire list of people after identifying where you could get their contact information in the first place. Which is huge, very few people will take the time to do that.

Maxie McCoy: My God I’m the scrappiest. If I want to find you I will find you. My dad always said, and I still tell people this, and think this, the worst they can say is no.

Scott Barlow: Exactly.

Maxie McCoy: So after that, after the on air gig at Fox I was there contractually through the season and dabbling and learning to edit. There are a lot of big time broadcasters with a lot of advice. I looked around and knew if I wanted to move up and got instruction and advice I needed to make my reps and mistakes in a smaller market. I started the dance of talking to small markets and interviewing for morning shows and news shows with small viewership so I could get this under my belt. As I was doing that none of it felt right. A lot of things were happening. Was it the fact I didn’t want to read sports scores off a teleprompter my entire life? Probably. Was it that I had a big shiny goal of ending up in Bristol, Connecticut where ESPN headquarters are one day? I know what Bristol looks like and it’s not that exciting. Probably. Is it because when I look at small markets I think of where did these people end up that started their jobs here? Not anywhere I want to be.

The people I want to be went and were experts in something other than being a broadcaster. Truly. You look at Savannah Guthrie and she is phenomenal and the host of the today show and a phenomenal lawyer in Arizona first and then made her way over. It started to matriculate for me. Digital is changing the face of everything we do. I didn’t have a language for it at the time but it felt like a total meltdown in my soul. Hindsight is 20/20. I know all the things going on for me at the time. Serendipitously, there is a lot of serendipity and grace in my story, I had a trip booked to San Francisco, some really strong mentors and best friends from college are out here. I was doing these interviews and not wanting to take small gigs in small towns. I don't know what I’m doing with my life, it was an early onset quarter life crisis at the time.

I had an opportunity to take a job out here with a mentor of mine who was running a nonprofit that had a sports component to it. That was nothing in my plan. I’m very goal oriented and a futuristic person, it wasn’t in my plan, but something felt right. Coming to the city felt right and working in an intense situation with someone with an absolutely amazing amount of business experience felt right. I made the decision to leave Dallas and move to San Francisco and embark on a very different journey. It still had the sports piece. Maybe this is what I’m looking for, something with meaning rather than just a lot of hair and makeup and being in front of the camera, which was what it was feeling like. It wasn’t aligned with what I was here to do.

Scott Barlow: Let me ask you about that. Because that is a struggle so many people that are listening to this now are wrangling with. How did you start to identify, partially you were taking a chance and relying on gut feeling, but how did you identify that is what you needed to take a chance on?

Maxie McCoy: I think at that point in time it was a matter of feeling so lost. I wasn’t sure what to do. It was an opportunity that felt right. I did that. However when you fast forward in the story I have much clearer advice. Taking that role, I got nine months in and it wasn’t it. Again I was looking and thinking it’s not it either. I’m not passionate about kids. Literacy is not my thing. It has sports but that was ancillary. Is sports what I’m here to do? I decided almost in a place of being on my knees and not knowing and being in discomfort, not knowing who to talk to. Job boards meant nothing to me because I had no idea what I was doing.

I got really clear with myself. You are going to peel back the onion on the things that are core to you. In the same way I knew how to step foot on that college campus at 18 and sign up for journalism, writing has always been my first love. I’m miserable in my work so how do I go back to my first love to something I love to do and is creative and fuels me? What do I want to write about? I looked back on the years of having so many friends wanting my advice in areas such as careers and what to do with their lives, which was ironic because I had no idea what I was doing with mine. I’ve always been an achiever. I hid it a little. I’m the one everyone called and sent their resume too or wanted to know how to connect or best write an email. It was a natural inclination and magnetism I had on those areas. Not with just friends but younger teammates, people in the sports department.

I signed up for a writing class working with a nonfiction agent and you had to come in with an idea. I’m going to dedicate my Tuesday nights to this and write about what fires me up. The importance of mentors and sponsors. What Rosa had done for me at ESPN, and what someone did to get me that first job in San Francisco. Down to how I got the Fox opportunity because someone was a mentor and believed in me and was willing to hand my stuff over. Everything came from a relationship and somebody put their political capital out. I saw how that moved me forward in those relationships I built. I started writing about it.

I was writing a book proposal about the importance of mentors and sponsors with millennial women and their careers. I interviewed high profile leaders and one of my classmates brought in the front page of the San Francisco Chronicle, the businesses section, and on the front were two founders of the company Levo, the number one destination for millennials in their careers. I contacted them and that ended up being the rocket ship that launched my career. They were building a business around the same principles as my book proposal. The book proposal was just something I wanted to write about, that was the class. I started writing for them and getting to know their product. Over the course of twelve weeks I was able to create my position with them. I was like the fifth or sixth employee. I spent the next three years building out the global communities in 30 cities throughout the world and building the curriculum that went with it. I had the role of a lifetime and one that propelled me. The biggest reason I am where I am today. It was the most magical, star lining, grace of an experience. All of that came from really stepping back into roots and asking tough questions of what is it and what do I do when all else is going wrong. What do I really care about and putting the focus back there. It opened up the opportunity that changed everything.

Scott Barlow: That is so interesting you threw a one-liner out there saying it came from reflection and doing the hard work. Just putting the focus back there. There is so much buried there, saying put the focus back there. I’m hearing that you identified what was important, like writing, and said how do I embed this in my life. I think a lot of people struggle with that. First, it’s hard to identify what is important but then how do I get it into my life. You took a class on it right?

Maxie McCoy: What I think is interesting is when we are in tough moments that make us feel like we are in the middle of career crisis and that we are screwing up or wrong, lost or however we describe it, those blow ups are what allow the magic to show up if you are looking. It’s really being able to not make a disaster of your life when it feels like one but treating it as a guardrail and bumpers and big blinking neon signs that force you to look elsewhere. Reframe the negative and say if all of this is going wrong, and it doesn’t have to be a career, but something that lights us up again and allows us to create, to have an outlet. You never know where it will go. It doesn’t have to be for money at the beginning. Mine wasn’t, I just needed creativity again and passion. It led to this insane opportunity and experience.

Scott Barlow: Let’s acknowledge serendipity for a second, I haven’t had any good discussions on that for a while and you said it would come back around. I thought I wrote it down, it was so good, but I didn’t. You said you have to take what is important to you and embed it into your life and intentionally decide it is going to happen. Is serendipity all that serendipitous?

Maxie McCoy: This is how I think about this. You are going to appreciate this, I got shirts printed that say #universe on them because I’m so obsessed with universe moments and how they communicate to me and show up in my life in really meaningful ways. A universe moment is serendipity. It is a meaningful coincidence that isn’t a coincidence. I sometimes call it grace. It means you are taking chances, putting the work in, your nose is to the grindstone and it allows something in hindsight that is amazing. I was two seconds from never signing up for the writing class. I didn’t think I would have the balls to not work on Tuesday nights, because I was working that much. I was scared to tell the person I was working for that Tuesday nights were off the grid because I had 3 hours in a class. I was that on demand working style.

It was a financial investment having just moved to San Francisco and getting used to what life looked like. Not that I couldn’t do it or it was irresponsible but was it the right place to put my money? This is hard and conversations I don’t want to have, budgeting I don’t want to do. I woke up one morning and thought no, I am signing up for this, and it feels right. Less than 6 weeks later someone is putting something in front of me I never would have seen, I don’t read the chronicle. I never would have known about these girls starting this business until it is what it is now. That to me is, me taking the risk, showing up every Tuesday, writing about what was important, and allowing the serendipity to show up.

Scott Barlow: I remember what you said. It’s the paying attention part of it after taking actions like that that allows it to show up.

Maxie McCoy: It's lifting your head up and paying attention to our lives to the things that energize us, people, and connections. It is stepping away from the crap to take it all in. That is a whole other wellness and stillness topic. It’s important.

Scott Barlow: That leads us down a different road. It took a confidence moment to be able to say, and tell my boss I can’t be available on Tuesday nights and I am going to decide and have confidence to put my money here and invest in myself. So many of us struggle with that. I’d love to delve into confidence because a lot of times that is the core that stops us from acting and the fears and then how do we do something about that. I’d love to get there. All the answers, people, things. Go.

Maxie McCoy: There are so many. The confidence piece, it depends on where you are in your journey, this deep sense of self-belief. It doesn’t just show up. It’s the small actions that breed self-efficacy. Stepping into the unknown is big. Being able to get more comfortable to know you did it this time because you did it last time and you lived. There were times where having this conversation of saying Tuesday nights I am not available was like the biggest toughest conversation I had to have. Fast forward three years and I’m saying I’m getting rid of everything that I love, moving to Bali for a year, and launching my own business. That took a higher sense of self-belief than that conversation three and a half years before it. However, they all matter just as much.

When you’re willing to tiptoe into that level of discomfort, which is required for anything we want to do, I know it sounds cliché but the magic absolutely happens outside of your comfort zone. It doesn’t matter if you are starting your own business, negotiating and asking for more, asking for flexibility, starting a blog and putting writing into the world, that requires an appetite for discomfort we all like to shy away from. As you do something that makes you uncomfortable as soon as you tiptoe there you realize I made it through that, I lived, and I’m super happy about the outcome. It starts to build this wheel of I can do this.

The discomfort you have an appetite for gets bigger. What you were willing to do know as opposed to four years ago are game changing. That one was just as important. One of the steps in being able to build that sense of self-belief is knowing you don’t have to be comfortable in order to believe, you don’t have to believe in yourself to make that uncomfortable decision or conversation. Taking that uncomfortable step forward will build you believing in yourself.

Scott Barlow: That almost seems like a catch 22, in order to get more comfortable and build confidence you have to be uncomfortable and have no confidence in a particular area. No one goes in like it’s no big deal.

Maxie McCoy: It’s always a big deal. The small discomforts that become big discomforts are wonderful reflections of where you have moved your life to but they all matter. Anyone who doesn’t feel confident enough to make this hard decision. Here is another piece of the puzzle. People and your community are one of the most important things you can have and fuel yourself with. Tony Robbins says this and I’m obsessed, “Our success is a direct reflection of the expectation of our friend group, peer group.” When you look at the people around you if they are expecting you to stay small and do what everyone else is doing and not take the risks that is where we stay. If you surround yourself with people that believe you are going to be President of the U.S., that you are going to launch that business, that you are the best podcaster on the planet, what starts to happen is eventually your expectations will match theirs. They help fill the void. When you are really unwilling to step into that discomfort or you are scared, their opinions of how awesome you are and their support will propel you into that. Let’s not underestimate the importance of sticky notes with inspiration of how you can do this. With some of the hardest decisions you have to do some of the simplest tactical things to remind yourself that you can step into it no matter how uncomfortable.

Scott Barlow: Let’s pause for a second and get real tactical for a moment and compare notes. Sticky notes are one and ones with quotes. What are some of the tactical ways you use to remind yourself?

Maxie McCoy: They are small reminders. Sticky notes is a real thing. When I was making a decision to go out on my own and move on from my position at Levo I could not believe this decision I had to make and how scared I was and the tough conversations. I bathed my desk and laptop with cheesy quotes like “big magic requires big discomfort”, the cliché things. To be able to talk myself out of fear because all that fear is just your mind going haywire. That brings me to another piece, mantras are massive. Truly so much of this is controlling our thoughts and not believing all of them and monitoring your thoughts to develop confidence.

Scott Barlow: Explain that when you say monitor your thoughts.

Maxie McCoy: Paying attention to the thoughts happening in your head whether it's going crazy saying you are making the worst decision, that you don’t have what it takes. You are going to go broke. Paying attention to those thoughts and immediately shutting them down. I say mantras. One I say if I’m worried about the future I repeat trust it, trust it, trust it. Finding sentences you can repeat when your brain is sending fear driven thoughts. That is one, a big one.

Scott Barlow: Very cool. I’m trying to think, it might have changed a lot over the years. I use mantras too. One I’m thinking of that sounds silly but works, is “you can do this.” I realized a funny thing the other day. I evidently say this a lot because my daughter, who is eight, was going into a play and she was saying “you can do this”. Oh my goodness, I didn’t realize I do that that often.

Maxie McCoy: That makes my entire heart swell. You bring up an important point. Some of the most tactical things, whether we call them cliché, or duh, they make a big difference. Success leaves a trail and clues. You talk to anyone who has consistently pushed their life to be bigger requires a level of discomfort and tactical things that seem simple when built into a lifestyle make a difference. One of my favorites that is helpful to people transitioning into things they have never done – worst case scenarios have been a massive gift for me. Not that I’m obsessed with tragedy. When you sit down and look at a situation and think of the worst case scenario and write it all down in the most detail and get comfortable with it. What you often find is it is not the actual worst case. You could completely handle it and you just have to do x,y, z. When you are ready for that and can handle it you can make the decision. What I have found that worst case scenario, 9 out of 10 times is never going to happen. If it does, you figure it out. You find a way. It happened for me once. It was all fine. While I was in it I was coming up with solutions.

Scott Barlow: That is fantastic. I’ve done that same thing. For me it helps me dissipate the fear. It doesn’t take it away but ratchets it down. You are truly a delight. That is the first word that pops into my mind. You are delightful.

Maxie McCoy: I so appreciate that. I have been through the experience so many people are in. It’s a journey and constant process of figuring it out. When you can look at yourself and realize you have everything you need to do it, it changes in a beautiful way.

Scott Barlow: Maxie this has been phenomenal. I appreciate you making the time. A couple questions. One where can they get more Maxie? And what are you working on right now and what are you excited about? Tell us a little of all of that.

Maxie McCoy: Well they all go together and I appreciate that you asked me. Everything with me can be found on my site All of my handles are @maxiemccoy, Facebook and Twitter, it’s all there. One of the things I do on my site that I’m passionate about and people can look at it is having a community. I mentioned it in the aspect of how people can mirror back our own success. We monthly have a theme. I’m obsessed with building out curriculum and worksheets and webinars dedicated to a theme if you want to go beyond my weekly writings and videos.

I have so many exciting things happening right now for my business. You and I were just talking about how we are both just a year plus out from going out on our own. I have partnered with Microsoft on this amazing campaign on how to land your dream job. So many people are looking for that opportunity that allows them to put a lot of intentionality back into their lives because our careers are the cornerstone of so much of what we do. Especially this day and age. I got to talk to people about self-reflection and belief and the things you can do to look inward and have the tools to showcase that. We used all my Maxie tips in the job search with resumes and Skype, pulling on my broadcast experience. We worked with Moo, an amazing digital design and print company that did all my cards and thank yous. I was a lover of them well before this. We created templates for resumes that are beautiful and functional. None of us want to deal with a resume so we can use these templates to showcase who we really are that is beautiful and a good physical manifestation of who we are. That is at That is the big thing I’m working on now and am so excited and passionate about.

Scott Barlow: That is super cool. I didn’t tell you this last time but I’m so excited you are doing that. Last time around when those templates got put in everyone used those as a standard and Microsoft made a good attempt but it wasn’t the best. I’m excited you are improving those.

Maxie McCoy: We are upping the game. They are all in Word, we upped the game. We got smart people involved.

Scott Barlow: No one is bias here but I agree.

Maxie McCoy: To help and put pointers in and be the best reflection of who we are.

Scott Barlow: This is so cool. Thank you so much again. I do appreciate you making the time Maxie. It’s been a pleasure.

Maxie McCoy: Scott, thank you.