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  • Writer's pictureCait Donovan

Nicole Kalil: Head Trash vs Inner Knowing: How to Build Self Trust and Confidence

Nicole Kalil is a speaker, leadership strategist, respected coach, author, and podcast host. She spent 15 years working for a financial planning company where she was frequently the only woman in the room. After so many years of working hard for promotions, pushing down her feminine qualities in favor of leaning into more stereotypically masculine traits, Nicole realized she no longer even knew who she was authentically anymore. She had become so burned out that she hated her job, hated the people around her, and had lost herself in endless people-pleasing. Now Nicole helps other women to put aside gender expectations, regain their confidence, and learn to hear and trust their inner voices so that they can live authentically.

Our confidence lives inside of us, and it's accessible anytime we want. We have just been socialized and received messaging to the contrary pretty much our whole lives,” explains Nicole Kalil. Due to the way girls are often socialized while growing up, many women falsely believe that confidence is something that exists externally. So much of societal conditioning tells women that confidence can be found by dressing a certain way, behaving a certain way, having perfect children, or having the right job. Nicole refers to this as the ‘confidence con’, because the truth is that confidence exists within everyone and it is accessible as soon as we choose to trust ourselves. The first step to regaining confidence is to learn how to listen for your inner voice and how to differentiate it from ‘head trash’ or how Nicole refers to the bullying voice that exists within our minds, usually consisting of mean statements from others. The easiest way to differentiate head trash from your true inner voice is that head trash is always mean. If you are speaking to yourself in a way that you’d never speak to a loved one, that is head trash.

We have been conditioned all our lives to believe that confidence exists externally and that we have to fit into certain societal standards in order to deserve it. The truth is that we are all deserving of confidence and it lives within us, ready for us to tap into at any time. Tune into today’s episode of FRIED. The Burnout Podcast for a conversation with Nicole Kalil about the confidence con, how to differentiate head trash from your inner voice, and how to compost or recycle head trash into something that can help rather than hinder your growth.


“I didn't know who I was authentically anymore. And I was hating my work, was hating the people I was doing it with, through no fault of their own, just because I had put myself in this position where I tried to show up and please everyone else, but myself.” (5:49-6:06 | Nicole)

“I think women far too often are waiting to be ready. They're waiting for the fear and the nervousness to go away and only have excitement and readiness. And I'm like, oh, gosh, we're waiting too long.” (12:34-12:48 | Nicole)

“Our confidence lives inside of us, and it's accessible anytime we want. We have just been socialized and received messaging to the contrary pretty much our whole lives.” (13:45-13:55 | Nicole)

I would encourage you to think about how you build trust with another person or how somebody else builds trust with you. That's probably going to give you the best insight into how you build trust with yourself.” (38:47-38:57 | Nicole)


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