Courtney Kent: Confidence Comes from Within

Courtney Kent is a Marketing Director and Consultant who attended UC Irvine for her undergraduate and master’s education. She discovered the secret to self confidence and was willing to share some of her tips with us! Keep reading to find out how you can add a little more self love into your life.

Can you tell me a little bit about yourself?

    My name is Courtney Kent. I am a recent MBA graduate of UC Irvine’s Paul Merage School of Business. I have an undergraduate degree also from UCI (a bachelor’s degree in drama and political science). I have been a marketing director and consultant for the past four years. It’s been a lot of fun! My husband and I own a small tree care business as well.

I recently attended one of your presentations for UCI’s Women In Leadership program where you spoke about self confidence. Do you mind sharing your secret? How do you keep up your confidence on an everyday basis?

    I think that self confidence is something that, when you feel yourself starting to lose it, is really important to evaluate how you feel against the facts. Sometimes we get these feelings inside that make us feel insecure, or that we aren't good enough. I think those are times when we have to evaluate what is making us feel this way. Ask yourself, is that really what my track record proves? and if it does, what do I need to fix? but if not, how do I get myself out of this funk?

How would you describe your journey toward achieving the self confidence you have now?

    I think that my journey from adolescence to adulthood came with a lot of peaks and valleys, as I was growing as a person. I’m definitely not the same person that I was five years ago, or even ten years ago. I would emanate my self confidence in much different ways. As a young woman, a lot more of my self confidence had to be built from within because as a teenager I was dealing with that feeling of having to grow. I think that it is really important to surround yourself with people who build you up, no matter how old you are. Fill your life with people that are positive influences on you and really care about your growth and trajectory as a person.

Would you say that you are still learning to love yourself?

    Absolutely. Especially in becoming a mother. I became pregnant during my first quarter of graduate school. At that time, learning to be a mother, appreciating what I could do as a mom for my son, how my body changes, and being able to nurture him was a much different feeling than I had experienced thus far in my life. In learning to love yourself, it has been an eye-opener to try to see myself from my son’s eyes. He doesn’t care if I’m wearing sweats or my makeup is done. If this amazing little boy loves me, then I must be doing something right.

Do you have any special tricks that you do for a quick confidence booster?

    When I was doing beauty pageants, before I would go on stage I would imagine something that made me really happy so that when I was going on stage I was smiling sincerely. That was a great little trick for me.

    Listening to music that makes you happy is always really important. Also, move your body before going into an interview or any situation that makes you uncomfortable. The more blood is rushing through your body, the more oxygen your brain gets, and the more articulate you can be.

Thank you for those tips! Oftentimes young people seek validation from others, whether it is through verbal compliments or the number of likes on an Instagram selfie. How do you refrain from relying on other people to boost your self esteem?

    The funny thing about it is that we are such social animals. We are always going to be looking for outside validation. I think it amounts to knowing that you are enough, just as you are right now. I’ve never seen anyone who wanted to do a bad job at anything. Knowing that you care enough to worry about it means that you are probably already doing a good job, because it is a priority to you.

    Having a marketing background, I totally understand when you’re looking for likes and comments on social media because that was part of my job. But I try to look at it with a scientific approach and not so much with a personal attachment to it

I am sure lot of young women can view you as a role model. Is there anyone that you still look up to?

    I look up to many young women that I see out there hustling. I give everyone a ten just for knowing they are out there, doing it and making things work.

    My mother is a great role model to me as well as many other professional women who mentored me during my graduate journey. They have been very supportive, introduced me to their circles of influence and openly offered their wisdom to see me succeed.

What is one piece of advice you would give to young college women struggling with self confidence?

    Get rid of things that don’t build you up. I think that is one of the most important things to do to start any self-revelation. You don’t have any room in your life for positive things if it is still full of negativity. That is the most important thing to start off with. From there you have the room to start adding good things into your life.