What is your life’s purpose?
To be a confident role model and mentor to as many people as possible.
How are you living your purpose?
After a very successful marketing career as a full-time Chief Confidence Officer for 7 tech companies and then part-time for over 150 (as a consultant), I made the shift starting 3 years ago, and fully this year, to focus on my confidence work.
I run the American Confidence Institute (ACI), which I co-founded with Lynette Rumble, and also deliver Kickass Confidence branded products including books, workshops, keynotes, small group professional development, and elite access coaching programs. I love to write, present, and teach.
I also like researching and reading about brain science. My unique skill is being able to understand and explain complex things in simple, applicable ways. I do that through my confidence work in everything I do.
How did you find your purpose?
I fell in love with motivational theory in college and (only) saw marketing as the path to apply it. But my perpetual curiosity about what made some people confident, and so many not, led me to dabble in confidence-related research, which in turn led to my 2011 book, Ms. Informed: Wake Up Wisdom for Women. My ACI co-founder encouraged me to broaden the scope of my work to include men and to make it more relevant to corporations, which I did my 2015 book, Kickass Confidence: Own Your Brain, Up Your Game..
While this was all brewing, I continued to look for ways to help my son, now 18, who was diagnosed 10 years ago with a neurological condition called dystonia. The top neurologists in the world advised putting Zak on heavy doses of brain-slowing medicines together with painful (and costly) Botox shots. Not only did the treatments not work that well, but we were warned that Zak’s condition might worsen, possibly leading to total paralysis and requiring brain implant surgery.
In my maternal quest to find ways of helping, I eventually found Dr. Farias, a medical doctor who was using movement therapies to work with dystonia patients successfully. Unfortunately, he based in Spain and I struggled to understand his book. Five years later, as I was planning a trip to Toronto with Zak, to investigate new options, something of a miracle happened. I received an email from Dr. Farias, announcing that he had just moved to Toronto! This spurred me to re-read his book. Now, thanks to my confidence work, I could understand what this doctor was doing and it made sense.
After meeting with Dr. Farias for 6 hours over only 4 days—using movement therapy to induce neuroplasticity (change in the brain) and confidence-building verbal therapies—Zak was able to gain significant control of his body, with no pain and at little cost. This proved to me that I had to continue doing my work with confidence—using Zak’s and my own confidence, along with the power of the brain to not only increase confidence but in fact, cure itself.
I might add that despite being the family breadwinner and with Zak going to college this fall (and his younger brother following in four years), my recent career change is a huge financial and career risk; but living with purpose is more valuable to me than all the money I could get paid. Purpose isn’t making enough money to be philanthropic. That’s great but not the same personal feeling of contribution—something that money cannot buy—confidence in my own existence and the gift of confidence I give to others.
What advice do you have for purpose seekers?
Sometimes your purpose has to find you. But it can only find you if you are open to it and to the small signs that will lead the way. I do believe that purpose is part passion, part what you like and are good at doing (not always the same things), and partly letting the universe tell you what it needs you to do.
Sometimes it’s not even about changing what you do professionally, but rather how you interact and how you react to things that can help yourself and others around you, no matter where and what you are doing. Being a better leader, parent, friend, volunteer, employee, etc.—they all matter and can be a truly fulfilling and significant purpose. If you want to dedicate your career, money, and time to something specific, that is great; but even creating purpose from your daily presence is a huge benefit to you and to the world.
Contact Alyssa Dver
Book: Kickass Confidence: Own Your Brain, Up Your Game.
MIT, Wharton, Harvard, IBM, Pepsi, Staples, State Street, Rue La La, The Royal Bank of Canada, Liberty Mutual and dozens more have hired Alyssa to give them a personal and professional game changing advantage by leveraging the neuroscience and social secrets of confidence.
Alyssa is the co-founder of The American Confidence Institute and author of 6 books including her latest: Kickass Confidence: Own Your Brain, Up Your Game.. She writes an edgy blog, hosts a monthly web TV show, and is a media go to for CNN Money, NPR, Forbes, BusinessWeek and more. Alyssa’s career includes being a Chief Marketing Officer for 7 tech companies and an executive advisor for more than 150 clients based around the world.
When she’s not confidence crusading, Alyssa is a guitarist and vocalist in two bands, plus, she’s game for all things involving art, wine, and food. She lives in Westborough, MA with her 2 very tall teenage sons, her utterly patient 5th-grade-teacher husband, and their cute, but quirky, rescue pooch.