Lisa Sun on Rediscovering Your Inner Child’s Confidence at #MBACREF24

(Lisa Sun speaks at the mPower event; Image by Anneliese Mahoney)

SAN DIEGO–Why aren’t we as brave and confident as we were when we were kids?

That was the question that Lisa Sun, Founder and CEO of GRAVITAS, posed to the assembled crowd at the Feb. 13 mPower lunch here at the MBA Commercial/Multifamily Finance Convention and Expo.

In answering, Sun, also a bestselling author, described six forces that hold us back and drive insecurity.

There’s deficit mindset: when you view every problem from the point of weakness. Next is shrinking effect, where you shortchange yourself. There’s the satisfaction conundrum, when you tie yourself or your happiness to an external marker of success.

Sun described another: The superhero facade–when you pretend everything is going great and aren’t honest about failures. Then there’s the setback spiral, where a negative event can send someone on a free fall. The sixth is systemic bias, where asymmetrical structures of power affect individuals’ lives.

“Together, these six forces allow us to double-click on our inner critic,” Sun said.

Sun said one of the keys to overcoming these forces is understanding that are many types of confidence or “superpowers.” She listed eight: leading, performing, achieving, giving, knowing, creating, believing and self-sustaining. Each individual may have a different combination.

Sun gave an example of how she tapped into superpowers she has–including leading–when the pandemic hit. Her business, largely centered on women’s workwear, was negatively affected as people started to enter lockdown.

So, she pivoted. She put out a call on social media to see if front-line workers needed masks and hospital gowns, and went to work.

“This is why I know when you focus on what you have and your strengths and your superpowers, you change the solution space,” Sun said.

This mindset goes back to that pesky inner critic too, Sun said. “If you do this, if you make your choice, figure out your superpowers and [channel] a strength-based mindset, you can do something very important. You can actually start to talk to your inner critic,” she said.

And addressing that inner critic may be what you need to gain that long-lost bravery back.

“If you’re able to tap into that younger version of yourself–people always say ‘I used to be so brave. I used to be so bold,’ ” Sun noted. “That person is still inside you.”