Monocycle: Episode 8
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Welcome back to Monocycle after a week-long break, inaugurating this episode as the first of the new year. This week, we’re talking about confidence — that elusive quality that we are all taught from a young age is vital to survive and succeed, which we all grapple with at some point. How does one teach confidence anyway? Can it be learned? Do you really need it in order to survive? Can a lack of it ever actually be considered beneficial — might it push you forward?

I don’t know.

It seems to me that somewhere along the way, the definition of confidence was conflated with many other, more pointed words — like arrogance on the one hand or weakness on the other. So let’s get to the root of it, yeah?

Intro song: “The Show Must Be Go” by Kevin MacLeod, licensed under Creative Commons by Attribution 3.0 License. Logo illustration by Kelly Shami; background image photographed by Mark Pillai for Elle Italia 2013.

Monocycle is produced by Kate Barnett and edited by Nicholas Quazzy Alexander.


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  • Lea Telivuo-Kupari

    Thank You, Leandra, for your incredible positivity and honesty!

  • Alessia

    loved this. can we be friends?

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  • Bels Torché

    God. You are great..

  • Yay thanks for this!!! The self sabotage one was my favorite, coming from someone who also suffers from imposter syndrome it was reassuring and made me rethink some lessons my therapist shared with me. Can’t wait to listen to this now 🙂

  • yay thanks for this!!! The self sabotage one was my favorite, coming from someone who also suffers from imposter syndrome it was reassuring and made me rethink some lessons my therapist shared with me 🙂

  • Bels Torché

    I just wanted to say.. Its been like three months, or four, that I found about you/this blog, and it really liked it at first for its name.. Cause I feel so much like I dont fit into people my age, bla. (Growing up.. i guess. ) But coming into the blog every now and then, and listen to your talks, it really helps me, and makes me feel better. So, thank you for doing this. Thanks for talking yourself without thinking twice, being spontaneous and at the same time talking about something so important and taking it serious, it makes me feel in company when I come here. I guess thats it. Ok. Bye, and thanks again..

  • Kerrith

    Welcome back and thank you! I was stalking my podcasts waiting for this!! I started to worry. (Insert nail biting emoji here).

  • this is the first time I’ve voluntarily listened to a podcast and I just want to say thank you. Thank You Leandra.

  • me

    I wish I could play these words on a loop inside my head: over & over & over again.

    I had a stressful week at work, trying to be a good leader for my unit in a couple of crisis moments, but feeling overwhelmed & panicky and like I was letting them (and myself) down.

    So, your wise words are timely & have inspired me to try to “spiral positive” (vice negative).


    P.S. So sorry to hear about your Dad …. really hope he’s doing well.

  • Camille

    Can I say just how much I appreciated this episode? Keep keeping it real, Leandra! And thank you.

  • Ashley Warning

    You know, long time listener/ reader first time thought giver. I love man repeller so much already and now having this monocycle podcast to listen to on the way to school or work is just amazing. This weeks subject got me good. It got me really thinking about my personal ducks and how they may not be in order. But also about personal expectations and how that means i can’t do everything at one time and things are not just going to change over night because i have finally decided to adjust a “problem” in my life. I have been on this journey of bettering myself and listening to great inspiring podcast is apart of my journey. I don’t know if it is because of this journey i am on ( need to find a better work for journey) that I have been thinking about the idea of confidence lately too or maybe its just in the air. Either way, moral of the story is I really appreciated the point of view this week. Also I have listened to all of the shows and Leandra you sounded the most sure of your self yet. Thank you so much.

  • celinecelines

    the voices! the voices! argh! they need to be faced with equal strength, i say out loud to them “enough! shut up!” and they look at me (not really but i imagine them) like the jury of a reality show when someone goes off script. and then they are completely taken by surprise and stop for a short time. enough time to let me just stop all together and become very present with all my body and self. just like a plant. absorbing light. p.s.: i love you

  • CaturM

    Thanks for this! I think the key is to remember to give yourself enough credit. Also that thing about writing down your blessings.. Focusing on the positivity and letting it permeate the not so great parts of your life

  • Mariana

    Leandra, in these Monocycle Podcasts you have mentioned several times about vulnerability. I wonder if you know about Brené Brown :). She definitely changed my opinion about vulnerability (from negative to positive). Kisses from Portugal!

  • brittany

    can you write another book?

  • Dear Leandra,

    I love you so much as well and you damn right in all the words. I will put in action your thoughtful advice. Action of write!
    Thank you.

  • I went through my lowest low (to date) when I was 22 and my sense of self felt pretty crumpled. I wasn’t clinically depressed but it definitely felt like a funk where nothing was enjoyable, and I didn’t want to do anything yet couldn’t stand to sit still.

    Yet, I feel stronger for it. Like you said, I feel lucid and more certain about what I want to do with my life (note: this does not mean I am clear about *how* to get there) because I was forced to examine What Really Matters to Me. It was also a pretty great lesson in emotional intelligence.

    Now, the shadow of that time period still colors the edges of my life, and even now sometimes week to week or day to day or hour to hour it can suddenly feel like everything is crashing down. I still feel pretty existential. And I wallow, oh boy do I wallow, but then I keep going. I don’t know why, but I do. And a mix of Dory’s “just keep swimming” and Samuel Beckett’s ” I can’t go on, I’ll go on” loops in my head as I figure out one tiny step to focus on for the day.

  • Kenzie

    I love this so much. Thank you for this!