Social Innovation3 min

Self-doubt left the chat – Carissa Moore’s confidence-boosting tips

Surfing Hall of Famer encourages student innovators to pursue their passion at Red Bull Basement.
Written by Trish MedalenPublished on
Carissa Moore is the first to admit that although she loves surfing and competing – and at 28 has already won four world titles – there are times when self-doubt can creep in.
At one point, she says, “I had fallen into that trap of negativity. Then I was like, ‘No more of this. Let's start turning this around and making it positive and redefining who I am for myself, rather than for everybody else.”
Moore’s ability to shape her mindset and her destiny have seen her named National Geographic Adventurer of the Year and a Glamour magazine Woman of the Year. In her humble way, she’s happy to offer some confidence-building advice for the next generation of new entrepreneurs and young innovators aiming to spark future change with Red Bull Basement.
Carissa Moore poses for a portrait with her quiver of surfboards in Tahiti on March 8, 2019.
Carissa Moore's got six suggestions for you

1. Live your passion

Moore started surfing at age 5 and her love for the sport has grown ever since.
“It's been a lot of hard work and there have been tears and sacrifices. But it's been so much fun, and I feel like I am living such a great life,” Moore shares. “I want other people to express themselves in a way they're passionate about. If you believe in something enough and you really devote your being, your heart and your mind, you can achieve anything. So go after it, because that's when the magic happens.”

2. It’s not about perfection

Moore counsels up-and-coming change-makers to prepare for things to go wrong sometimes.
“If I was to give a piece of advice to students who are working on projects and dreams, it would be that the journey is not going to be perfect,” she says. “Just keep figuring out ways to make it work. Because someone will get your idea and be ridiculously excited about it. So keep pushing, keep fighting, be resilient and wear a smile. That always makes it better.”

3. It’s not about completely eliminating self-doubt, either

Moore acknowledges that she still has moments when she questions herself, but she’s learned how to deal with them.
“I feel more in tune with who I am and the morals and values that lead my life. As soon as start veering, I try to think about those things,” she describes. “It always brings me back and I think the more confident I am in those things, my lines on the waves are so much more confident because I'm not second-guessing. I'm just trusting and letting go and having faith in the process and the journey.”
Carissa Moore surfs in Tahiti on March 4, 2019.
Moore in action at Teahupo'o

4. You be you

Moore says that she’s always evolving, refining her game, looking for progression on her own terms.
“It's so important to remain authentic on your journey and to put your little spice and your touch on what you do, because that's what people connect to. That's what makes it special and what people are going to get excited about,” she comments.

5. Think “stronger together”

Moore’s first support came from her father, who taught her to surf, and today her network extends to her husband, coaches and sponsors. At Red Bull Basement, students are part of a network, too – a global collaboration that includes not only fellow student innovators, but mentorship.
Says Moore, “I wouldn't be where I am today without so many people helping me achieve my dreams. So don't be afraid to ask for help.”

6. Join Red Bull Basement!

Like the university students who will collaborate in Red Bull Basement, Moore works toward social change in the world. Her charitable organisation, Moore Aloha, uses surfing as a platform for bringing girls together to encourage and inspire each other.
“I think feeling purposeful, contributing to society in the community, and feeling settled and who you are – that's the foundation for everything else,” Moore states. “Have courage, because the world needs your ideas. We're just waiting for it! So go into it fearlessly – step outside your comfort zone. Truly, from my experience, that's when the good stuff happens.”
Want to innovate at university today and disrupt the world tomorrow? The application deadline for Red Bull Basement is Sunday, October 25, 2020.