So today I laid in bed really thinking deeply about the reason why people don't just wake up and choose confidence. I thought back to those times when I too would wake up and just let the day carry me. The day would carry my emotions and I would give away control of these emotions to people I interacted with and circumstances I couldn't change. I thought back to the moments when I would come back to this bed exhausted, defeated and raw with anger from feeling misunderstood. Today I woke up feeling inspired, motivated, and hopeful for the day ahead. Today I woke up feeling confident in my ability to create, inspire, and push myself forward. What changed though? How did I get here? Does the girl who got bullied in school and never spoke up exist anymore? What happened in my life that got me to this point? Where was the turning point? I realized it was in the decision to be responsible and not responsible at the same time. The daily decision to take responsibility for my confidence in those moments when I would wake up and feel like the world is against me and the daily decision to refuse to let my confidence or lack thereof be the reason why things didn't work out. Adjusting to one of these spaces when the need arose and operating in them well, made everything change. Here's what I learned:
1. Take responsibility for your confidence
I realized two things: I could wake up and feel miserable over and over again, blaming the world for treating me poorly, or I would give myself everything the world couldn't: reassurance, affirmations, and soothing all three that I consider real self-love. No longer would I be dependent on anyone to give me these things. I refused to be subjected to anyone's timing and convenience. When I needed reassurance, I would speak it to myself. When I needed soothing I would speak it to myself. When I needed affirmations I would speak them to myself. I began to become independent of opinions. One of the main reasons our confidence is shaky is that we have very high expectations for the world around us and very low ones for ourselves. We expect the world to be good to us when we aren't good to ourselves; to soothe us when we have bad days; to tell us we are beautiful when we feel ugly; to make us feel alive and worthy to be in it when we don't feel like that. Quite frankly, it's not our fault. From birth until now, we have been made to feel dependent on external words. "You've got the Job!" "Great Outfit!" "You're so pretty!". It is no wonder we automatically give people the responsibility to grow or shrink our confidence. Words have been constantly spoken to us that we have absorbed and used as the golden ticket to the gates of confidence. These words have put us in boxes, labeled us, and categorized us as acceptable and once we do not receive it, we begin to believe we are unacceptable. It even hurts worse when we see others getting more validation, acceptance, and soothing than we are. We begin to think something is wrong with us and begin to scramble to do more to please the world. Unfortunately, the world will world and the people will people. With social media, opinions will be louder than ever and humans will continue to categorize. The moment we being to shift that responsibility to ourselves is the moment we empower ourselves. Self-talk is one of the best ways to take responsibility for your confidence. Stop waiting for external validation. There really is nothing wrong with talking to yourself in the moments you need reassurance or looking in the mirror and telling yourself you are drop-dead gorgeous. There is nothing wrong with soothing yourself by telling yourself it's going to be okay. Your ears will hear those words being uttered. Your body will respond. This isn't just some cooky, weird thing but it really is biological. Don't believe me? Take it from Dr. Andrew Newberg, a neuroscientist at Thomas Jefferson University, and Mark Robert Waldman, a communications expert "By holding a positive and optimistic [word] in your mind, you stimulate frontal lobe activity. This area includes specific language centers that connect directly to the motor cortex responsible for moving you into action. And as our research has shown, the longer you concentrate on positive words, the more you begin to affect other areas of the brain.” Read more on the biological effects of words here.
2. Stop Taking Responsibility For What You Cannot Control
Working on your confidence doesn't mean you lack it. You made the choice to work on it and that in itself is already a move that a confident person takes. When we constantly reiterate to ourselves that we lack things, we actually limit the ability to have them. If I constantly say "It's because I'm, not confident" every time I'm hit with something beyond my control, I'll psych myself out. Therefore I invalidate my experiences in situations, that most times have nothing to do with me. When I say I can't do this or that because I lack confidence, I am subconsciously training myself to believe nothing will work out for me. I begin to make myself the center of every problem and start to believe that whatever is in me is the reason why things aren't working out.I begin to attach everything that may go wrong to myself, further damaging my confidence. I become the problem and absolve the problem of its responsibility to fix itself. I become the fixer and the doer. I expend energy in places where I simply need to sit and wait. Remember, you are not the problem. The problem is the problem. Once you see it outside of yourself, you can face it without allowing it to become your identity. Problems are a part of life and sometimes is not our job to tackle them. In no way am I saying be irresponsible, but when you have done all you can and you understand things take time and other people to fix, you become comfortable with allowing nature to take its course. To the people who lack confidence because they have anxiety, this one may hit a little deep. Sometimes we feel like we have to do more or become more because we are anxious about the outcome. When the outcome we want doesn't happen we then begin to blame ourselves and jump into this trap of worry. When we worry, we are giving time and very precious mental resources to things we cannot control. I often ask myself two things when things happen. What would it take out of me to change this? Is it worth my peace? What is the energy that I need to expend in order to fix this? Will this drain me instead of help me?
Responsibility starts with baby steps. Every day you choose to take responsibility, you become one step closer to becoming your most confident self, and guess what? I can help you. I've been there. I live this every day and as much as people expect coaches and therapists to be the highest healed versions of themselves, let me be the first to tell you that we're all struggling. The only difference between you and I is a tiny gap in knowledge. The more knowledge you have and the more you practice, you can become your most confident self. I teach people how to do this. If you ever need help, I'm just a click of a button away.
Sending you love and positive vibes wherever you are on your journey!