Confidence is something we talk about so casually but it actually is one of the most important qualities for us to have. It benefits us in many ways. Having confidence shows in how we move, talk, behave, and live. It’s super easy, I think, to recognize our flaws and faults when we aren’t focused on operating in gratitude. But, when we do? We realize we are so much more than we thought! We truly are far greater than we acknowledge.
Everybody struggles or has struggled with confidence at some point, everyone. It’s totally normal. From not liking something about us to being afraid to speak in large groups; a lack of confidence can make all the difference. When we aren’t confident we think about ourselves in a particular light. We tend to be negative, hypercritical, doubtful, worrisome, and anxious just to name a few. This then manifests in our behaviors. It isn’t fun and it doesn’t feel good. But how do we change this? How does one learn confidence?
Confidence like happiness, is a lifelong journey, I’ve learned. I say it this way because throughout our lives we are constantly changing, going through various stages. Thus, as life changes we change. We may be confident now and feel a total loss of confidence down the line. It can waver. That is okay. Confidence is something we work at, something we maintain. No matter what stage you’re in, everyone can be more confident in themselves. But it must be from within first. Meaning, it must come from you only and start with whom you are. Real sustainable confidence isn’t built through outside forces. The show must go on even without the applause.
Growing up I really struggled greatly with having confidence in myself. I didn’t like the way I looked, I didn’t like that I wasn’t like other people I admired, and I hated feeling that way. I hated the feeling of being dissatisfied with myself. This actually manifested in over compensation. I thought by trying to seem like what I wasn’t, people wouldn’t notice I wasn’t confident at all. I would participate in low vibrational behavior (being involved in drama, bullying, gossiping, etc.) because of how I felt about myself. I didn’t feel good enough so I wanted someone else to feel what I felt. I didn’t like myself so I would find all the things I didn’t like about others. I was so sad that I wasn’t confident and I in turn envied people who were. I couldn’t wrap my head around how others could feel so great about themselves while I felt like $h-t. The people I would see who were truly confident walked in that no matter the circumstance. Here I was thinking confidence was conditional. It wasn’t conditional at all. I came to understand that the only difference between them and myself was a matter of choice. I never thought to choose confidence. I got tired of wondering and watching. I got tired of waiting for outside validation. I wanted in on this confidence thing too.
For me it started with a few simple steps. I had to work on transforming my way of thinking. I had to view myself with grace and most importantly with love. I had to understand that confidence really was just the act of loving on myself. This is how I got started:
Affirmations – Affirmations are literally like love notes to yourself. They can be affirming who you already are and/or who you want to be. It’s a way to remind yourself of how amazing you are! The more often you make time to say or write them, the sooner you will internalize them. (Prompts to help: What do you love about yourself? What makes you, you? Who are you becoming?)
Acceptance – It can be such a challenge but it is necessary. Acceptance allows us to relinquish control. My rule of thumb is if you can’t change it work on making peace with it; if you can change it, only do it to feel better not to feel good. (Prompts to help: How can I become a better me? If I could improve in _________ area or fix ___________ how would that benefit me?)
Gratitude – There are always more things about you to embrace than there are to criticize. You have to dig deep enough within yourself to see that. Don’t discount the small things. You are the only you, that is your super power. (Prompts to help: What makes you different? What are you grateful for as it pertains to you?)
Deep reflection is required to genuinely become confident. Confidence is mental and trickles down to everything else afterward. When you believe in yourself, a shift happens. It literally changes your life. It changes your perspective completely. When you feel good about yourself on the inside it shows on the outside. Confidence isn’t exclusive to anyone and it isn’t conditional. You deserve confidence.