“Confidence… thrives on honesty, on honor, on the sacredness of obligations, on faithful protection and on unselfish performance. Without them it cannot live.”– Franklin D. Roosevelt
For the next few weeks I am going to focus on confidence and how to get to a place where we can feel confident in all areas of our life. We live in a world that (I feel) almost encourages and almost fosters insecurity. With so much social media and the inner workings of people’s lives plastered all over the internet, people have lost their obscurity, their desire for privacy and their lives scream “validate me”.
If you have read any of my past articles you understand my feelings about social media and know that I feel that social media is a big chunk of why we are the way we are right now as a society. I could go on for a very long time about the true repercussions of social media and its affects on our children, our families and our lives in general.
But I digress…
My focus here is on how to build the confidence that is so desperately needed for the areas of our life that require us to be at our best. Confidence affects our relationships with our friends, family, co-workers, bosses but especially our most vulnerable relationships…. romantic ones. The person we are and our behaviors when we are with our spouse, boyfriend, or the people we are dating is how we are able to measure our confidence and where we need work.
If you were on my front porch looking in, you would see me as a very confident and independent woman. You might even view me as “powerful” which is how my boys see me and an “over achiever”. And I am, in areas where I am confident in my abilities like parenting, housekeeping, as a friend, in my career. When I work to achieve something, I usually do. When I set a goal, I go after it 120% without hurting anyone in the interim. When I parent, I do the best I can each day and succumb to my failures and short comings.
Where I fall short in confidence, is in my romantic life. As I am sure you gather by now I have had many issues in the past with regards to abandonment, experiencing infidelity, childhood trauma etc. Gratefully, all of this has molded me into the woman I am today…strong, independent etc. but it has no where near groomed me for having a healthy relationship. Being able to be in a relationship that doesn’t involve drama, pain and toxic behavior has taken work for me. Lots of work. I am grateful every single day that I made the decision to let go of old behaviors and work on creating new ones. Allowing someone to see my vulnerabilities, letting go of control, letting someone love me and get close to me. Very new stuff for me. I can’t say I am all too good at it yet, but to be truthful I couldn’t do it without the man I chose to be in this new life with me. He is the secret sauce. His patience, listening skills, stability and his own confidence allows me to work through my issues each day knowing I am being supported. Do I wonder why he wants to deal with my shit, yes, all the time, but I remind myself every day…I am amazing and he knows it.
I don’t always like to get super personal in my articles but having been where the struggle is, I realize it helps to know what a persons story is, especially when they area dishing out advice on how to get past the struggle. It helps to know there are others out there that experience the same fears, dabilitiating anxiety, the deep sadness and the disbelief that things could ever be different.
My job is to tell you, they can be different, they will be different and you will love the change.
“Confidence is the most important single factor in this game, and no matter how great your natural talent, there is only one way to obtain and sustain it: work.”– Jack Nicklaus
- The first step to building your confidence is to separate yourself from anything and anyone that doesn’t allow you to be your best self (i.e. remove toxic people from your life). There is a saying “you are who you surround yourself with” and its so true. Make a list of the people (and things) that are an emotional drain on your life and focus on letting them go. Once you do, new people will enter, ones that fit the new you, happy confident people.
- Next step is to start focusing on the areas that you struggle with. Make a list of your weaknesses and where you struggle to see the positive and then focus on where you can start making little changes. Example: If you struggle with your weight….how can you start an exercise / nutrition routine that can help you meet your fitness goals?
- After you have worked through the first two steps now you can start getting to the nitty gritty of your self esteem issues. Did you suffer past trauma? whether it was childhood family issues, getting bullied in middle school or a bad breakup in your life. Did something trigger you to feel you are not enough?
- Identify if you struggle with issues which may require that you seek coaching or counseling. For instance, abandonment issues are a real thing and struggling with these issues can cause an extreme lack of confidence especially in romantic relationships. Abandonment issues can cause a woman (or man) that seemingly has his/her “shit together” to fall to pieces from insecurity in a relationship and they usually actually almost always self sabotage the relationship. They become insecure, jealous and suspecting and eventually they self implode from overthinking every little thing. Again, sabotage.
- Switch your focus to self, even if you are in a committed relationship, spend some time on your own, validating yourself and your needs and work on self care and self love routine that will help you build your self esteem and confidence without looking for validation from your partner, friends, social media etc.
- GET OFF SOCIAL MEDIA! This seriously is the best medicine for someone who needs help in the self confidence and insecurity area. Social media does nothing but make people feel less than. Remember, happy people don’t need other people to view and validate their lives.
- Get involved in things that make you feel good. Start a project, volunteer, redo your home, take a class, start a new hobby, get creative and get immersed in it. Excel at it. Have fun doing it. Being productive and accomplishing tasks can help to build our self esteem.
- Love yourself for who you are. Take some time in your sacred space to write in your journal and identify all your amazing qualities. Inside and out. Put a star next to your favorites.
All of these suggestions are just a start. It is important for our personal development to focus on the areas where we need the most work and tackle them.
I am not too ashamed to admit that abandonment is my biggest struggle and probably always will be. I, like everyone, am a work in progress and I love the fact that I have identified this and am working on it. I am also proud to share articles like this with all of you in hopes that I can help you or those you know that need the help.
So please, if there is anyone you think will benefit from this article, please share this with them.
Wishing you happiness and contentment