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How To Find Your Confidence When It Feels Like It Doesn’t Exist
Let me be upfront with you right now. I’m not going to tell you to do affirmations or stand tall while you talk to yourself in the mirror, or to go challenge yourself and introduce yourself to random people you don’t know. No – this is not what this post is about. I’m not talking about that kind of confidence.
With that said, have you ever looked at someone and wondered where they get their confidence from? You know the ones I’m talking about, aye? Those ones who seem so with it and sure of themselves? I have – many times.
I used to see them when I was a young teen in high school. Then I saw them at university. And by golly, I continued to see them in the different offices and businesses I have worked in. They were everywhere!
I used to wonder how they did this life thing so well. How was it that they could get themselves out of bed each morning and walk out of the house so pumped with life? And there I was struggling to get out of bed, grumbling while getting changed, and working hard to keep my motivation on track through the day.
You know the worst part? The worst part was that I wanted to be like them. I wanted to be awesome and super into life. You only live once right? Well I wanted to live a life that I loved waking up to.
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Like a Drug, We Chase After It
Through the years, I learned how we have a self-destructing tendency to rely on others for our own confidence.
As young children, and well onto our adulthood, we seek and hope to gain approval from our parents for the decisions we have made.
As mothers and wives, we hope to hear that the roast and mashed potatoes, we spent hours preparing, was delicious. Or how the house looks so tidy and inviting.
With friends, we ask them if we look alright in our new outfit; even after our husbands or partners have told us that we looked great.
And at work, we look to our bosses to give us some form of praise or pat on the back; so we seek to undertake even more than what we have been hired to do.
This cycle of seeking approval from others is twisted and perverted. And like a drug, we chase after the heartwarming sensation and ego boost that it gives us – no matter how short-lived it may be.
Have you ever wondered what your life would be like, if you lived only for your approval?
How to Find Your Confidence
Do you want to find your confidence, and keep it for good? Okay then, let’s do this!
There are only two things – TWO THINGS – I want you to know:
1. Whatever It Is – Say You Can Do It
Now I don’t mean to say yes to doing things you don’t want to do. Why should you? Say no to those.
Let me explain.
Theodore Roosevelt said, “Whenever you are asked if you can do a job, tell them, ‘Certainly I can!’ Then get busy and find out how to do it.”
I have always liked this quote. It has always resonated with me. I clearly remember the day, back in 2001 – when I used this, and stuck with it.
Back then, I was a crafter. I dropped out of university, and I set up a small craft business, working with clients who imported homeware from China. They would come to me to provide artistic labor – like glass or ceramic painting.
So there I was, having a coffee with a client. My boyfriend at the time was with us because this potential client was a friend of his. – so he was there to make the introductions. She asked me if I could make some handmade notebooks for her. I said yes.
My boyfriend looked at me, shocked. He bluntly asked, in front of his friend (my client-to-be) if I was sure I could do it, and how hard it was. I shut him down so fast, said yes, and talked to the client about how I (thought I) would do it.
Now, up to that point – I have never made notebooks. But without a moment’s hesitation, there I was – I said – I sure can!
Thankfully, the meeting was successful, and I gained a new client. But I also made sure to let my boyfriend know to never question me like that in front of someone else.
From that day on, I truly believed that there was nothing that I couldn’t do, if I really wanted to. I’ve used this in all my job interviews, all my different careers, and all my challenges in life. I feel that this is what has got me this far in life – it has been what has made me resilient, successful, and strong.
If you believe that you can do anything – then believe me, you will.
Now for the record – I was able to create and deliver the handmade notebooks she asked for. She ended reselling to boutique craft shops in the city. It was hard… but I did it!
2. Love Yourself
While I never did become that fist-pumping, high on life person that I thought I wanted to be; I learned to love myself. And with this, came my confidence.
See, the thing is… You’ve criticized yourself for far too long. It’s time to let that go. Get to know your real self. Spend time with YOU, and admire yourself for everything that you have achieved. Pat your own back, because only you can truly appreciate the magnitude of your achievements. Only you know how much you have done to get to where you are.
Stop comparing yourself to others. You’ve heard this many times right? Well here’s the thing – it’s true.
Stop comparing yourself to your neighbor who walks her kids to the school bus looking like she’s been up and made for hours.
Stop comparing yourself to your colleague who talks about all the amazing (and expensive) things she and her family did on the weekend.
Stop comparing yourself to your friend who eats like there’s no tomorrow, but still looks so amazing.
Just. Stop. It.
If there’s one thing I want you take away from all this, let it be this: Love yourself, and the rest will follow.
Be Like Roosevelt
After many years of getting to know myself, I’m really happy to say that I did eventually end up with a life that I love waking up to. And I want you to have that too, because you truly do deserve it!
So there it is, mama –
- Be like Roosevelt; and whatever it is – say yes, you can do it.
- Love yourself, and the rest will follow.
There are many reasons why we feel unhappy with ourselves. But allow me to tell you this: Only YOU are unhappy with you; and only YOU can undo that. You are loved ♥
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