19. Self-Confidence

Hello, beautiful friends of mine.  I have a confession to make.  Lately I’ve not being feeling the greatest.  What I mean by that is I’ve been feeling a lot of self-doubt and inadequacy and shame.  All these feelings boil down to the fact that I just haven’t been feeling like I’m enough.  It’s a common problem we have as humans. Either it’s I’m not enough or what am I missing out on because there must be something better.  One time, during a coaching session, one of my clients was surprised that I still deal with it too; you know all the messiness that our brains offer.  I said, absolutely!  We aren’t immune to the human condition either.  We coach ourselves and a lot of coaches have coaches.  Self-development is a life-long adventure that just changes levels the more you progress.

Do you know anyone who just exudes confidence?  Or have you ever walked into a room and your eye is drawn to someone and you think to yourself, “I wish I had her confidence.  They’ve got it all together.”  Yeah, me too.  Now, some of you who know me personally might be surprised that I say that.  And maybe it doesn’t surprise you, but I think a lot of my friends would say I am a confident woman.  And granted, I do enjoy some things more than what others may enjoy, like speaking or performing, but I still question myself everyday and I still have serious doubts about myself sometimes. 

What is confidence?  Shame, inadequacy, self-doubt are all the opposite of self-confidence. And there’s a difference between confidence and being self-confident.  If you’re confident in something, you are secure in  your ability to do it.  So, I’m going to guess that the typical, healthy person is confident that they can walk from their living room to their bedroom without being afraid that they’ll trip or stumble.  They’ve done it a million times successfully, so they are secure in their ability to do that.  Or maybe pouring a glass of water without spilling, driving without crashing, or brushing our teeth while keeping the toothbrush in our mouths.  When we’re not secure in our abilities, that’s when our confidence wanes and we start to doubt ourselves.

Self-confidence, however, is the ability to trust yourself.  To have your own back no matter what.  Self-confidence is saying that no matter what happens, no matter what feeling I feel, I’m not going to give up on me.  I don’t know who was the first to say it, but Maya Angelou was once quoted as saying, “I got my own back.”

What does it mean to you to have your own back? If I say, “I’ve got you” to someone else, like people I really love, like my family and my friends when I tell them, “I’ve got your back,”  I’m saying to them, no matter what happens I will be there to support you with what they are going through. Whatever it is, we can figure things out together.

When you’re going through a hard time or when you have a tough decision how does that feel to know someone’s going to be there for you to catch you and lift you up? It gives us an extra level of confidence that we can do hard things, right? It gives us a new level of ability to think, “OK I can do this!” And no matter what the outcome is, they’ve still got me, they’re still there for me.

So, what does it mean for me to have my own back? It means I’m going to be there for myself and no matter what comes up I’ll support myself, I’ll figure it out. No matter how ridiculous I look, or how silly I act, or if I feel I have completely failed, I’m going to decide, I’m still okay as a person and I’ll get through it, I’ll figure it out.

Speaking of silly and ridiculous, as you know, Sunday was Mother’s Day and I had my family and some friends come over for dinner.  I wanted to make a dessert that my mom would enjoy.  She loves peppermint ice-cream.  I remember last year I made it homemade because peppermint ice-cream is usually in stores around Christmas time as a holiday item. As you know, we’re nowhere near Christmas.  So I thought, I’ll make it again.  The only problem with that is my ice-cream maker is packed under a bunch of things in storage while we finish our basement.  I thought, I’ve had that maker for at least 15 years, I’ll go buy another one.  So I’m at Walmart and I’m looking through all their appliances and no ice-cream makers.  I’m like, this is so weird.  Surely it’s hot enough for them to be selling them.  I feel like I looked everywhere I thought they could be.  In one of the main aisles I looked up on their top shelf and there were 4 boxes of ice-cream makers.  I reached up and I couldn’t even touch the top shelf with my fingertips.  So I start looking around to see if there was anything I could use to boost myself up, strategically trying to avoid the sign on the shelf that said, “ask for assistance for items on the top shelf.”  I’m thinking, I’ve totally got this!  I looked at my shopping cart and thought, I could climb in that and be plenty boosted to grab a box.  So I looked around and then grabbed hold of the shelf I lifted my leg into the cart. Of course, the moment I lifted my second leg off the ground, the cart starts to move back and forth.  So I take a tighter grip on the shelves to stabilize and pull myself in.  It was not super graceful.  I’m telling you!  But up I went and grabbed the box, put it in my cart, re-death-gripped the shelf and carefully got out of the cart one leg at a time.  I was so proud of myself!  I resumed to check off my grocery list and hadn’t walked 20 feet down the center aisle and there, on a pallet, sat at least 20 boxes of ice-cream makers!  I had to giggle. What a sight that must have been!  I can only imagine a worker watching me climb into the cart to be the hero and retrieve what I thought was one of only four boxes in the entire store while down the line sat an entire pallet of boxes in the distance.  If I were the worker, I would’ve giggled at me!  The things we do for our sweet mommas, right?  To make it an even better story, not 2 hours later, my mom texted me, so excited, that she found peppermint ice-cream at Smiths!  So, I have an ice-cream maker in the back of my car and I’m still trying to decide if I’ll take it back. I concur, I’m a little bit crazy with my ideas at times.

I giggled because I already decided ahead of time, that no matter what happened, I had made a decision to get that ice-cream maker.  If I fell, well, that would be another fun story to share, but I believed that I could do it and, granted, did it carefully and slowly, evaluating if it was something I really could do as I went, but I believed I could.  If I didn’t have the confidence in my own abilities to climb into that cart without seriously injuring myself, then I would’ve gotten a worker.  And they probably would’ve looked at me funny and pointed over to the pallet.  And we would both laugh and I’d still have my ice-cream maker.  

Having your own back means that can you trust yourself enough to know that when you make a decision, it’s the right decision for you. We all know what’s best for ourselves more than anyone else, yet so many times we looked outside sources to validate our ideas. And I’m not saying it’s a bad thing to get other people’s advice, however for a long time I’d make a decision and then someone would give me their advice and I’d think oh that’s so much better, or maybe their right, I’ll go with that and I wouldn’t trust myself.  And sometimes it worked out, and sometimes it didn’t.  But either way, when I discounted my own belief in myself, I shot down my self-confidence a little each time.  So I’ve been working a lot on making a decision and then going with it. And it takes a lot of work if you’re used to discounting your opinion.  It takes work to stop yourself and say no I really think this is what’s best for me. It might seem easier to take other people’s advice, but imagine the confidence you build in yourself, the relationship you build with yourself in deciding for yourself.

When you struggle with self-confidence it’s so easy to get caught up in all the “what if” drama. The drama of indecision. What if this isn’t the right choice, what if somethings better, what if I fail? But, What would it be like to decide for yourself first on what’s best for you and then if you fail you fail, and if you don’t you celebrate.

What big things could you do for yourself by operating that way instead? Or how would your confidence grow if you knew you could have your own back regardless of the outcome? What big dreams would you be able to accomplish?  Show yourself that your dreams are important to you so every time you follow through on a promise that you’ve made to yourself, you’re a building on that dream and you are building on that trust within yourself that you’re going to do it.

Even with the little things. What am I telling myself when I say I’m going to do something and then I don’t follow through on it. Am I telling myself that I’m not important enough to me?  And I know there are times when things come up and I don’t follow through on it exactly, but that’s not what I’m talking about. I’m talking about continually not following through on the things that you really want. It’s a habit to do it and it will take habitual practice to get out of it. So that might mean that you start small on the things you say you’re going to do for yourself.

Having your own back is serving your future self. You have good intuition, follow your gut, and know that you know what’s best for you. And when you follow through on that, you are always serving your future self and your future self will be so grateful to you for loving yourself enough and trusting yourself enough to follow through for her.

Do you remember my podcast where I talked about your future self? I think it was my first or second podcast.  Figure out who you want that future self to be, and out of love for your future self, you follow through on the things you’ve promised her in order to get her there. Can you see yourself as someone you can trust?  I’m still working on this. I have many years of questioning myself and questioning my abilities so it might take many years to stop questioning and some days will be harder than others, but if I’m willing to keep trying, keep recognizing myself as a human who has failures and successes and keep promising myself that I will at least have my back enough to try and figure it out, then I will eventually get there.

What does it mean for you to have your own back? If you say you’re going to get up and exercise, will you do it even if you feel like lying in bed? If you decide you’re going to take a different career path, do you do it even when it gets uncomfortable? If you decide you are in a relationship that is not honoring who you want to be and how you want to be treated, do you trust yourself enough to figure out what’s best for you? These are all tough questions. The question for you is, is who you are and is who are you becoming on the other side of it worth the discomfort?

Are you willing to feel whatever emotion that comes with being self-confident?  What if I did fall out of that shopping cart?  I knew that was a possibility and I was ready to pick myself up and be okay with myself for trying.  I was willing to feel completely mortified if that meant that I succeeded or at the very least tried.  Are you willing to feel the self-doubt, the inadequacy, the shame AND still move forward?  The secret to battling the anti-self-confidence demons is to really watch your thinking.  Watch what your brain is offering you and then find a way to discredit that thought.  My friends, when your brain is offering you thoughts that can cause you fear, inadequacy, shame, it’s just trying to keep you safe.  If you’re in fear, you don’t do anything.  And not doing anything is way safer to your brain then exposing yourself to the unknown. 

Why have I been feeling inadequate lately?  I haven’t pinpointed it to anything that I can’t purposely think the opposite to be true.  For example, I feel like I’m not thoughtful enough.  And I came up with plenty of ways how I could be more thoughtful.  But then when I actually sat down and answered my brain’s complaints, I was able to find proof that I do try to be thoughtful.  I’m not perfect by any means and sure I’d like to do better, but in the ways that I am thoughtful, I think I do a pretty okay job.  The same goes for how I think of myself as a mom and as a daughter and a sister and a friend. I can list a million things I’d like to be doing better, but that doesn’t help me become better.  It just shoots me down into a low place that makes it hard to get out of bed in the morning. 

A day without me watching my thoughts and answering them back of how the opposite can be true leaves a heaviness that feels awful.  Maybe it’s the same for you, maybe not.  But here are some thoughts I think of when I need a boost in self-confidence.

I was made for this!

Fear is no big deal

The more I fail, the more I know what to do

I am enough

Sometimes this is enough and sometimes I need to sit down and seriously coach myself more.  And if I’m really stuck, that’s when I seek out the help of another coach to look at my thoughts and help me unwind the lies that my brain is telling me.  If you’re looking to build your confidence and you need a boost, I’ve got you. I’ll have your back until you can trust yourself enough to have your own.

I hope you have a brilliant week!  Until next time, bye!

If you’re looking for a life coach, I’d love to be yours.  If you want to lose weight, better your relationships, or need help with crafting your confidence, I’ve got you!  go to myinnerlove.com and sign up for a free mini-session today.

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