Good Morning from beautiful Napa! I hope this post finds you all well. Today, I thought I would write on a few ways I am building my confidence in the New Year. Seems a little funny to write, honestly…how I’m building my confidence…but it’s true. I have been working on this. Truth be told, it’s been something I’ve been cognizant about for the past couple of years. It was sort of like a moment where I realized I didn’t feel like myself, but it took me a while before I could really come to a place of acceptance and ownership. I think it is like one of those situations where you can be told something over and over, but it doesn’t really sink in until you allow it to sink in. I think it was part denial, part lack of skillset to figure out how to gain it back. I still have some work to do in this area, but I thought I would share with you what I have learned so far.
The first and largest discovery I made in regards to my confidence was narrowing down when I felt like I lost it. I can remember a time when I had it, and then I remember when I was aware I didn’t have it, so I think this is the most important because it helps to do some of the background work. Can you narrow it down to a time frame, or perhaps you have never really had confidence. Why do you think that is? This can be a hard process because you have to be super honest with yourself, your childhood, your environment, etc. It can be painful, but the outcome is so help. Awareness is huge, and it is through that awareness that you will be able to make one of the biggest discoveries.
The next factor for me, was ensuring my confidence did not get tied in with my roles (which was a large factor on how I lost mine). Our ability to be “good” at something is a real ego booster, but the problem is that roles and skills can be taken away. For example, maybe you are a really good tennis player. You win tons of tournaments, you’ve always been so amazing. You are known for your tennis playing. Then, you tragically break your arm. It never sets back the way you need it to. You can still play, but you are no longer at the skill level you once were. Do you think your confidence would take a big hit? Your definition of who you are – a tennis player – is now lost. The same goes for all roles, though – your role as friend, wife, daughter, son, athlete, mother, father, nurse, etc. We must learn to separate our confidence from these because while they do make up who we are, they can be taken from us at any point. Think about your roles in life, and remove yourself from those. Now, who are you? Big question, right? It is important to clarify that those roles are still apart of you, but we cannot intertwine our confidence within them which is so simple to do.
Thirdly, is the importance of decision making. A lot of my life, I have gone with the flow. I am the baby of four girls, so there are a lot of opinions and preferences in a family of 6, so what I’ve discovered, is that because there are so many of us, a lot of the decisions that needed to be made, were already made by others. I just went along with whatever had already been decided. Fast forward to now, I have a very hard time making decisions because that muscle wasn’t used very much. For me, a lot of my confidence building, has been searching and figuring out what my preferences and opinions are. Thus, as a result, I practice making decisions. Start small. When you sit down to order food, pick out what you want to eat and don’t ask what others at the table are ordering. When it comes to a color option, which one do you like better? Small decision making will help in strengthening your muscle and will get better and better over time. This also helps you to figure out a lot of your likes and dislikes, which leads me to my next point….
Number four is to figure out your preferences. We are influenced a lot these days by our surroundings, the content we follow, the people we hang around, etc. It is very important though to get micro in discovering who we really are as people. This is difficult to do when you remove your roles because those are our larger pieces of us, but sometimes our roles and our preferences might not align, which is where this tool comes in. You could use a journal to do this, or your notes app. Whatever works, but when you are experiencing something, or you hear something in conversation how does it make you feel? I break this down as simple as scents even. For example, maybe you like the small of the asphalt after the rain (that is something that is a part of you), maybe you enjoy reading, maybe cooking calms you, etc. Take a moment to be present in what you are doing and see how it makes you feel. Sometimes you have to ask yourself questions like why you do something, or why you believe something (that is an interesting one if you get really honest with yourself), and it is fascinating to see what you discover.
Lastly, is a tool I learned from Ed Mylett, which is the importance of keeping promises to yourself. Start small, with simple things like I told myself I would go to the gym today, so today I am going to go the gym. Or perhaps you said you would read before bed, so for a week you read before bed, even if it’s just 5 minutes. This is important because it energizes you. As you build more and more trust in yourself, you will become more and more confident in yourself. It’s sort of like if you have a friend and they are always promising different things, but never follow through with their promises. After a while you lose faith in them and it is sort of discouraging. The same thing happens with yourself.
I hope these tools help you discover yourself a little more and unlock that untouched potential that is within you. I started on this path long ago, when I was in search of what my hobbies were (what do I enjoy doing outside of my roles?), which led me to this blog in the first place. However, it wasn’t until having Arabella, that I got the motivation I needed to dig deeper and focus harder on this path to growth and self discovery. I don’t want to translate my insecurities to Arabella and further more, I want to foster and encourage her confidence and self awareness because I think we all need a little more that in this world cancel culture world.