Confidence isn’t an add-on. It isn’t about fashion sense or attitude. It isn’t about economic status or class. There’s only one real kind of confidence and it comes from inside. Okay, maybe all of that seems obvious enough but how do we tap into real confidence and how can we get our confidence to grow?
I’m a person with a certain level of innate confidence. Deep down, ever since I can remember, I’ve just known I’m pretty dern capable and have a number of talents. That said, just a year or two ago, I still had to work on my confidence level. I felt strong in certain areas but downright uncertain or uncomfortable in others. Being imbalanced this way was throwing me off my game. So I decided that if I wanted to get more of the good stuff going on in my life, I’d need to step up to the plate.
More than daily affirmations and positive thinking (things I do), nothing has helped me more than learning how to value and show up for myself. Whether we’re mothers, daughters, sisters, aunts, wives or girlfriends, we’re often relegated into playing roles and not expected to be individuals outside of those roles. And even when we are on a mission that’s clearly all our own, it can take resilience to stay the course, especially when others feel threatened by it. Nevertheless, it’s essential for every one of us.
Getting out of an unhealthy relationship a few years ago, I was feeling depressed and rudderless, finding it hard to make choices that would enable me to get on the right track. A little bit of reframing did the trick. I started asking myself: “What would I do/say if I was my best friend?” Now mind you, I didn’t have any other “friend” in mind. My friend was me with all my same experiences, foibles and strengths. But by thinking about myself in the third-person like that, I was able to access my compassion, my ability to be level-headed and fair, and to treat myself with the same respect as I would a best friend.
Nowadays, I show up for myself just as I would a best friend. If I make a commitment to hit the mat at 7pm, I instinctively find myself wanting to do exactly what I’d planned. I get a tremendous sense of reward by proving myself right and showing up. From that moment on, whether I’m in plank position or I’m learning a new dance step, I claim the present as, quite literally the “present” I give myself. Every molecule of my being is invested in fully feeling and loving the moment, loving my body and myself. This is what I give myself, this is the payoff that really matters, this is me growing branches and roots, growing a confidence no one can shake.