Growing up, I was VERY overweight. Even my brother's friends used to refer to me as Shrek. Not exactly what you’re going for in high school, right?
I was riddled with insecurity and self doubt and defined who I was by my outward appearance. I truly thought to myself, if I am fat, then what good am I? So, to compensate, I came up with another way to provide value to people around me: become indispensable.
I worked hard to understand the people around me and what they needed, and then I worked even harder to give it to them:
You need me to talk shit about someone else to make you feel better? I got you.
You need me to validate your actions even though I don’t agree? Done.
You need me to look stupid so you can feel better? I can do that.
I became a sacrificial lamb, in a sense. I sacrificed my own identity so I’d fit in. I subjected myself to internal harm so others would “need” me. But I didn’t realize it back then. So, later on in life, when I embarked on my journey of self discovery, I realized there was a lot of inner turmoil I needed to mull through.
Confidence? HA, that was a joke to me. I didn’t know what it felt like, but I knew I had none. But I did a lot of hard work and I knew I could help people be healthy, lose weight and feel good. And slowly, as my career developed, I started to feel the confidence, and it was great. It was an awesome feeling.
But as awesome as that newfound confidence felt, I still had a lot of self doubt. And if I was still lacking in that department, I thought, how could I coach my clients to claim their own confidence?
Why was it that I could share such a rewarding gift with others, but couldn’t claim it for myself?
WHAT IS CONFIDENCE?
“Confidence” describes your awareness of and trust in your own abilities. So, no wonder confidence was so elusive to me in my personal life! I didn’t know who I was, let alone what I could trust about myself!
The only thing I knew was that I could trust my ability to be the person other people wanted me to be. A “Yes” person. But what about me?
Learning who I was, after living a life where my value was shaped by becoming whomever other people needed me to be, was scary. But I was so tired of feeling that lack of confidence and I was living in a dark place, mentally, so I knew I had to try to change.
Does my story sound familiar to you? Over the years, when I talk to my clients about their confidence levels, what I’ve consistently heard from them is how they don’t know what they “should” do or what the “right” thing is (to lose weight, be healthier, etc).
The problem with this mindset is it causes us to lead a life based on others, what we think others will approve of, and what we think others want. But the funny thing is, we never actually ask what they want. We’re all just walking around trying to be mind readers in an attempt to fit in and protect ourselves.
Understanding who you are,
Is a crucial first step to claiming your confidence. Many of us think being more confident is something we can earn through experience, and yes, it can happen that way. But that’s how you build confidence in new areas.
Did you know that there’s a whole treasure chest within you, filled with things you really and truly are confident about - and you don’t even know it? That’s because you’re used to being afraid of seeing your true self, so you hide your innate gifts.
But I’m here to tell you that there’s a better way; a way that can guide you and empower you.
Okay, you may be thinking, Where do I even start with something like this? How do I do this? And my advice is this: You start with courage.
The reality is, looking within ourselves to find the confidence we’ve always sought is scary, but I want to let you in on a little secret: You’re already focused so intensely on what you don’t like about yourself, which just means you’re already familiar with the scary stuff! Surprise!
Yes, this process seems scary. But it’s worth it. When you make time to create space to explore internally, you’ll likely find your authentic spirit, holding all the gifts within you. This part of you holds all the characteristics people like about you, but you’ve likely been so focused on the bad stuff you haven’t even explored this treasure chest.
Let’s dive in. I’ll break it down into FIVE simple steps:
1. Schedule in some time to sit down with a pen and paper or your smartphone and describe your authentic self - that includes the bad AND the good.
2. Notice how you are experiencing your life. Reflect on times you enjoyed how you showed up and then consider times that you’re not so proud of. What didn’t you like about those experiences?
3. Once you’ve written down some thoughts, read it back. Focus on the parts where you describe being proud of yourself. These are your gifts, and the evidence you need to begin to build trust in yourself.
When you notice certain characteristics about yourself, remember that these are likely pretty ingrained within you as patterns or parts of your personality - meaning you’d likely have to pay extra attention to not do them. For example, I’m a very compassionate person, if you asked me to not consider others for a day that would be extremely impossible for me. Thus, I can trust that one of my gifts is that I’m considerate of others.
4. Once you have your list of characteristics you can trust, look at the parts you don’t like as much. Reflect on them to understand why you don’t like those parts, and what you are making them mean about you.
5. Then, get clear on how you want to improve this part of you to align with the person you want to be. When I say “get clear” I mean for you to ask yourself what your life would be like if you could improve those parts of you that you didn’t like so much. What does the improvement look like to you? More self confidence? Stronger relationships? A healthier mind and body?
At the end of the day the only person you can truly count on is you. So it’s time to embrace courage and brave the internal unknown. Get to know ALL of yourself so you can truly uncover who you REALLY are, and what makes you you to begin with.
Self discovery is extremely healing. It helps drive decisions, it improves your self efficacy, enhances your relationships, improves your health, empowers your voice, and so much more.
CHOOSE to accept all of yourself and utilize your gifts, but know when to ask for help. And if you’re like me and you need that extra push of accountability, then I have a FREE GIFT for you… Instead of going on the journey alone, enjoy my 5 Day Confidence Challenge.
Whatever you choose to do, CHOOSE YOU!