The Secret to Self Confidence
Breaking News: Self Confidence is available to you. Right here. Right now.
I hear women (and men) say things like:
- Self Confidence is a luxury only rich people have.
- Self Confidence is a talent and I’m not talented at anything.
- Self Confidence is inherited and my parents didn’t have it so I won’t either.
- In other words, “Self Confidence is something other people have, I don’t and I guess I never will.”
When do you feel most confident?
Let’s not discount the value of a killer pair of shoes or a sassy new haircut to give you a quick boost of confidence, but what about when your boss asks you to take on a huge project or you want to leave your job to start your own business. The kind of things that make you want to puke because it’s big and scary and… we’ve never done it before. We oftentimes feel confident about a situation because we’ve experienced it before but there is ALWAYS a first time. The secret is being willing to experience the potential negative emotions that come with it, even when it’s the first time.
Remember when you were a baby learning to walk? How many times did you fall down? If you’re like me, roughly a bazillion (bazillion is a technical term). We failed. Over and over and over. AND IT DIDN’T MATTER! Isn’t it interesting that every time we fell down while learning to walk most of us would hear something like “that’s okay” or even “yeeeeaaaaaahhhhhhhhhh” along with exuberant clapping and gaping smiles because you got one-half of a step the first time. As a baby you don’t feel judgement or embarrassment or defeat. We get up (probably after crying) and try again.
So here we are as an adult, trying to be brave and try some shit that we’ve never done before (like learning to walk for the first time) and instead of being proud of our half-way-kinda-looked-like-we-might-be-taking-a-step-in-the-right-direction we become the jerk we’d probably throat punch if we heard them talking to someone else the way you are talking to yourself. #amiright
What does it feel like to fail?
What does it feel like if people laughed at you?
What does it feel like to be judged?
Did you have faces or names of people you think of when I asked those questions?
What do you hear?
“They will laugh at me”
“They would think I’m crazy/stupid (or both) to try this”
“They would never support this/me (or both)”
Now, take a closer look and tell me what you SEE.
Do you notice that none of them – not one – is someone who loves and supports you? In fact, I’d venture to guess “they” are people you don’t even like, so WHY is their opinion more important than yours?
The hardest thing about failure or judgement or defeat is what you make it mean. You heard me right. Falling down is not the problem. What you make falling down mean is the problem.
Do you make it mean you aren’t good enough?
Do you make it mean you aren’t lovable?
Do you make it mean you aren’t worthy?
Do you make it mean you’ll never have everything you’ve dreamed of?
Do you make it mean that you aren’t Self Confident and shouldn’t ever try again to avoid EVER feeling failure, judgement, defeat, or sadness?
What if the worst possible thing that could ever happen was to experience a feeling? If you are willing to experience the feeling of negative emotion you’re not only brave, you’re badass.
Disappointment. Judgement. Embarrassment. Defeat. Failure. These are just feelings. They can’t actually hurt us, they are only an emotion and when you’re willing to experience ANY negative emotion, be kind to yourself while you learn to walk, and more importantly every time you fall you get back up again, well you my friend have self-confidence others will envy!
What if you could feel the feeling, then thank your brain for the dress-rehearsal, and move the F on to conquer your fear? In general, the FEAR of “the fear” is worse than the reality so if you are willing to experience any emotion, fail, love yourself through it, and try again, you are the most Self Confident Boss Babe on the planet!
What would you do if you weren’t afraid to FEEL an emotion?