I am not a loud or gregarious person, yet when I walk into a room I take up space simply because of my presence. I have noticed that my essence can sometimes enter a room before I do.
It is not something I do intentionally…well, that’s not completely true, it’s intentional in that I choose not to apologize for being who I am. There was a time when I did shrink back or, at least, tried to make myself smaller because I felt like I didn’t have a right to occupy so much space.
Growing up in a church culture that made being a girl bad, I unconsciously picked up the message that it was best to not be seen. Couple that with seeing how my mother responded to my sister’s natural ability to draw attention to herself (that girl has never met a stranger), I knew it was better to be as invisible as I could be.
As a young woman in my early 20’s I struggled to look people in the eye and mostly walked with my head down. I even used my weight as a way to stay invisible. The end result was, I had very little self-confidence because at my core I felt wrong for being me.
In the years since that insecure time in my life, I have learned how to conquer my self-doubt. I now celebrate who I am and proudly stand in my power as a woman who unapologetically takes up space.
I didn’t get there overnight but there were a few strategic things I did to help me conquer self-doubt. As you read through this list, I invite you to pick one of these that you can begin doing today to help you be more confident.
Permission to fail
This was HUGE for me. I used to be a perfectionist. When I made a mistake there was an almost visceral response in my body that felt like I was going to die. I hated failing and when I experienced a failure I’d beat myself up for days about it.
Once I gave myself permission to fail and helped my body learn that we could survive it, life became much more enjoyable. My confidence grew as I learned to use those failures as stepping-stones to success.
Accept perceived flaws
This was another way that my perfectionism showed up. There are some things that I’m never going to be good at no matter how hard I try. No one will ever confuse me with a gourmet chef (I once told a guy I was dating I was a good cook when, at the time, I could barely boil eggs), I hate math (much prefer words to numbers), and I don’t do fashion.
In one way or another, my “failure” in these areas led to my feeling inadequate and insecure. There were other “flaws” that contributed to this feeling. Once I accepted that these things were simply not me I felt more at ease with myself, which helped grow my confidence.
Play to strengths
Shifting my mindset to understanding that my greatest value lies in my strengths was the real game changer for me. Playing to my strengths, though, meant I had to acknowledge and lean into them.
It meant ignoring the voice in my head that said I was being arrogant. It also meant knowing others might not be comfortable with me in my power. But that was their issue, not mine.
As a teenager, I used my body language as a way of apologizing for simply existing as a girl. By the time I was a young adult I said, “I’m sorry” like it was my job.
When I stopped apologizing unnecessarily, I felt more confident and I started looking people in the eye again. Because I said it so often before, I still have to pay attention now to make sure I’m not apologizing when no apology is needed.
The simple act of saying thank you without any caveats was actually fairly hard for me to do. My instinct was to dismiss when someone said something nice to me. In my warped thinking, it was prideful to accept a compliment. The better and more “humble” thing to do was to say, “thank you but…”
As I stopped tic-tacing the compliments being given to me, I saw my self in a better more confident light. This simple act went a long way in helping me conquer self-doubt.
There is greatness in you but your self-doubt is snuffing it out. It’s time for you to conquer self-doubt and remember the person you were before the world told you who you should be.
If you’re done playing small and you’re ready to re-discover the greatness in you, let’s talk. Click here to schedule a Courage Igniter Call with me.
The Courage Igniter Call is a complimentary conversation where we can take an honest look at what you really want for yourself, what has been standing in the way of you accessing your courage and why it’s time to get to where you want to be. This is a no obligation call; simply a way for you to be heard as you speak up for what you know you deserve in your life. Schedule your ‘Courage Igniter’ Call today.
Here’s to you doing all you can to conquer self-doubt and rise into YOUR greatness.
From my heart to yours,