Last week, I participated in the International Day of Courage started by my friend and mentor, Chantelle Adams. I grew up feeling a lot of shame for being in a female body (courtesy of a very rigid church culture). Add to that the overall squishiness of my body and I have spent a large part of my life in hiding.
For the Day of Courage, I decided to take a stand against the narrative that said my body, and consequently me as a person, was wrong/bad. I courageously (and somewhat apprehensively) allowed myself to be photographed nude.
I revealed those (tasteful) pictures on my Instagram account as a bold, out loud declaration of me releasing the shame I internalized about this beautiful, imperfect body that my soul inhabits (see post here).
It was both terrifying and exhilarating all at the same time. As I reflect back on that experience, I am celebrating how much my confidence has grown over the last few years. There was a time when I NEVER would have done anything like that in a million years.
I also see this same confidence in the ways I am shifting how I show up in my business. I am confident in my ability to create transformation for my clients but I didn’t always feel this confident. Today I want to share 6 blocks to confidence that tripped me in the past. See if any of these are holding you back in your life.
I believe few things stand in the way of being confident as effectively as fear. In my own journey, fear of failing, fear of what other people would think, and even on some level fear of succeeding all at one point kept me from feeling confident.
The fears I named are not unique to me. The problem with these fears is they are not real. They are false fears connected to stories we make up in our minds. Actively challenging those false narratives is how I gained the confidence to make some of the biggest changes I’ve made in my life.
Like a lot of women, I am a pro at the comparison game. When I was playing small, hiding in the shadows it was mostly because I was comparing myself to other people and ALWAYS coming up short.
In the comparison game, we overestimate everyone else while underestimating ourselves and really nobody wins. Most of the time we are comparing our inside to someone else’s outside and what we see is never the complete story.
This is about all the things you are or aren’t doing that you should or shouldn’t be doing and is closely tied to the “you’re not enough” message too many women are prone to believing.
I struggled for a long time with the “not enough” stories and the resulting guilt from not doing enough. I gave a lot at work but then my personal life suffered. When I tried to make myself a priority I felt guilty for not being committed enough to my “calling”. I couldn’t win for losing.
Guilt will convince you that if you were a better ________ you would _____________ and because you aren’t then you aren’t enough. That not enough message robs you of your confidence every single time.
Negative self-talk is a death sentence to confidence. I once declined a promotion being offered to me. My self-talk had convinced me that I would fail in the new role and be demoted or fired eventually so why bother accepting it. I had zero confidence in my ability to succeed, all because of the negativity flowing between my ears.
Learning to get that negative self-talk under control was an important part of me having the confidence to leave my job and start my own business. Without doing that work my confidence would never have grown.
This is a confidence killer if there ever was one. Elizabeth Gilbert calls perfectionism an haute couture version of fear and as a recovering perfectionist, I agree. I used to aim for perfection out of fear that I would be reprimanded or rejected if I wasn’t perfect. This led me to overthink EVERYTHING.
Perfection keeps us stuck in analysis paralysis and second-guessing ourselves. This increases our self-doubt and lessens our confidence.
Other people’s expectations
Until recently, I didn’t fully appreciate how much I once lived my life based on what other people wanted for me. I chased dreams I said I wanted but I really didn’t and because they were not dreams that originated from within me, it was hard to feel confident as I pursued them.
When we allow other people’s expectations to control us then our confidence is derived from how they respond to us. If good then we feel confident; if they respond badly then we lose our confidence. We essentially give away our power to them.
My wish is to see you believing in yourself and chasing the dreams that are hiding in your heart. To help you get started, I’ve created a FREE resource with simple steps you can take to grow your confidence. Download your copy today.
Here’s to you feeling more confident and rising into your greatness.
From my heart to yours,
P.S: If you know a lack of confidence is holding you back in life and you’re ready to do something about it, let’s talk. Schedule a complimentary call with me today. On this call, we will look closely at the ways your confidence is being blocked and together figure out a way to get you unstuck in this area. Click here to schedule your call.