Does it seem like everyone else is always happier and more confident than you? Social media has a way of deceiving us like that.
In full transparency, one of the stickiest problems with myself is self-doubt. Don’t get me wrong, I am fiercely independent and intuitive.
I’m quite stubborn, and when I know I need or want something, I go for it!
Even without too much info, if I know it, I go for it! Just ask Travis. As meticulous as he is, I am as intensely passionate about being brave and striving for my goals without too much overthinking!
Ultimately, I have found I am my most confident self when I am being true to who I am which also makes me my happiest self!
As for true authentic confidence building, the real truth about confidence? You’re not automatically born with it. It’s CREATED.
Yep, fake it ‘til you make it is a real thing, baby! Let’s take a deep dive into this topic so you can feel good about yourself asap!
How can we all get there? First step, start with WHY!
And why do you want to create confidence? Well, who doesn’t want to smile, stand up taller, and be proud of themselves for who they are not by what they do or say?
We all want to be acknowledged. The main reason why clients came to me in therapy is their lack of security in themselves. They felt a desperate need to be acknowledged and affirmed.
And it’s the same for my interior design clients. They want their house to become their haven, a place they can feel comfortable to be authentic, vulnerable, and accepted.
As Brene Brown eloquently writes:
It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows, in the end, the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly.”
Pro tip: This doesn’t mean to repress your feelings and pretend everything is always ok. If things aren’t right, don’t act fake. That isn’t creating confidence. That is just tithing and feeding insecurity.
The opposite is true. When you are feeling the most authentic, that is when you have the potential to unlock a golden mountain of confidence oozing out from your well. What’s you’re well, well, when I worked with clients, I would often say, dig deep into your well (your soul). Dig deep and find that determination to be better. That grit. Grit does not require perfection. All it requires is to unabashedly try.
Just try. I mean it, just try.
Who cares if you fail. Will it hurt? Yes! Will it deflate your ego? Yes! But, out of it, you will find out what works for you and what doesn’t to discover your true WHY. Your version of your best self. What were you meant to do, what are you most confident in that is made for you and your journey?
Stand up straight and SMILE!
How many times have you heard that growing up? Oof! My friend, I prolly heard it a million x before I was 10. My mom was obsessed with posture.
Start with physiology: stand tall and smile!
I’m going to tell you a secret. I didn’t use to smile much when I was out and about doing errands. No, I’m not a mean ol B. ha! Far from it. I am a worrier and have anxiety all the time. It’s so much of a part of my mental frame of mind that it’s my baseline.
One of my besties Kelley from time to time when we were in public would say, “Smile Anita”! It would shake me a little and wake me up from my anxious state and a big ‘ol smile appeared.
I had to spend time reminding myself to smile in public and shockingly enough, it helped me feel less anxious and eventually became natural! There is the real science behind how a smile makes you, and others, feel! Aren’t good friends the best?
So awhile back, I decided to just stand up taller (yes, Mom, I’m finally listening to you!) and SMILE more often! Those minor tweaks in my physiological presence in this world have helped me to improve my overall confidence. I feel stronger and more worthy to be in the room when I am wearing a smile and good posture.
I find Pilates incredible in changing your body and posture. If you want a sure-fire way to improve your posture, then definitely give an online Pilates class a try! Don’t forget to smile while you’re doing it 🙂
Gandhi once said, “Your beliefs become your thoughts. Your thoughts become your words. Your words become your actions. Your actions become your habits. Your habits become your values. Your values become your destiny.”
Open up your heart by opening up your arms to the heavens! Don’t be too quick to judge this one. Whether you worship at church or love to meditate and do power poses via yoga, physically opening up our bodies is key to sending energy out and receiving energy back in. It works, I swear!
Something phenomenal happens psychologically and a huge smile beams on my goofy face whenever I do this. Try it, I promise you will automatically feel the dopamine levels in your brain chemistry explode.
Mindset is everything.
I can’t say enough about the mindset. I’m going to give you a silly example but it gives you a strong example.
When we had our staycation in Laguna Beach a couple of weeks back, it was peak June gloomy weather. As a sun worshiper from soggy Seattle, I was disappointed. But I woke up the second day telling myself it was going to be fine. Was it perfect? No. Was I disappointed? Hell yes! But my family was healthy and we were so blessed to even be there so I decided to adopt that mindset on it!
Low and behold, a couple of hours later the sun showed up! It wasn’t a full-blown sunny paradise but it was warm enough to make it a wonderful day. Attitude is everything!
Research has shown that positivity helps with the following:
- Increased life span
- Lower rates of depression
- Lower levels of distress
- Greater resistance to the common cold
- Better psychological and physical well-being
- Better cardiovascular health and reduced risk of death from cardiovascular disease
- Better coping skills during hardships and times of stress
Now those are A LOT of benefits for ourselves! I encourage you to start a thought journal and just write down your passing thoughts throughout the day. Increasing awareness of your self-dialogue can be telling. It will direct what thoughts to work on to help build your confidence.
Just keep swimming!
Even though you may not feel like a girl boss every moment of the day, when you catch yourself in a negative thought circle, stop yourself! Take a moment to build yourself up instead. I’m not suggesting doing this by putting others down, that’s never good. I just mean, focus on yourself and your thoughts about yourself.
Keep them positive, keep them productive!
I mean, really share something positive and encouraging to yourself, FROM yourself! Pretend you are telling your best friend whom you respect and adore. Or, that same love you have your kid or partner, manifest that same attitude and kindness. Extend it to yourself!
If you ever watched Disney’s Finding Nemo movie, Dory’s catchphrase was “Just keep swimming”!
Back in my office days, I had a co-worker who was going through chemotherapy for cancer. She not only inspired herself to be positive but she inspired the rest of us as well. Her mantra was Just keeping swimming! I’m so happy that she has been in remission for 14 years.
This confidence for yourself won’t come overnight. You’ll have days where you do a good job of building yourself up and days where you miss the mark a little. Be kind to yourself along this journey of self-love and whatever you do, don’t give up!
When you are having a bad day, take a moment to read back through your journal. You will likely find two things:
- Proof of your progress. As you read through the previous days, weeks, months, you are likely to notice the progress at the moment you didn’t recognize.
- Some amazing thoughts about yourself. As you read back through, pause on the good things. Sit with those thoughts for a second before you read on. This will help to remind you just how amazing you are!
Let your thoughts be your guide, not your feelings.
For your health and relationships, let your positive thoughts lead your heart and actions.
We often have it flipped around. We let every emotion decide our feelings and reality.
Feelings are important to acknowledge and filter. But they can be fleeting and fickle.
Taking control of our thoughts, testing reality, and then letting the feelings filter is the right order. Then our actions and behavior are aligned.
So many people have asked me, “Anita, how did you grow your brand and Instagram, blog from seemingly nothing?” Welp, I let my thoughts guide me. Don’t get me wrong, I am probably the most HSP (highly sensitive person) out there. But my determination to create a business and legacy for my daughters led the way. My thoughts wouldn’t let my fickle self-doubt get in the way of my goal!
And you shouldn’t let yours get in your way either. The next time you want to give up, I hope you pull up this article and remember these tips to create and build confidence. YOU GOT THIS and I am here for you to support your journey!