What creates confidence?
What takes it away?
Are some born with a larger measure and others born with less?
Courage or the lack thereof is a result of self talk.
Courage is a feeling, and our feelings are a result of what we believe is true about the world and about ourselves.
When we believe, for example, we are ABSOLUTELY going to perform something flawlessly, those thoughts and beliefs translate into the feeling of courage and confidence. When we believe that we are missing the tools, knowledge and experience to perform how we need to or see a pattern of falling short we let those thoughts and beliefs produce the feeling of fear or lack of courage.
If therefore, we can change the narrative, self-talk and beliefs we hold, the feeling of confidence can be altered. Anyone remember the movie Dumbo? He had the ability to fly, but not the belief, at least, not until he had a little black feather to trick his mind into believing he could. So many times, I have been able to banish fear, simply through the awareness of what was going on in my brain and a pep talk that usually goes something like this: “Everything is figureoutable, if others have done it, why can’t I?? Fail forward and find your way Vanessa!!”
Can we increase the amount of confidence we have?
Does confidence equal arrogance or is it something different?
Can we have too much confidence?
I’ve been wrestling with these questions for a little while now. The more I work with women who are pursuing fitness and business goals, confidence level seems to be one of the greatest factors that affects the success or failure of each individual.
I am looking forward to unpacking this concept more in the coming months, but here are some of my first thoughts.
Here’s the problem, this pep talk practice works only sometimes: for example, when one of my children has a tantrum in the grocery store, I can remind myself that this is simply ONE instance that does not characterize my entire motherhood or my worth as a mom. But what happens when my children are throwing tantrums MULTIPLE times a day, every day of the week for a few weeks at a time?
I don’t know about you, but it’s very hard for me to believe the positive self-talk, when everything in my mind is screaming “LIAR!” Sometimes, things are just too discouraging and the failure looks TOO real. How do we build up confidence then?
What do I tell my clients who have 100+lbs to lose and have never been consistent in their workouts? What do I tell my friend who has been applying to medical school for two years and has gotten rejection letter after rejection letter? How do we self-talk our way out of discouragement and into confidence without lying to ourselves about the very real discouragements and failings we’ve experienced?
For me, this is where I have to consider a deeper truth. If I DID have children who never threw tantrums, if I DID have that 100lb weight loss, if I DID get accepted to the top medical school…does that mean I am MORE worthy? Does that mean I am a better person than someone who didn’t? Where does worthiness and acceptance come from? Is it purely from achievement or mastery?
You see, I believe that if our confidence takes a hit when we fall short of our expectations for our lives, then we have placed our worthiness in the wrong thing in the first place.
Instead of my self talk sounding like this: “Vanessa, you are a great mom and you are raising amazing children.” (To which my brain can easily should “BULLSHIT” because at this moment in time, my children are anything but amazing and my mothering is inconsistent, selfish and lazy at best) My self-talk can sound more like this: “Vanessa, your mothering skills need work, and your children are not thriving at the moment – things are not as they should be or as you would like – but this does not DEFINE you or determine your worth. You are a daughter of God, you are loved DEEPLY by HIM and your efforts to mother well, while important, are not the things that give you value.”
Do you see how that shifts the paradigm completely? Now, I can eat healthy and workout from a place of ALREADY being worthy and confident in who I am! I can apply to medical school knowing that my life is a wonderful gift and I am loved no matter the outcome. This type of self-talk gives me confidence and courage to STAY IN THE GAME and not eject myself out of fear.
Because that is the greatest tragedy, at least in my opinion, is when we lose confidence and courage and stop trying all together. We march through life with our head held down, never attempting anything great, never leaping into that thing that we are intrigued by but takes courage to pursue. This “half-way
living” isn’t living at all. Call me crazy, but I’d rather believe that I am loved, worthy, incredibly and valuable, just as I am – and live life to the HILT (even if all my endeavors fall short of my hopes and expectations) than to let my worth lie in my achievement and shut down and never actually live.
So, here’s my question for you – where does your worth lie? What makes you a valuable person of society? Is it your dress size? Your bank account? Is it the accolades you have won? Is it the behavior of your children or the state of your home? Is it a relationship and feeling like another person loves or approves of you?
If it is, you will have zero confidence (unless you can get all those things to the level of perfection that you have decided is “enough”) and never be able to get out of the “low confidence loop”. So come and join me! Place your value and worth where it should be and let’s move into 2018 with CONFIDENCE in spades.
It’s not something you can believe only once – it’s a daily practice of reminding yourself where your worth lies, it’s why I practice affirmations (or, if that word
bothers you, I practice telling myself TRUTH so I don’t believe the lies) every morning and EVERY evening. Confidence must be fought for, day in and day out – but I believe, yes, it CAN grow, and when it does – it changes EVERYTHING!