Confidence is something we’ve all talked about over and over again in various settings. We hear how our children need more confidence. Then other people say self-esteem isn’t the issue at all. In fact, maybe it’s the opposite. I’m not here to get into any academic debates, or debates of any kind for that matter. I’m writing today because this week I had an experience that I want to continue to replicate. I felt like for the first time in a very long time (or as far back as I could remember – perhaps ever). I felt like I went into a situation where normally I may be unsure, anxious, worried, and perhaps mostly unsure of myself. I was presenting at a conference. I needed to feel sure. I was needing confidence and so I followed these 4 tips and in my humble opinion I totally ROCKED IT!!!!!
So here they are….
1. Step outside.
Step outside, both literally and figuratively if possible. By literally I obviously mean switch your location, fresh air sometimes works like magic for me. A quick walk or quiet time with nature can really shake you out of yourself in a good way. Figuratively it’s good to step outside yourself and look at the situation from another perspective. I was so nervous because I wanted people to agree with my presentation, I wanted people to be motivated and encouraged and inspired. I was nervous because I thought maybe they wouldn’t be. Stepping outside literally allowed me to get these fab pictures on an AMAZING fall day.
Stepping outside figuratively helped me to realize: sometimes we don’t need to take everything seriously and almost 100 % of the time the absolute best thing I can do is show up and be genuinely me. Phew what a relief.
2. Look at how others see you.
This is an extension of stepping outside yourself. I’m not saying that we should only trust others views of us because sometimes they don’t know us well enough and sometimes people get us all wrong. For a variety of reasons there are people who see us differently than who we really are and that’s a whole different post for another day (please remind me when I need a good post idea…). I also don’t think it’s helpful to focus on what YOU THINK people think because that just gets wild and nutty. What I mean is I think it can help to think about the people with whom you are closest. The ones that are just wild about you: your partner, your kids, your besties, whomever. What do they say when they watch you? What do they think makes you straight up fabulous? Chances are they see a more realistic picture of your awesomeness then you can, especially if you’re clouded by self- judgement and insecurity like I am at times. On my way to the conference, I talked to one of my dearest friends who told me quite honestly and candidly, “You are so captivating, people see you as wise and awesome.” Well, thank you dear friend. Thank you.
3. Speak kindly and with affirmation.
I told myself on my way there the same thing on repeat. Be You and Be Bold. You are smart, relevant, and dynamic. You’ve got this. At first I may not have believed it as much as I wanted, but the more I said it the more I did believe. I knew it to be true. We tell ourselves things all day long. Are we speaking kindly to ourselves?
I cannot think of a bigger confidence stealer than negative self talk. Sometimes I think damn I wouldn’t let ANYBODY talk to me the way I talk to myself. So this is something I’m really working on. Being kinder to me and believing the kind words rather than the awful ones. For me this always means to remind myself to be gentle. I’m trying to be more gentle.
4. Pray and Trust.
Looking back over these tips I see a pretty cool pattern that I didn’t set out to develop. That is that getting to stuck in ourselves can hinder self- confidence. This seems counterintuitive but I’ve also found that a lot of times things work out that way. So my last tip is about connecting with God. I think that for me it’s so easy to compare myself to others, to think I could be a better presenter, a more dynamic speaker, a kinder wife, a more patient mother. I could be a better scripture scholar (something that I think would make people respect me more in certain circles) when I do certain presentations. Maybe all of these things are true. Who knows. But here’s the thing. I’m not anyone else. I’m me. For better or worse. EXACTLY how God created me, this isn’t to say that self-improvement is bad. Hell no! I love self-improvement and believe me I could certainly benefit from continued self-improvement.
Prayer and trust are so important because when I reconnect with my creator I see myself in such an amazingly different way. I think of how I look at my children. The love. The awe. The impatience-haha kidding…but not. I can see God looking at me like that and I bet the impatience is real especially when I sell myself short when I act like, or perhaps worse feel like, I’m not GOOD ENOUGH. After my presentation I was able to join the attendees for prayer. And we sang one of my favorite Church songs- The Summons. I know I’m a total church song nerd. Chris makes me fun of me for this. I’m totally okay with it. The lyrics are beautiful and these lines spoke to me in that moment. I realized that if my answer was yes to the songs question “Will you let me answer prayer in you and you in me?” Then I have to love me. I have to be who I am. I cannot afford and God cannot afford for me not to be.
What are your best self-confidence tips? Do you feel like your confidence needs some work like I feel mine does, or is your confidence strong and positive? Happy Friday! Hope you can try some of these tips this weekend and love on you as much as possible!