This is a topic that I often need help with myself. Confidence. In fact, I’ll be completely transparent and tell you that as I was writing this I began doubting if what I had to say would be even be relevant. Yep. I lost confidence in myself. The struggle is real. Especially if you are working hard toward a dream that seems big and audacious. The “unknown” forces us out of our comfort zone, and finding the confidence to press on can be challenging for all of us. However, I also think it is something each and every one of us can work on, and overcome.
It’s easy to portray confidence on the outside, but inside we are often timid, or in some cases, flatout terrified. Maybe for you it’s a struggle to even feel confident in any situation let alone trying to act that way. I want you to know that you’re not alone. And more importantly, I believe you CAN be that confident person you’ve always dreamed of being with a little hard work.
You have been created to live and operate in confidence. It’s time to tell yourself to “STAND UP!”, because you have everything it takes to walk in the assurance of your purpose. No more sitting on the bench for you. Here are six simple tips on how to begin doing just that.
But, before you can be confident you need to know what that means. Confidence is “the state of feeling certain about the truth of something.” Your truth should be, “I AM ABLE!” We all need to learn how to have a mindset of certainty in ourselves and our abilities. Which brings me to my first tip.
Believe in yourself.
You are here on this planet for a reason, and you have gifts and abilities that are unique to you. No one else is YOU! God created each of you with a meaningful plan and purpose for your life. You have significance! And it is important for you to be your own encourager, and to frequently tell yourself, “I can do this!”
Begin learning how to stand up for your own talents and potential. A good homework assignment that I challenge you to do is to make a list of your strengths. Are you a great communicator, an encourager, extremely organized, or a people person? Write those things down and review your list frequently. Especially on those days when you are doubting yourself. Seeing your strengths in writing is powerful.
If you’re struggling with knowing what your strengths are, ask a trusted friend who will be honest with you. Oftentimes, others are better able to see and recognize our strengths and giftings than we are ourselves. First and foremost, believe in yourself.
Find Your Cheerleaders.
When you are pursuing a dream it can be scary. I was deathly terrified to launch my blog. I also doubted my ability to write a book. However, I knew I was being called to do both of those things. Doubt and fear crept into all parts of the process. Those nagging voices kept chirping in my ears and made me second guess my dreams. To keep my dream alive, I needed people around me that I knew would support me and cheer me on. I sought out family and friends that I trusted to encourage me, especially on those days when all I wanted to do was chuck my computer over a highway overpass.
Find those people who will stand up for you, and ask them to hold you accountable when you’re lacking confidence. Ask them to give you frequent pep talks, and allow them to speak truth to you that will keep you going when you’re feeling those pesky doubts creep in.
Understand the Difference Between Internal Opposition and External Opposition.
External opposition are those things or people that say you can’t do something or keep you from accomplishing a goal. An example of external opposition is someone voicing that your idea isn’t good. Or, that you lack the talent or ability to get the job done. External opposition is for the most part, relatively manageable and can be overcome if you commit to ignoring it and pushing through.
However, internal opposition is what can really be deadly for your confidence. Internal opposition is when YOU tell yourself you can’t do something. This is the real beast you need to tame. Where are you sabotaging your own success? What lies are you telling yourself that are keeping you from moving forward. Are you convincing yourself that no one wants to hear what you have to say? Or maybe you believe that your gift isn’t unique. Do you think that it can’t possibly be used to positively affect someone else? This is where you need to stand up to that lying voice in your head and commit to breaking down that internal opposition. Stop being the one holding yourself back!
Know Your “Why”.
Your “why” is like gas for your car. A car can’t get to its destination if it doesn’t have fuel, and your “why” is the fuel that is going to give you the confidence to get out of your comfort zone. Really think about why you have committed to your dream. Each and everyone of us has a story that is at the heart of what drives us. Know your end goal. Maybe that is securing financial freedom for your family, or empowering other women to find their voice. Whatever it is, keep your focus on the horizon, and not on the momentary roadblock in front of you. If you can see the bigger picture, you will have confidence to continue pushing on.
Fight Your Fear.
Fear is the arch enemy of confidence. What you are afraid of? Are you afraid of failing? I remember when I first began working as an independent consultant for Beautycounter just over three years ago, my husband bought me an ipad for my new business. When he ordered it there was an option to have it engraved with my name and phone number. Unbeknownst to me, he also had “Beautycounter” engraved below my name. So thoughtful, right? Wrong! I totally panicked! My first thought was, “Oh my gosh! Why did he do that?! What if I fail and end up quitting! Engraving is so permanent!” I immediately let my fears take over and they began sabotaging my confidence.
Fighting your fear is just that, it’s action. It’s not passively sitting back and allowing your fears to paralyze you. You have to take one step everyday, even if it’s small, toward overcoming your fears. That may be signing up for that class you always wanted to take. Perhaps it’s going to the library and learning how to start a non-profit. This goes back to getting out of your comfort zone and allowing that stretch to grow and strengthen your confidence. It takes time, but each action you make will begin to chip away at those chains of fear that are preventing you from moving forward. Stand up to fear!
“Don’t Worry About What People Think!”
As women, I think this is something a lot of us struggle with the most. Myself included. I got a crash course in overcoming this particular confidence destroyer in March of 2017 when I was diagnosed with breast cancer. With my diagnosis came a pretty harsh treatment plan that consisted of four rounds of intense chemotherapy and an extensive surgery.
This was a dramatic season of loss for me on so many levels. Loss of my physical strength, loss of my ability to take care of my family, and most noticeably the loss of my hair. Now as a woman, you can imagine how devastating that can be. Never did I ever think I would one day look in the mirror and see a bald headed woman staring back at me. That vulnerability taught me to dig deep inside of myself and really discover who I was.
I was able to see that my worth and my value as a woman was not my outside appearance or my accomplishments, but rather the person I was in my heart. It forced me to learn how to be confident in who I was, not in how I looked. It stripped me of “hiding” behind something we all often take for granted, our appearance.
Being bald taught me not to care when people gave me strange looks or when kids stopped and gaped at me in the grocery aisles. Having this confidence wasn’t something I rocked on day one, but the more I told myself that I didn’t care what people thought, the more that confidence began to grow. Once you stand up to your worry about what people think, you will find a freedom that will unleash a whole new level of potential.
You as a person, and as a woman, have so much to offer. You may have never been told that, but it’s true. And now is the time to stand up for yourself, and begin understanding the ability that you have to positively affect your family, your friends, your community, and beyond. You are the only one holding yourself back, but now is the time to change all of that. Begin walking confidently in your purpose today, and you will be amazed at what you can accomplish.