Confidence, a Crucial Foundation
The other day someone told me that this picture makes me look fat.
They were coming from a place of love and had the best of intentions, so I wasn’t at all upset with them for saying it.
I also knew they didn’t mean I was overweight and need to “lose a few”; they just thought it wasn’t the most realistic portrayal of my body type.
But here’s the thing- I actually liked the picture. And even though I KNEW all that…. I still tore myself apart based off the outside criticism. For days. I questioned the fact that I felt good about myself because someone else didn’t agree.
WHY do we do this??
Something about being in front of the camera just makes me uncomfortable on many levels. I like having the pictures for memories, but I hate actually capturing my face. It’s always been a hurdle for me to be on social media feeling “I don’t look like those women, ya know the beautiful ones everyone wants to look at”. (And I know I am not alone in this feeling, ladies!).
But aside from my camera shyness, I have actually never felt more confident about who I am; this just happened to hit a deeply buried nerve.
I was recently asked to speak for a virtual conference and it required a few of the typical things, including headshots. As much as I have a million pictures of myself and the rest of the family, I realized I didn’t really have an actual recent headshot.
Double this with the fact that I was already tearing myself apart for everything that I might be “lacking”, and I spiraled into a pool of the “who am I” doubt game. I found myself looking to outside sources, worried about what everyone else would be thinking, and my confidence was shattered.
So why am I sharing this with you?
Confidence is a funny thing that has played a huge role in my life. The times I’ve had it and the times I was severely lacking it.
Somewhere around 3 years ago, I started asking myself what it truly meant to be LIVING. There had to be more than where I was at.
I had been working myself literally to death at times, and to be honest, I just didn’t have as much to show for it as I should have. But that’s a story for another time.
In the midst of all this work I was burying myself in, I lost myself. Not to mention, the biggest spike in my entrepreneurial career had also come at the exact same time as I was becoming a new mother. I just didn’t know who I was anymore outside of trying to please everyone else, and the further I felt away from knowing who I was or feeling like I actually even liked who I was anymore, the more I buried myself in my work.
The problem was, the more I buried myself in my work, the less I worked on myself. I was always last on the priority list and relied on making others happy to fill my cup.
And I didn’t even realize it.
All I knew was i was ADDICTED to it. 100% of my confidence came from work and who I was as a mother. It all came from outside recognition and my ability to please others in these roles I was playing. The funny thing was, not taking care of myself left me in a position where I could no longer care for anyone else.
So I began to dive deeper. I took breaks from my work (I ultimately even decided to walk away from a company that no longer served the person I was striving so hard to become). I began to stand up for myself and make my son do things for himself (insert gasps here).
I began to ask myself, who am I? What makes me great? What do I really have to offer the world?
And I’m so glad I did because learning to love who I am and be confident in the gifts I bring to the world has changed my life. It has made me a better mother, wife, friend, and business owner.
I’ve seen this story time and time again. I continue to see it daily- on my instagram feed, in the conversations I have with my clients and my friends, in my Facebook groups, in movies, in books. Everywhere.
As women we have this NEED to please everyone.
We get so wrapped up in how we’re showing up for everyone around us, we completely forget ourselves in the process. We bury the beast parts of ourselves and feel shame for being “different” because with think it means we are not “enough”.
But I want to know- what if you asked yourself this same question? How would you show up for the world? What if instead of chasing the achievement and praise of those around you, you decided to chase joy? What would happen?
I may not have all the answers yet, but I’ve definitely built some tools that have helped me get back on track when I feel I’m losing my way. Confidence is one of the most foundational things I have found needs to be constantly built and rebuilt.
So I wrote this guide just for you.
Because I know what it is to struggle with my own confidence and how that affects every aspect of my life. If you find yourself struggling to build confidence or simply wavering from time to time, I built this guide to keep handy as a reminder for all the tools we have to get back on track.