I was thinking earlier about the unknown. That unfathomable feeling of moving into new territory and not knowing what will happen when you get there, but just having trust within yourself that everything will work out.
In my case, it’s been starting a business. It’s been taking that leap of faith, from dreaming of having my own business and actually doing it. Believing in myself and taking that risk to create something new.
To create a space where I can share my thoughts, feelings and visions.
I’ve tried working in a whole host of jobs, but nothing ever really seemed to fit me and I always had this fleeting feeling that things were going to change, or that I would eventually be moving on so there was no time to settle in, where I was at the present.
I guess this had an impact on my ability to create strong bonds with people, I can understand them thinking that I was rude for not taking the time to get to know them…
But what can I say? I’ve always been ambitious, head strong and stubborn.
It got me thinking though that starting a business is a lot like gaining confidence.
Having struggled with low self esteem for the first twenty years of my life or so, becoming confident was a journey. You can read about that here.
It was painful at times, uncomfortable and joyful. Like a spiralling vortex of emotions that pulled me outwards, out of my shell and into a new world where anything really was possible.
But what now? Now that I’m here, free from the burden of shame and guilt. Here with the belief in my abilities and talents, here with the core of someone with strength. How do I own my confidence?
If I said I haven’t doubted myself I’d be lying, I have so many, many times. I’ve fallen back into toxic patterns and self destructive behaviours. I’ve doubted my abilities and my creativity. I have doubted myself and my actions. I have truly loathed who I am.
But then, from conquering those doubts I have found an inner strength and I have resurfaced in the most beautiful ways.
What I’ve learnt
I have learnt that patience truly is a virtue.
Kindness is a strength and you must remember that everyone is a part of the universe and equally as important.
I have also learnt to forgive others. Not for them, but for me. I have learnt to forgive others for my own piece of mind.
I have let go of jealousy and bitterness and have found my voice. I’ve learnt that the best gift you can give someone is validation and empowerment.
Still though along every step of the way, I had a choice. I could either stay the same or choose to grow. I could choose to become a better version of myself or I could continue being unhappy.
I could get up everyday with minimal effort and exist or I could push through those self limiting beliefs and become myself, in a world where peoples opinions of me know longer mattered and where I could ultimately, be free.
Free to live my life, free to open my wings and shine my light onto anyone I came into contact with. Free to embrace my strangeness and unleash the true potential of my creativity.
It was exhausting. I wanted to give up so many times, but yet I didn’t. I pushed through the barriers of what others expected from me. I let them judge me, or watched them try and place barriers around me. I felt their disappointment and shame and I let it flow over me.
I pictured their expectations as a purple paint and imagined it being thrown onto me and then it running off me and down onto the ground. I realised that people can only have power over you if you let them.
It’s not that people are necessarily ‘bad’ or that they’re trying to control you (although some people are like this, read my post on Emotional Abuse here), it’s just that everyone has their own set of rules, their own boundaries, their own ideology of what they think is acceptable.
Sometimes people judge you because what you do makes them feel uncomfortable and challenges their own limiting self beliefs.
Then, I began questioning myself, and what I thought was acceptable.
Do I really have to live within those confines I have set for myself or can I begin to wiggle those lines a little and step into a new part of being where I have more space to grow?
Well the answers is yes. Yes you can.
You can challenge your thoughts, you can challenge your beliefs, you can push yourself to feel uncomfortable and do things you’d never dreamed of and guess what? Nothing bad has happened to me, I’m still in one piece.
In fact the bonds that I have with people are stronger and more defined. I can set clear boundaries and people respect me for that.
My relationships with others are more meaningful now because they’re based on mutual feelings of respect.
I can challenge myself everyday to do something uncomfortable, and what will happen? I will grow and become happier.
In fact the thought of those moments happening make me excited because I see them as opportunities now. I want to feel uncomfortable and I want the adrenaline rush afterwards.
Those embarrassing moments in my life have become happy ones, moments I can laugh about.
My insecurities don’t keep me awake at night and I have learnt to embrace who I am. The best part? Everyday has become fun and exciting.
I want to challenge preconceptions and become stronger because I want to own my confidence…
How to Own your Confidence
Expect bumps in the road, not smooth sailing
Hey, no one or nothing is perfect. If you think every opportunity will work out, it probably won’t but down shoot yourself down for trying. Success happens because people are not afraid of failure.
Failure happens to all successful people. They don’t get their over night otherwise everyone would be successful. Confidence is kind of the same. It’s something you have to work on. It will be difficult but it’s worth it.
Don’t give up because you feel uncomfortable
Yep, growing feels strange and uncomfortable. Walking into a new way to be is challenging. It’s going to push you out of your comfort zone, but eventually it will be beautiful. If you want to achieve those great things you must challenge yourself.
Always trust your gut instinct it’s trying to tell you something
If something doesn’t feel right, trust it. There’s a big difference between feeling uncomfortable and wanting to quit and realising that an opportunity isn’t right for you.
Your instincs are there to protect you, so get in tune with them and listen. A great way to calm the mind is to practice meditation, yoga or jogging.
Don’t expect other people to understand or support you.
So this ones a biggie. You must have your own back. You must be willing to support and trust yourself in case other’s don’t.
When I announced to my friend and family that I was intending to start my own business, they didn’t understand my vision. They didn’t understand what I was trying to do.
Why was I giving up my paid job with benefits to start this blog? Well in one answer, it was because I decided to be happy. I had a vision of something amazing and I followed my heart into that space.
I believed in not only myself but what I could create, what I could do to empower others and how I could become myself living in a way that was free of limits that were holding me back, like all the jobs I’ve had.
I wasn’t going to wake up tired everyday because I was working for someone else and making them a profit.
I wasn’t going to miss all that time with my family because I was working all the time.
I was going to stand up and trust myself to create something new.
And that’s exactly what I’ve done, maybe over time the people I love will begin to understand and support my vision, until then, I’m all I need.
If you fail, keep trying.
Yep, if you try something and it doesn’t work, keep trying. You might feel like giving up, but don’t! Most successful blogs, for example have become that because they didn’t give up.
Sometimes if failure keeps happening, you must simply try a new approach. Maybe you can side step something and find a new way to get there. For example, say you wanted to go to a university but you didn’t get in. You could train to be a teacher and start teaching there years later…
The world works in mysterious ways, the point is, sometimes things happen to us to shape us. We might not get what we want but we may still get there. You must be persistent.
Don’t fear change
Change is an important part of development. Everything is constantly in a state of change. I get how this can frighten people. Staying the same feels comfortable, but it’s not beneficial for anyone.
You must accept that change is an important part of becoming a new version of yourself.
Learn to manage your nerves so you can move into a better space
This was a biggie for me. Change made me feel so nervous. I had to learn how to control those nerves in order to be able to change.
I let go of toxic patterns, behaviours and addictions. Ultimately, they weren’t helping me. I made my health the most important thing in my life. I exercised when I felt blue. I learnt to manage my time so that I was no longer rushing around. I found a way to be happy and let go of stress.
I put myself first and took the time to heal myself and then built up my confidence. And my nerves around change? They just kind of disappeared….
Sending love out there today, life is tough at the moment. I hope I’ve given you some tools to own your confidence today.