7 ways to Own your Confidence

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 about it to actioning it into reality. I say this because today my business plan got accepted (after a lot of hard work) and I’ve been given some funding to get it off the ground.

I am finally believing in my vision and taking the risk to create something new. I am stepping into the unknown…

To create a space where I can share my thoughts, creativity and vision for my future. It is terrifying and magical, after all that time to finally take that leap of faith. However, I know I am only at the beginning of believing that I can do this.

I’ve had many jobs over the years but nothing ever really seemed to fit me. I always had an impulsive feeling that things were going to change, somehow, and that I would eventually be moving on, so there was no time to settle in where I was at that present moment.

I guess this had an impact on my ability to create strong bonds with people, I had to keep pressing forward, determined to pursue my dreams. I can understand them thinking that I was rude for not taking the time to get to know them, I guess it was a little…

But what can I say? I’ve always been ambitious, headstrong and stubborn. That’s just my nature, I didn’t know where I was heading, I just followed my heart- my impulses and believed in myself. I’m still on that path…

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.

It was a painful one at times, uncomfortable and difficult. I had to face all my insecurities head-on. But, sometimes it was joyful, like a spiralling vortex of emotions that pulled me outwards, out of my little shell and into a new world, where anything really was possible.

But what now? Now that I’m here, with the belief in my abilities and talents, as a writer and photographer…

Here, with my newfound core of strength inside. How do I own my newfound 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, my actions and have resented myself for pursuing more. 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 of ways. If it’s painful to be beautiful, then transformation is soul-shaking and complicated.

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 just for them, but for myself also. I have learnt to forgive others for my own peace 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. I have also forgiven people’s toxic traits, they are walking a different path to me and I mustn’t let it get to me.

You can put up walls within yourself to protect yourself- but don’t put up too many to stop letting people in. Human interaction is essential to our happiness and personal growth.

Still though, along every step of the way, I had a choice. I could either stay the same or I could choose to grow. I could choose to become a better version of myself or I could continue being unhappy.

I could get up every day 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 no longer mattered and where I could ultimately, be free of my insecurities.

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 uniqueness (or strangeness) and then 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 go of illusions, expectations and self-doubt.

If others judged me because I was changing, I let them or I watched them try and place those limiting ‘barriers’ around me. In the form of control, to stop me from spreading my wings and flying. I felt their disappointment and shame and I let it flow over me.

I used visualisation as a new tool in my arsenal and pictured their expectations as a purple paint, imagining it being thrown over me and then it running off me, 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 in life, their own boundaries, their own ideology of what they think is acceptable.

They are limited by their own expectations and doubt. So they put that on you. What causes it can be a whole heap of things, trauma, upbringing, heartbreak – they’re all wounds that haven’t ye healed. Neither is it your responsibility to heal them. Healing is a path they must choose to take – all you can offer them is your patience.

So you see, don’t listen to peoples opinions, people judge you because what you do makes them feel uncomfortable and challenges their own limiting self-beliefs.

The next Stage of Confidence…

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 answer 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 will happen. I know this because nothing worse has happened to me, than what would have happened to me if I’d stayed in the same place.

I’m still in one piece- just a lot more comfortable in my own skin, not as nervous, less anxious and spending much less time worrying about what people think. I focus on myself and how I feel.

I got in touch with my feelings and learned to listen to myself. How am I feeling today? What will make me happy? How can I improve today?

My relationships with others are more meaningful now because they’re based on mutual understanding and feelings of respect for one another. Gone are the days of bottling emotions and people-pleasing. I have learned to set boundaries.

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. Each day I am at the top of my list and in return, I can greet people with happiness.

I challenge myself daily to do something uncomfortable, and what will happen? I will simply grow and own my confidence.

In fact, the thought of those moments happening makes me excited because I see them as opportunities now. I want to feel uncomfortable each day and challenge myself because it will make me educated … plus I want that adrenaline rush that happens afterwards.

Every opportunity I am gifted within this life is a chance to exercise my confidence and fine-tune my skills. If I don’t get it the right the first time, I will keep trying. Eventually, I will succeed.

Those embarrassing moments in my life have become happy ones, moments I can laugh about with genuine friends.

My insecurities don’t keep me awake at night anymore because I have learnt to embrace who I am.

And finally, the best part? Every day has become fun and exciting. Gone are the days of boredom which I was filled with self-loathing and doubt. I don’t give myself time for that.

I want to challenge my preconceptions and become stronger because I want to own my talents and my confidence…

How to Own your Confidence

1. Expect bumps in the road, not smooth sailing

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 there overnight 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 set yourself up for failure every time. Pride comes before the fall… Instead, accept that the road will full of pot holes and see that life lessons take time. You have to learn before you drive right? Why would life be any different?

2. Don’t give up because you feel uncomfortable

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.

Feeling uncomfortable is natural and a good thing. I can’t even begin to describe how many opportunities I have missed out on in this life because I stayed in my own space frightened to grow, frightened to move out of that comfortable world I created for myself.

What I realise now is that I held myself back and didn’t realise my potential, now I can change that by choosing to grow.

3. 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, to realising that an opportunity isn’t right for you and walking away.

Your instincts 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.

4. Don’t expect other people to understand or support you.

So this one is a big one and it sounds harsh. It’s also something I have realised since starting my blog. You must be willing to support and trust in yourself, as others may not.

When I announced to my friends 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 the limits that were holding me back.

I wasn’t going to wake up tired every day 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 truly all I need.

5. 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 school 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.

6. 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 (myself included). 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.

7. 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, by ironically letting go of control...

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.

Much Love,

Soph.

Published by Snophlion

“Some people never go crazy. What truly horrible lives them must lead.” Charles Bukowski

14 thoughts on “7 ways to Own your Confidence

  1. I rarely need to work on my confidence and to over come my imposter syndrome issues as well. Such a hindrance to my life. I also need to find direction and plan how I’ll get there when I do find it

    1. Wow I’ve been doing some research on imposter syndrome. It wasn’t something I had heard of until recently. I do a few posts on beauty and stuff I like, but I’m all about building confidence in others. That what I aim to do. Glad we’ve got in touch. X

  2. I like how focused and encouraging this is especially as confidence is such a difficult and sometimes elusive thing to maintain. It look and feels different to everyone yet we can get inspiration from others who share how they work on it — thanks for sharing this!

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