#14 How to feel more confident?

Are you going back and forth, changing your mind when you finally decided on something? Is it hard for you to make decisions and stick to it? Do you value opinions of other people more than your own? Do you feel like you may need a bit more self-confidence and trust in your choices?

Self-confidence

I just wanted to make clear what I mean by saying “feeling confident”. For me it’s not feeling cocky or arrogant. It’s not feeling superior to other people.

For me, true confidence is peaceful. Feeling at ease with yourself. It’s this inner knowing that you’re okay. You’re okay the way you are at this moment. You’re whole. You don’t lack anything. You don’t need another person or things to complete you. You feel complete already. You encounter other people from this place of wholeness and you choose to go through life with them as two complete people creating something new.

You don’t have to be perfect. You may want to grow but it doesn’t mean you don’t love yourself fully as you are right now. Your growth comes from a place of love, not judgement.

And feeling all of this makes you act confidently. If you love yourself, you accept yourself, you don’t need to prove anything to anyone. You don’t have to prove you’re worthy or good enough. You do things because you want to. Because it’s fun. Because it’s kind. Because this need comes from your heart and soul. Just because.

External validation

Before I started to get to know myself on a deeper level and working on myself, I relied on opinions of others in almost everything.
  • Do I look good in this dress?
  • Should I take this job?
  • Do I deserve this raise?
  • What should I order in a restaurant?
  • What do you think about this training I want to take?
  • Am I good at this?
And so on. Don’t get me wrong – I’m all in, when it comes to asking for support and advice. Yet, a while ago, I was totally out of touch with my intuition, my inner wisdom and I didn’t trust myself at all. Because of that I needed opinions of others to make choices. I didn’t add their opinions to mine and then make a choice as I do now. I was looking for external validation to make me feel good. To make me feel worthy. To make me feel that I matter.
If somebody that I admired and trusted told me something is good for me, I did it. If they challenged my idea, I didn’t follow through. Dealing with their rejection or difficult emotions was just too much. My whole sense of self-worth came from the outside.
Why? Well, I didn’t know myself at all!

The power of knowing yourself

When few years ago a wise person has asked me what do I like to do, I started crying. Seriously. I was scared that now she sees me for who I am – meaning nobody. I felt so empty, so not interesting at all. I felt this deep void inside of me. What other people may like about me, anyways? Who am I, really? I had no idea. And I was really scared that other people will see that too and hate me for it. I felt so fake. I thought I needed this clothes, or books, or job, or friends, or to look a certain way to finally be “somebody”. I totally defined myself through others.
I had no idea who I am, what I liked and what I didn’t. I was always adjusting to the person next to me so that they liked me and gave me their approval I needed so much!
And then this wise person said to me: “You know what? When somebody asks you what do you like and you feel awkward about the answer, you can always say ‘I don’t know yet. I’m in a process of discovering that for myself right now.’ “
This one comment has changed everything. Well, I’m allowed not to know. I can discover that for myself. I can take my time. And you know what? I had so much fun doing it 🙂

My discoveries

Since then, I’ve asked myself on many different occasions whether I like something or not. In all sorts of situations. For example:
  • I’ve tried many kinds of apples and chose my favorite (hard and sweet).
  • Same goes for ice cream (chocolate with chocolate chips and wild forest fruits flavors).
  • Movies (the ones that make me feel good after I watch them).
  • People (the ones that make me feel good after I spend time with them. This actually made me realize that I need to let go of some friendships which was really hard but gave me space for the new people in my life).
  • Type of work I want (I wanted to work for myself!)
  • Clothes and style (comfortable, classic, French-like with a bit of rock’n’roll, boho and street fashion twists!)
  • Trainings I’m interested in (I ditched the ones I “should” take because it’s wise to have those skills in my profession. Instead, I enrolled for courses I loved: coaching, self-development, psychology, spirituality, astrology, etc.).
  • Moving my body (likes: walks, dancing, swimming; dislikes: running, gym).

I allowed myself to taste, to try, and to quit whenever I liked. And I gave myself permission to change my mind whenever I felt like it! And most importantly, I did it all without any sense of guilt. It was fun. It was joyful. It made me discover many many aspects of myself.

I used to think that I have to be a certain way. That once and for all I have to define who I am. That I’m not allowed to change my mind. It turned out to be total BS. I can have preferences. They can change over time and evolve, as I’m evolving. Besides, those preferences don’t define me and it’s really liberating 🙂

Internal guidance

I’m not saying I don’t like when somebody tells me I look pretty or that my work is meaningful. I love it. Yet, it’s not the ONLY source of my self-worth. My sense of confidence and worth comes mostly from within now.

If you’re like I used to be and you look for somebody elses’ approval to feel good about yourself, try this instead. Try asking your intuition for guidance. You may feel hesitant about it at first, but just give it a go.

Next time you have a decision to make:

  • Close your eyes and ask yourself: What do I really want and need right now?
  • Don’t think what other people may think about it or about you.
  • Breath in and out.
  • Wait for the answer. It will come from your heart, not from your head. You will know the difference. It’s this nurturing voice, not the critical one.

It can be a quick answer, it can be a long one. Only you will know. Trust that voice. Do as it says and see the results.

Take action to build your confidence muscle

In my opinion, real confidence comes mainly from 2 sources:

1. Really knowing yourself.

If you know yourself, your good, bad and ugly parts, and you accept them, opinions of other people stop matter that much. Why? Well, they can no longer expose you. You’re not afraid of exposure because you already know this about yourself. Of course, their negative opinions may hurt you and positive ones uplift you, but it’s not so devastating and black and white anymore.
Remember me and asking everybody for the answers? I was afraid they will see how fake I am (this was all in my head). The more I got to know myself and all the parts of me, the less I was afraif of that. So what if someone says I’m mean? Well, sometimes I am and I accept this part of myself. As well as all the good parts: being open, helping other people see their true self, supporting people I love. I know it and if they know that too, that’s fine by me.

2. Taking action, especially when you’re not ready.

It’s like training your muscles. You start small and then you add more and more weight as your muscles get stronger. The same goes for taking action. Start small.
  • Maybe you can finally order the dish you wanted in a restaurant (but you didn’t because of the diet or what your husband will think of you or some other excuse)?
  • Maybe you wanted to say “no” to somebody? Or “yes”?
  • Maybe you need to make this phone call you’ve been postponing for days?
  • Pitch your offer to a potential client?

Take something really small and do it. We’re not looking for perfection. We’re looking for getting it done. And when you do — celebrate! Celebrate like crazy 🙂 It will make the whole taking action experience even more fun and you’ll want to do it more often.

Short example: when I signed up for Mentor Masterclass – the coaching training, we were on vacation with my hubby. We celebrated this decision for 2 days 🙂 We went out for dinner, got a bit drunk with cocktails and jumped out of excitement 🙂

It was huge deal as I was super scared to do it because of the money investment (I’ve never spent so much money on myself before!) but when I did it, I felt amazing. I felt so empowered! I was finally doing what I wanted to do, I was following my intuition and my heart was all in. I felt strong and unstoppable. My point is: CELEBRATE 🙂

It’s important to take action even – and especially – when you don’t feel ready. Why? It will boost your confidence to the roofs! Before my first coaching session I was terrified. But after I did it, even though it was far from perfect, I felt so strong! I did it. I just took what I had and I led this session. It gave me confidence to follow with the second session and so on. Now it’s like a second nature. But first time was really scary. Though, it has built my confidence muscle pretty well.

Tips

  • Do something this week to get to know yourself. It can be choosing your favorite food, journaling, getting awareness about your values in life, being specific about your boundaries. It’s up to you. Just see how you feel afterwards.
  • Take action on something small and challenging. Just do it. You can let me know how it went (my e-mail is in the contact info). You totally can reach out 🙂 I love getting e-mails 🙂
  • Celebrate! 🙂

And what do you do to feel more confident?

2 thoughts on “#14 How to feel more confident?

  1. I love this post! I adore that you took time to find out what you really liked, and love the example of trying different apples to figure out your favorite! 🙂 I am going to try some of your tips for building my confidence muscle. Great post! Xo

    1. Thank you, love 🙂 Haha, the apples where my thing during my pregnancy and Maciej is laughing that he has never peeled so many apples in his entire life as when I was pregnant 😉

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