The True Art of Confidence: How to be more confident in yourself
This is probably the most sought after “secret”, the most asked question, and the greatest challenge that women face today – that is self-confidence and how can I be more confident in myself. You are probably thinking to yourself, how can I be more confident? Why does it feel like everyone else has it together and I don’t? What exactly does confidence look like?
DO I HAVE CONFIDENCE?
Confidence has been defined as, “a feeling of self-assurance arising from one's appreciation of one's own abilities or qualities” (Oxford Dictionary).
This definition narrows your confidence down to your ability or quality– what you can or cannot do and how well you can do it.
This is one aspect of confidence that is drilled into our brains,
“can you do it?”
“Are you enough?”
“Are you up for the task?”
We see this in job interviews to parking the car to having a conversation with anyone, etc. You will find this question is being asked a thousand times in your head every single day, “Can I do this?”
Confidence is also something that is marketed to us daily. Almost every major beauty and athletic industry brings “you can have more confidence if you ______” buy our product, use our equipment, or simply apply this perfecting foundation to get clear and flawless skin – to be confident.
It’s a confidence game and marketing teams know this is something women seriously struggle with.
In a recent research done by Dove®, they found that “4% of women worldwide consider themselves beautiful”. Within the research they found that about 50% were their greatest beauty critic and by 17 years old, 78% already were “unhappy with their bodies”.
If you are in the middle of all the messages of “you too can be confident too!” you will definitely try to do whatever it takes to be confident. Sadly, this usually pushes you to feel that you don’t measure up to the hand picked, touched up, and single-sized images that surround you. We are psyched out, overwhelmed, and seeking the unachievable. In one way or another this message of “you can look like this too” is the one-size beauty illusion. It is one of the biggest confidence killers in our society today.
History shows time and time again that beauty is defined by what we wear, what things we collect and own, how we do our makeup and style our hair, and who we are with.
We are always trying to prove our beauty, our belonging, and our abilities day in and day out. Social media is the perfect playground and the international neighborhood bully of comparison. Sadly, your confidence will take a punch to the face because of the level of comparison you entertain.
There can be serious frustration between expectation versus reality. The frustrating comparisons do not need to own you or define you. You can have confidence no matter where you find yourself.
There is no one size to beauty.
That is the real truth.
If these images, perceptions, and cultural “you must look a certain way to be pretty” doesn’t affect you, I applaud you. However, the likelihood of you being ensnared by these expectations of of how you should look and be this way to be accepted is most likely a part of your story in one way or another.
That doesn’t mean that story needs to be the dialog inside of you.
Let us start with what confidence is not
What confidence is NOT
Confidence isn’t a constant companion with achievement. Just because you are successful doesn’t mean you are confident.
Confidence isn’t something you can buy or purchase.
Confidence isn’t making other people feel lesser than you or an increase of pride because you feel better about yourself.
True confidence isn’t expressed by snubbing others, in fact confidence can be counterfeited by its near enemy–cocky. It can look and sound like confidence yet it is just a puddle in comparison to the ocean.
Confidence doesn’t mean being at the top of the ladder or making the big bucks at the company you work for. You CAN be confident without either of those.
Confidence isn’t solely dependent on someone's abilities and qualities.
What can I do to be more confident in myself?
Every day the best and the brightest share their wins and their victories.
In our judgment or envy, we shoot down our confidence by comparing our progress with someone's achievement – which took hours of honed-in practice and experiences.
As you ponder why your self-confidence is lacking, you will begin to see that a lot of outward expression of “they are confident” is based on what can be shared and what can be won.
Confidence isn’t as narrow as, “You have it or you don’t” or “you’re talented or you’re not”. The all-or-nothing mentality is a huge red flag to watch for when building your confidence.
If you have been told your whole life that your value lies in your beauty, your talents, or your abilities you probably will always put stock into these specific things. However, when you are unable to do/be those things at some point in your life, you may freeze, refuse to leave your home, or even find it unbearable to do the things you once loved because you’re not as good as you use to be.
In short, you will fall hard.
Your confidence will most likely feel like a house of cards and deep down you know that you are more than what you can do or how you look. And your deep down, is right!
You may be asking yourself, How do I get out of my achievement equals my worth and therefore my confidence mindset?
And, how do I develop true and lasting confidence?
Gabby Douglas, an all around champion in gymnastics said it best, “Every champion was once a contender that didn’t give up.” This is powerful. We are all contenders and becoming a champion means never giving up and continuing to press forward even on the hard days.
There is something inside of you that knows you are incredible and you are ready to bring that confident-you forward–confidently and victoriously.
Eleanor Roosevelt famously said, “no one can make you feel inferior without your consent”. At first, I didn’t understand what Eleanor Roosevelt meant. Perhaps like many of you, I struggled with this quote. Now I have found what it truly means to not let someone make me feel inferior or lesser. I have found that there is power inside of me–that I can choose how to become and how to give my consent to my life.
If you, like me, are wondering how to do this, let’s get into what really brings true confidence.
THE TRUE ART OF CONFIDENCE:
There are two elements that play a crucial and important role to confidence.
In fact, these two things will see you through any challenge, harness your awesomeness, and give you an irrevocable foundation that will never fail you.
The two things are peace and knowing yourself.
Peace, by definition it is “freedom from disturbance; tranquility” (Oxford Dictionary, 2022).
A state of peace is when you are centered and present.
When looking back at my own personal journey, it was peace that changed everything.
Peace is something that cannot be falsified or masked. It is one of the truest and strongest energies out there.
The key is being able to harness and hold that peace within you.
If you can cultivate peace, here are some of the benefits you will experience:
You know yourself deeper and with greater clarity
You stay more even tempered
You have an ability to accept and decline with grace
Your ability to stabilize and sustain yourself greatly increases
You are more quick to identify what your needs are and how to make them a priority.
You are easy to be with and people naturally gravitate towards you.
You are able to hold your own in whatever situation you come into.
Peace will naturally bring a level of self-mastery with it.
This means you need to be willing to delve deep into who you are, how you feel, how you experience, and how you express yourself.
FEEL EXPERIENCE EXPRESS
Deep and inner peace is only achieved by first understanding what is disrupting or disturbing the peace
These things can include:
Neglected parts of yourself
Poorly caring for personal needs
Inner personal dialog with yourself that demeans or diminishes
Poor behaviors that stem from a hard to express source
It takes both vulnerability and courage to stand up to yourself and to challenge what is really going on inside. It can be challenging to define what defines you and to figure out why you do, what you do.
Loving yourself with Peace:
Peace is first achieved by self-acceptance. It is getting intune with the real you. The real you is kind, strong, compassionate, and wise.
When you bring this peace-filled self into whatever it is that is causing the disruption you will be able to identify it with greater clarity and love it through the healing process.
How to love yourself through your own pain to find peace:
Open yourself up to what is possible
Focus on the good and bring that good into the hard and the vulnerable
Be patient and full of compassion, you are working through your deep rooted insecurities and it will take time. Commit to taking that time it will need to really love and heal through the scars.
True confidence requires you to understand who you are and to love yourself. It will require you to make peace with the things that you cannot control and let go of all the pain. This is essential to peace and what does peace bring, worth.
When we build peace we naturally begin to know who we are. This builds personal self-worth
There is power in who you are.
As a culture, we teach that people can’t and don’t change. We are bombarded by constant reminders of our flaws and imperfections. In fact, it is better if you don’t change and are just accepted for who you are just as you are without being the best of yourself.
People change every day.
Mine is a story of change. I used to believe my worth as a woman was dependent upon me bearing and rearing children. I struggled with general attitude that had been shared with me that motherhood is a life of selflessness.
This message was both blaring and shaming. The servitude of motherhood is what is praised and yet it is also felt shaming as the message of “that’s it? You’re a stay-at-home mom? Accompanied with looks of you’re stupid, you could do so much more.
At first, my motherhood owned me. The shame creeped in, my passions lay on the way side, and the servitude began. It felt heavy upon my shoulders - a burden to bear every day for the rest of my life.
I got to the point where I didn’t love who I was. In fact, I didn’t even recognize myself in the mirror. I was a stranger and completely opposite of the woman I once was.
Crying, I sat in the dark and loneliness of all I had become and I said to myself, “There has to be more than this.
“There has to be more to me than how I feel right now”.
From that moment on, I prayed and I asked God to lead to me the answers that could help me rekindle who I really am.
I went from feeling abandoned, worthless, ugly, stupid, anxious, and inept to feeling beautiful, captivating, capable, intentional, fulfilled, and bright.
It began with me desiring to know myself.
True and undeniable change, confidence, and being captivating came as I sought out peace. It came as I trusted God and He showed me that He heals from the inside out. And what I found is that God opened my understanding of what is possible for my life.
Now, I am expanding. Not just growing but building out and flourishing as I go.
You are designed to grow, flourish, and expand in all that you are.
You are your greatest advocate and your greatest strength. I invite you to own it. Really own it.
There will never be nor was ever anyone like you.
Imagine if you take the time to center yourself with peace and know yourself with absolute clarity, what would the world look like? What would you do? How would you respond? How would you use your time? How would it feel to be around you? What would you share with your daughter and/or son?
Imagine for a moment, if you really were at peace and you really knew yourself and were captivating and confident, what would you do?
Knowing yourself means also guarding yourself.
Learn to safe-guard all of who you are with ferocity. If you are going to be fierce, be fiercely loyal to who you are and fight everyday to keep her alive.
Safe-guarding may also mean from yourself. When you first start out, you need to promise that you will talk and support yourself with love and compassion.
The best way you can build and support yourself is to nourish all that you are with compassion and kindness. You will find that healing means evaluating and understanding the pain, the real, the hard, and the unspoken.
As you begin with yourself you will find yourself. You will value her. And you will find that who you are is the most precious and incredible treasure you have ever or will ever have.
There is power of knowing who you are:
You will naturally seek and find the best, this also means you won’t settle for less than the best
You will find you don’t hold offense to how people treat you, you give them grace and you know when it is time for you to stand up for yourself, you do so appropriately.
You set and keep effective boundaries
You naturally listen and effectively care for yourself in ways that uplift and strengthen you.
You have more energy
You feel you can give and you seek to expand your abilities
You find that you don’t have to constantly seek the approval of others
You lead from a place of strength and you seek only that which will make you stronger.
True confidence is centered on peace. As that peace continues to build momentum it fortifies and identifies the real and true you and naturally your desire will grow for more of the real you to come forward.
What builds out self-confidence is your willingness to hold the ground already won and to see what is possible for all you can become. It is exhilarating and liberating.
The days of comparing are almost over my friend. The days of feeling like a fraud or not feeling enough is going to be evicted from inside of you. You have what it takes to be confident.
Confidence is something you have; it is already in your infinite design. Your confidence can continue to be cultivated as you lead who you are with peace at your center.