For the first time in my life I am demonstrating some self-love. I’ve never had an abundance of self worth and have always been very critical and even mean to myself. I have often wondered if I even had a self. I guess I had just accepted that this is the way I was. It wasn’t until recently that I have started noticing little things I have been saying and doing to protect and stand up for myself. Unfortunately it has taken years of being intermittently mistreated and in and out of toxic relationships – but I think I finally hit the point where I realized my emotional, mental & even physical health were being affected by more or less living outside of myself – I needed to make a change, no one else could do it for me. In an attempt to become stronger, happier and more confident – and to raise my girls to be this way, it is my goal to be taking continuous action steps.
If you are struggling with finding yourself, want to feel more comfortable in your own skin – and stop being taken advantage of here are some things to try that have helped me:
- Get on your own priority list and give yourself what you need. Now this is coming from a Mom of a few kids so this may feel impossible and it does sometimes. But I promise a balance can be found. If I am having a tough day especially and am with my kids I will carve out time while doing chores or driving or showering – to listen to a podcast or get outside into nature – do anything that brings you peace and happiness, and it doesn’t take much to help turn a day around. Even if it doesn’t seem to help much, you internally are keeping score of the self love and this alone increases your confidence.
- Stop giving too much of yourself. If your anything like me I used to not even think through what I was about to say before I was offering up help to someone or forgiving someone I wasn’t ready to – all to keep the peace and have control of what others thought of me. It took long enough, but what I finally realize is that regardless of how much you pour your heart out and be kind, others are still going to have an opinion you can’t control, and also I realized its none of my business – the only power we have is over ourselves, some people will over expect and take advantage Of your kindness and just drain you til there is nothing left. So savor your energy for the right places and people. For example after a fight or mistreatment from someone, if they are hounding and hoovering you for reconciling – take your time, be kind but give yourself space and don’t rush back to normal just because they are ready. You need to be ready too. This really has done wonders in improving my courage and confidence.
- Take time to acknowledge an inventory of your confidence building progress. So what I have started doing is really trying once a day or once every few days to hone in on what I’ve done to make myself stronger. For example I’ll recognize that I stood up for something that was said to me that was insulting and questioned the person who said it. Or instead of reacting and engaging in what could have become an argument from that, I said something along the lines of – “Well that was pretty harsh, I don’t appreciate being talked to that way” walked away. Its the little and the big things we do to protect ourselves and stand our ground that keep that if we recognize we are doing, and it makes us feel good – we will naturally be training ourselves to keep doing it and be constantly improving and being the best version of ourselves we can be.
- Really allow your good emotions and moods shine and share with the world, but don’t feel the need to hide and suppress your negative emotions or moods. It’s easy to go with the flow of good energy when nothing is weighing you down and your having a great day. It feels good And if your like me you really want to keep the momentum and spread the good vibes to family and friends – and that is all really fantastic. Unfortunately what I used to do when I wasn’t feeling this way and was more down in the dumps and in a more negative cycle of thought I would still try hard to pretend I was feeling happy to the outside world and would almost layer my emotions by fighting them and not fully allowing myself to express and experience them in a healthy way. What I came to realize is this was not only delaying my ability to process what I needed to and get back to feeling happier and like myself quicker, but I was invalidating myself to feel what are normal human emotions. So what I try to do on the tougher days is take more time to myself. I would recommend not cancelling any previous social plans you may have, but at least giving yourself space you may need and sometimes it does require some time alone to reflect and do things that help you to relax and rejuvenate. If you have to postpone a lunch date, thats ok and you are better off than going and pretending you are okay when you aren’t
- Make yourself your own accountability coach for inserting daily actions to keep you moving forward. Let’s just face the truth, that it is very easy to fall off track as we get consumed with our every day lives and get caught up in so many different things when we are always going in different directions. So naturally our self-care tends to take the back burner quickly yet unintentionally. Unfortunately unless you have a really good therapist or the ability to afford a life coach, we have to make it a priority to keep ourselves on track and moving forward with our self improvement goals. It really is our responsibility, and no one is going to do it for us. So even if you listen to a podcast or do a meditation that resonates with you, do some journaling, do something new or something that scares you a little – these are all activities that will keep you moving forward in strengthening your core confidence muscles.