When you go to take a picture and it’s in selfie mode.
Why confidence matters.
To change our lives, we have to change the way we think about ourselves first. We cannot think of ourselves in “accidental selfie mode” and expect the world to think of us any differently. But if we can be confident it enough to know that a bad angle (whether it be a camera or the perspective of others) is not our self-worth, now we’re getting somewhere.
True confidence is that X factor we must reach for if we want to grow beyond where we are today.
It starts with self-image.
Your self image is a mental picture of yourself, both as a physical body and an individual. When you think about yourself, the feelings and images that come up are important. A healthy self image means that you feel confident about who you are.
Ah confidence. That sucker is tricky. It’s there sometimes, but it has a history of running out on you like a bad boyfriend. Training your confidence takes time and practice, but what it really comes down to is deciding and choosing to be the best version of yourself, not the worst.
What you believe about yourself is important.
For example, I have tiny boobs. But let’s stop right there. Why do we girls look to our “girls” as perhaps the biggest factor to our self image. I mean, I could get implants, but I’d rather not have an elective surgery. I wrestled with this for a long time. My boobs are not ideal by society’s standards, but after some time and decision making, I finally think they’re awesome. I had to decide it. You guys I had to choose my boobs. That should be a hashtag. #chooseyourboobs
When I first met my husband my boobs were glorious. They were a sight to behold. I didn’t even know what I had! Then I had kids. My boobs blew up to National Geographic status when my milk came in and when my milk dried up – I was left deflated with a few stretch marks for good measure.
My husband Bruce had seen the metamorphosis of my boobs through every stage and he loved them. It took time for me to choose to believe him, but his consistent admiration proved me wrong. I decided to love them too. Plus, there are actually a lot of advantages to having small boobs. They don’t get in the way when I workout, my hairless cat has plenty of room to keep warm in my sweaters, rompers fit top to bottom, and people look me in the EYES!
Seriously no shame to my big boobie girls, ya’ll are hawt. But this is about turning a negative idea about the truth into a positive truth and understanding that whichever you believe will be your truth.
Your truth about your self image will either propel you forward or hold you back. Here’s another example on a deeper level.
Do you believe you are a great mom or a bad mom? Which ever you choose to believe will become your truth. Any one of us reading this right now can sit here and think of reasons to back up either claim, but it’s the narrative you choose that becomes your truth.
Believe in your positive narrative. Believe in yourself.
Guard your self talk.
All that chatter in your head matters. When Negative Nelly comes to visit you need to be prepared. One of the most effective things I’ve learned on how to deal with this unwanted visitor is to tune in and really notice the tone of your inner voice. This will help you recognize when you are beating yourself up. When you notice it happening, say “STOP” Out loud. It really works because it takes Negative Nelly by surprise for just long enough to change your train of thought or tone.
Affirm your goals and desires.
Affirmations are statements that you can say to yourself that trick your subconscious into believing that your greatest goals and desires are truth. When your mind gets used to these ideas, it doesn’t seem so outlandish to believe they can be possible. They are possible and you are building confidence by believing so.
How to develop affirmation statements.
- Start with the words “I am.”
- Use the present tense.
- State it in the positive.
- Keep it brief.
- Be very specific.
- Include an action word ending with –ing.
- Include at least one dynamic emotion/feeling word.
For example, “I am a published author helping tens of thousands of people heal through my story of perspective.”
That is my own outlandish aspiration, but it is possible because I am taking tangible steps toward achieving it and I’m learning to believe it.
Actions still speak louder than words.
So how does one learn to believe and become their affirmation(s)?
- Practice! You can look yourself in the mirror and say them out loud. You can write them on post-its and keep them in places you frequent. It’s up to you. My method is through journaling. I write 2 or 3 down every day in my journal. I re-use some and even choose new ones depending on the day and where I feel I’m lacking in that moment.
- Action! Take small steps every day to back up your affirmations. Work on your character. Live out the life of the person you are aspiring to be.
I believe in you.