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HOW TO MOVE WITH CONFIDENCE
Welcome back to The RS Blog. Today we are learning how to move with confidence no matter our history or circumstances. I hope you will be reminded of the gifts you have inside and start feeling the bold confidence you deserve to feel.
WHAT IS CONFIDENCE
I was listening to a podcast the other day and heard someone give a definition for confidence which shook me. Sadly I can’t remember who it was to give her credit. She said that confidence is knowing who you are and owning who you’re not. Isn’t that perfect? We need to be clear on our identity and that includes knowing who we are not.
There is a pandemic among women around this lack of confidence. I think that’s because we are always chasing our do instead of our who. We focus on competence because we are trying to prove our worth. This has created a cycle leaving damage to our souls. Instead, we should focus on our who it is we are becoming.
WHAT WOMEN WANT
As women, there is an overwhelming sense of exhaustion. We have all taken one too many hits to our confidence. Deep inside we are women
who long to own who we are and who we aren’t. We want to be confident in what each of us brings to the table.
I believe women want to see themselves as strong, powerful, and confident, able to withstand whatever life brings. They want to sit down the bag of lies this world has told them about how they don’t measure up. They want to start seeing themselves with clear, kind, loving eyes and share that reality with the world trusting it will embrace and welcome them.
THE CAGES AROUND US
For centuries women have found themselves locked in cages. Some gilded. Some barbed wire. Some of them have been unlocked and left behind. Others have been unlocked, and yet we’ve stayed inside them. And some are padlocked and seem impenetrable. This journey of living confidently requires we break out of those cages and step into the light of freedom.
It is time women started rebelling against systems that have long held them prisoner. It is up to us to stop following old narratives designed to keep us small and start kicking down prison doors so we can walk in our full authority
THE STRUGGLES WE FACE
I have talked about the struggle women face with shame, not enoughness, and too-much-ness. It is a natural by-product of living in a world determined to tell women all they lack while simultaneously trying to control their very beings. We have internalized messages telling us how we don’t measure up. It is wrong to wake up every day pressed down by the false belief that you lack the confidence to do what you are here to do.
It is so heartbreaking to watch the vast number of women feel like they can’t even lift their heads because of the shame they feel within themselves. When I listen to studies about the use of social media in the minds of young girls, I am flattened. These girls are blasted with images of filtered “influencers” projecting their perfect life with their perfect body and their perfect face. Young girls are left feeling crushed by the false belief that they can’t measure up to this standard. It is creating mental health issues including body dysmorphia, eating disorders, self-harm, and suicidal ideations. These girls are measuring their hormone-soaked, rapidly-changing selves against grown women, and it is an unfair fight. For their still-forming minds, it is like bringing a pool noodle to a Wild West shootout. They cannot win. And as a result, we are marking a generation that will forever find confidence in all the wrong places and things.
Full confession: confidence has been a struggle for me all of my life. This is quite common for sexual abuse survivors. Many trauma survivors experience it as well. There are areas where I have improved by leaps and bounds. When it comes to my skill set, I do not doubt my ability to do what I do best: impact change, fix broken systems, and bring chaos into order. Yet when it comes to my actual being, my right to take up space in this world, it is a struggle I continue to fight.
DOING MY WORK
Recently in my new position, I have found this part bubbling up to the surface. Again, not for one moment have I doubted my ability to implement systems and processes there that will take the organization further. But I have felt the doubt that I – with my broken story and traumatized past – belong at the table. Since I know change and healing cannot happen inside comfort zones and refusals, and because I know that feelings are simply teachers if we are willing to learn from them, I have done a lot of digging into these emotions and the resistance I kept bumping into.
I had to consider the source of the voices within. Then I had to dig until I found the root cause of it. I had to grieve what I found and lament with the little girl inside who has believed lies for so long that she doesn’t know how to believe anything else. I had to speak with trusted friends about it because keeping it in the dark was messing with me. I am so thankful for the amazing women God has put in my life who had a myriad of responses that spoke life to the little girl within me. I needed my people to remind me of who I’ve become. I know if I can endure all I have faced and still find ways to heal and take back the confidence I always should have had, you can, too. Together as women, we can tell each other the beauty we see within and stand in the gap when we see our sisters struggling. We can be women rising to defeat the lies designed to keep us down, and the next generation of young girls can walk the path we carve out.
RECLAIMING OUR CONFIDENCE
I employed a series of tactics to help me reclaim my confidence. I believe these are universal and can make a difference to anyone who applies them. First, I say give yourself permission to feel the feels. Let them teach you and be kind to them. Judging them will not help them heal. Try to understand them. Next, take what they have taught you and speak them aloud to some trusted people so they can help you objectively evaluate if they are true or lies. Say goodbye to the shame you have carried. Seriously, let it go. Finally, I want you to take what you have learned, look at yourself in the mirror, and remind yourself who you are. Practice speaking kindness over yourself day after day until you own it in every fiber of your being. Take back the power that was yours all along.
SAY NO TO SHAME
I find the hardest part of this healing journey home to our inherent confidence is forgiving ourselves. For believing the lies. For participating in the lies. For letting the lies hijack our lives causing us to miss opportunities or hold ourselves back. In addition, shame plays a huge role in our fight for confidence.
Shame undermines our confidence. It tells us we are wrong or broken or lacking. It rarely tells the truth and likes to stay hidden in the dark. We help shame thrive by keeping it festering within our souls. I have heard that shame is self-hate at my expense. I think that explains it all.
If you allow yourself to feel the feelings, identify the root of them, share it with a friend to get their perspective, and then take what you have learned and let it change you, you will begin to practice confidence. You will be confident.
CONFIDENCE LEAVES A MARK
By undertaking this journey toward reclaiming your confidence, you will begin to lift your head and stand in the light, free from shame. You can own your strengths and skills and boldly share your gifts with the world. As your confidence grows you will positively influence the lives of those around you. This will create a better way for the next generation to follow, and this will change the world.
Choosing to continue moving through life without confidence will mean you hold yourself back from opportunities. Doing this means you will hide your light from the world. Many lose when we do this. Worse yet the naysayers win. And the last thing we should want is for those who have held us locked in those cages to win this battle.
IT'S TIME TO RISE, LOVIE
I see my mission in life to help others build the staircase to their next level. It is a WITH momentum because I know what so many women have forgotten. You already possess what you need to move to the next level. Within you is everything you need to build your own staircase to your next level. It has just gotten forgotten under the crushing weight of shoulds and shame.
It is time for women to move with confidence – no matter their history or circumstances. It is time for us to walk into every room owning who we are, who we aren’t, and what we bring to the table. It is time for us to become an example that sets the next generation free.
Until next time, remember, I am in it WITH you, always,