When I was a kid I had training wheels on my bike FOREVER…way longer than everyone else. I was scared I might fall.
The training wheels, from what I remember, gave me a sense of comfort while practicing. So, when I felt confident and brave enough to take them off and ride free, I’d be ready.
I had the same experience with feeling confident enough to be myself no matter who I was around or what I was doing. I had spent so much of my life feeling like it was best to hide parts of myself in order to fit in. I was both unsure of who I really was and scared to share the parts I was discovering. My confidence building “training wheels” in this case were brand new and came in 2 stages.
At first, during “Stage 1”, these “training wheels” took the form of having a safe space where I wasn’t judged but a place where I was actually encouraged, invited and celebrated for being me (especially the parts I had hidden in the past and felt uncertain about being accepted by others). In that safe space I got to “try on” different aspects of myself in a super fun and supported way. This helped me to get more clear on who I was, what I liked, what was really important to me and more.
Being around people I liked, trusted and had fun with boosted my confidence to the point where I was ready to really unveil who I was (to myself and them), not just those I was close to but to the whole world.
Stage 2 of my “training wheels” was hiring a coach who challenged me and gave me permission to say what I really wanted so I could fully step into it. This challenged me to go from answering “I don’t know” to powerfully stating who I was and what I wanted.
THIS, being myself, is what allowed me to finally feel clear on my purpose, and feeling clear on my purpose helped me to go out into the world sharing what I’ve got and trusting that was more than enough. By being myself it allowed others, including my coach, to see me and reflect back to me things that either I didn’t recognize the significance of or needed that little extra acknowledgement for to pay attention to them myself. From there I was able to feel more clear on what my zone of genius was… what my purpose was and is.
The more clear on my purpose I felt, the more passionate and confident I felt about sharing it without worrying so much about what others would think.
[Tweet “Your purpose is simply to be you.”]
When you share yourself with the world you are being of service. You are helping those that need your smile, energy, words, touch, or whatever else it might be to receive what they need from you (with clear boundaries of course). You are also giving them one of the biggest gifts possible – permission for them to be themselves too.
[Tweet “When you’re being yourself, you’re giving others permission to be themselves too.”]
Of course, there will always be people who don’t like you, don’t resonate with your message, don’t need what you’ve got. The sooner you stop trying to please and cater to those people the sooner you will feel more confident in being yourself… and you’ll reach more people who do need you, with your unique blend of awesomesauce.
The more you are yourself and the more you see affirmations that others benefit from you being you the more confident you will feel. A snowball effect happens.
Still wondering how YOU can feel more confident?
Let’s break it down into a few action steps for when you’re having a hard time.
1. Surround yourself with people (even just 1 person can make a world of difference!) who not only accept you for who you are but encourage and celebrate you for being you. Bonus if they call you out when you aren’t being yourself or when you’re hiding out! This can definitely be easier said than done, I know. I first (and finally) found these people while working at an unusual job and then in a high investment mastermind of women from around North America. Now there are a lot more connected online and local groups to start finding people like this.
2. Look for affirmations that others are benefiting because you are being you. Maybe they tell you you’ve inspired them, or you’ve helped them in some way. *not everyone is used to or comfortable expressing these things, it’s okay to ask: When we hang out – how do you feel? Have you received any particular benefit from being around me – things I’ve said or done?
3. Work with someone who is particularly gifted at seeing and reflecting your gifts and natural state of being – you’ll feel affirmed, confident and amazing.
4. Wear something that makes you feel powerful, special, unique or confident. Jewelry and stones are my favorite when it comes to wanting to be reminded to feel a certain way. Mala Collective’s “I Am Confident” Mala is a beautiful piece to wear when you need a little extra boost.
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