I know that I don't post much about personal topics, but I have recently discovered what it means to truly love myself. It has taken me years to get to this point, and I am sure that there will be moments of doubt and unhappiness, but I truly believe that everyone can experience what self love is and feels like and how it will increase your confidence.
Finding confidence through our work can seem like a scary and daunting task. I am sure many of us have had doubts about our capabilities, our services, or even if we are heading down the right path in life. It can be difficult to look past these thoughts and fears, but by accepting yourself, believing in your own abilities and skills, and no longer judging yourself, you will see the world in a new light.
Here are 5 steps to finding your confidence and finally accepting yourself as you are.
1- List Your Accomplishments
I think many of us, especially women, think that talking about our accomplishments is like bragging or seeming egotistical. Stop downgrading your achievements! Small, everyday achievements are just as important as our larger, long-term ones.
By listing your achievements you are now able to see and think about what all you have accomplished. This will change the way you think of yourself. We need to stop comparing ourselves to others and start focusing on our own goals and dreams. Plus, what I may consider an accomplish may not be the same for a friend or coworker. For me, I feel accomplished when I get to work early. It is a small notion that makes me feel like I am ahead of the curve, but for others it could be remembering to eat breakfast or to stay hydrated. We are all so different that comparing our accomplishments to one another truly makes zero sense.
Another reason listing your accomplishments is important is so that you can see that long list of your hard work. I am the worst when it comes to feeling like I am not skilled enough, or I won't be able to complete a task because I am not good enough. Then I look at my list of accomplishments, like:
Taking the Women in Business Club's Facebook following from below 8,000 to now having almost 150k,
Running the President of Bluemont Group's LinkedIn page and having a post go viral with over 26,000 views,
Creating a successful marketing plan for one of Bluemont's Dunkin's which resulted in the store's highest sales record,
Launching my own business, JRW Consulting LLC.
So, after listing off this list, how could I ever think I wasn't good enough to do a job or task? It is moments like this where we need to remind ourselves that we are smart, capable, and able to accomplish any task we put our mind to. Let your accomplishments, actions, and words define you, not the negative thoughts of others. Plus, anyone who puts you down is either jealous of you, or are going through their own issues.
2- Create a Motivational Folder
One thing I think we are all capable of doing, unfortunately, is self sabotage. You are ready to launch your business but then think you aren’t ready, or you don’t have the capabilities to fully launch, or the voice in the back of your head tells you you can't. One way to avoid this is to remember all the good things people have said about you!
Creating a motivational folder will help you keep track of all the good things people have said about you. Take all the nice compliments people have given you, or kind words, or testimonials and place it in this folder. When you are having rough days, you can then go through this folder and remember how much value you are offering.
Use this folder to increase your confidence and create self love! When I moved away to college, I asked all of my friends and family to write out advice, words of encouragement, memories, and anything else they wanted to share. My first night in my dorm, I opened and read them all. It was incredible what people had to say, and some of the notes I still have to this day taped to my vision board. We might not know it, but we all create positive ripples in the water, and if we continue to do so those ripples will bounce off the shore and come back to us.
3- List Your Mistakes
Everyone makes mistakes. No one is perfect, especially since we are all human. Pretending to act like you have never made a mistake isn’t realistic. The best advice is to learn from your mistakes and realize that they are part of you.
By sharing your mistakes, you are creating a stronger connection with people and yourself by being authentic and truthful. Have the courage to talk about your mistakes with your friends and close ones to show your real self! One thing I always try to do is admit my mistakes. Sometimes it takes a lot of courage to admit that you were wrong, and once we have admitted it, it is no longer in our control. But by avoiding or ignoring mistakes, you are only causing a further mess. Don't become the person you wouldn't like to deal with yourself. Be the bigger person, take the ego blow if need be, and move on. You have other amazing things to accomplish, don't let this hold you back!
4- Find Power in Vulnerability
Stephen Russel once said, “Vulnerability is the only authentic state.” It can sometimes be misunderstood that being vulnerable equates to weakness. By showing your vulnerability, you will be able to find the courage to speak out and express how you feel. By opening up, you will feel your confidence grow and spread to all of your daily activities.
We are all capable of opening up and letting people in. The great thing is that you get to decide who you let in and who stays beyond your wall. I struggle with letting people in, but I have discovered that we are not all perfect. Sometimes the ones we love the most will hurt us, and that is part of life. It is how we decide to pick up the piece or move on that define us.
I am also the kind who hates feeling weak. It is very rare that I will let anyone in to see my vulnerability and it is something that I am working on. I remember when I worked for Westminster Business Consultants, I had created and hosted an event, and anyone who was there or who has seen me at events I host know that I get incredibly anxious. I am worried about people not showing up, people making rude comments, people drinking too much of the free wine, and so on. This event was particularly nerve racking for me. I pretty much had a meltdown when I realized that I had forgotten a bottle opener. Many on my team had never seen this side to me, and I dare say it was a bit shocking for them to see me in such a state. I felt like I was losing control of the situation, and it didn't help that my team was concerned for my wellbeing by this point. In the end, the event was a massive success and my team gathered around me and celebrated with me, and uplifted my spirits.
I realized during the panic that it was okay to let my team know that I am anxious. It is okay to let people know I am not having the greatest of days. Finding my voice to say that I am not okay, is good enough. I have the control and the power, and yes it is okay to allow the vulnerability in and say, 'I need help.'
5- Move Your Body
Moving your body is another great way to boost your confidence and release happy emotions. One great way to boost your confidence is with the power pose. This is a great exercise to use right before a client meeting, important presentation, or any other stressful situation. You can also use music to help elevate your mood. Think about creating a fun, power playlist! I love the ones on Apple Music because they have a wide range of options according to moods. A personal favorite is the Pure Focus playlist. I am actually writing this article while listening to it, so I highly recommend it!
In the End
Remember that you are capable of achieving all that you set your mind to. Your confidence and self love will come once you see how amazing you are! Think of how far you have come and continue down the path of success. By continuing to share your light with others, you will truly make an impact on those around you.
I wish you the most success and best of luck in realizing that you are worthy, capable, and enough just the way you are. It will take time, and don't beat yourself up when it doesn't happen in the timeframe you want, but once you find yourself, you will be unstoppable.