I have always said that I lack confidence. I felt shy as a young child, which kept me from being my full self. It felt like everyone else had the answers when I was in junior high, and I didn’t have them, so I wasn’t part of the club. I have struggled with imposter syndrome as an adult in parenting, friendships and jobs. Even things that I know I do well are subject to doubt.
What is confidence?
On top of feeling like I lack confidence, I then feel BAD about lacking confidence. What is wrong with me? Why can’t I have confidence? Everyone else has confidence!
I’m sick and tired of these feelings swirling around in my head, so I’m working on reframing them. What if my “lack of confidence” is really my super power? What if I am just really tuned into what’s happening around me. Instead of talking all the time without thinking, I spend a lot of time thinking before I talk. I choose my words carefully and consider how they will make others feel. I spend time learning more about things so that I feel more confident talking about them.
However, I have perfectionist tendencies, which means that I am always working on improvements. It’s hard for me to see something as finished. I don’t spend a lot of time talking about my accomplishments; I truly don’t look at them as accomplishments since I’m still working on them. So my brain is constantly telling me that my work isn’t good enough, which in my head translates to You’re not good enough.
But last year, I read The Untethered Soul by Michael Alan Singer and was blown away by a concept he introduced. This is a highly bastardized version of the activity, but tell yourself the sky is red. Try it. You can tell yourself that the sky is red. Even though you know it isn’t red, you can still make your brain say that sentence. So when my brain is telling me that I’m not worthy or beautiful or special or smart, it’s not telling the truth?
What if I could make my brain tell me that I AM worthy, beautiful, special and smart?
What if confidence is all about the thoughts in your head? My therapist recently asked me to list off the things that I am good at and write down those thoughts in the form of affirmations. I came up with six things and wrote them down. I look at them daily and am working to internalize them so that they become truths in my brain.
Did you already know about this? I’m pretty pumped to be discovering this magical practice after just 48 short years on this planet.
Off to memorize my affirmations and then celebrate that accomplishment.
For more on this, read Maka Boeve’s article about loving yourself: Me, Myself and I!