How I built true confidence, from the ground up
I vividly recall experiencing lack of confidence and low self-worth from a very young age, although as a child and later during my teenage years, I did not label it as such. Everyone around me assumed that I was painfully shy, fearful in certain situations, and very stubborn.
For every person who struggles with low confidence it can manifest differently, for me it showed up as social anxiety, fear of driving, procrastination, and self-sabotage.
This progressed and impacted my life in more obvious and serious ways over the years, until it also impact my career prospects and ability to function as an independent adult.
But it's not all doom and gloom! Over the past few years I have transformed completely, I am now able to live fully aligned with my values and beliefs, showing up for myself and others without fear, hesitation, or resistance.
In this blog I'd love to share with you the most fundamental steps on my journey to building true and lasting confidence.
I want to stress that these are not the ONLY habits, choices, or actions which have molded who I am today. There have been countless moments over the course of many years which have had an impact on my character, beliefs, and mindset.
But I do believe that those who currently desire lasting confidence, regardless of circumstances or other's opinions, can gain some insight or a helpful perspective by reading about my journey.
EVERY PERSON HAS A PURPOSE
| I learned that I am important and valuable |
Around the time I left highshool, I went through quite an emotionally dark time. I felt lost, a bit hopeless. With no idea what I was going to do with my life. Until that point I held the belief that only those in important or remarkable careers could impact and make a positive difference in the world.
During the first bible study group I attended, I discovered the book Purpose Driven Life, by Pastor Rick Warren.
I learned that every person has a purpose, every life has a purpose. This ignited a fire in me, a desire to make a difference in people’s lives, to use my life for a Kingdom purpose.
This is where my interest in ministry, psychology, and counselling started, it planted the seed that eventually grew into what I do today, coaching Christian women in areas of total wellness, which includes emotional and spiritual fulfillment.
I still had a long way to go until I found this calling, felt worthy of this calling, and truly believed that God would equip me for it.
In the years that followed, I remained stuck in this cycle of ambivalence, procrastination, and self-sabotage.
Every goal I took on, even those I initially felt very strongly about, would end up in the rejection bin.
I would either make stupid mistakes, be paralyzed with anxiety when needing to take action, or simply stop working towards the goals. The most notable of those goals were my studies in BA Bible & Theology at Hatfield, a Psychology Degree, and a Christian Counselling certification.
So what finally flipped the switch for me?
How did I come to discover the beliefs which kept me stuck, constantly thinking limiting and negative thoughts about my potential and my value?
Well, first I’d like to clarify that it was in fact NOT as simple as flipping a switch.
It was a series of realizations and lessons, divinely organized to happen at the exact right moments.
But first I had to be willing to do the work, to be open and eager to receive new knowledge about who I was, what I was worthy of, and what my real value was in this life.
YOUR OWN MIND IS THE UNLOCK
| I discovered my own biggest damaging belief |
The thing that finally opened my eyes, that sent me down the rabbit hole of self discovery, was watching a documentary on Tony Robbins – I am not your guru. It showed a lot of footage from his most recent conference, a weekend long immersive Life Coaching event.
I found the entire documentary fascinating, it was the first time I’d heard anything about life coaching, and after watching some of the in-person sessions he did with the attendees, and then hearing their feedback later during the conference, I was instantly hooked!
But the one part that stood out for me the most, and made the biggest impression on me, was about 15 minutes of him talking with a young women, about the grief her father caused her.
While talking about her trauma, she also spoke about the effect her experiences had on the woman she’s become. Tony Robbins responded to her story with the statement “if you blame him for the bad, you should also blame him for the good”.
In other words, if it weren’t for everything he put her through, she wouldn’t be so driven and passionate about helping other people out of their emotional struggles.
This was a huge a-ha moment for me, suddenly everything I’d gone through made perfect sense, it all had a purpose. I realized that all of my negative life experiences made me incredibly driven and passionate about using my time on earth to uplift others and draw them closer to God.
In the years that followed I dove head first into self discovery, developing self-awareness, Spiritual growth, and committing to show up for myself and others in line with God’s guidance and direction.
But that moment of realization while watching the Tony Robbins documentary was what started my journey, first qualifying as a Health & Nutrition Coach, and then shifting to Life Coaching for Christians.
That moment of realization opened my eyes and made me willing and eager to resolve my own damaging beliefs and thought patterns.
This enabled to me to uproot those beliefs, become curious and super aware of my discouraging thought patterns, and then begin to replace them by rewiring my thinking to become positive, supportive, and aimed at fueling a purposeful and confident life.
YOU CAN MOLD AND RECONSTRUCT YOUR FAULTY PROGRAMMING
| I learned how to change my beliefs, worldview, and mindset |
While studying to become a Nutrition and Health Coach, I was most interested in behavior change - what encourages negative behavior, how we can change our habits, and why we often hold ourselves back.
I learned that our worldview, values, and beliefs mold how we think of ourselves, how we behave (negative or positive), how we communicate - share information as well as receive and interpret information – between us and others as well as communicating with ourselves, and the choices we make and follow through on (or don’t).
During the first year and a half of refining my coaching skills and building my business, I worked intensively on molding my internal world, so I could serve my clients better.
At first I didn’t feel good enough or skilled enough to support my clients in realizing the changes and transformations they desired, this is where I began to lean on my faith in order to show up and support my clients the in ways they needed.
THOSE HE CALLS HE ALSO EQUIPS
| By acting on my faith and taking action on God's guidance, I greatly improve my wisdom and ability |
God showed me that I still felt inferior, and through my ongoing spiritual habits and taking consistent action as and when God inspired me, He led me through my intuition (His spirit). He showed me that He has indeed called me to this profession, and He does qualify those He calls.
Even when I felt unsure or self-conscious, I continued to take progressive small steps forward on the areas that I believed were important for my journey.
TRUSTING GOD & ACTING IN THAT FAITH IS TRUE CONFIDENCE
| To live confidently, I lean on who God says He is and who He says I am, then ACTING accordingly |
Every single day I continue learning more about God. I grow my knowledge of who He says He is including His constant provision for me, I also grow my knowledge of who He says I am and what I am capable of through Him.
But, that is not enough. With every challenge or problem I am faced with, I make decisions and act according to this knowledge without fear and hesitation, because being born again, He did not give me a spirit of fear (2 Timothy 1:7).
When I was faced with an important choice or challenge, I waited until I was fairly certain that what I wanted to do was indeed right and good, for me, and in that situation.
Then I thought about the timing, is this the right and best time?
After I acted through faith in God's guidance, even if I didn’t succeed every time, this grew my certainty in God’s provision, His guidance, and His faithfulness to make me able if I was willing – which grew my Confidence. Not necessarily self-centered confidence, but definitely Christ-centered Confidence.
Once I had these last two pieces in place, I kept building on them consistently – installing healthy and supportive beliefs, and growing my faith and intuition, through learning about God AND acting in that knowledge through faith.
GUARD YOUR HEART AND MIND AGAINST THE WORLD
| Drown out the noise & influences which are not aligned with what God wants for me & from me |
It became clear to me that whatever I read, watched, or listened to, affected these two areas (mentioned above) either positively or negatively.
It molded my thought patterns, my mindset, and therefore my choices and habits.
If I continued to focus on these two areas, growing and maturing emotionally and spiritually, I was also able to deflect any hurtful or judgmental words or actions by others.
I began nurturing and growing a support network of mentors, friends, and coaches, who are aligned with my beliefs and values, and pour into me whenever I need faith-led guidance and encouragement. This helped me drown out opinions and judgments from other sources, which might have discouraged me or set me on the wrong path.
They help me gain perspective and make sense of my conflicting thoughts or emotions. They also offer deep and open ended questions I can work through with them to make sense of my challenges and explore some possible solutions, encouraging me to commit to one specific action step that could help me get unstuck, instead of me being overwhelmed and discouraged by the pain or frustration I am feeling in that moment.
BE CONSTANTLY CONNECTED WITH YOUR SPIRIT & EMOTIONS
| I practice introspection and self-awareness constantly |
I am honest with myself about my own mistakes and shortcomings, but not overly critical. This means not listening to the voices of condemnation (most often in my own head), telling me that I am no good or will never be good enough. Instead I honestly examine my intentions, desires, and actions, and consider where I could improve or make better choices, with God's provision and grace.
Once I acknowledge what I could do better or do differently, I forgive myself and no longer dwell on my past failings.
Whenever something negative about my actions and behavior is said or mentioned, or the same criticizing thoughts keep coming back up, I examine whether it is correction by the Holy Spirit, or condemnation from the evil one:
- is it specific, actionable, and in line with God’s Word?
- is it general and affecting my identity (I am stupid, not pretty enough, not a good wife)?
- does it make me feel feel hopeless and like it can’t be changed (it’s just who I am, it’s in my genes, I haven’t managed to change this until now so I never will)?
MAKE PEACE WITH THIS MOMENT
| What I am feeling/thinking right now does not need to be my constant reality |
Some days it is not necessary or even possible to change what we are feeling. I discovered that every uncomfortable emotion does not need to be replaced by a pleasant one right then and there.
Sometimes it is healthy and important for us to experience pain, frustration, or sadness. Perhaps in order to learn something, to process what's happening or what we've been through, or to convict us into making changes or improving our lives/our own selves.
But, that does not mean that I will stay here. Really FEELING this emotion and letting it move over me, does not mean that it will remain, or that it says anything about who I am or what I am capable of.
In fact, suppressing emotions/convicting thoughts, or trying to find something to dull and drown them out, can cause other problems and often unhealthy habits which may take years to replace or remove.
So I make peace with my dark days, I indulge my body and spirit so that it can heal or process, putting everything else aside for the moment.
I hope by sharing my journey it has given you helpful perspectives or some actionable ideas on where you could start to build true and lasting confidence for yourself.
If you are ready and open for support and guidance in this area, I invite you to book a 15 minute connect call with me (no strings attached) to discover whether we'd be a good fit to work together on this: BOOK HERE