One of my all time favorites, the baddest Persian of them all – the great Sufi poet Rumi once said, “The wound is the place where the light enters you.” I never understood how true those words were until I gained self esteem, confidence and implemented boundaries. My life literally transformed.
I believe that our pain and its resulting wounds can open us up to our highest truth and self. I also believe that our wounds are a place where: triggers occur, self doubt breeds, regret resides, pain has a lifetime VIP pass, insecurities are always throwing a 24/7 eyes-wide-shut orgy, and the opportunity for your self esteem and confidence levels to decline to a dangerously low level (where you’re deeeeeep into the batsh*t crazy FBI behavior) is always looming.
Self esteem and confidence are two things that once you have them, you can never be completely robbed of them, no matter what.
Self esteem is knowing that you have value and treating yourself accordingly. Confidence has to do with how capable you feel to execute.
When I used to hear the word “confidence,” a few people would always come to my mind, never myself. If I ever envisioned myself as “confident,” it was always after I had attained or achieved certain things. I always thought that you had to look a certain way, be a certain bra size, have a certain look, or have x,y and z (a hot, popular, tall, athletic guy / be able to master facial contouring without looking like an ape just threw his fecal matter on my face / be able to drive over a speed bump and actually feel my boobs bounce / prove everyone wrong through “massive success” / be her BFF / get him to choose me / get in perfect shape / buy THAT purse, etc.), to be confident. Not so much. What were the ways to build your confidence?
I just wanted to be one of those girls that knew her value; one of those girls that had nothing to prove and needed no validation because I validated myself. I wanted to have faith in who I was, in my talents and in my abilities. I wanted to have that unf*ckwithable aura that commanded respect without needing validation like oxygen and cheaply demanding respect from emotionally unavailable people who were never equipped to give it in the first place.
I wanted to stop having to always try so hard for everything. I wanted to be noticed without having to put forth so much f-ing effort that seemed to do nothing but make me a magnet for bad luck,
embarrassing humiliating situations, and disappointment.
I wanted to stop imposing my importance and worth on everyone and start imposing it on myself for once, but how? Yeah, HOW?
I had no clue how to do that, so what did I do? I dated. I truly believed that just by being associated with the guy that made everyone laugh, the guy that could give the perfect toast, the guy that could throw a ball at a professional level, the guy who was everyone’s best man and the guy that made every head turn, that would somehow magically make me be a confident person by mere association.
I’ve learned that there are people that can appear very confident, but so much of what I thought was this insane “confidence” was nothing more than… narcissism.
Looking back now, this makes even more sense because I was attracting what I was exuding.
So what are the ways to build your confidence?
The kind of unshakeable, steady confidence that won’t just go away in two minutes when you log on to Instagram and see him with his new girl in the Valencia filter; the kind of confidence that isn’t dependent on anything out of your control.
- Confidence is built by committing to begin to treat yourself with respect. It takes work and consistent action on your part. Remember – your relationships always reflect the one that you have with yourself.
- If you don’t know how to make yourself happy, you need to stop expecting others to do so. Your happiness is directly related to your self respect.
- When who your with is your only reason that you are happy, you will always be unhappy.
- Know your boundaries and ACT in accordance with them, always. Once this becomes habitual, your confidence will be impermeable.
- Stop being a victim. Own your own part. When I was unhappy, I truly thought that everything was someone else’s fault and I was always the victim. I thought that all of my unhappiness was because of other people so, of course I equated all of my happiness with other people as well.
- The child has grown up. A lot of the times that I’d get triggered, I’d revert back to the emotional state and helplessness that I felt when I was a kid. You need to remind yourself that you’re an adult now that HAS a voice. Always be kind to and nurture that inner child, but empower yourself through the knowingness that you can take action today, stick up for that little kid, and you’re not helpless any longer.
- Accept that there are people out there that are f*cktards. Instead of always thinking that there’s something wrong with you, accept that this person was an f*cktard before you, with you, and they’ll continue to be one after you. They are who they are because of them and their own sh*t, not you.
- Gravitate to the people in your life that you can be yourself with and if you don’t have any, guess what? Come back here to the blog, you’re not alone. Take a look at your friendships. Once you start to work on your boundaries and your confidence builds, understand that your family and friends may have a hard time adjusting to it. Keep going; keep loving yourself and keep having your own back.
- Aim to reduce the assumptions you make and stop taking things so personally. Every pain that you have ever felt has been because you either made assumptions, took things personally, or both. Nothing anyone does is ever about you or a reflection of you.
- Exercise regularly. For me, it’s yoga. I always say that when you feel emotionally weak and can’t find a way out, focus on upping your physical strength and the emotional strength will follow. The more you take care of your body, the more respect you’ll have for your body and the more respect you have for your body, the more you’ll accept and love your hot bod.
- Stop being so insanely hard on yourself. If you were a fraction as hard on others as you are on yourself, you’d actually have better boundaries! Put an end to the self punishment and blame. Learn from your experiences, forgive, and move on by getting behind you.
- Listen to your gut over your heart and libido, always.
- Give from your heart and don’t expect anything in return. Follow through on your word and the promises you make to people. You can’t put a price on going to sleep at night and knowing you’ve done your best, been honest, and given from you heart.
- Validate yourself. I’ve lived too much of my life with my confidence being dependent on the opinions of others. Once I instilled boundaries, I saw that I was more than qualified to validate myself and confirm my own value.
- Be kind in your honesty (never brutal). Your confidence will sky rocket when you find your voice and are able to communicate how you honestly feel to others (in a dignified manner). People’s respect for you will also increase because they’ll see that you’re not only not a doormat, but that you have the ability to be kind, classy, honest and clearly communicate all at the same time.
- Understand that it takes way more time, energy and tears to resist something than it does to accept it. Acceptance is the murderer of fear. Cry it out and feel your feelings. They will pass.
- Have the courage to ACT on red flags when you see them instead of just noticing them & creating drama around them. Doing so is not only exhausting and pointless, it will deplete you of your confidence. Acting on the red flags when you notice them will make your confidence bulletproof.
- Recognize when you’re re-traumatizing yourself.
A lot of timesall the time, we listen to songs, search on social media and engage in activities that allow us to wallow in our own sadness because that’s where we are most comfortable. We don’t trust happiness any longer. You’ll trust happiness when you stop scratching the sadness itch.
- A private life is a happy life. I cannot stress this one enough. I am a pretty private person by nature. The things that are the most sacred to me, I keep the closest to my heart. You’ll have more confidence when you prove to yourself that you can keep your own secrets.
- Stop pedestal building. No one is worth building a pedestal for and placing them upon.
- Be your own best friend. The one person that you’ll always need validation from is you. You can’t live without you. It may hurt, but you’ll still survive without “them in your life.” You can’t survive if you don’t have YOU.
- Find your backbone and stop making decisions based fear because they’ll always prove to be bad decisions down the road.
- Take responsibility. Realize the pain that you’re feeling is due to decisions that you have made.
- Loose all the sh*ts you had to give. Put an end to the insecurity. Fact: in 60 years time, if you’re extremely lucky, most everyone you know and love will either be dust or 6 feet under. None of this will matter except how you feel and how you made others feel so forgive yourself, recognize your patterns, learn from your mistakes, set boundaries and face your fears. You have this one life and every second that you’re here is not a given, it’s a privilege. Forgive yourself and find the good from the pain and negative experiences. Mine was this blog.
- Anything that you want to change in other people, work to change it in yourself first and SEE the magic that happens.