The rink is full of people who have come to watch their children, grandchildren, sisters, brothers, students, and friends. My son is a hockey goalie the last defense preventing the other team from scoring. When the puck slips into the net all eyes are on the goalie. I remain in the stands, nerve-wracked, sweating armpits, heart pounding inside my chest and feeling like I may pee my pants . . . feeling all the feels for him.
Yet he shows no signs of this. He has the COURAGE, the BRAVERY, and the CONFIDENCE.
So how do you muster up the courage to be confident enough to do or say the thing that everyone will see?
According to Kay and Shipman, authors of "The Confidence Code", women are wired to be less confident than men.
Women take a more measured approach to trying new things. Their approach likely involves research, preparation, practice, and a lot of internal self-talk before they step up. Men go for "it", and usually, the audience appreciates whatever "it" is, whether it's perfect or not.
A few examples of how woman tend to show up as less confident:
50% of woman feel self-doubt
Women speak 75% less when men are in the room
Women routinely underestimate their abilities and performance
Women rarely apply for a job unless they feel they have 100% of the qualifications
Even though WE are wired to feel less confident, WE can actually change that. Confidence is both a feeling and a belief system...and we can change both!!
Enjoy the list below of 10 ways to boost your confidence today.
If you are already a confident Rockstar, share this list with your kiddo or a friend who could use a boost!
#1 RUMINATE LESS
We as women tend to spend a lot of time ruminating- What did they think? Did I say that correct? Should I have done that differently? We have an instinct to dwell on problems rather than solutions. When all our energy is focused on the problem we lose our creativity to come up with a solution.
GET OUT OF YOUR HEAD LADIES!!
Just do it! See what happens! And magically you will appear more confident by just taking action.
This is the very reason I made the decision to launch my W.H.O.T. Women Want Group! I know there are women who are smarter, wiser, more confident, and courageous. This was my action to put myself out there, be heard and be seen on my journey of self-growth and development. If you are a woman, come join this journey with me! You are my audience to create courage, confidence, and bravery, just like my son on that rink. Eventually, I will be in the stands calm, collected, sweat-free and with dry pants!
#2 TAKE ACTION
I really have never liked being on video or camera, or bringing attention to myself. However, I know in order to move my mission forward this is necessary to reach all the amazing women in the world. When I did my first Facebook live, I wanted to vomit. I hated every moment and dreaded ever doing it again. I was challenged by my coach to continue doing it over and over and over until it becomes comfortable. I will NEVER be perfect, nor do I want to be, but practice makes...more perfect I guess.
It is getting easier the more I do it and is even easier when I talk about the things I love and am passionate about. I will eventually learn how to get the video upright. For now, I guess sideways will do.
Imperfect action is better than perfect inaction.
Consistent action portrays confidence.
Before you can start to experience the amazing feeling of confidence for yourself, you need to take action and do something. Avoiding and playing it safe might mean you won’t fail, but it also guarantees you won’t succeed! Avoiding something keeps your mind focused precisely on the things you don’t want. What you should be focusing on is what you DO want. You’ll find that a person always gets more of what they focus their attention on.
Challenge your comfort zone!
Confidence breeds confidence. It grows and grows and becomes unstoppable!
#3 Depersonalize Your Setbacks
The first birthday celebration for The Healing Hub had more door prizes than guests...ugh. Of course, I begin to personalize first…what could I have done differently? What should I have done more of? Yadda yadda yadda.
Later, after looking at what I could have done differently, I considered alternatives. Well... it was a gorgeous Friday evening... in the summer... in Detroit Lakes. Lake? Or a Birthday celebration? But on the bright side, everyone received a door prize and a gratitude journal. The kids filled their pockets with goodies from the pinata, and I ate cake for weeks (at least it was gluten-free!?)
We often have the instinct to over-personalize bumps in the road, which undermines confidence. Personalization is a major trigger for self-blame. We are more likely to take the blame for something versus placing the blame on the environment or some other outside source.
How can we learn to counter these tendencies?
Become mindful of how you react when things don’t go as you wish or as planned.
Do you immediately jump to the conclusion that whatever isn’t going your way is your fault? Without awareness, there is no choice! Recognizing when you blame yourself is the first step in changing this pattern. Ask yourself, is this rational and reasonable?
Mindful awareness can help you replace self-blame with self-compassion.
Let’s face it: Life is hard. But we don’t need to make it harder by taking the bumps in the road personally. Those bumps are part of everyone’s life! Instead of blaming yourself when you felt let down by someone, recognize we often don’t know why people act as they do. Everyone’s story is playing out in their own way. Thus, to take their behavior personally isn’t fair or kind to ourselves.
Be easy on yourself and enjoy the cake!
#4 Stop giving a sh*t what others think.
This is something that kept me from using my voice for much of my life. I would rather bite my tongue than express my opinion, point of view or beliefs to avoid being berated.
It was easier to just fit in and go with the flow. So...I’d just smile, even though there was a battle of anxiety inside.
At one point, I remember a nickname of “Permagrin”. Also known as, a smile that lasts for a long time, despite any negative occurrences. When you put yourself out there, someone will try and knock you down. Well...have it, I’m a little older, wiser and done holding back.
Women tend to want to be liked and to please others. Often valuing the opinions of others too much. No matter the “why”, at some point, we base our actions and decisions on how we expect other people will perceive us. As a result, we don’t always do the things we want to do, because we’re afraid of what others will think.
The how to:
Realize the negative comments someone makes is about them, not you.
Be true to yourself.
Funny story...as I was writing this, my daughter was reading and asked, “why did you change shit to crap?”. I asked, “why did you like shit better?”. She says, “yeah, it sounds better and that’s what all you grown-ups say.”
I’m taking a risk sharing my personal experiences. My goal is to be honest, transparent as possible, and now a little less restrained...thanks girl.
When I stop caring so much about what others think, I’m finding a lot more freedom in life!
This is our one life. There are no do-overs.
I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to have regrets. All of our stories will end the same, it’s inevitable.
When you can realize that we only get one life, it makes it easier to stop caring so much about what other people think.
What is the absolute worst-case scenario?
Trust a few and forget the rest.
There is freedom in not caring what others think. But in some situations, it’s not a bad idea to get an opinion from a few people you trust. You need these people to tell you when you’re doing something bat sh*t crazy, or to encourage you to take the risk. 😝
Have a few close people you can confide in; those that have your best interest at heart.
Remove negative sources immediately.
Purge your life of toxic people or things. Work drama or friends who tear you down...avoid them. Social presence with negative comments...don’t read them.
You can’t stop people from being hateful, but you can choose to ignore them.
Keep doing what you love and what makes YOU happy
You can’t win them all.
Don’t waste your time trying to get everyone to like you, because it’s impossible.
Instead of worrying about who doesn’t like you, focus on being a better person for those who do.
When was the last time you didn’t do what you wanted because you cared more about what other people would think?
#5 Let perfection go!!
I always wanted my house perfect. It was clean, organized and decorated just so...you never know when someone may stop by. And if the company was planned, it was perfection to the next level. I had to have the perfect spread of food, candles, fresh flowers, etc. It was stressful and quite exhausting. All for what?
I finally let go.
As a busy entrepreneur, wife, and mom of 3, now our home is... lived in. Mounds of clean laundry, dishes in the sink, a blanket of school papers and mail cover the counter, toothpaste in the sink, “work” covering the dining table and at least a box cereal in the cupboard. If you know me, this is my life, and you still accept me with every imperfection!
Okay...I may still be a little obsessed with my Christmas tree!
Perfectionism lives and breathes in the fear of making a mistake or failure.
Often looking to other people to give them worth, relying on others' opinions to give them a sense of value. Perfectionists strive to produce flawless work and also have higher levels of motivation and focus. They are more likely to want things to be perfect before they will let the universe see their work. They strive for huge successes. Allowing perfectionism to run the show is like being on a hamster wheel. You keep going and going and going, even after you’ve reached your original goal. You increase the stakes every time. So when you do accomplish something, you wonder if you could have done it better.
You may have that unrelenting inner voice that perpetually tells you that your effort is never good enough. You catch yourself constantly striving for more. Many women are frustrated because no matter how hard we try and succeed, we still aren’t happy.
Perfection is an illusion — you believe it makes you better but actually harms you.
The more you try to be perfect, the worse you feel. It’s that feeling you get when you expect things of yourself that you’d never expect from others. It’s working yourself to exhaustion in hopes that you’ll feel whole, complete, worthy. It’s basing your self-worth on external accomplishments. Always feeling like you have something to prove.
Perfection is something that happens for a “window” of time. It’s not a constant state that can be maintained. It creates high levels of stress and burnout. Perfectionism leaves you mentally and emotionally exhausted. Needing approval and acceptance will lead you to feel that what you do is never enough. You will spend your life looking to do better and more. Often times our goals never come from within. When you never feel good enough in the eyes of others, it’s hard to build a strong sense of yourself.
Perfectionism won’t give you permission to feel confident and is such a waste of time and energy. Other people can’t make you feel like enough; that’s a decision you have to make for yourself. What’s enough and not enough, and how far you need to go, are more effective when they’re determined by your inner values. What’s the alternative to the endless cycle of looking for personal fulfillment through accomplishments and the approval of others? The key isn’t to stop aiming for higher standards, but to stop measuring progress in terms of perfection!
So what if it isn’t perfect?
Don’t let the world take the wind out of your sails.
Start replenishing your energy and living your best life!
Letting go and sustaining your drive:
Strive for excellence rather than perfection.
Unlike perfection, excellence can be maintained throughout your life. It’s your persistence and courage that determines your excellence.
Know that you don’t have to be perfect to be worthy.
What we don’t realize is that working toward our goals and being willing to put ourselves out there are accomplishments within themselves. Give yourself a pat on the back for trying, making progress, and coming as far as you have.
#6 Stop making it about YOU.
Guilty! Biting my tongue or avoiding being heard out of fear of not having the right words, made ME uncomfortable. Avoiding being seen like the plague because I hated seeing ME on video or camera. Avoiding opening my practice so people could heal on their terms, all because of what people may think of ME if I fail.
I could go on in all areas of my life where I’ve avoided taking action out of an uncomfortable feeling I felt. These often turned into an irrational thought pattern, usually involving what others may think of ME!
Wow, it was all about ME.
Irrational thoughts that people are actually spending that much time noticing, thinking, and talking about ME. Once I got clear on my purpose of sharing my words, knowledge, experiences, and intuition, I was able to get beyond my limitations of ME. It was no longer about me, but how I could help solve a problem, give hope to or inspire another person.
I may not be the smartest, wisest, and most seasoned, but what I do know is that by sharing, I will change at least one life. I believe I was blessed with special gifts and was given those gifts to help, influence or inspire others. How selfish to keep those gifts to myself just because it makes ME uncomfortable. People are not spending their days thinking and talking about ME, so time to get over your damn self girl!
Think of the last 2 silly things you did or said?
Think of the last 2 silly things you saw someone else do or heard someone else say?
A bit more difficult, right?
Our social awareness develops, around middle school. We start getting paranoid about what other people think of us. We worry about making mistakes for which others will judge us, laugh, and develop a tarnished image of us in their minds. The good news is that no one remembers or really cares all that much about you, what you do, or what embarrassing things you’ve done in the past. No one is talking or thinking about you regularly besides a best friend or significant other.
Self-monitor your thoughts. How often are you thinking about the silly things your friends or acquaintances have done? How often do you remember the judgments you make about people around you for more than a few seconds? You’ll quickly realize you don’t think about these things much at all, right? So why do we fret so much that other people are doing this to us?
The tendency is called the “spotlight effect”.
A phenomenon in which people tend to believe they are being noticed more than they really are. Although one is the center of one’s own world, one is not the center of everyone else’s. We all think we're walking around with a giant spotlight on us. We think people are always noticing us, thinking about us, and talking about us. It makes us paranoid or uncomfortable.
The reality is that most people barely spend any time thinking about other people. This is especially true about the silly things others have done, because we’re so busy thinking about ourselves and our own life. Women tend to focus more on themselves when we are having a crisis of confidence. If we step out of the “spotlight” or “me” syndrome and focus more on all the others we are trying to help with our actions (or lack thereof), then we are more likely to execute.
Speak or act on behalf of a group.
Women thrive on the “we;” the companionship of others; the power of togetherness. When you tell yourself you are speaking or acting on behalf of a group of people, you are more likely to speak up and do with confidence.
Realize that the “spotlight effect” exists.
Remember that no one is really thinking about you all that much, you’ll be much less afraid to speak your mind or do the thing. You won’t be bothered by the embarrassing mistakes we all make from time to time, and you’ll stop obsessing so much about how you appear to others.
When you start thinking of the worst-case scenario happening, ask this simple question. “So?” Really answer what you are fearing is going to happen.
Once you answer that, ask yourself again, “So?” Keep asking and answering “So?” five times. Remember you’re not thinking about other people that much, and they’re not thinking about you.
Do whatever you want secure in the notion that no one really cares anyway. And if they do, they’ll forget about it in a few minutes anyway when their thoughts return to themselves.
#7 Shift the negative thoughts.
In my past, I experienced two long-term deceitful relationships that left me broken. I felt sad, lonely, angry, embarrassed, and hopeless.
The emotions slowly transformed into thoughts.
I’m not lovable.
I’m a fool.
I’m not pretty enough.
I’m not skinny enough.
I’m not good enough.
The repetitive thoughts created beliefs and began defining who I thought I was as a person.
Throughout life, I’ve compensated in different ways, healthy and not. The old beliefs created a life of fear, uncertainty, and anxiety. My work with JFB Myofascial Release has taken me on a healing journey. It has allowed me to truly feel the raw emotions, uncovering some old beliefs, allowing me to replace them with ones that serve me. It allowed me to overcome my anxiety.
I’m still on the path of self-discovery and becoming the best version of myself through faith, personal development, mind/body treatment, and self-care. I truly believe that sometimes in life we need to overcome adversity, to become the person we need to become, to carry out our purpose!
Women are more likely to listen to that little voice inside our heads, like a broken record.
Unless you come from a perfect world with flawless relationships, which we know is impossible, your head will play this broken record of self-judgment and criticism from your past experiences. The magnitude of each will vary based on your story. You experienced raw emotions that drove your thoughts, creating negative self-talk loops stuck within your head.
When you hear or say something enough you believe it. These false beliefs start to define who you are and limit your potential. You become a prisoner of your minds. We need to get out of our heads, by accepting our feelings, but not the judgemental thoughts.
Separate emotion from thought. This allows us to be present, living in our truth versus our heads.
Allow yourself to feel the truth, then let it go. Feelings are temporary, but can be powerful. Don’t allow the negative emotions to turn into false beliefs. It’s okay to feel lonely. It’s not okay to stamp yourself as unlovable. Feelings don’t define our worth. There’s a difference between how we feel and who we are.
1. Acknowledge how you feel.
Feelings grow louder when ignored. They don’t disappear. The more they’re suppressed, the longer they remain inside.
This is how resentment builds. It’s only after you’ve allowed yourself to feel that they will begin to dissolve. You feel heard when you allow yourself to feel.
2. Explore where these feelings are coming from.
It’s possible to minimize your truth if you jump to exploring where your feelings are coming from, before allowing yourself to feel them.
Take your time to fully accept and feel first, without letting them control your life. After you have felt what you need to feel, move on.
Next, you learn and grow from gently exploring. Is there a pattern to these feelings or triggers?
Your motivation comes in our whys. Why do you hide? Why do you put so much pressure on yourself? Why do you do things the things you do? Why do you always see it that way?
Once you learn why you feel the way you do, you can start to understand yourself, and where to implement change.
Without this understanding, you can dwell on your feelings being lead by negativity. This is when you can be highly reactive and make decisions you will later regret.
Once you have a better understanding of your whys, you can make healthier choices on how to respond to your feelings and triggers instead of reacting to them.
Be gentle and patient with yourself, it's a process.
3. Be aware of the thoughts behind your feelings.
Just because you feel something does not mean it’s a fact. Once you discover the whys, you may realize that just because you feel something doesn’t mean it validates your conclusion.
Be aware of the messages you are telling yourself. What does that say about you and how you think and behave?
Now take all this information and apply it to your daily life. Create change by putting the revelation into action.
How do your thoughts and conclusions play out in your life? What is the behavior attached to those thoughts? Does that behavior match up with who you want to be?
Create a world of change:
- Notice when you have negative thoughts.
- Write down the negative thoughts.
- Answer in writing, how do these thoughts translate into beliefs or behaviors?
- Answer in writing, how does each belief and behavior affect my thinking and life? Be specific.
- Answer in writing, what new behavior or thought can replace the old one?
When we replace old ways of thinking and reactions with new thoughts and behaviors, it is nearly impossible not to shift your life!
#8 Focus on what’s going RIGHT.
Even though I was busy, busy, busy it would seem like I’d accomplished nothing!
Sometimes it was difficult to see progress and accomplishments. And when I did accomplish something, I wouldn’t know it as I was onto the next thing. Back to the hamster wheel!
It was actually quite exhausting. It didn’t leave me with much ambition to continue. The focus became on all the things I hadn’t accomplished, versus what I had and all the obstacles versus all the opportunities!
I was taught by my coach to plan and document everything I do. So when you don’t feel like you deserve success and reward, you can go back and say “damn right I deserve this!”.
It really opened my eyes to how much I was doing and action steps taken to reach my long term goals. It also taught me to find opportunities in my struggles and to be grateful for the growth or new path.
I’ve learned to celebrate all the wins big or small and to be grateful for the challenges- “Winning Wednesday”.
We tend to focus on what is going wrong and what we’re NOT doing.
That's because our brains are actually wired that way thanks to evolution. Our ancestors who were quick to see threats were more likely to survive and pass along their DNA!
You always have the choice. You can choose to focus on what’s going wrong in your life, or you can focus on what’s going right in your life. But if you focus on what’s going wrong, you’re going to miss out on all the things going right.
Why we should focus on what's going right:
It gives you momentum.
While hiking in the mountains, when you stop to rest, sit facing the path you've traveled rather than toward the climb you have yet to do. Feeling that sense of accomplishment will give you more energy to climb higher.
It works the same way in our personal and professional lives.
You bring about, what you think about.
The Law of Attraction, the most powerful law in the universe, basically says that “like attracts like.” We live in a vibrational universe where everything, including our thoughts, are vibrations.
Whatever we are giving our attention to or thinking about, positive or negative, is drawn to us. If you're obsessing about debt, you'll get more debt. 💫
Evidence shows that happier people live longer and are more productive. So focus on what's going right because it will make you happier, therefore you’ll be healthier and get more done. You’ll reach your goals and be able to enjoy it longer!
Once you start to focus on what is right, you just might find yourself appreciating the small things more.✨
Own your accomplishments and accept the compliments. You deserve it!
#9 Practice by doing.
“People who succeed aren’t always naturals, they are doers,” says Kay and Shipman.
Be willing to do the thing over and over and over again. Learn from your mistakes, and keep doing the thing over and over.
The more you do, the more you will achieve. The more you achieve, the more confident you will feel that you can do it again.
The thing to do is to START and PRACTICE.
#10 Be grateful.
I used to be really good at negating compliments.
If someone complimented me on my clothes, “Oh, this old thing”. A compliment on my hair, “I need a highlight so bad”. Or on a project, a quick reply of, “It’s a work in progress”. An awkward way to detour the conversation or attention away from me. Why was it so difficult to just smile and say “Thank you”? Did I not believe I deserved it? It significantly changed my practice of receiving when I looked at it from another perspective.
By negating the person’s compliment I was essentially telling the other person they were wrong. How rude!?
At this realization, I began gracefully receiving others' appreciation. I believed what they said and allowed their words to fuel my confidence. Gratitude takes root in our heart and our senses. Practicing gratitude can keep our hearts open to the tenderness in our daily experiences.
Choose to focus your time and attention on what you appreciate. Appreciation softens us and soothes our minds by connecting us with the ordinary things that we may otherwise take for granted. Whether it’s choosing to write a few sentences in a journal or taking a moment to silently acknowledge all that you have, giving thanks can transform your life. Research shows that gratitude is one of the keys to happiness, well-being and life satisfaction.
Say “thank you”.
Say “thank you” and mean it. Saying thank you can be a gift, and one that feels good, too. Offering appreciation to one another is powerful. Be grateful for the kind words people say about you and believe them.
The next time you receive a compliment, say “thank you” and own it. It will transform how you feel about yourself and others. It will give you the confidence to step into new opportunities.
Reflect on what/who you appreciate.
When you’re feeling low take the time to write down the things you appreciate most. Your child’s laughter, music lyrics, the sun on your face, the person who held the door, the compliment from a stranger.
Gratitude journaling works because it slowly changes the way we perceive situations by adjusting what we focus on.
To enhance your gratitude, dive into your heart by getting really specific with the moments you document. Stretch yourself beyond the great stuff right in front of you. Open your senses to more of the world and notice new things each day.
Journaling not for you? Get creative, make it the dinner topic, use a jar, use an app, or social media to hold yourself accountable.
“A moment that I really appreciated today was…”
Take the time to FEEL.
When you express gratitude, how does your body feel? What emotions and thoughts accompany these feelings?
Sometimes we may not feel thankful due to negative thoughts clouding our minds. But, you can begin producing feelings of gratitude by acting grateful. Action trumps thought. You don’t have to feel it or believe it initially, just do it.
When you focus more on what you appreciate, the universe opens to reveal that there is always something to be grateful for in every situation.
If you want something bad enough, you’ll do whatever it takes to get it.
Go be the confident, badass woman you want to be!