Picture this: Imagine the most confident girl you can think of. Close your eyes. Watch her on the movie screen of your mind. What does she look like? Hold this image in your brain.
Next, picture a woman who is NOT confident. Hold her in your brain. What does she look like? What do you notice?
Have those two images in your mind? Great.
Now, I want you to take the woman you visualized as NOT confident, with your eyes still closed, and I want you to imagine her standing up tall. Brighten the image in your mind. See her smile a big genuine smile as she’s standing up straight. See a stranger pass her and notice that she smiles at this stranger as she’s walking along, head held high, feeling glad to be herself. She sees a friend approaching. She stops, hugs her friend and is genuinely interested in how she’s doing. She laughs a bit and wishes her a good day. She keeps walking. She’s happy and she feels good. She is happy to be herself. There is no one else she’d rather be. Hold this image strong in your mind.
Next, I want you to image the woman in your mind who you originally pictured when I asked you to imagine a confident woman. Have that picture? Now, I want you to see that picture darken just a bit. See the woman slump her shoulders over, just a tad. You see her head drop a bit as she walks. A stranger walks by, but this time, the stranger smiles, and this woman doesn’t notice. She’s focused on herself. She sees a friend in the distance, she turns the corner in order to avoid having to talk to anyone. She doesn’t interact.
Hold this image in your mind.
Have both images in your mind? Hold them side by side.
Now, let me ask you… Which woman is more confident?
Which woman is happier? Did the confidence of each person have anything to do with the way their bodies were shaped? How tall they were? What they were wearing? Or did their confidence have more to do with how they carried themselves? How they treated others? How they thought of themselves? How they approached the day?
I’ll go ahead and assume that you chose the second.
Confidence is a choice and gift that we can give ourselves NOW, just by changing the way we choose to carry and think about ourselves.
Confidence is not something we have to wait for. Not something that will magically appear one day once we have it all together.
Confidence is a choice which will feel more natural overtime the more we practice FEELING it. Not just saying things to ourselves, but really FEELING our confidence.
And honestly, what can we lose from practicing this sort of confidence? Nothing.
One-hundred percent of my clients come to me with a goal of wanting to feel more confident. Wanting to stop thinking negatively about themselves. You know what this shows me? That so many of us DO talk negatively to ourselves. It’s a habit that doesn’t feel good for any of us, but we still do it.
I want to challenge us to consider that the goal is not “to one day feel confident” or “to one day STOP having negative thoughts about ourselves.”
Rather, the goal is the TURN DOWN the volume on the negative thoughts we have about ourselves, and TURN UP the volume on the loving thoughts we think to ourselves.
And guess what? The action comes before the result. The action is up to us. The action is deciding that we deserve to feel confident, and choosing to do so. Choosing to feel confident, because why not? What do we have to lose?
In my own personal story, when I realized that confidence was a choice, I felt empowered. I looked back on my life, and noticed that external achievements did not automatically equate to more confidence.
For example, years ago when I’d lost weight and was the smallest size I’d ever been, my confidence only suffered.
This taught me that it was ABSOLUTELY true that confidence would always be a choice I had to make. Even if I’d lost weight again, I wouldn’t automatically be more confident. I would STILL have to choose confidence. SO, why not choose it now? Why WAIT to start feeling good? Even as I work to improve myself and where I am.
As I shared, this EMPOWERED me.
I began to FEEL the feelings of liking myself. I would say to myself “I am so happy to be me.” Not only would I say it, but I’d let the feeling of that statement wash over me as an absolute truth.
I began to reject negative talk from my friends. I began to change the conversation I heard around me by NOT participating in any conversation that tore a person down. I’d say “this isn’t fun to talk about, let’s talk about THIS instead” (this meaning, anything else!).
I began to STOP talking negatively about myself out-loud. I realized that anytime I tore myself down out-loud, it only made me believe that awful thought more. It made it feel more real. So, instead, when I’d have a negative thought, I’d try to counter that by saying something nice about myself out-loud. Even if it was something as simple as “I’m so glad I chose THIS sandwich for lunch – this tastes so good. Yum!” Something that acknowledged ANY good. It didn’t have to be “Gosh, I am so beautiful.” (But it could be!)
I began doing what I call “The Confidence Experiment” which is what I had you do here in the beginning of this post in your mind… where, in crowds of people, I’d seek out confident people and ask myself “what makes me believe that this person is confident?”
What I learned is that it was never “good looks” that made someone appear confident.
Someone could be “good looking” but mean spirited and I wouldn’t attribute confidence to them. What made people seem confident and happy to me, was a smile, a genuine spirit, a laugh, or someone carrying themselves well – something as simple as they looked like they dressed themselves in something they loved.
I loved discovering these things for a few reasons:
- It showed me that confidence was in my reach. All I had to do was be myself, carry myself well, and be genuine – smile, talk to people, be curious about others
- It showed me that I wanted to take care of myself, and wear things that allowed me to feel confident – like I liked myself and wanted to take care of myself
- This also allowed me to release the thought that people were constantly criticizing me, because I WAS NOW complimenting people in my own mind as I walked around – it allowed me to think “wow, maybe people AREN’T so focused on all of the negatives about me” (or, all of the negatives I THOUGHT I had about me).
Changing this mindset for myself, truly free’d me. It made me feel incredible to look for the GOOD in others. To comment on the GOOD. To love the GOOD and appreciate it.
This also allowed me to stop comparing myself so much. Rather, now, I can appreciate the good in each person I come across, while still valuing myself. I learned that we are all so unique in ways that make us each special and nobody’s “uniqueness” is better than anyone else’s.
We’re all loved. We should all strive to like ourselves.
You’re never going to be anybody else, so you MAY AS WELL begin to practice enjoying yourself.
This one life you have is your chance to enjoy yourself, now. Go for it!
I talk about confidence even more in the 30 minute mini-interview I did with my friend Asia (who I consider one of my MOST confident friends!) in day 9 of Authentically You – a self-study course I created, which you can do start today for just $27 here!
PS, Speaking of confidence, I want to share my client Brianna’s story with you (it’s brand new)! If you’re interested in reading how Brianna grew in our time together coaching, continue on!
“Paige has been absolutely amazing to work with! When we first started, I was in one of the lowest moments of my life in terms of self confidence, body image issues, fear around food, etc. I was so focused on school and achieving my degree, that I tried hard to ignore my mental and spiritual health. I felt completely defeated, and I knew I didn’t want to live that life anymore.
After learning about Paige, I immediately felt a sense of hope. I was nervous about our first call, especially since I hadn’t shared these feelings with many people before. But after our first call, I felt as if a weight had been lifted off my shoulders. Paige was so kind and listened to my concerns. It felt as if she understood exactly what I was going through, which meant a lot to me!
It’s crazy looking back now and seeing how much I’ve grown from working with Paige. The worries I had then are so easy to separate from and understand. I know there will always be challenges that I face, but I feel like my true self again and so capable of facing those challenges with confidence. That’s what Paige has helped me rediscover. Confidence. In myself, in my body, in my work, in my talents, in feeding myself with love and intuition, in my relationships. I can’t thank her enough for supporting me through this journey.
Paige also offered so much advice and support as I got engaged and started planning for my wedding. She helped me through so many life changes – graduating professional school, taking licensing exams, moving across the country, and starting a job after a life of school.
Paige is such a beautiful and generous human being. Through all our talks and through the ups and downs, she has become a friend to me. And I’m the quiet, shy, VERY introverted type. She made it easy for me to communicate my feelings and concerns. I felt safe and hopeful during our sessions.
I would one million percent recommend Paige, especially her six-month program, to anyone struggling with self-confidence issues, anxiety in general (food was a big one for me), body image, difficulty with life changes, etc. I came to her first expressing difficulty with food and trusting myself to eat what I needed to. I was in a restrict/binge cycle that was driving me crazy, but yet felt completely out of my control. Not only was she able to help me see how easy it can be, with the right mindset and time, to feel comfortable around food and eat intuitively, she was also able to help me cope with my other anxieties and worries and stressors in my everyday life.
If you feel like you’ve had enough of that self hatred and constant worry and that it’s time to make a change, that you’ve struggled too long and want to feel the freedom you’ve always desired, please don’t hesitate to reach out and ask for help. Paige is so awesome in that she structures her program 100% around you, and gives you the freedom to set your own goals and guides you towards them with kindness and encouragement. I thought I could do it alone at first, but I finally understood the value of the help of a mentor, a coach, a friend. And Paige welcomes me for continued sessions whenever I need them!
I’m forever grateful for you, Paige, for everything!”
– BRIANNA B.
I share these stories with you because I believe that if it’s possible for someone else, it’s possible for you. If you want more for yourself, I believe you can achieve more. Like Megyn Kelly says in her book (which I posted about on Instagram today) “The only difference between YOU and the person you ENVY is that you settled for less.” DANG.
If you resonate with Brianna’s story about working with me and how she was able to grow and YOU’D like to talk about working together, I’d love to talk with you. Fill out the form below and I’ll email you back personally, to schedule a Discovery Session with me.