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How to be confident in spite of your circumstances

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Photo by Matthew Hamilton on Unsplash

The other day a Facebook friend asked her audience, “Do you consider yourself a confident person?” I answered: “it depends on the day,” to which she replied, “too true” with a lmao emoji.

If you’re like me, confidence is not some static quality that, once achieved, stays at the same level. No, it ebbs and flows, even for women with the highest levels of self-worth.

There are ways to build and maintain confidence that make it seem less elusive and more constant. But, why do we need this quality in the first place?

In my opinion and experience, confidence not only feels great, it makes you more magnetic. People are drawn to confident people and feel more comfortable around them.

So, if you’ve refused to build your self-worth muscle out of fear it will make people dislike you, know that the opposite is true. It may repel people who are bad for you, but that’s a positive outcome, similar to when we set boundaries.

Being confident comes from within

People stand on shaky ground when their self-worth depends on how much money they make or how many followers they amass. That’s because true confidence thrives independent of our circumstances.

People stand on shaky ground when their self-worth depends on how much money they make or how many followers they amass. Click To Tweet

That’s why people who are truly confident can lose a fortune and build it back up again quickly. They don’t make their so-called failures mean anything about them.

In fact, they’ve learned their failures provide proof that they tried. They allow those setbacks to increase rather than diminish their level of self-worth.

I have a friend who accrued $40,000 in credit card debt while building her business. She never let it mean anything about herself. She acted as if she were already where she wanted to be, and the next year she was.

Let go of perfectionism

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I’ve been listening to a public speaking coach who teaches that confident speakers improvise rather than sticking to a script.

If you spend hours preparing and memorizing a speech, you’re giving yourself unneeded stress and diminishing your confidence level. You’re relying on things being a certain way and that’s not sustainable.

What if someone asks a question you haven’t prepared an answer to? Or something unexpected happens (as it always does)?

People respond more to how you present yourself than the words you say. If you feel relaxed and confident, you will give a more effective talk, even if you don’t say all the words perfectly.

Learn to love yourself

For those of us who grew up with unmet childhood needs, self-love is no easy task. We have to unlearn decades of putting other people first and ourselves last.

For those of us who grew up with unmet childhood needs, self-love is no easy task. Click To Tweet

We have to stand up to our inner critic with a hearty dose of self-compassion. And nurture our inner child to meet our own needs as adults, in ways they were never met in childhood.

This feels selfish at first because we’ve been raised to believe our worth comes in our accomplishments or what we do for others. We have never felt what it’s like to be loved simply for who we are.

Now we have to give ourselves that unconditional love. We realize our frightened inner child has been running the show. She’s using coping mechanisms that kept her safe in childhood but no longer serve her.

We can learn to speak up for ourselves where before we were silent. We can give ourselves the care and attention we so freely give others. And we can think about what we really want and do that instead of what someone else wants.

All these take tremendous courage when you’ve been in survival mode for so long. But, the more you do them, the more you exercise your self-worth muscle.

And that’s how you build confidence that doesn’t depend on your circumstances or what other people think of you.

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