Out of all my best-kept secrets, this is one that I am ready to let out the bag, now. That is right ladies, get your notepad, sharpen your pencil, and put on your seatbelts because it’s going to be a bumpy ride.
It is no mystery that as strong, educated, badass women we tend to play ourselves small. Confidence is a huge part of that. More often than not we are plagued with thoughts of insecurity, fear, doubt, and trust. If you are like me, you will overanalyze a situation even days after it has happened.
For most of my life, confidence is something that I have struggled with more than I would like to admit. Whether we like it or not, we have been socialized as women to act and be a certain way. In my Hispanic culture, women are raised to be homemakers, caregivers, and exceptional cooks, as well as prim and proper. While men are raised to be strong, head of household, leaders, authoritative, and the main breadwinners. All that is fine and dandy, but what good did all those traits do me when I had to step out into the world scared AF (as female)? I know that our parents did the absolute best that they could to raise us and always wanted the best for us and nothing less. However, this realization that we need more than just knowing how to cook, clean, care for others, and look great when it comes to succeeding in this life. Knowing this will make a world of difference in raising the next generation of women leaders.
I vividly remember the junior high tennis team that I was a part of. Go BUCKAROOS!! We were all kids from the “hood” per se, or what others considered “low income”. Most of us probably did not even know what we lacked or did not have at that time because we were all happy-go-lucky kids. In those days, our Tennis Coach would load us into the big yellow school bus and take us to tournaments around the city. The majority of us used the equipment provided by the school and we were FIERCE! You couldn’t tell us nothing, Nada. We would get on that bus and chant our hearts out. At this one particular tournament, it became obvious that the opposite teams were making fun of our shoes, hair, equipment, clothes, everything. You could see the confidence level in the entire team start to diminish because of the side looks and comments that we overheard. I did not realize it then, but it is so clear to me know how we often let others take our power. We let their words get into our heads to the point where we start to believe them. The team that left for the tournament that morning was not the same one that came back defeated. Our defeat was not even due to our lack of ability in the game of tennis but our inability to block the criticism that we were receiving.
Like that, there are so many other times where my confidence has been put to the test. As I grew into the fabulous glitter spreading baddie that I am, I started to notice some key elements that helped me exude confidence. I started to use those elements to my full advantage and have never looked back. Today, I am going to change your perspective on how you see and carry yourself in the name of confidence because, sister, you are anything but an average woman. You are an Empowered Fem.
Participate in Positive Self-Talks. There is so much power in words and how we use them. I once heard that words could hurt more than a fist to the jaw. It is so true. Begin to articulate in nothing but positive talks to disempower all your negative beliefs. Wake up every morning and remind yourself how beautiful you are. There is not a day that goes by that I don’t remind my mirror of the beauty that is within the reflection. Remind the girl in the mirror of all her powers, strengths, talents, qualities, and how bright her light shines. Speak to yourself in the light that you want to be in. This is such a simple task for you to start practicing. (Hint: Follow us on FaceBook for affirmations and quotes to help you as you start this practice.)
Journal all your wins. Begin a list of key accomplishments and document them. Writing down all your wins will begin to boost your confidence when you might need it most. We can be our own worst critique and often forget about all the barriers that we have had to knock down in order to achieve our wins. I recently started to write a letter to the previous month. For example, “Hey June, you were so good to me girl.” I make it a point to close out each month by saying goodbye to the last. I have discovered that I am a beast and had never really given myself any credit for all the things that I do. By doing this well-known exercise suggested by many life, career, and success coaches, I am able to track all my accomplishments and truly walk into my light of excellence.
Be kind to yourself. OMG! This one is key. Stop putting yourself down and blaming yourself for outcomes or things that are out of your control. There is no reason to take the blame for anything if you did your absolute best, gave it all you had, and would not change a thing. So many times, we carry guilt for situations or instances where the problem is not us but someone or something else. You don’t need to be carrying other people’s issues/problems. You have enough baggage of your own to carry.
Recognize your triggers. It is important that you know what triggers your confidence meter to go low. There are so many things that could cause you to feel less than and have your confidence plunge down. This might take a while for you to get but it is so worth it. If there are situations at work or home that cause you to doubt yourself, then be aware of them. Learn to recognize your triggers so that you are always one step ahead by disempowering them. Being self-aware will help you to combat those fears before they manifest themselves. Once you recognize your triggers you can work at combatting them.
Failure is okay. So many times, we hear that failure is not an option. The truth is that there can only be one winner, one Mariah Carey, one gold medalist. Learn to deal with failure because we are not always going to win. It does not matter how many vision boards you create, how many times you say things out to the universe, sometimes things are just not meant for us. I remember applying to 100 jobs when I graduated from college and having only 3 calls back. Not all doors are going to open up with a red carpet entrance. Learn to use failure as fuel for your next endeavor. Do not let failure pull your confidence down.
Set strong boundaries. We sometimes set ourselves up to get our confidence taken from us when we do so much for others and we are still made to feel that we are not enough. Know that you are more than enough. You are prime rib, honey. There is a waiting list to speak with you. Remove people from your life that make you feel less than what you truly are. There are people with narcissist tendencies that will have you for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. This could be very difficult to do, but it so worth it. You are worth it! You deserve the caviar and champagne. Be aware of the confidence killers around you. Handle them from at a distance or on an as-needed basis. 😉
Speak with conviction. This one is one you need to start practicing today!! When you tell me that the moon is made out of cheese, I want you to speak it like it is the honest to GOD truth. Your voice has so much power, use it. Learn to speak and express yourself in a way that no one will ever question if what you said was even correct because your voice exudes confidence. Speak with trust that what you said is right because nobody can tell you nothing, Nada.
Confidence is a strong belief in your abilities and self. It does not come from material things but from the inside. There is no red bottom shoe, purse, or make-up that will make you feel more confident than what you already carry within you. Your charisma, uniqueness, and self-worth will carry your confidence further than anything else. Stop living behind fear and doubts. You are a classy, sassy, confident woman that can have it all and then some. Let’s get it, girls.