Uncertainty or anxiety about oneself; lack of confidence.
This is a little deeper than most of my posts but I want to be real with you. Someone recently told me that they loved how confident I am. It came as a surprise to me that they’d say this because that was not a word that had ever been used to describe my personality before – “shy”, “insecure”, and “quiet”, maybe, but not “confident”. As I have been thinking about this word I have been reflecting on how I got to where I am. How did someone that was fearful, anxious about daily life, terrified of attention, and stubborn to change, become not just tolerant of it all, but actually begin to enjoy people and all of life’s new and intimidating adventures?
Let me tell you how this happened, and how it is something that anyone can have if you choose things in your life that will make you a better, stronger, more vulnerable, etc. The last 10 years (give or take) I have purposed myself to be around people that I look up to, that push me to be better, and that are willing to tell me when I am wrong and how I can improve. The saying “You’re the average of the people you spend the most time with” is evident in my life in every season I have been through (good and bad). The biggest change I have seen in myself over the years is being open to criticism and willing to change.
Here are 5 things that have pushed me to be better:
I changed my health. One of the easy and most foundational things I decided was important to me and that I wanted to change was my health. So I began eating better and made working out a priority in my life. Eating better and being active has helped me just feel better. I’ve found that just being and feeling healthier and having more energy has enabled me to do so much more for others, for my husband, and for my kids.
I married someone that supports me in anything and everything I do. He is my biggest fan and if I said I wanted to become a airplane pilot, he would tell me to do it and would sign up to learn with me (I’m just not a fan of heights, so this is one that will not be happening)! Even more than that, my husband’s strengths are my weaknesses (he is teachable, open to be told wrong [but you gotta prove it!], quick to forgive, loves to try things even if he’s tried it before and hated it… the list goes on). Through his loving influence I have become OK with admitting to being wrong (most of the time), I have become more teachable, the more I honestly say the words “I’m sorry” the quicker I have come to forgive and show love. I’ve learned that there is never a time to say “I love you, but…”; there are no “buts” in love.
I’ve surrounded myself with people that don’t just love me, but want me to push forward in life, to grow and change. People that aren’t waiting for life to begin. People who don’t think that “it’s too late to do that”. I meet up with this same group of people every week and they push me to be a better wife, mom, friend, daughter, sister, and steward. Just being honest and vulnerable with them and hearing about their struggles has taught me so much. If you don’t have people in your life that make you better, find them!
I realized the things I didn’t like about myself were mostly things I could change if I truly wanted them to. I stopped subscribing to the “Always be yourself” mantra taught to me as a teen battling with my insecurities and peer pressure. As I got older and figured out who I was, and came to better know myself, I realized there were parts of me that I didn’t like. I didn’t want to just “Be Myself”, asking everyone around me to “love me at my worst”, anymore. I wanted to become a different person, not because of peer pressure, but because I wanted to make the world a little better just by being in it.
I started saying yes. Another thing that I had always seen as a negative about myself is that I am much closer to an introvert than an extrovert (they used to scare me). I came to the realization that just because I am not the life of the party doesn’t mean I am not someone that is enjoyable to be around. I have forced myself to just show up to parties and events that normally make me a little uncomfortable which has pushed me to be more outgoing and to expand my worldview. Also… having kids that want to run up and talk to everyone with a friendly face is a great help, too. :-)
Never stop changing
The relationships that I have placed in my life over the years have changed me for the better. I started to love myself more because I had people rooting for me as I rooted for them. All the things that had held me back in the past are now the things propelling me forward. Anytime I am asked to do something that scares me I try to say “yes” because if I am being asked it’s because someone believes I am capable of it, so why not give it a try (unless it has something to do with heights, then I’m out!)?
I am now so much more confident, confident that I am doing everything I can to be better for my family, friends, husband, and children. Change in myself won’t stop, I will continue on this path because I feel a responsibility to be better not just for myself, but for all those around me!
If you are looking for a mentor or just someone to talk to let me know in the comments below, send me a message on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, or wherever else you may find me. I’d love to answer questions you have or just be there to encourage you in your own self-reflection.