How do I gain confidence in myself? I’m always putting my life on hold because I’m constantly worried what everyone else thinks…never have the confidence to do what I truly want. Then I end up making choices that make me miserable because I didn’t speak up.
Hi Honey, first…you’re not alone. More people–especially women–than you could imagine can probably relate to your feelings. For me, this has looked like working jobs that were not what I wanted to do instead of writing (what I wanted to do). Why? 1. Writing wasn’t consistently lucrative. 2. Sharing your thoughts publicly opens you up to all kinds of whack-a-doos weighing in. 3. Pursuing your own dreams can feel selfish while taking care of others feels noble. And of course the ever-present: Who are you to ______ ? But it’s never too early or too late to start.
For most of my life though, I worried way too much about what people thought. I wanted people to like me and think I was a good person. Although there’s nothing inherently wrong with that, it can lead to pathological people pleasing and inauthentic behavior. We don’t need anyone else to tell us we’re good enough.
Here’s the thing: No matter what you do, people will have something to say about it, so you might as well do what YOU want to do. The only people who will criticize you following your dreams are the ones who don’t have the courage to follow their own, and guess what? They don’t get to make decisions for you.
How do you gain confidence? Oh sweetheart, I wish I had a magic answer. I’m still learning too. Acting as if you already have it is a good start though. Take steps in the direction of where you want to go. Read Daring Greatly by Dr. Brené Brown. Remind yourself if people weigh in on your choices that unless they’re living your life, they don’t get to call the shots. And don’t internalize other people’s stuff.
Here’s the thing: It’s almost never about us. People think and talk about us way less than we think because everyone is pretty wrapped up in themselves. What is one small step you can take today in the direction of what you really want? It could be as simple as a google search or writing down your dreams in your journal or on a post-it note. Do it. And then take another step. And another. And before you know it, you’re living the life you want.
You can do it!!
Let me know how it goes. And if there’s any way I can help or support you, I will!