I think most people have to work on their confidence in order to build it up over the course of their lives. It’s something that even if you are lucky enough to have constant reinforcement from family, friends, and schoolmates, you may still have some personal insecurities to deal with, issues to resolve, and new experiences you may feel less than confident about.
I do know confidence can be worked on, just like we work on our muscles and talents. It can be learned, as well as conditioned but in many cases, we have to recondition years of negative self talk combined with outside opinions and doubts put into our heads.
Just like when you are working on losing weight or building muscle, you do need to have patience and not rush things. Your progress shouldn’t be rushed or judged based on any one else, we are each on our own journey. That’s where Grace comes into play. We have to show ourselves a healthy dose of Grace, just as we should do with others.
I personally know this to be true and I have so many stories that have proven this to me. I plan to share many of them but I want to start out with a recent one. 2020 was such a difficult year for all of us, but it was also a year I think we learned so much about ourselves and others. A few things I learned were:
- I can do so much more than I think when I have the gift of time along with a good dose of clarity and purpose.
- I have so much I am interested in learning more about.
- I can accomplish so much when I put my mind to it
These are just part of the list, I will share more in future posts. For now, I want to discuss one of the things I tackled with the gift of time I was given. I decided I wanted to get a handle on my physical self and a better understanding of health in general. I accomplished this by taking a few classes, by consulting with a personal trainer/nutritionist, and taking some online workout classes.
What does all of this have to do with confidence and grace? Well, I learned that by focusing on myself and my health (both physical and mental) I was also building my confidence. One of the workout classes I took was a 305 Fitness class, which combines dance moves with toning and it’s all done to some really hot music. I’ve never really been too confident in the dance area, so in the beginning I really didn’t want to be seen doing any of this. I truly believed I would never get the moves down and I would look so silly doing it. This is where the Grace comes in. I was so lucky to be taking this class with an instructor who constantly showed me so much of it, even though he didn’t see me on camera or even know me. A few weeks into it all, I did follow Julien Valme (our instructor) on Instagram because, well, I’m much more confident there. But even before that, Julien would call me out to encourage me and then even began to gently suggest I turn on my camera so he could see me and I could feel more connected to all of it and the community of people doing it alongside me. I don’t think I really thought I’d NEVER turn on the camera but I didn’t think I would be ready for a long time. I even tried to a few times but then I would chicken out. Once I followed Julien, and he followed me too, he was able to what/how I post on Instagram and he then began to nudge me a little more saying he sees me posting on IG and knows I am not a stranger to the camera (which was so true).
You see, Julien never embarrassed me or harassed me about it, he was simply giving some friendly encouragement and nudging all while showing me a beautiful amount of grace, which reminded me that I needed to show myself at least the same amount of grace I was being gifted. Once I employed a healthy amount of it, I realized that I truly needed to turn on that camera and stop being so silly.
The first week I did hit that “join meeting with video” on the zoom call, I have to admit I was a bit nervous but a few minutes in, I was feeling just fine about it. Of course, I got a most amazing greeting and feedback from Julien and I just felt more and more confident about it. Each week after, it got so much easier. When you treat yourself with a dose of grace AND you allow yourself to accept the grace being afforded to you by others, it really eases things up at least a little bit. When you realize that even though you may not be at the exact level as others when it comes to the things you want to do, they also had to build up to where they are now. When you slow down a bit and allow yourself to celebrate each little step you take and the progress you make, you enjoy the ride so much more AND you begin to condition your confidence in the process.
I want you to realize that you really can’t compare yourself to anyone when it comes to tackling goals or doing new things. You will progress just as you are meant to BUT you won’t progress at all if you don’t take the first steps toward any new goal or when it comes to learning new things. You should also extend yourself the grace to be imperfect, the patience to get to each next step, and the respect and gratitude to accept the grace being offered to you by others. This is just part of how you can better develop your confidence and then harness it to achieve so much more in your life overall.
I look forward to hearing your stories on confidence and how I can help you too. I also look forward to sharing some more of my own stories and tips with you.