• The Hopefulist

Stepping into the real you with confidence!

In order to maintain persistence in striving toward your hopes, dreams and goals...you need to feel confident in who you are and the life that you live. Much easier said than done. Confidence is one of those things that can be faked. I've been a master at faking it my whole life. Most people that knew me when I was young have said they never saw a lack of confidence in me which surprised me. I guess I was really good at putting on that act. Because I don't feel like I've had real confidence since I was a child. Until...the last few years. So what has been the difference? I've finally embraced who am I. The person that I thought was uncool and nerdy. I stopped worrying (for the most part) about what people think of me and do what makes me happy. I started focusing on what I like about myself instead of beating myself up for what I didn't like or thought I lacked. I realized that even the parts I didn't necessarily liked still served a purpose. I got quiet and tapped into what it really was that would bring me joy and fulfillment.

As I've mentioned a billion times by now, most of these things can't and won't happen overnight. But the more work you put in on yourself, the more you are committed to the process, the faster you will notice progress and results. The important first step is to focus on what you do like about yourself. Don't say there isn't anything you like about yourself...of course there is! There has been times in my life when I actually loathed myself but there were always a few things I was glad to have. For me, it was even when I put some weight on I still had a very nice curve to my stomach. I have great finger nails. It took me some time but I learned to love my hair. I also happen to have amazing blue eyes. I'm not trying to be conceited, these are things I can honestly say I liked about myself. It's okay to claim what you like! In fact, I encourage it. Don't worry about how you will come across to other people. Especially when it is so hard for you to find things you like. It's nobody else's business how you feel about yourself. In fact, a lot of people may resent you claiming your assets because they can't seem to do it for themselves. That is a them problem, not a you problem.

Once you start focusing on what you like about yourself, examine in what ways the things you don't necessarily like can still serve you. I've talked in the past about how I tend to be too reactive and let things affect me too much. That was the situation when I was fighting with my condo board a few years back. I ended up putting my condo up for sale because they angered me to that point. I was going to show them that they couldn't treat me in such a way. In reality they didn't care, I'm sure. But one thing led to another and we ended up selling the place and moving to our dream location where we now live full time. It worked out for me that time. I got away from the militant condo board and ended up in a much better place. Most times my reaction didn't work out in such a positive way but it served a big purpose in this instance. You can give yourself a break while still working on improving traits you don't necessarily like about yourself.

The most important factor in gaining confidence is embracing your real self and being okay with who that person is. Sometimes it takes some time to figure out who that real self is. To find out what it is you really love and want to spend more time doing. What are the things that light you up and bring more happiness into your life. Part of this is embracing your inner goof ball. What are some of the things you love doing but feel silly or foolish about? Do them anyway! There was so much I used to hold back on, like singing and doing a little dance because I worried about what people would think. Make no mistake, I'm loud and boisterous and a little too much for some people. And that's okay! They are not my people. But I have made two great discoveries since letting my nerd flag fly. One is I realized I'm so much happier now being goofy that I don't really care what people say anymore. If they want to hate, fine....I'm happy. The other thing is, some people really do like the goofy version of me. I was out on the boat with a neighbor this weekend and we were talking about a boat parade we took part in last year. He said he took people out on the last holiday for a celebration and it just wasn't the same without me. Isn't that the nicest thing you can say to someone? Not only did he say he missed me but he missed the fact that I get him to open up a little more to embrace his own goofiness. If you start to be true to yourself, your people will find you. Trust me on this one!

Think about who you were when you were a kid. Before you started being told how you should act. Especially us ladies. How many times were told proper young ladies don't do that. I'm not taking about going around passing gas or burping really loud. I'm talking about things you used to love to do but were encouraged in one way or another to tone it down or eliminate it. Give it another go. You are the boss of you! If you decide you don't like it anymore, try something else. There is no greater freedom than the one you get when you no longer allow people's opinion to rule your life. The sooner you start doing you, the happier you will be.

It's Tuesday already! Grab a taco. And go find out who you really are. I'm sure it is someone really awesome. No go out and be a badass. I'm always cheering you on.

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