Boost Your Confidence with 5 Easy Steps
Let me take you for a trip in my trusty time machine. We are going back to a time before children.
You’re out with your girlfriends. You’ve got your highest high heels and your lowest cut top on. You applied your make up PERFECTLY and your hair is cooperating. You are sipping on a cocktail and surveying the room. You look good. You feel good. SexyBack is thumping as you flirt with the bartender. He buys you your drink. You go home feeling happy and satisfied and CONFIDENT.
At some point between those days and today, you have lost that SWAGGER. Your confidence took a serious hit. Something about having kids just takes the wind out of your sails. You look down at yourself. Your low cut top has been replaced by the same shirt you fall into at the end of every day. It’s covered in unidentified grease stains. Your 9West high heels have been replaced by a pair of ratty old UGGs that have been chewed on by the dog but were cute 9 years ago when you got them. Make up? What’s that? You haven’t even looked in the mirror yet today. It’s 8:30.
When we have children, a big part of us is lost, and we are given no notice that it’s coming, and no time to grieve the loss. It’s instantaneous, and while everyone is oohing and ahhing over our new additions, we are left in the dark…our whole world now revolving around these little bundles of diapers and 3 a.m. feedings and NEED. And it feels like it never ends.
Today, I want you to sit for a moment and think about what you have lost. Your independence. Your sleep. Your ability to wake up whenever you are ready to and go do whatever you want to do without having to either schlep a bunch of kids with you or make arrangements and pay for a sitter. The things you used to love to do. Sit and read quietly. A whole book in one day. Sing and dance while you cook. Go out and explore museums and libraries. Have a drink with your girlfriends after work. Your confidence.
And then get yourself up, get out of those ratty old clothes, go take a shower and brush your teeth, and blow dry your hair. Come back to me after you’ve done that. I’ll wait…
Today, my friend, we are going to get your GROOVE back. To get the motion back in your ocean. You get the point. I’m here to give you 5 tips on how to BOOST YOUR CONFIDENCE. It’s time to take your SEXY BACK.
1. You Are Wonder Woman. Society says that we have to be Wonder Woman to be a good mother. I disagree with that, but what I do agree with is the science behind ACTING as such. Research shows that “power posing” for just a few seconds a day can increase your testosterone levels, thereby making you FEEL and ACT powerful and confident throughout your day. This is a tried and true method, as it is one of the most powerful tools that I have in my coaching bag. In my coaching sessions, I have asked women to take 30 seconds in the morning to stand like Wonder Woman — sometimes while repeating their affirmations, looking at themselves in the mirror, or visualizing themselves being successful (more on affirmations and visualizations in just a moment). My clients have all reported that this method does, indeed, WORK! If you have 20 minutes free today, I strongly suggest watching the Amy Cuddy TED Talk about how our body language shapes us. In my years as a teacher, this is a talk that I watched with the young girls who I mentored, and even they could agree that using the power pose helped them feel more confident throughout their days.
2. Affirmations. This is one that a lot of women struggle with, but it is so important to have in your bag of tricks. We become what we tell ourselves we are. Think about the voice inside of your head. It may be telling you that you have to do more, or do better. It may be telling you that you are not a good enough mother. It may be telling you that you do not deserve to take any time for yourself until you get everything done for everyone else first. These thoughts are toxic, and they don’t belong in your head. Your brain is built to keep you safe. And keeping you safe means keeping the dialogue the same. Your brain WILL fight against anything new. That is a FACT. By repeating affirmations, you are actually rewiring your brain. Even if you do not believe them today, you are creating new pathways in your brain that will begin to allow them through.
The truth of the matter is, the subconscious mind cannot differentiate between positive and negative, or even real or imagined. But what we also know is that cancer patients with positive attitudes always report greater health and positive outcomes. How does that happen? I suggest again starting small. Come up with one or two self-confidence boosting affirmations that you can tell yourself every morning. Check Pinterest or get yourself a free app if you feel weird doing it. ThinkUp has a function where you can record yourself speaking the affirmation and play it back to yourself every day (I love this option!). There is something about hearing your own voice saying the words that opens up those pathways much quicker.
3. Visualizations. This is another one that feels a little woo-woo, but stick with me. Remember when I said that we have to build new pathways to get out of that space where our brain is comfy and fighting to keep us in a funk? This is the same concept. When I was a kid, I used to write stories about myself as an adult. I had every single detail down, from the car I drove (and the color!) to the friends I would have — I even had dialogue! This is a form of visualization. If you can dream it, you can manifest it, my friend.
Some of the most powerful people in the world agree that visualization is an important part of their daily routines. Check out this article about how successful people have used visualization to manifest their own destinies. You can do this in the car waiting for your kids to get out of soccer practice, in the shower, while making breakfast in the morning. Take 5-10 minutes every single day just indulging in a good day dream. Think about what it is that you want in life — whether it be a raise, being a calm mother, or even leading a healthier lifestyle. The sky is the limit. Picture yourself doing just that.
4. Get assertive. Let me let you in on a little secret. When we become mothers, our worlds revolve around everyone else. EVERYONE else. We become totally enslaved by our children, and then we worry that we are not paying enough attention to our spouses, so anything they want to do we say yes to, then we worry that we don’t see our friends or family enough, so every time they ask us to do something we say YES, and so the cycle continues. And the fact of the matter is that all of this saying YES to what others want from us puts a lot of stress on us. Think about the last birthday party that you were invited to and went to. Did you say yes and put it on your calendar and then immediately worry about when you were going to get all of the grocery shopping and laundry done? Did you start stressing out 3 days before because you had forgotten to purchase a gift and you didn’t know where the money was going to come from for ANOTHER birthday gift AND you had forgotten to order something on Amazon and Prime delivery doesn’t always MEAN 2 days, and sometimes it comes the morning of the party? And while you were at the party, were you obsessively thinking about ALL OF THE OTHER THINGS YOU COULD BE DOING while your kid licked a tablecloth and you then had to rush over and wash his mouth out with Purell because THE GERRRRRRRRRRRRRMS!!!!?!??????? What was the last event that you said yes to that you actually MEANT yes to? That you actually ENJOYED? Girlfriend, it’s time to start saying NO.
Now, being assertive is not the same as being aggressive. Being assertive means setting boundaries around your time and saying yes ONLY to the things that you know you can do without feeling stressed about them. I’m going to go ahead and invite you to PAUSE before you say yes to the next invitation that comes your way. PAUSE before you agree to rub your husband’s back at the end of a long day. Is this something that YOU REALLY WANT TO DO? Because, guess what, sister. People can TELL when you are miserable. They KNOW when you are not engaged with the moment. And not only does it add stress to your already stressed out life, but then it causes stress between you and the other people in your life because THEY KNOW YOU DON’T REALLY WANT TO BE THERE. If you don’t want to do something, say NO. If it is going to cause you and your family stress, SAY NO. You don’t owe anyone an explanation. You don’t owe anyone anything other than doing your very best to be a good friend, wife, mother, daughter, WHATEVER. And if your very best means saying no so that you can sit in the tub for an hour while you collect your thoughts and RELAX for once, then so be it. You’re doing your best, mama.
5. Take time for YOU. Speaking of relaxing in the tub for an hour, here’s your final task. Since you had children, have you had time to be alone with yourself? You spent all of this time before children building yourself up to be someone who you loved — have you abandoned her?
Here’s the thing: If you don’t take time for yourself first, you begin to resent those around you. And those around you, for the most part, have no problem putting themselves first. When your kids need something, do they ever say to themselves, “hmmmm is Mommy doing something right now that requires her to not be interrupted?” NOPE. They just come barging into the bathroom, totally unaware and uncaring of the fact that you are just trying to take a peaceful pee. Does your husband think to himself, “Let me go see if the dishes need to be cleared from the sink so that my wife can cook dinner, even though I just walked through the door.” NOPE. He comes in, kicks off his shoes, and sits down and zones out on his phone.
And there is nothing wrong with that! Here’s what he understands intuitively that you are not getting — THE DISHES WILL STILL BE THERE IN 10 MINUTES. They aren’t going anywhere. No one is going to spontaneously combust if you don’t do the thing that they want you to do RIGHT NOW. If you don’t fold the laundry for 3 days, no one is judging you. And if they are, to hell with them! TAKING CARE OF YOURSELF IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN FOLDING A PILE OF LAUNDRY! For the most part — it can wait. Whatever IT is, it can wait. So take a minute to decide what it is that YOU need to fill up YOUR BUCKET, and schedule in time EVERY SINGLE DAY TO DO IT. For some women, it’s reading a good book. For others, it’s taking singing lessons. For others, it’s working out, listening to a podcast, doing her makeup perfectly WHILE listening to a podcast, petting the dog, sex with her spouse, taking a quiet pee…YOU GET THE GIST. Put it on your calendar, and then honor it like you would any other important appointment on your calendar.
Alright, little lady. You’ve now got some tools to go get your groove back. You are the most important person you will take care of today. You are worthy of being cared for in the way that no one outside of yourself can do. Only you really know what you truly need to fill up your tank, and you are a force to be reckoned with.
Ready to learn more about how I can support you in gaining back the confidence that you feel as though you’ve left behind? Book a free discovery call with me TODAY and we will get you started on the path to true wellness!