How to Feel More Confidence
Do you consider yourself a confident person?
I’m pretty introverted, but I feel like I’m a confident person. It wasn’t always that way though.
It wasn’t long after I got married and started having kids that my confidence took a major hit.
Suddenly, my life had totally shifted. As a wife and mom, no longer going to school or working, I felt lost. I didn’t really know how to fill these new roles. I had amazing role models in my parents and my in-laws, but I still felt like I had been thrown into the deep end and that everyone expected me to know how to swim even though I had only ever watched the Olympic swim team on TV.
I felt overwhelmed and totally unsure of myself.
Out of nowhere I began to feel a lot of anxiety about all aspects of my life. I began to turn inward and isolate myself because I was afraid that I would mess everything up. When I did socialize, I killed myself trying to show everyone that I was meeting this perfect expectation of what a young wife and mother should be.
I felt terrible about myself as a mother, my marriage, my ability to make friends or keep hold any kind of responsibility. I had lost my confidence.
To compensate, I looked to my husband to provide me with the confidence that I had lost.
I wanted him to make me feel loved and important and enough. I wanted him and our relationship to somehow make me feel good again.
Guess what? It didn’t work.
In fact, he began to withdraw. Who wouldn’t? I was pushing all this responsibility on to him. I was trying to force him create a feeling in me. I was asking him to do something impossible and then getting really frustrated with him when he couldn’t deliver.
Does this sound familiar? I know many of my clients feel like they have gone through. Similar loss of confidence in their early years of marriage and motherhood.
So how do you find your way back to confidence after years of living in this cycle of uncertainty?
I’m going to tell you 3 things that helped me and that are helping my clients create a bedrock of confidence that will get you feeling better in your life, and especially in your marriage.
- Talk it out with a friend.
This can be anyone who you trust to be nonjudgemental and to love you (and your spouse) no matter what. It can be a good friend, a church leader, a family member, or a life coach. I help my clients with this all the time.
The cycle that I am describing above is a Shame/Blame cycle. I felt shame for not feeling confident, then when my husband didn’t help me feel more confident, I blamed him and our marriage for not feeling confident, which caused me to feel more shame for not having a perfect marriage.
Shame thrives in the dark and doesn’t like to be acknowledged. As soon as we see it and name it for what it is, it starts to dissipate. When we can vocalize our shame about something, it begins to loosen its hold on us and we can move on.
2) Start looking for things that you love
In the middle of it all, I felt like I had forgotten who I was. Eventually I decided that I wanted, more than anything, to get to know myself again. This newer version of me who had changed so much. I needed to spend some time with her and learn about her.
Things that I used to love, weren’t really working anymore, so I spent time learning about what I love now. I started by finding what I was curious about.
I was really curious about mental health and family relationships. So I went back to school and got my degree in Marriage and Family Studies. I did it while my kids were little, doing my homework during nap time. It was difficult, but I loved it. I loved learning and being a student again. I loved what I was learning gin my classes. It began to light me up again.
Spending time doing something that I was passionate about helped me really value my own desires and the gifts that I have been given. When I began to value them, I began to value me and my confidence naturally increased.
I mention this one last on purpose because it was only after I had done the other two that I could really serve others from a place of wanting to give, and not from trying to fit a perfect mold. I had to begin the process of understanding me and the shame that I was feeling before I could serve others from a clean place that felt genuine and not out of obligation.
Whenever I had tried to serve out of obligation, I felt worse. I felt like I could never do it good enough. When I serve from a genuine place of wanting to help others, I feel more connected to who I am and who God wants me to be. It becomes a spiritual practice rather than just another item on the to do list.
This isn’t an exhaustive list, by any means. But it was where I started in my journey to gain more confidence.
When I gained more confidence, I began to show up in my marriage differently. I no longer expected my husband to make me feel loved or confident. That job was rightly back on my own shoulders and I knew how to do it.
With that responsibility in its proper place, our marriage began to thrive. It changed everything. We were more connected and stronger than ever, because I had let go of my expectations for the relationship to create confidence in me. I learned how to do that myself.
It is a beautiful thing and I know it can work for you too.
If you would like some help creating more confidence in you and your marriage, please click the button below and schedule a free coaching session. We can create your road map in just one session. Hope to see you soon.