How to Build Confidence and Say Yes to Yourself
A Trip Down Memory Lane
I was recently doing some organizing at home and came across a deteriorating box in the back of the closet. I had no idea what was contained within, but was more than curious to find out! It turns out that this box housed various contents from my past, including old tax documents, wedding pictures from a previous marriage, an Anniversary announcement, cards, achievement certificates and elementary school report cards from the late 1990’s. (HA! – anybody else hold on to such things?)
I took a break from organizing for a bit so that I could walk down memory lane and enjoy some of what I had unveiled. There were some laughs as I read my old school work - run on sentences and missing punctuation. There were also moments that I murmured “ah yes – I remember that” and shook my head with a grin. However, there are two items that really caught my attention and had me turning inward…and calling my mom for a chat!!
The first was a report card, circa 1997. In the comments portion of the Phys-ed category, my teacher noted the following:
“Kaitlin participates in all activities during physical education. However, she has not as of yet become proficient in all skills. Hopefully, with continued practice, these will develop to a level where she will feel confident. Her lack of effort is apparent when she participates with those who are achieving higher levels of success. She must remember improvement comes with practice.”
Who knew that at 35 years old I would award a mic drop to my grade 6 homeroom teacher?! My teacher saw a characteristic in me, at all of 11 years old, that I DID NOT identify in myself until my 30s. I stared at the comment for a good minute, at first annoyed that my teacher said I lacked confidence and effort. Pfft - as if! I mean, yes I was shy and introverted, but I put effort into a lot of things. Anyway, as I reflected on the depth of her comment, I dove deeper and reflected on all of the times throughout my life (from youth to adulthood) when I had compared myself to others or walked away from people and situations that intimidated me.
Instead of spending years building myself up and putting in the time to learn and grow, I spent years tearing myself down, affirming that people were better than me and more deserving than me because they had the know how. I, on the other hand, was just an average person who lacked skill.
I was too scared to grow, to learn the skills and absorb what other people took the time to learn.
Ironically, what I know now is that being in the presence of success actually fuels your energy and propels you towards your own success. Running away from it prevents growth. Hmmm…
Fast Forward to Document Two
Fast forward one year to 1998, grade 7. Another part of my past that I uncovered was a letter I had written to myself about my goals for the year; I'm assuming this was a goal setting assignment which had to be completed for school.
A few things stood out to me in my letter:
- My first goal was to try and make the track team and loose weight
- I was able to identify that “there are so many things I need to improve on and turn into goals to do so”
- I actually wrote the words “the more I think about it the more I think yah right! Like that will ever happened”
(pardon the spelling and grammar – I promise I’ve improved since 1998!)
Again – BOOM!
This time my own self-doubt and negativity slapped me in the face. I think I set some great goals in my letter for 12 years old. However, I do very much question why, at 12 years old, one of my primary goals was to lose weight (which is a whole other blog coming your way soon) – is that why I wanted to ‘try’ and make the track team? Or, maybe I wanted to ‘try’ and make the track team because my subconscious absorbed my report card from the previous year and I wanted to improve my athleticism, build my confidence. Either way, I noticed that in my letter I set ZERO intentions for how I was actually going to make the track team or ‘loose weight’. I simply said I would ‘try’, but then I rambled on about some other things and said ‘yah right’.
Our Internal Thoughts Affect our Course of Action and Reality
Do you see what happened here – the pattern? It became immediately clear to me that I spent my entire life walking away from success because I never took the time to LEARN how to build myself up for success. I spent my entire life using words like try and yah right instead of I can, I will, I am and I deserve.
I had a really good chat with my mom after I absorbed all of the content. I was very honest in telling her that as funny as it was to stumble upon the box, it was also quite eye opening. What my teacher pin-pointed about me at such an early age is something that I did not pinpoint until much later in life.
My mom agreed with my assessment and indicated that she felt partially to blame. I honestly did not expect that response. When she grew up, there was not a lot of "you've got this", "you're a rockstar" "you're my No. 1" mentality to keep her going. Therefore, there was not a lot of that mentality when I grew up either. While there was a lot of love and support in my family growing up, in hindsight, I was never given that extra nudge beyond being told "you can do anything you put your mind to".
When the Universe Intervenes
My life has taken so many different turns over the years, and I won’t even dive into all of the paths I started walking and then walked away from because they got difficult and I got intimidated. However, what I will say is that I was MEANT to stumble upon that miscellaneous box of memories on the cusp of pursuing a new future as an entrepreneur - something I tried once before in the past but GAVE UP ON - clearly, no surprise now!
I have worked heavily with the Law of Attraction and manifestation over the last 2 years and have made some GREAT improvements in my life. Stumbling upon and dissecting the report card and goals letter reaffirmed that I must continue to work to adjust my thought patterns; I know that I am capable of greatness and I know that someone else’s success is not a mockery of my failures. That's not how the Universe works. Other people's success is a result of their thought patterns, drive and determination. They show up!
No matter what age you are while reading this, my message to you is this: do not spend another moment of your life comparing yourself to others or walking away when its hard! Instead, show up for yourself and stay accountable to yourself.
If you have a goal, a dream or a vision for yourself, write it down!! Tell yourself you are worthy and capable of achieving that goal. Avoid the word ‘try’ and instead say "will". Set small, attainable goals that you can accomplish on your journey to achieving that big end goal!
Reward yourself along the way and create a structured system so you meet all the steps…and KEEP GOING! Take the time to gain the knowledge, learn the skills, finesse the techniques.
Even if somebody else already does it, and they are great at it, it doesn’t matter. They don’t do it like you do it. So, drop a mic for yourself and
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