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Breaking Free from the Confidence Revolution and Saying What I Think.

In October 2020 I wrote about my confidence evolution, at the time I was soaking up information and self healing advice from a number of sources like a massive sponge. One of my biggest learnings and challenges was to say what I think, something I’ve had to relearn after more than half a life of downplaying intelligence, keen-ness, excitement, implications my cheekiness was unprofessional or my opinions were wrong.


Saying what you think is hard when you don’t know what you think. As a recovering long term people pleaser I have to really think about what I actually want. When I don’t know someone that well, my default is to say what I think they want to hear, then think about whether it’s really what I think later. Since I’m in recovery, saying what I think is coming easier. Writing has been my safe space for expressing what I really think for years. That in itself is an epic statement when you consider I failed my Higher English exam the first time around and proclaimed to hate writing all through my undergraduate degree. (the story of finding my love for writing is one for another day). I digress…



So where does my confidence sit now? I’d say today I’m sitting at a solid 9, some moments it goes all the way up to 11. Back in October 2020 (see blog post How Very Dare I Part 2) it was probably around a steady 7, after working within the community I wrote about in the last blog, my confidence was ping-ponging between 0 and 4 as I tried to build myself up again. It wasn’t until I left that I realised I had been suppressing the favourite parts of me that I’d been cultivating throughout lockdown 2020. I was becoming spiritually curious, which I believe was softening my edges and helping me work through issues I’d been suppressing for over a decade. What do I mean by spiritually curious? Well, anything probably considered “woo woo”, talk of the universe or manifesting; trusting in your subconscious; the collective energy of living things; feminine energy; witches; a little bit of life magic. I do not believe in God or organised religion but I can get on board with a little bit of magic helping me be open to new things.  


ceramic goddess in the woods

Not long into that particular confidence revolution course I realised the new side of me was not going to be accepted so pushed it back down to the emotionally numb depths. The new softness was not robust enough to take the kicking and hadn’t yet been assimilated into my natural way of being. Unintentionally or not the founder of that community made me feel small, foolish and unprofessional when I was just trying to be my full self.  


To understand how far my confidence had to climb it is important for you to know the following:-  

  • My self esteem had been nibbled away at over many decades, aided and abetted by -

  • My teen boyfriend not doing public displays of affection. I felt like he was ashamed of me (I wasn’t in the cool circle and he was).

  • Comments on my body as an early teen and through my 20's. 

  • Post natal depression

  • Birth trauma - (TW - Quick summary - Monitored all afternoon in hospital, sent home, waters break, induction with no progression for 6 hours finished off with emergency caesarean due to limited movement from baby.)

  • Baby in Intensive Care for 6 weeks. 

  • Not trusting my judgement.

  • Letting the will of others reign. 

  • Regularly being belittled by my daughters dad in the name of humour. 

  • Dealing with daughters dad/ex’s drinking and severe mental health issues and the belittling of my own depression. 


In the beginning there was low self esteem and the new confidence revolution wasn't giving space for past issues to heal.These were issues that could never be solved in a matter of weeks through a confidence course. And yet I gave the company and its founder so much credit for the work I did on myself. The work started before and continues now. 


My confidence has flourished for many reasons and to give one person all the credit for my personal confidence building is to forget the work of all the books and articles read; podcasts and audiobooks listened too; Instagram accounts followed; workshops attended and conversations had. It’s easy to fall into the trap of giving credit to one person when they seem to lap it up. 


Confidence, I've finally come to really feel, is not about having all the answers, but about having the courage to show up as my true self, flaws, woo woo and all. 


  • I’m learning to trust myself, which has been massively helped by learning  how different feelings show up in my body after being numb emotionally for 14 years.

  • Living judgement free is magnificent - starting with self judgement has been the key to unlocking my confidence. Inner critic and negative self chat work has been the foundation for everything I am today. 


I would also say, allow yourself a moment to check in with your true feelings. It’s ok to take a beat to course check if what you’re saying is really what you think. It’s ok to change your mind or evolve your thinking. You can forgive your past self for expressing views held when you didn't have all the information.


Remember 

  • building confidence takes time

  • fluctuates from day to day and moment to moment depending on hormones; nutrition; if your bra’s too tight, if you’re tired; your kids acting up; your dogs being an asshole; societal expectations; the company you keep; the words you hear and the negative chatter in your head can all affect your confidence. 

  • The best thing you can do for yourself is learn to be your best friend. 

  • This will help you know when it’s safe to be brave or when to keep things to yourself

  • It will help you believe compliments given and in your achievements.

  • This also helps you give others the room to show up as themselves.


Here's to embracing our true selves and living boldly in the face of uncertainty.


 

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