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If confidence were easy, it would have been bottled a long time ago by Big Pharma and somebody would have more money than God right now. However, gaining confidence is not that easy.
Years ago when I saw women with confidence, I thought a few things that turned out to NOT be true.
- I thought they were born with it. I thought confidence was in their genes. And clearly, I wasn’t born with it.
- I thought maybe I could fake it by acting like I was the shit when I really did NOT think I was the shit. All this did was make me feel like shit and a big ol’ phony.
- I thought I could just wait until I was old to finally get it. Because we all know how much confidence Blanche Deveraux had. However, I didn’t want to wait until I was a Golden Girl.
Confidence is not something you’re born with, or something you get just by faking it, or something you automatically gain when you turn 45. It’s something that’s built piece by piece over time. It’s something you try, mess up, try again and again until you see progress, and then keep practicing for the rest of your life.
The way to gain confidence is by practicing courage.
And courage can look like many different things. They don’t have to be big, sweeping events that shake you to your core with fear. Even practicing small acts of courage will likely evoke fear in you, but all of them add up to a courageous, confident YOU.
I’ve broken it down into some steps for you…
Step 1. Decide. And I don’t mean just decide you’re confident. You can certainly do that, but I think your brain will spike the bullshit alert and the whole “fake it til you make it” thing is tough with this one. When I say “decide” I mean decide you will start practicing courage. Decide you’re ready to step out of your comfortable ways of being and try something else, little by little.
Step 2. Really dig into what practicing courage means to you. Start by thinking of the behaviors you currently do that are making you unhappy. I’ll bet some of them are: isolating, people pleasing, perfecting, believing your inner-critic, numbing out, comparison, approval seeking, and control (Wait– did I just name your to-do list?)
Then, think of the opposite. If you’re an isolator, practicing courage would be reaching out for help and support. The opposite of people pleasing would be to simply stop before you immediately say yes to everything and practice saying no. If you’re a perfectionist, practicing courage would be to lean into “good enough” or start before you’re ready. I think you get the gist here.
Step 3: Keep repeating steps 1 and 2. Over and over again.
This will be scary, I can assure you. But, what’s scarier is looking back on your life and realizing you stayed in a place of fear. What’s scarier is realizing you allowed fear to drive your entire life. What’s possibly scarier than that is that you’ll look back and realize you modeled fear for the people you love. I’ll tell you something I know for sure. I am immensely proud of myself that I can practice courage in my life, but what makes me even more immensely proud, is that I model courage for my children. Marian Wright Edelman said, “You can’t be what you can’t see”. If you’re a parent, I KNOW you want your children to grow up learning how to practice courage. And if they see it in you, they’ll know how.
Resources from this episode:
Link to purchase How To Stop Feeling Like Shit on Amazon
Sign up for the book bonuses including the free book study (click “claim bonuses”)
NYC book signing
Chicago book signing
San Diego book signing
Portland book signing
Greensboro book signing
Virginia book signing
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