Confidence Under Fire – Adapt the best, drop the rest!

“Low self-confidence isn’t a life sentence.

Self-confidence can be learned, practiced,

And mastered—just like any other skill.

Once you master it, everything in your life

Will change for the better.”

~Barrie Davenport

Attacking our lives fearlessly requires confidence. We should be comfortable with trying and failing and then readjust based on the new information. When my son was entering high school, he not only played freshman baseball but was also a swing player with the varsity team. The increased speed at the plate was at first hard for him to hit when it was his turn at bat. Time after time, he’d strike out watching the pitches go by. Following a game, I asked him, “Why do you just watch the pitches and not take a chance swinging at it?”

His answer was, “I’m not sure I can hit it.”

“Ok, I understand, but each swing of the bat whether you make contact of not is data for your body and brain on how to adjust to the next pitch. If you never swing, you’ll never make contact.”

So, it goes with many of us. We watch life go by fearful we will not be perfect, or that it just does not feel right. And yet, I have seen women with far less talent become more successful because they are out there doing unafraid of failure.

There are a few traits confident women employ that make them successful.

  • They take care of themselves. We are no good to anyone unless we’re good to ourselves. That might mean a once a week walk-about (get away from your normal routine for a day or several hours). Hit the workout. Meditate. Be alone with your thoughts. Quiet times to pray and clarify direction and responsibilities. Stop seeing these things as luxuries, but rather maintenance.
  • Advocate for yourself. Listen intently but never blindly. Gather information but then filter it through your own wisdom and needs. Do not raise your family or live your life by others’ rules. Modify and adapt the best, drop the rest.
  • Dump the drama, acknowledge the feelings. As women, we feel things deeply. But because we are women there are times to separate our emotions from the facts. Equally, there are times to put our decisions on hold because our emotions are running the show. Recognizing the real reasons why we are feeling the way we are feeling can typically solve the issue sooner and move us from turmoil to tactical planning.
  • Embrace new experiences. Look for them, run towards them. Too often we sink into our comfort zones because they are comfortable. We do not grow from this rut and can always return to the norm. But let us not short-change our life experiences. New ‘things’ help to cut new facets to our souls, making us shine with brilliance.
  • Bring it on attitudes. We can spend far too much energy and time worrying about the “what-ifs,” “should-have” or “could have been” thoughts. You’re a strong woman; the event will get taken care of—good or bad. If you do it wrong the first time, do it different the next time. Embrace the “Bring It On” attitude! This way worry must take a backseat to your empowered adventure. 
  • No Regrets. I remember as a young woman deciding that I would so much rather be an old woman reliving my good and bad experiences rather than sitting in my rocking chair wondering what might have happened if I’d tried. Choose life. If you can dream it, give it a try.
  • The tyranny of the urgent shouldn’t take priority over the important. It is midnight on a school night; your teen wants to talk…forget the time, dash the idea of needing sleep for work the next day (unless you’re a brain surgeon) and talk. Make a midnight taco run; they will not be your teen forever. So, what if dinner is late. Some rules need to be broken to place the important above the urgent. Choose wisely. 
  • Don’t ignore your instincts. Trust that womanly radar that tells you what is right even when others do not think it is. Weigh it, make it answer to your wisdom but give a voice to your gut feelings. They are there for a reason, use them.
  • Silence is golden. Too many women attempt to fill every open moment with meaningless chatter. In fact, being uncomfortable with silence is the easiest way to assess a woman’s confidence. Learn to value alone time as well. Respect yourself enough to spend time by yourself to hear what you think. Evaluate, clarify, and strategize your future. Or use the time to observe others. There is a lot to be learned with your mouth shut!
  • Don’t rescue everyone (thing). Get comfortable with equipping others to their success. Sometimes that means watching them struggle but remember: If the butterfly did not struggle to squeeze through the small opening in the chrysalis, the life-giving gel will not be distributed through the wings to allow flight. Help for a moment but then hand it back to them. Let their success be their success.    
  • Accept criticism with a balancing act. If the reproach is true, there is no defense for your actions. Fix it. Move on. If the assessment is not true, there is no need to defend yourself. Make a note of the source and decide if perhaps they do not know you well enough or this is about them, not you. The move on. 

There is a canyon gap between who you are and what you have. Titles are great for office doors and headstones. But what will live on in the hearts of who you love, and your circle of influence is who you are. At the end of the day, being able to look in the mirror and like who you see is far more valuable than what you own. Understanding the difference can set us free. Take ownership of you.

For more like this and the included workbook pages check out Dare To Be A Badass Book!