How to build confidence in yourself so that you can be happier and show up better in your marriage and other relationships.

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Show Summary:

Hello everyone, so today I want to talk about confidence and how having confidence can really help you in your marriage and it can really help you in any relationship.  Confidence is a really important part of your mental and emotional health.  And building confidence is not something you can just do once and be done with.   It’s something that requires constant maintenance and is an important skill to learn.  It’s also something that people also don’t understand how to get better at. So that’s what we are going to talk about today.

So first lets talk about why we don’t have confidence.  

Now in the LDS church, we believe that we are literal sons and daughters of a loving Heavenly Father.  We are DIVINE.  We all have infinite worth.  And that’s a really beautiful concept.  But why do we not believe it?

So there is a disconnect between this divinity and how we feel about ourselves.  Inside every one of us is an innate fear that we are not enough.  And its not just limited to a certain skill set, but we just aren’t good enough human beings.  That there is something wrong with us.  That we are not worthy of love or worthy of the good things that come to us.  We don’t embrace our divinity.

Most of you have probably heard the analogy of a $100 bill being crunched up, maybe ripped and torn…but it is still worth $100 even thought its not perfect. And that’s just like us.  

Now I want you to think of a brand new baby.  This baby is straight from heaven.  It is beautiful and has never done anything wrong.  And of course that baby has infinite worth and nothing can change that.  But when we grow up and we experience life…that worth changes?  NO!  There is not a single human being on this earth that didn’t start out as a beautiful baby. And that worth doesn’t change over time.  It doesn’t change because of things we do or don’t do.   We all have INFINITE worth.  We are are all worthy of being loved.  We are all divine.  Period.

The problem is, we often let our worthiness or even our HUMAN-NESS make us feel less than…

So why do we beat ourselves up so much for being HUMAN?  For making mistakes?  When we do not live up to the expectations we have for ourselves?  Or why do we let others make us feel “LESS THAN” if we don’t live up to their expectations?  

And the kicker is…when we think less of ourselves we actually show up worse in the world.  It’s like a self-fulfilling prophesy.  I feel like I’m not enough, so I’m not going show up as my best self.  And if you don’t show up as your best self how are you showing up?  How are people going to treat you if you aren’t showing them your best, true, authentic self?  

Now…if we can change our thinking so instead of saying “Well…this is me.  I’m not great, so I don’t know if you are going to like me or not because I don’t really like me” to “Hey, this is me.  I am amazing.  I have infinite worth.  I’m also human.  I make mistakes.  But I will love myself in my human-ness because I know that I am a child of God and I am divine and I have infinite worth and I have some amazing talents and qualities.”  How will that make you feel about yourself? So much better, right?

Dr. Sasha Heinz is positive psychologist and she says “Everyone’s biggest challenge in life is to get over the crap in their own head.  The ONLY obstacle you ever have to overcome is the stuff in your mind.”  I love that!

So, how do we do that?

  1. To have confidence, the first thing you need to do is change that inner dialogue.  I want you to start to notice the things that you think about yourself.  If you walk by the mirror and you inner dialogue says “I am so fat”  First, just notice that thought.
    1. You aren’t going to be able to change that thought right away.  You can’t go from “I hate my body” to “I love my body” overnight.  Your brain will reject it because its not believable when you’ve been telling yourself that negative thought for so long.  But what you can do is 
      1. Notice that thought – “yep there’s that thought again”
      2. Be compassionate with yourself.  Talk to yourself how you would talk to your best friend.  You would never tell your best friend that she is fat or ugly or lazy.  
      3. Get curious as to why you feel that way – figure it out, maybe write some things down about WHY you talk to yourself that way
      4. Slowly start to change those thoughts.  Maybe instead of saying “I hate my body” when you walk by the mirror, you go to “Yep…there’s my body” or “wow…my body does some pretty amazing things”  or “I am blessed to have a body, even if it doesn’t look the way I want it to right now”
      5. As you notice those thought and start to be more compassionate with yourself and slowly change those thoughts, you will start to feel so much better about yourself.  You will learn to love yourself when you don’t have so much negativity directed toward yourself.
  2. The next thing is to think about how you want to show up for yourself.  
    1. Do you follow through on the things you tell yourself you are going to do?  Do you let yourself down a lot? Do you give yourself excuses? Are you ok with that?
    2. and if you’re not, What can you do to change that?
    3. The best way to change that is to set small, achievable goals for things that are important to you.
    4. Do things because you told yourself you would.
    5. Achieving goals (even small ones) is a great way to build confidence in yourself.
    6. Be kind and compassionate with yourself but hold yourself accountable.  Don’t beat yourself up.

We gain confidence when we accomplish something. 

Toddlers learning to walk. They don’t get down in themselves when they fall. They just get back up and keep trying until they get it. They have to build those muscles in order to learn. They keep trying and trying and eventually they get it.  And they are really happy with themselves.  This is them building confidence.

Same thing with us.  But we put ourselves down so much if we don’t get it on the first try.  Or even the second.  We are so afraid of failing that we don’t even try.

Failure is ok. Just the first attempt in learning. Learn what works and what doesn’t.  When you are trying something new….or something you want to get better at your Brain will say “what if I fail” and what if you do? Remember it’s trying to keep you safe from physical and emotional pain. But you can handle it! You can do failure!  I’ll figure it out.  I’ll keep trying.

So I like to sit down at the beginning of the year and write out thing things that I value. And then I set up some big goals for the year for myself.  And then I break those big goals down to manageable goals that I can accomplish monthly, weekly, or even daily.  I write them down.  I actually put them in an Excel sheet so I can hold myself account.  I put reminders in phone.  And then I have a meeting with myself on a weekly basis to see how things are going.  For example – I set a goal  to read our church magazine The Ensign cover to cover each month.  There are usually about 30 articles in it, so it breaks down to about 1 article a day.  I have a repeating reminder in my phone To read the Ensign each day.   I try to read that 1 article first thing in the morning, but sometimes I don’t get to it.  If I don’t get to it, it’s ok.  I don’t beat myself up for it.  I just try to catch up on Sundays.  I’ve been able to read the Ensign every single month for the last 2-1/2 years.  And I feel really good about that.  That helps boost my confidence, it helps me be more in tune with the Spirit, and I’ve found so many things that are helpful for things I am going through in my life.  It just makes me feel good about myself that I am accomplishing this goal.

It’s not an all or nothing.  When I reflect on my goals I’m happy with my accomplishments.  And it builds my confidence.  

  1. The third thing is that you don’t let others talk put you down.
    1. Get your own back! You are worth it!  No one has a right to put you down.  And when they do. you don’t need to believe them or let them.
    2. If its a continual problem, set some boundaries (like we talked about in Episode 1).  Whether this is your husband, your mother, your child, a neighbor, don’t let anyone talk to you in a demeaning way. 
      1. This doesn’t mean you need to be mean back.  You can just say “I’m not ok with you talking to be this way.  If you talk to me this way then I will leave the room.” or whatever boundary you want to set that feels good to you.
      2. I also want you to understand that people are allowed to feel and say whatever they want about you, but that doesn’t make it true.  What they think about you is really none of your business.  It’s more about THEM than it is about you.  One of my mentor’s – Brooke Castillo says “You can be the sweetest, juiciest peach on the tree, but there is always someone who doesn’t like peaches” and that is ok!
      3. As long as you like you, that’s all that matters.  And if there are things that you don’t like about yourself, you have the power to change them.  Because you are awesome! And you are amazing.  And you are WORTHY of LOVE.  You are WORTHY of all the goodness this life has to offer.  No matter what.

So let’s bring a real life example into this scenario.  Let’s Say you have a husband who is quite controlling.  He has certain expectations of you as a wife and mother. And if you don’t meet his expectations then he can be demeaning.  It’s never ok for him to speak to you unkindly or to put you down.  He can make requests of you, but you are free to choose if you want to meet those requests or not.  And as long as you are happy with yourself and the things that you are doing, that is ok.  You need to get your own back on it.  Now he may not like this…. he may not like you standing up for yourself when he used getting his way.  In the past you may have just done whatever he requests to keep the peace and then resented him for it.  And that’s not a great way to live in a marriage.  But if you learn to get your own back, have confidence in yourself, and stand up for yourself, eventually things will change.  In one of two ways.  1. He’ll eventually figure out that you aren’t going put up with his controlling behavior anymore and he’ll back down.  When you show up with confidence, it can throw him for a loop at first, but eventually he’ll figure it out.  or 2. He doesn’t.  He continues to be demeaning and you’ll feel so much better about yourself that you won’t put up with HIS behavior anymore and set some boundaries.  Just like we talked about in Episode 1, things may get worse before they get better.  Be prepared for that.  But have confidence in yourself and that you can handle any situation, and everything will be ok.

This week, I’d like you to think about this quote “We can only love others to the capacity that we love ourselves.”

If that’s true (and I believe it is) how will you show up differently in your marriage if you love yourself and are confident in yourself.  How can that improve your marriage.  When we live from a place of love…love for ourselves we show up as our best self in the world.

Ok, my friends.  That’s all I have for you today.  See you next time.

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