What is confidence? According to the dictionary, confidence is a feeling of self assurance arising from one’s appreciation of one’s own abilities and qualities. What it doesn’t say is, a feeling of self assurance arising from what OTHER people think or OTHER people’s opinions. I know lots of women, myself included, that claim to have confidence but their confidence relies on how other people react to them. So, I am confident if I’m getting complimented by others. I feel confident when people praise me. Does this sound familiar?
I’ve managed to spend most of my life wanting to be confident while simultaneously trying to “impress” those around me. And just when I do something that makes me proud and feel confident, I allow someone else’s judgement to knock me back down. I’m sure I could trace these behaviors back to childhood but not sure what good that would do me. You see I’ve always had all the signs of a “People Pleaser,” for as long as I can remember.
Signs of a People Pleaser
- Pretending to agree with everyone around me (getting better at this though)
- Taking responsibility for how other people feel. (ALL THE DAMN TIME!)
- Apologizing often
- Can’t say no
- Feeling uncomfortable when someone is mad at you (this is a HUGE one for me!)
- Need praise to feel good (sometimes)
- Go to great lengths to avoid conflict (100% ME!)
- Don’t tell anyone when you’re feelings are hurt (Yep, me again!)
I guess the ironic thing is that I always “preach” on my social media about how other people’s opinions of you don’t matter. But as my husband so eloquently put it recently, I “need to drink my own kool-aid.” The truth is that I absolutely believe those words, that Rachel Hollis (among others) taught me. Other peoples opinions of me, should absolutely NOT affect me. And more often than not, they don’t. That’s obviously easier to say though, during the times when you have no conflict in your life, right?
But what about the times that there is conflict?
I’ve spent the last few years trying to quit my inner mean girl because she can be a real bitch to me sometimes. She’s always bullying me, trying to tell me I’m not good enough, smart enough, Christian enough, worthy enough…I’m working hard to kick that bitch’s ass! But she’s tough, resilient and pushy!
Here’s what I know. I am a good person with a huge heart and that can make me vulnerable, vulnerable to the people that disagree with me or my choices, and the people that can’t see my worth. But I’m choosing to let go. I’m letting that mean girl go and am going to fight to silence her. Instead, I’m going to focus on staying true to myself, even when others disagree with my choices. I’m going to show myself the grace that I so easily show to others because we all make mistakes. I can not be responsible for how other people feel and I’m choosing to let it go. Will this be easy? Not at all and I will need constant reminders to shut that bitch up. Will I fail? Surely I will because none of us are perfect. Will I continue to try to be MY best version? Absolutely!
“Not everyone will understand your journey. That’s okay. You’re here to live your life, not to make everyone understand.”