Confidence - How Confident Are You

I personally believe we all start out confident. The two times each one of us are absolutely perfect: When we are born and when we're dead.

It’s the “stuff” we accumulate in between those two times that takes a toll on us. The things we pick up that leave heavy burdens. Remember Erykah Badu’s song Bag Lady with the lyrics:  “bag lady, you gon’ hurt your back, dragging all dem bags like that.” I believe it’s important to take stock of your confidence levels, especially after you’ve made the plunge and ditched dead weight.

You may find one, two, or even more areas where your confidence isn’t as high as it was when you were younger. It’s not just about looks, though image does matter. After-all it is the first thing people see, and we're a visual society. But there are other areas that can be affected. For example you could lack confidence based on your level of education and skills, where you live, or where you work. Your aim should be to become whole, and complete in ALL areas of your life despite the circumstances. Start where your spirit leads you and the other areas will come into alignment.

{Related} Part 1: Toxic Relationships: Filling The Void

Being confident, or building confidence is a habit and habits are built over time. defines a habit

as: noun 1. an acquired behavior pattern regularly followed until it has become almost involuntary: the habit of looking both ways before crossing the street.

Building confidence takes time.

Some days will be better than others and the more you try new things, the more you will boost your confidence. The simple act of making a positive choice in relation to you living your best life will give you the confidence you need to go even harder. I remember my 1st audition for an Off-Broadway play. I had no head-shot, resumes, reel or skills outside of some middle school plays and a couple of bouts with my high school and college choirs. But I had a gut instinct and prayed hard and I felt God's blessing.

I went into the audition not knowing what to expect, I did the homework I could the night before. The audition was a cold read (actors get the script a few minutes to 24 hours before an audition) in this case I got the script a few minutes before. Long story short, I aced the audition and landed the part - RIGHT THEN AND THERE! Talk about favor! But that one experience boosted my confidence and I became hungry for more auditions, more shots at flexing my acting skills and building my resume. I still love to audition for parts, its a great adrenaline rush and it builds my confidence whether I get the part or not! 

The first thing to do when rebuilding your confidence is take inventory of your present environment. What areas of your life are lacking (finances, health, etc) these areas are affecting your self esteem or lack thereof. After the inventory do a little, not a lot, a little something each day to improve your circumstances. Losing weight, or quitting smoking takes time. Since tomorrow isn’t promised, enjoy today, live in this moment and do what you can today. If you want to lose weight join a gym, don’t vow to go 5x a week, you’ll burn out by day 3. But, commit to going 2x per week to start, gradually build, commit to walking for 10 min a day and improving over time. If you want to improve your finances, start small by taking your lunch everyday for one week. Enjoy the process of preparing your meals for the week and nourishing your body with healthy foods instead of fast foods. Make a commitment to yourself to do better. The act of making a commitment to ourselves seeps into our unconsciousness similar to an affirmation, and we begin to mindlessly make better choices for ourselves.

If you want to improve your appearance and suffer from acne or  another skin condition, start eating foods that will improve your skin’s appearance. If you need more help see a dermatologist. Small steps, made everyday form habits.

To take this deeper, keep a journal of your feelings. When thoughts or limiting beliefs come up write them down. Then ask yourself “why do I feel this way about x,y,or z”. You’ll be able to uncover where the negative thinking comes from and it will aid you in getting unstuck. The bonus, the more you can uncover the faster the healing process, and should you ever relapse you’ve got your own self-help book on deck! A lot of times a lack of confidence comes from not knowing how to do something, but we can always learn! You learned how to ride a bike, roller-skate, read, and you’ll learn how to build confidence.

Remember: “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit.” -Aristotle

Tomorrow - Acting Confident When You Don't Feel Confident