I remember when I was struggling with depression I would go onto Pinterest and search. I search “how to have confidence?,” and when it told me I had to love myself I search “how do I love myself?” I was on the beginning of a beautiful journey of self discovery, that I am still in the process of enjoying, and will continue to enjoy until the end of my days.
I thought that if I could consume enough information, I would be able to be confident. At this point I had always thought I would become confident by something external. When I had a boyfriend, then I would feel confident. But I would get a boyfriend and nothing would change, actually, I would become more desperate! So then my mind thought well if a boyfriend isn’t the answer then maybe it is losing weight, or achieving my next goal, or … and the need for confidence stayed.
How to feel confident had to start on the inside. I couldn’t keep trying to rely on external things to fuel my confidence. I needed to learn how to cultivate it from within. The first place I started was defining what confidence was to me. I could begin to cultivate something if I didn’t know what it was. For me confidence is learning how to become your own friend. I needed to learn how to bring compassion into my life, and treat myself with respect. At this point in my life I was taking actions that didn’t align with my values or show myself respect. This had to change.
Once I knew what respect was to me and what values I wanted to take action from I started to build trust. Building trust with myself looked like taking small steps and actually following through. Building trust also looked like being kind to myself even if I made a mistake. I was so afraid of failure and trying because I was so afraid of how mean I was going to be to myself. I needed to invite compassion and kindness into my journey to continue to deepen respect for myself.
I also needed to learn who I was authentically. I needed to start celebrating my life. I needed to start aligning with who I was and making sure my life reflected it. When I was able to start learning who I was again, and appreciating myself I was able to start building the confidence I craved. The confidence didn’t come from the outside, this time the confidence was from within.