My whole life, I never really had confidence. And the funny thing is I had every reason to. Growing up working class, I came from a great family, was well-liked and had plenty of friends. I was good at sports, art, music, you name it. I was an honor roll student, an All-State runner, earned a Psychology degree from Harvard University and a Masters of Art. I went on to a career in the environmental field and became a senior policy analyst at the U.S. EPA. I married a sensational life partner and now have three incredible kids. But despite ALL of this, I never felt the underlying, all-encompassing sense of self-confidence I thought I should. Many people find this hard to believe when I tell them. I can only imagine that the view is just different looking from the outside in!
While I did have moments of situational confidence, they were fleeting. I was usually able to prepare well enough to go into a test or race feeling strong. But at the end of the day, I'd return to self-doubt. Looking back, what was missing for me was foundational or what I define as an inherent trust to do or be whatever I wanted to in the world.
It wasn’t until the birth of my first daughter that I started to grow my foundational confidence in earnest. Having this beautiful little creature completely dependent on me for guidance and protection inspired me to figure out this whole confidence thing once and for all! So, here I was in my late thirties getting to know myself for the first time by understanding what values matter most to me, what beliefs are limiting me and what perspectives I choose to stand in. I started to define my inner compass and listen to my gut. I learned to silence my inner critics. I felt into self-love and acceptance. And last, I began to get clear on my desires and dreams. It’s amazing what's possible when clarity enters stage right.
In this journey I've also learned that finding and refining foundational confidence is not a goal but an ongoing, lifelong process. I still have times when I don't stand my tallest but now I have the tools and insight to regain my footing in a flash. Amen to that!