If you’re looking to lead a happier, confident life, believing in yourself is key. Confidence grows through a series of experiences and challenges over a lifetime. Each day, you are given several opportunities to protect your confidence. Through uncomfortable situations, difficult conversations, and moments of stress. It is your response to these opportunities that determines your strength, resolve, and courage. Perhaps you may have gone through some rough times in your life that have been recent. I’m going to put it out there, it can difficult to be a happy person uttering positive self-talk, affirmations, and manifesting during tough times, that’s real talk. I get it but let me float this idea, you’ve been criticizing yourself long enough and it hasn’t worked. Why not try approving yourself. Why not choose to think and act differently. Be your number one fan and see what happens.
So, this month is my birth month, and I will be turning 49, so stepping on the heels of the BIG 50. Woohoo! One thing, I’ve learned over the years and it’s one of the many nuggets I love to share with others is that none of us can go back and change the past. Lord knows, there are a lot of do-overs I could list. But let’s be realistic, we don’t have time machines so going back and trying to change the past is not a reality.
I believe a great way to change your relationship with the past as well as be proactive in becoming our number 1 fan is to make all of your experiences work for you and not against you. I love me some Mary J Blige. When I hear Good Morning Gorgeous, I hear a queen who has become her number one fan. I also hear a letter to herself that we all get to hear.
Good Morning Gorgeous,
I wake up every morning and tell myself
Good morning, gorgeous
Sometimes you gotta look in the mirror and say (say)
Good morning, gorgeous
No one else could make me feel this way
A great place to start is to write a letter to your younger self. Yes, a letter, I know that feels old school but trust me on this. Writing a letter to one’s younger self is a tool that I share with clients. I’ll admit the initial response is “do what” and some have been apprehensive at first and I get it. However, what I’ve discovered is that once started, they own it and run with it and the experience is transformative. Finding acceptance of yourself at various points in your life can be extremely healing, helps create the inner dialog needed to be your number one fan, and is helpful in building a strong sense of confidence.
I often wonder, what makes it so difficult? Not the letter writing or maybe that too, lol. I’m talking about why do we struggle with being our number one fan? I could throw a lot of reasons out there but consider this we’re taught to see other relationships as more important. I mean like the relationship with our partners, our children, church members, friends, and the list could be endless. Girls are taught to
- be nice
- be helpful
- don’t be selfish
- help people, feel good about themselves
- be warm
- don’t say no; it’s not nice
- don’t complain
- don’t get angry
Now, there’s nothing wrong with these messages but why must we neglect ourselves for the sake of others. In this thing called life, we often miss how important it is to have a healthy relationship with ourselves. I believe this is why so many struggle with codependency. Get this, when I can do it for myself, be my number one fan, then I’m less likely to look for others to fill a void. So what does this have to do with writing a letter? Glad you asked, writing a letter to your younger self, allows you to reflect as you explore the most relationship in your life. Taking the time to reflect relieves stress and quiet reflection can help you gain insights into your thinking, emotions, experiences, and behaviors. Here are some tips to get you started.
1. Show kindness, warmth, love, and compassion to your younger self.
2. Consider what you have experienced.
3. What might you need to hear?
4. How could you praise and encourage your younger self?
5. Reflect on the experiences of your younger self.
6. Consider how those lived experiences have shaped the current version of yourself?
7. Let go of judgments. Love and accept yourself as you are.
8. Fear of failure may have caused you to ignore your dreams, desires, or goals. Don’t let it. Fear has stolen from a lot of people. You gain more confidence in yourself by facing your fears. Facing fears is yet another component of confidence. At 46, I faced fear head-on and started over in a new career field and launched a business in the middle of a pandemic. Here’s some advice, I shared with my younger self that you might consider including in your letter to yourself. Don’t let fear stop you from getting what you want and achieving your goals. If Thomas Edison had been afraid of failure, we wouldn’t have the luxury of indoor lighting today to make sure your eyeliner is straight, hello! He never gave up trying to find the right way to make a light bulb and he experienced over 10,000 ways of how not to make a light bulb. Just because you don’t reach your goals or dreams the first time, don’t give up. Keep pressing. Once you begin facing your fears, you’ll discover that what you feared may not come true at all or isn’t such a big deal after all. But you’ll never know until you start.
9. Insecurity can be a source of disbelief. Learning to be more secure in certain areas of your life will help you believe in yourself more. I have this reminder posted on my shelf that says “inhale confidence, exhale self-doubt“. This is a literal reminder for me to practice deep breathing. Adding one or two words provides a powerful way to center and ground yourself. As you exhale, release self-doubt and insecurities and inhale “I’ve got this” or “Confidence”.
10. There is no time like the present. If there are certain areas in your life that you feel you need to work on work on them! Are you bad at budgeting or managing your finances? Take a class or look for helpful tips on YouTube. Eventbrite is a jewel when it comes to free or low-cost courses. Do the work there are resources out there to help you learn how to budget so you can be in control of your money, instead of your money controlling you.
11. Is your weight stopping you from believing yourself? First of all, remember that today’s society and social media as a hold have a skewed filtered view of beauty. Don’t allow the media to determine your worth! However, if your weight is at an unhealthy level, learn how to eat healthily and get regular exercise for you and your overall well-being. The weight coming off is a benefit.
12. Give your younger self grace. If you find yourself being critical replace any negative thoughts with more positive and encouraging messages. Self-talk can also determine whether you believe in yourself or not. Start speaking positively to yourself, about yourself.
Take charge of your life by making yourself a top priority and becoming your number one fan. Give yourself the same love and respect that you would show to others. You’ll make your life more satisfying, and your happiness will spill over to others.