• Madhura

Boost your Confidence

Updated: Nov 13, 2020

Hello my dear friends, What is the one quality that can change the entire course of your life? What if you have abundant confidence to conquer the world? What if you feel confident about the way you look, every single day? What if you feel confident enough to take on the new challenges? What will your life look like if you ooze out the confidence in your persona? Isn’t it glorious? If you want this boost of confidence in your daily life then don’t miss out this episode. This is episode number 28 of your own Morning Cup of Sunshine podcast, boost your confidence today and everyday. I am so happy to be here today, especially with this topic. This is one of my most favorite concepts to talk about. I believe firmly, if you are confident about your abilities then you win half the battle, you become simply unstoppable. Nobody can stop you from achieving great things. So, brace yourself, I am here to take you on a journey today that will not only inspire you to be confident today but for every single day of your life. But first, happy moment of the week..

Happy Moment of the Week

This week’s happy moment of the week. This week’s happy moment of the week is huge. I mean wonderful, exciting, splendid, news.. I can keep on adding the adjectives type big news.. My son Mihir became a published author at the age of 8. I mean, he is 8 and he already has a 113 page chapter book on his name. He worked hard , read a lot, wrote a lot, did the illustrations for all 44 chapters all by himself. His book is about an Indian King who ignited the fire of freedom in the mind of Indian people. I will put a link to his book in the show notes for those who are interested in reading the book. It is available on amazon all over the world. I am simply in awe of his consistency and perseverance. Can I say, I am really inspired by him? It was my childhood dream to write a book but never really took it seriously, never really put efforts into writing. But now, oh man, I am inspired. My own kid inspired me to sit down and write. I am so happy to hold his book in hand. I am so happy to see him excited, see that twinkling light in his eyes. I am just happy to be his mom. I love him so much and feel so much joy to see him grow and become the mature, kind and lovely boy that he is becoming. So surely Mihir getting published as an author is definitely my highlight of the week. What about you my friends? What is your highlight of the week? What brought you joy, happiness? I would love to hear all about your happy moments in our weekly post in our Morning cup of Sunshine community over at Facebook. I absolutely love reading them every Sunday. It makes my Sunday bright and cheerful.

Alright, we started on a happy and total in a sunshine mode, now it's time to do some real work?

What is confidence? I think it is a feeling, it is a belief, it is your ability to trust yourself, it is your state of mind. When you are confident about your abilities, your strengths then you have more chances to succeed, you are more likely happier. But it is easier said than done. Do you feel confident in your skin everyday, in every task? Do you have moments when you doubt yourself? Do you back out of the opportunities because you feel unsure of your own skills? I am sure your answer will be yes for at least one of these questions. I am with you, I also felt the same many times. But that is the reason why we are here, right? I want you to trust me today. I have no magic to change your complete personality in 30 minutes. But I have a belief in my ability to show you the road which will take you to the more confident version of you. So, let’s take that journey, shall we?


Step 1 : Know your strengths

I want you to ask yourself a series of questions, ask yourself, what is confidence for you? What does it look like? When do you feel the most confident? How do you feel when you are confident about something? What are the areas in your life that make you feel confident, is it that nice dress, that special pair of shoes, those nicely done hair, that accomplished task, clean home, bug free code? What is your definition of confidence? Confidence comes from within. You build your confidence up. But first, you need to know yourself inside out. You need to know what your strengths are. Confidence comes from recognizing your strength. Do a simple exercise for this week. Just notice your feelings, notice when you feel confident. Keep a note of simple acts that make you feel confident. You need to train your muscles of confidence but for that you first need to understand your thought process. Knowing yourself is the first step to instill confidence in you. Believe in your capabilities. Just imagine, if you start doubting your ability, you will never have confidence to succeed. Sometimes, it is extremely important to spend some time getting to know yourself. You might not know the hidden gems in your personality. I worked from home for a couple of years. Initially, I did not have a designated place to work, I never dressed up for my work day. I thought, anyhow, I am working from home. I don’t need to dress up, I can stay in my leisurely clothes all day long. But as days passed, I started feeling that working from home is limiting my abilities. My self esteem took a big dip. I started feeling as if I am not worth it. I started thinking working from home is not a real job. My confidence was at an all time low. But then, I used the strategy I just talked about. I started writing about the moments when I feel confident. I remember writing that when I get ready and go to office, work dedicatedly in a calm environment, I get brain stimulation and that is when I feel accomplished and confident. In that season of my life, it was not possible for me to work from the office every day. But I started making small changes, I started getting ready, as if I am going to the actual office. I bought a small desk which could fit in our small apartment. I started going to the office at least once a week. These small changes made a huge difference. But I was able to make these changes because of the list I wrote down on that piece of paper. I was able to make those changes because I gave myself an opportunity to learn about my thoughts. Of course, change is always scary. Whenever we try to go out of our comfort zone, it is scary. But once you overcome that first day jitters, you have an entire world to conquer. I still remember the feeling when I drove my car on a highway to go to my office. I was scared out of my mind but I was so excited to go to the office. Low confidence comes from fear of unknown, low self esteem, external criticism. Sometime, we feel unsure about our abilities because of the way we look, or because we are less prepared, or we lack the knowledge or even because of some past failure. But trust me my friend, this all can be corrected, worked upon. But to work on something, you first know what is wrong, am I correct? Once you know your strengths, you can work on your fears. So, writing it down helps you do the exact same. Now, you have spent some time to know yourself how to use these strengths to boost your confidence. For that let’s discuss step 2.


Step 2 : Nurture your strengths

We believe in a story that someone else told us. It is time to rewrite our own story. Your third grade teacher once told you that you can not dance. You take this as a reality and hold on to it for years. Whenever you get an opportunity to dance, you cringe, remembering that third grade teacher’s comments. Someone told you, you have gained weight and the shorts don’t look good on you. . You hold on to it as if it is gospel truth and you just ban shorts from your life, you don’t even think, if you love to wear shorts or not. These are only a couple of stories, I know there are thousands of stories, we have been telling ourselves. A good mom makes fresh lunches every single day, a good employee responds to every single email even received outside of work hours within a few minutes. A good parent always volunteers in every committee of a kid's school. I seriously think it is time to rewrite your own story the way you want it. Play by your strengths. If you love to volunteer, you do that, lot’s of power to you. You love wearing shorts, it’s your choice. You want to dance, dance it out, don’t even think about the way you look, focus on how you feel. Nurture those feelings. Nurture those strengths. If you start looking good in you, that will reflect in your confidence. Affirmations work great to do that. I will be honest with you. The first time, when I started saying affirmations in front of the mirror, they felt fake, untrue even sometimes completely wrong. I don’t love myself the way I am. When I look in the mirror, I see my dark circles, I don’t love them, But still I was saying I love myself the way I am. It felt forced. Then I started finding ways to say these things organically, I wanted them to come out of my mouth naturally. I started writing it down in a journal, that was easier. I started playing by my strengths. I know I am very determined, disciplined. I started thinking about those qualities, when I said I love myself the way I am. Now, For me loving myself is not about loving my looks but it is about loving my determination, my discipline. Find what it is for you. It could be your lovely smile, or your compassion for others or your helping hand. Anything that makes you a beautiful, strong person, pick that strength and try to nurture that in your daily affirmations. I can not stress enough. Self love is not selfish. If you don’t love yourself, you will never be able to feel confident. Be gentle with yourself. It is your responsibility to treat yourself with the same compassion, empathy that you show for others. I mentioned this multiple times, do that one thing which you absolutely love every single day, at least for 30 minutes. This is like a charging station. You fill your cup of joy with those 30 minutes. It gives you a sense of accomplishment. It gives you the joy that can keep you running for an entire day. I have a friend, who used to write beautiful poems when we were in school. We always were in awe of her ability to express herself so beautifully through her poems. I met her last year, and of course I asked her if I could read her new poems. She was almost in tears, she said, she has not written a poem in the last 4 years. After her son was born, she got busy and then life happened. She could not find time to write. Few days back, she called me and said she has started writing poems again. She was bursting with enthusiasm, She sent me some of her poems. My charming friend was back with a bang and her poems had the same spark, the same gentle and soothing vibe. I was so happy for her. She mentioned, she started giving herself 15 minutes every night, after her son went to bed. She started dedicatedly giving that time and space for her love for poetry. It was challenging at first but it gave her much needed joy and that increased her confidence so much that now she is thinking of publishing her first book. This is not a story from some novel or a movie. This is a real person just like you, just like me. If she can do it you can do it too. Believe in yourself and you are halfway there. As Mark ford once said, "Know your value. Confidence breeds success. Act like the person you want to become, and people will start seeing you as that person."


Step 3 : Be your own sparkle


You are your own biggest cheerleader. You are in complete control of your life, you can choose how to feel every single day. Just believe that. If you want to be confident in your day to day tasks, it is you who have to decide to be confident. Be your own sparkle, your happiness comes from within, it is you who has to look for it. There are simple ways to become a more confident version of yourself every day. Dress for the part. Get ready every single morning. I know with this global pandemic, most of us are staying home, most of the time, still getting ready every morning, as if you are going out. I am not talking about full face makeup, but if that's what makes you feel good about yourself, that is okay too. But at least, get ready, get out of your pajamas and actually dress for the day. Your body language matters too. Just think about one scenario, imagine, when you step into the room full of strangers, how do you feel? Do you feel awkward, unsure? Try to imagine your body language. Do you have an assertive posture, with shoulder pulled back and head straight held high? Do you make eye contact? How’s your voice, is it calm and composed? Your body language reflects your confidence. So, work on your body language. Simply watch out your posture, your hand movements, your facial expression. This all contributes to your confidence. But I think, your body language shows confidence naturally when you are sure of yourself. When you know your stuff, if you know what to talk about, the confidence comes naturally. But to know your stuff, you have to plan and prepare. Confidence is built on accomplishments. If you accomplish a big goal you will feel confident about your abilities. But can you accomplish a big goal without any planning or preparation? We discussed this before, if you want to achieve a big goal, we have to break it down into small, more achievable goals. Plan your actions to achieve those goals. Prepare your mindset to work on your long term goal. Your success leads you to a more confident version of yourself and planning and preparation takes you closer to success. Want to give a speech? Not feeling confident enough? Write down your bullet points, prepare, practice your speech a couple of times. I am sure you will feel much more confident. I find learning new skills, keeping yourself updated in whatever field you want to be, reading actual books makes you feel confident. Ask a lot of questions, learn from someone else’s experiences. These all are part of your confidence building bandwagon. You have one life and you can enrich your life by learning new skills. There is so much to learn in this world. There is a wealth of knowledge everywhere you look. If you start learning something new, it will enrich you so much and make you feel good about yourself. Step out of your comfort zone. It will give you extra ordinary confidence if you do the thing which you have never ever tried. You know what, I am too scared of roller coasters, I never sit in one. But a couple of years ago, we went to Universal Studios. There was a Harry Potter ride. Since Maitreyi was not even one, I stayed back while my husband and Mihir went on to this ride. After the ride, I could see their excitement but I was way too scared to try that ride myself. My husband literally forced me to try that ride. He knew my love for Harry Potter and he was sure that I would love that ride. But I was extremely nervous, I did not want to go on that ride, but my husband did not take my no. Hesitantly, I climbed into that ride. The ride started, it started slowly, then it started taking turns, it was going fast, with all Harry Potter plots in between like dementors, quidditch matches, Gringotts and what not. I had a blast, I totally forgot that I was scared. It was an experience of life. I am so thankful to my husband for making me go on that ride, for breaking my fear. After that I did every single ride in Universal Studios. I am much more confident to ride roller coasters now that I have stepped out of my comfort zone once. But remember one thing, you won’t have someone to push you or force you out of your comfort zone every time, you can’t rely on someone else to do this for you. Sometimes, you have to do this on your own. This is difficult at first, but the benefits are countless. Fear of the unknown holds us back, just let go of that fear. Try new things, make new friends, introduce yourself to someone new. It helps you break the barriers and expand your own boundaries. Confidence is your best outfit, rock it and own it. Be your own sparkle and spread that little shiny confidence everywhere.


Step 4 : Accept the shortcoming gracefully


Life is not all rainbows and unicorns, I know that. There are going to be challenges, moments when you feel defeated. But it’s not the failure that destroys your confidence, it’s not getting back up. Just mark the failure as a stepping stone of your upcoming success. Learn from that experience and bounce back. You are too strong to lose your confidence over a small failure. Prepare in advance for those tough moments. Prepare your mind, be ready to accept some failures, take those with a grain of salt and just move forward. Talk to people you love, ask for help, find a mentor. You need your tribe to share your success stories, your failures, your struggles. You need your people to tell you what is going wrong. Surround yourself with positive people. Be strong enough to accept the constructive criticism but don’t forget to stand up for yourself. When you see a big, scary dream, you will find people who tell you that it is too big , too out of reach, but this is the time when you stand up for yourself and believe in your dream. Nobody can tell you what you don’t deserve. It is you who has to carve your own future. It is you who has to believe in your own strength and even weaknesses. I understand that you always have a self criticizing little voice in your head, but trust me it is your worst enemy. It is scared away easily just by little preparation. Nobody is perfect in this world but you are unique and beautiful in your own way. Embrace your shortcomings, accept yourself the way you are. Navigate your way through your strengths and weaknesses. If you start celebrating small victories, if you start giving yourself grace for small losses then you will find the confidence to enjoy your journey. It is important to accept the failure without losing confidence. It is equally important to accept the praise gracefully. It is the boost that will give you the energy to keep on going. But we feel awkward to accept the praise. Most of the time, we don’t know how to respond to this praise. It is your win , my friend, celebrate it. Of Course, we have to be extremely careful not to cross the boundary of confidence and hang out in over confidence territory. Confidence is a desired skill but arrogance should not be a side effect of your confidence. Confidence and humility can co-exist, one asks us to embrace our strengths and other asks us to be aware of our weakness.


Recap

On this note, let’s recap today’s episode. Confidence is contagious, let’s catch it, spread it and fill the world with it. Confidence is like a super power, once you start to believe in yourself, magic starts happening. I really want you to take some time today and think about your big bold dream, think what holds you back. If it is a lack of confidence, then use these steps to overcome your lack of confidence and be the awesome, confident version of yourself.

Step 1 : Know your strengths

Step 2 : Nurture your strengths

Step 3 : Be your own sparkle

Step 4 : Accept the shortcoming gracefully

I sincerely hope you work on each of these steps. I am here to help you in every way possible. I am so passionate about helping you become the most confident version of yourself. It is the quality that can take you to the top of the world. Let’s be humble in our confidence and yet courageous in our character.

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