In order to become your happiest self, you must first believe that you are capable of being happy and deserving of success. Everyone on some level believes they are deserving of success, whether it be at the unconscious or conscious level. The key to success in life, however, is to believe it at every level.
If you are constantly putting yourself down to your peers, you consciously do not believe you can attain your desires. In contrast, if your peers see you as someone who is always confident, but inwardly you put yourself down at every turn, you are lacking unconscious confidence.
Many people who are not consciously confident are able to fix their misconceptions easily because others around them are able to see their struggles and guide them to a path of confidence. But for people who are struggling unconsciously their struggles are often unnoticed by the people around them, which often makes it harder for them to build their confidence.
I was (am) one of those people who appear confident on the outside, but inside am secretly struggling. My entire life I was told I could do anything I put my mind to, and for the first fourteen years of my life I believed it. But then I entered an abusive relationship. My boyfriend completely tore down my inner confidence. He made me feel useless, and unworthy. I was put on sleeping medication and anti-depressants.
I was at an all time low.
He not only tore down my inner confidence, he completely stripped me down to where my outer confidence was diminished. At this point in my life I tried to commit suicide twice, cutting my wrists on multiple occassions. There was a point where my mom actually walked in on me cutting my wrists. That not only devastated me, but her as well. It was at this point that I saw a therapist. If you are at a point in your life where BOTH your inner and outer confidence is being or has been torn down, this blog is NOT for you. Please seek therapy. I am in no way a therapist, I am merely speaking from my own personal experience, and how I grew into the person I am today. If you are suffering from a lack of both conscious and unconscious confidence please remember that you are worthy of being on this Earth and I LOVE YOU.
It took me 5 years, almost an entire degree, and many therapist appointments to realize that my life would be so much better if I just had confidence in myself.
One day I woke up and decided that I did not want to be like this anymore. I wanted to be happy in the skin I was in and the choices that I made. I decided to look back to when I was younger and how much happier I felt. I wanted to analyze the differences between my life now and my life then. The only difference was my confidence! I never had a voice in my head saying I am not good enough. I never relied on my outward successes to prove that I was successful. Not surprisingly, it was exactly that mindset that made me successful.
To have success in life you must have confidence that you can succeed.
Part of the vital behaviours in my job is to undergo at least 30 minutes of personal development a day. That was a game changer for me. It made me realize where I was lacking and what I can improve on. I began a journal where I wrote out all my anxieties. At first, my journalling was very regimented, but as time went on I began to open up and flow in my journalling. The book that really started me on the path to freedom was “The Universe has your Back” by Gabrielle Bernstein.
The flow in my journalling allowed for me to realign with my inner wisdom and helped me to realize what I needed to focus on.
After completing Bernstein’s first book, I moved on to her most recent publication “Judgement Detox”. That book was hard to get through. I must have read the same chapter three times until I finally felt comfortable enough to complete the tasks. The hardest chapter for me consisted of a “cutting the cord” meditation. In this practice, you sit on the floor comfortably and imagine who/what you are judging. Between you and the object of your judgement is a thick cord that you are supposed to visualize is being cut by a golden sword. No matter how many times I tried to cut the cord I could never do it. I never understood why, until I realized that I was trying to control my judgement rather than letting it flow.
At first, I tried to cut the cord on myself, because I thought that I was the person I was judging most. Unfortunately, that actually made me feel worse. A couple of days later I attempted the meditation again, this time visualizing money. Again it was a failure. I decided then I could not keep coming back to the meditation, because there was something missing. I ultimately decided to go back three chapters and read through the practices again.
That helped immensely. I was able to come to terms with many things that I was not able to previously. It opened my eyes to just how many people I had been judging. Finally, I was able to actually complete the cutting cord meditation. This time, however, I did not make a conscious decision as to what judgement I was cutting the cord on, I merely sat down and began to meditate in hopes that the person I was judging would appear. To my surprise, the person who stood before me with a large black cord in his stomach was my abusive ex-boyfriend. Someone who on a conscious level I had not though about in years.
It was surprising, but I rolled with it. Throughout the meditation I began to realize that every time I was unconfident in my business decisions I went back to this one scene that seemed to never leave my brain:
We were in ninth grade. We had just left our favourite lunch spot. A Chinese food restaurant across the street from our high school. We were walking down the steps towards the crosswalk to go back inside the school. We were talking about our future, and what would happen when we got married. I told him that I wanted to be the sole provider, and he could stay home with the kids. I listed the reasons why I wanted our arrangement to be that way. The first was because I grew up with a stay-at-home mom and I knew how important it was for children to have at least one parent stay home with them. The second was because I wanted all the money to be mine.
After completing the meditation I was finally able to realize why I always came back to that one conversation. It defined my core values in life, while also defining why I was not confident I could achieve my goals.
I desperately wanted to make money while staying home with my children, but I did not believe that was possible.
As soon as I was old enough to realize what post-secondary education was, my mom drilled into my head not to graduate with a degree then not use it to get a job. Additionally, my dad drilled into my head that science was the only way to go. So, I pursued science and set a trajectory to graduate with a double major in Biology and Chemistry. I wanted to use that degree to continue my education to become a pharmacist. I even went as far as to write the standardized test, the PCAT, and killed it. I got accepted into a research program and I started a volunteer position at a local pharmacy where I was soon hired.
I was on the fast track to success, but I was miserable.
I woke up every morning telling myself I was living the dream, but by the time I went to bed at night I was drained and depressed. It took me months of journalling, reading personal development, and pouring into me until I realized why I was so anxious. I hated my research project. I love being a pharmacy assistant, but I had no passion to become a pharmacist. Most importantly, I realized I wanted to stay home with my future kids while still making money to build my dream home and pay the mortgage. I realized I hated leaving the house seven days a week, and what I always pictured my life to be like, was not what I wanted at all.
And that scared the shit outta me.
Even though I was terrified, I continued to move towards my new goals. I was happier, I had finally come to terms with how I wanted my life to look. But then, as I started to accept that I would not continue my education after undergrad, that I wanted to be a Health and Fitness Coach as my career, I began to go into an entire tailspin of self-doubt. I kept going back to that ninth-grade conversation, and I started to become terrified that I couldn’t make this work.
But then I made a conscious decision. I decided that instead of listening to my fears I would just put even more time and energy into my business. I revamped it. I began to do things my own way. I changed my mantra. I changed my groups. I changed the look of my social media. All of these things began to build my conscious confidence back up. I was confident in my business platform and I was confident that the way I had structured it would allow for it to grow.
Then, I didn’t see an increase in growth. I was shattered. I put even more work in until I was so overworked that I began to be anxious every day, all day. My anxiety got to a point where it was so bad that I shut down. I became depressed. I spent money recklessly. I glued myself to the couch and ate boxes of cookies. I had hit rock bottom.
I came home from work at 4pm on a Saturday and got drunk with my cats. I am not a drinker, so for me to go to alcohol as a release made me realize something had to change. I woke up at 2am the next morning and knew what to do. I had a detox kit sitting in my kitchen since the holidays. I decided right then that I would take 3 days to refresh my body and mind. The refresh allowed me to get my nutrition back in order, get my body back, and finally release my need for control. I paused my 80-day workout program and focused on what I needed.
At the end of the 3 day refresh I was finally able to let go and allow the Universe to show me what I should be letting go of, instead of dictating it.
This freedom allowed me to flow in my writing. It allowed me to be open to suggestions and it helped me to decipher why my abusive ex-boyfriend was in my meditation. He was the first thing I needed to release to get all of my confidence back.