3 Places Your Confidence is Hiding (And Why)
I recently had a beautiful soul write me who reads our catalog, Distinction, and signed up with Modernity. Women write me pretty consistently here, but her note, in particular, really gripped me. She shared some pretty deep things with me, but one of them was that she felt her confidence had been lost. She said...
I want to become the confident woman I have always wanted to be. I'm losing hope of ever finding her.
Most women fall into a category similar to this:
- They, at one point, were killin' it in work & life and felt very sure of themselves, but somewhere along the way they lost that woman. OR
- They feel they've never arrived at a level of confidence that they're comfortable with - a level where things feel in balance and holistic to settle into in their work & lifestyle.
Whichever category you may be in, you're not wrong. And it's okay.
Sometimes, our confident selves go into hiding. Sometimes, they've been in hiding for a long time and are begging to be found.
I'd like to remind you that in either case you have nothing to be ashamed of. However your more aspirational, assertive self wants to hide, it can only be so many places. This post exposes 3 of them.
One of my most popular mantras you'll hear me say on repeat is: "It's never about what it's about."
In this case, that means that your confidence is likely hiding in a place you would never think to look - she's a shadow, in a sense.
The way to find her is through discovery and inquiry, curiosity and questioning, transparency and vulnerability, which leads us to our first hiding spot.
When or if you see vulnerability as weakness, you've already lost the battle within. As soon as you view it that way, it loses it's potency to create change and transformation.
In other words, without vulnerability there is no confidence. Vulnerable people are strong people. Transparent people are blessed people. And people who are pure in spirit and motives always always leave others asking how so much is coming to them in spite of the fact that others may be taking advantage of their purity.
If you keep asking and wondering why you're not getting what you want, look at what you're hiding, either consciously (purposely) or unconsciously (hiding behind questions you aren't asking). The surety and confidence you need to pursue might just be sitting in this little nugget of wisdom called vulnerability.
In her book, Daring Greatly, Brene Brown calls this "hiding" Vulnerability Armory. If you haven't already, please read this book, and especially Chapter 4. Here is an excerpt:
As children, we found ways to protect ourselves from vulnerability, from being hurt, diminished, and disappointed. We put on armor; we used our thoughts, emotions, and behaviors as weapons; and we learned how to make ourselves scarce, even to disappear. Now as adults we realize that to live with courage, purpose, and connection - to be the person whom we long to be - we must again be vulnerable. We must take off the armor; put down the weapons, show up, and let ourselves be seen.
Said another way - what if the confidence you seek is hiding behind or right beneath what you're scared to expose, reveal, or tap into?
In External Validation
I want you to think about how many people you know who are all about the external validation. And I don't mean the healthy acceptance of compliments I teach us here. I'm talking about people who NEED compliments, only feel valid if they have 'x' amount of comments on their Instagram post, or can make someone else look bad by trying to make what they do look better. They must have external validation or they feel worthless.
I'm not judging those folks - we all have to work through the path - what I'm doing is bringing light to the fact that the empowerment you need that yields the healthy validation you seek could be nesting in the exact spot where sabotage is happening - in an obsession with external validation.
What if you cut off the ego line to external validation and just started doing things because it feels really really good in your body and for your destiny and calling to do them and because they align with your internal values? And what if you could get to a place where it didn't matter how many people said "awesome?!"
What if that.....?
You like the skirt? Wear it! You like the necklace? Buy it. You like the print-mixing patterns? Mix em'!
The more decisions you make that please only others, the higher the indicator you're living their life & not your own.
Speaking of which, how's your self-esteem? Do you feel confident in the decisions you're making, or are they based on another person's preference?
Before I move on, let me express something - there's nothing wrong with the occasional personal sacrifice or giving even when you don't feel like it. Or doing something for someone just because you love them with no strings attached, out of pure love.
Anytime I talk about us loving our decisions, I'm speaking about your overall life and work - not compromises you make that make your life that much more beautiful. I'm talking about the ones you consistently make and make, knowing you're not honoring your values or your truth.
There's a difference, so I wanted to make a distinction.
Self-esteem is more than decisions though - it's a mindset. One that is cultivated viathe decisions we make.
Good decisions we love collectively create and sustain our internal self-esteem practice.
Your long, lost confidence in an area or areas could be hiding behind self-esteem, but it's deeper than that. If we stop there, we don't get to the root - the full story.
Why is the self-esteem low in the first place?
This is the work of getting comfortable in your skin. There's no way around the work - the only way is through it. But it feels good on the other side. :-)
I hope this has been helpful for you today, and if I have one takeway for you it's this - find where your confidence is hiding. And if you don't want to do it alone, I'm here to help.