With confidence, you have won before you have started.
I love this quote because I’ve been able to live it. Now I’m incredibly confident, but that wasn’t always so. I’ve had to work very hard to change my mindset. Learn to shut out these negative voices in my head saying lies. By using techniques and strategies. I was able to move forward and beyond what I thought was possible.
The thing is finding confidence can be an uphill challenge. Especially in the age of social media where most people are showing their highlight realm. By doing that they’re pretending that there’s no struggle behind the scenes. What I’ve learned from my personal growth and development journey? Is that self-esteem is a critical component to nurturing your natural confidence as well as being honest? Not just with yourself but with others as well. Also, being honest about your struggles, your successes, your doubts and your failures. When we practice that type of honesty, we give ourselves and others permission to not be perfect. I remember when I was invited to apply to the honours program at Montgomery College. This was in 2008 because after two semesters I had a perfect 4.0 GPA. I share this not to be boastful but to tell the story.
Even though I had proven not once but twice that I had it in me to be an A student. I still had no confidence in my academic ability. I remember reading the invitation and being terrified because I was afraid of two things. One that I would be rejected and not make it into the program. Two that if I applied to the program and got accepted that my classmates would know that I was a fraud. My thought was I would be the one providing them with the proof. That I had no business being in a program with highly intelligent people.
I almost didn’t apply because of fear of failing and imposter syndrome. While filling out the application for the program I was drenched in self-doubt. What inspired me to apply was receiving encouragement. I got encouragement from my then employer, my driving instructor and my sister who seemed puzzled by my reaction. Her words to me which were dripping with attitude were “Apply and see!”
After all, the mental and emotional stress I had put myself through I was accepted into the program. Still afraid and doubting my academic ability I committed myself. What happened surprised me. I found my academic confidence and saw myself rising to the challenge. I even made it into the Cambridge Study Abroad program in England. Only the top-performing students were chosen to participate in that program. I couldn’t go, but I will always remember what I was able to accomplish academically.
That memory and others like it helps me. Whenever I find myself facing a challenge, learning something new or having to step out of my comfort zone. I use that and other positive memories to remind me that I’m enough and that I can be confident in my abilities. So, I encourage you to trust yourself, your skills and your knowledge. To remind yourself of everything thing you’ve accomplished so far. Show up confidently as the powerhouse woman you are because finding confidence is empowering.