The foundation of self-confidence

You’ve probably heard of many “self” words. Self-love, self-care, self-esteem, self-compassion, self-acceptance, self-respect, and of course, self-confidence, just to name some of the more popular.

To me, self-worth is the foundation on which all of the other “self” words and actions are built upon.

I define self-worth as a deep connection to your inherent value combined with an unconditional friendship with yourself, allowing you to access 100% of your personal power.

It’s not based on what others think of you or the things you have (or haven’t) accomplished—it comes from within. It’s stable, enduring and immensely powerful. But it’s all too easy to forget that our worth isn’t determined by outside forces, especially as we step in our next chapters, a stage of life where we can be pummelled with messages that have us questioning where and how we now fit.

  • Have you ever compared yourself to another person, on social platforms or in a magazine or TV show, or perhaps whilst shopping, or at an event and found yourself lacking?
  • Have you ever vowed that you’ll “knuckle down and work harder, diet more, exercise more, do whatever it takes to reach the goals that you have?”.
  • And have you developed a habit of speaking rather harshly to yourself, in ways you’d never consider directing at another person?

If so, there’s a very good chance that you have a degree of disconnection from your core self-worth, and this could be stopping you from flourishing.

What have I discovered about self-worth?

I first began to appreciate the vital role self-worth plays in our life when I faced up to a debilitating addiction in 2006. I was drowning in feelings of shame and unworthiness that had to be addressed before I could move into recovery, regroup and contribute to the world again.

I’m delighted to say that committing myself to this goal changed everything in my life. In the many years since in my work as a business and life mentor, I noticed that, no matter how experienced and talented many of my clients were, how positive the face they presented, they were still holding themselves back from fully engaging with the world and expressing their potential.

I needed to understand why.

As I dug below the surface I found the common threads were a lack of self-belief, a sense of being an imposter, a feeling that they, or their ideas, did not really “measure up”, that they were not enough. And as we dug deeper, I found that the sense of disconnection was often because they were allowing other people and things to determine their worth and this was cascading over into many areas of their lives and businesses.

The research of Brene Brown tells us that unworthiness for women is most intensely felt in the areas of body image and parenting. It’s the conditioning, comparison and competition we experience every day that can combine to erode our sense of self-worth if we are not practising shame resilience. So how do we do that? How can we nourish and anchor ourselves in deep self-worth so we can enjoy emotional resilience, confidence, creativity and so much more, including self-assurance when stepping onto the beach in summer?

Four steps you can take that will help build your foundation for self-confidence

  1. Practise critical awareness
  2. Make sure your goals are yours
  3. Soften your self-talk
  4. Curate your social feeds

Practise critical awareness

When we feel the hot burn of shame or the stomach drop of self-consciousness, it is most often in response to a feeling of comparison and judgment. When we’re in this comparison trap we’re fenced in the “should’s and must’s” and can feel acutely alone in our self-perception. When we recognise this feeling and can pause, breathe and remind ourselves that these feelings are shared with a large proportion of the female population, we can feel less alone, less marginalised and more a part of a group that has been forced into thinking we need to be someone other than ourselves (thanks advertising!). That simple act of critical awareness can bring a quick sense of relief and even slight defiance – what I call the “screw you” effect!

Make sure your goals are yours

The societal conditioning we are subject to from the day we are born often has us adopt goals that we don’t actually even want. At 52 I have no desire to work out and diet myself into anything approximating the shape of the lovely Jennifer Lopez, but the way she is feted by the media as a marvel, in much the same way that any woman who “defies her age”, can influence me on a day when I’m feeling vulnerable. Is this a true aspirational pinnacle of success that I want? Hell no! I know that I want to focus on my health and well-being to ensure an enjoyable life, but my goals are more manageable, and I need to remember that. Take a look at your goals and expectations today – where have they come from? Do they reflect who you truly want to be or have they been delivered to you by others?

Soften your self talk

It is so easy to fall into the habit of berating yourself. Of noticing and magnifying your “flaws”. Of speaking to yourself in harsh tones with cruel words that you would never consider inflicting on another person. I know that place so well and in fact, one of the greatest contrasts pre and post-recovery is the way in which I speak to myself. Today, I focus on cultivating a warm, supportive and encouraging relationship with myself. I smile at the mirror and remind myself I’m doing a great job and that I look happy and healthy. I remember to hold expectations lightly and if things don’t go according to plan in my work or life, I soften my self-talk further. Self-worth connection means providing yourself with self-compassion and a safe harbour when things are rocky – try it, and watch yourself flourish.

Curate your social feeds

This one action can have an instantly powerful impact on your mindset. Whether you prefer Facebook or Instagram, take the time today to deliberately remove any accounts that make you feel bad about yourself and follow ones that deliver positivity and joy into your feed. Some of my favourites are yourbodyourworthy, myalcoholfreelife, bodyimagemovement, and nonairbrushedme

A conscious commitment to your own emotional self-care is just as important as a nourishing diet and mindful, enjoyable exercise. These are just a few small steps that I’ve found helpful and I hope you do too.

Angela Raspass Business Coach & Self Worth Educator

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Angela Raspass

Business Mentor, Author and Founder of the Centre for Self Worth, Angela blends strategy & self-worth to support business owners & leaders develop sustainable, impactful & fulfilling visions. What will unfold in Your Next Chapter?

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