We’re not BORN confident. At least, I wasn’t.
In fact, I’ve spent the majority of my life trying to “fake it” until I “made it” or at least trying to fake confidence enough that others wouldn’t notice I was self-conscious as hell. I’m sure it was very transparent…
A lack of confidence is where my social anxiety started. I always felt like I was going to say the wrong thing, wasn’t wearing the right clothes, wouldn’t be able to relate to topics of conversation. I was always so concerned with what others thought of me because I didn’t think much of myself.
I want to tell you that this was exclusive to my teen years and that, once high-school ended, I suddenly felt confident, and sure of myself, and other people’s opinions didn’t matter… but that wasn’t the case. In fact, when I got married and became a mother, it got so much worse. I was always fearful that I wasn’t a good mom, that I wasn’t a good wife. I was consumed with what other mothers thought about how I was raising my kids or how happy my husband was or whether we were doing a good enough job of keeping up with the Jones.
I placed such high value on the opinions of others that I measured my self-worth against what I thought other people thought of me.
And, of course, after having children, my years of eating what I wanted and not taking care of my body were over and I found myself 40 lbs heavier than I was when we were married. I felt uncomfortable in my body 100% of the time, layering shirts on tanks on spanx, and constantly pulling at my clothes or finding strategic ways to hide my midsection with a child in my arms. It seemed, to me, like every woman around me had no issue dropping the baby weight and that they enjoyed doing it; I thought it was easy for them and couldn’t understand why I was the one struggling.
I was SO hard on myself, all of the time, and it turned into the ultimate downward spiral into a few years long nightmare struggle with depression and an anxiety disorder. I spent years in therapy and on medication, fighting to stay above the depression waves that were so mercilessly trying to pull me under. My husband and kids went through the worst of my mood swings and torment and, one day, I thought to myself, “If I wasn’t here anymore, they would be better off.”
That was my breaking point, my bottom. That was my worst day ever.
Shortly after, my miracle came. A Facebook ad told me about a woman — another mother — who struggled with her weight loss after babies and how she’d found a solution for her health that turned into a career of helping other women.
I have no idea what made me reach out to her. Ok, well now I do — clearly Universe intervention. But at the time, I didn’t believe in those “schemes” or ever click on Facebook ads so I didn’t know what it was about this one in particular that spoke to me and made me reach out.
What I thought I was signing up for was 3 weeks of home workouts and shakes and then I’d be skinny and happy and all would be good.
What I got was so much more.
I was welcomed into a community of positive, uplifting women. Women who don’t spend their days picking themselves, and others, apart. Women who hear your struggle — TRULY hear — and help you come up with a plan to over come it, all well supporting you the entire time.
These women introduced me to personal development books, something I was incredibly resistant to at first. (Because I don’t need any f*cking self help books, are you crazy?) When I got over myself and finally read my first book, my mind was blown.* It was like my brain finally woke up to the idea of depression + anxiety recovery. I finally realized that I didn’t have to fight through depression forever and that I didn’t have to learn to be just content with my life, that I could actually be happy.
I discovered that my life was meant for so much more than I thought I was capable of. Through the trials of hard fitness programs, growing a business, and working through personal development, I learned that I am strong and capable of anything. And, I found that, by working on myself, one day at a time, a little bit at a time, I’ve uncovered the happy, strong, determined, passionate, caring, funny woman that I truly am. By working to uncover that woman — someone I actually like — I’ve finally found my confidence in who I am.💕