Everyone has a story. Every person comes from someone,from somewhere unique all to their own. And one thing I have learned is to allow your story to empower you. To inspire others. To push you further towards the life you want. Not everyone is born with June and Ward Cleaver as their parents, feeding them a silver spoon. Hell, I definitely wasn’t. But that is what I have learned to love about my story and hearing other people’s stories, meeting their families and hearing the life events that shape them into who they are today. No two stories are alike.People’s stories have always inspired me to dream bigger and evolve as a person.
Michele Bradley. Bradley as her friends lovingly refer to her as, is the type of friend you hope to have. She is the person you want to go to for wise counsel.She has a way of kicking you in the ass while giving you a hug at the same time. She is known for her “Bradley Bombs”. You will be in conversation and she will just drop a truth bomb on ya out of no where. And it usually leaves you scrambling for a pen and paper so you can write it down to read later. She is snarkiest of mothers by far and I’m honored to call her a dear friend.
“How did my kids get so bold and outspoken?”
It’s the question my Mother asks every single time my brother or I say something that no one else has the nerve to. The words that make people look at me, like Fiona, my bully, does on the daily.
A look of “Oh no she didn’t” or “Can you believe this shit?”.
But, back to my Mother. When she makes this exclamation, she just sits and shakes her head as her eyes light up with pride while all the others at the table, hear her surprised exclamation and don’t have the nerve to shout FROM YOU! I mean let’s be totally transparent here, they wouldn’t argue with her if their life depended on it! I mean they can barely look her in the eye. They just look down, like their praying and wondering how the woman who feigns shock that her kids are so bold and outspoken, don’t see that they are like this because of her! You see my friends, this is the clear difference that confidence and self-awareness makes.
You see, truth spitters, like myself, seem to be rare. But why? Why is it so hard to come across people who just say it like it is? Is it the fear of being outcasted, of being looked at as a negative Nancy or does it come down to good old confidence? Personally, I am going to say all the above BUT I am a huge proponent of confidence.
Not fake confidence, but that deep down, healthy, I am good at this but need to work on this confidence.
The I know what I am saying is truth, confidence.
The type of confidence that as you speak the damn words and you give yourself chills because they are so spot on.
So what if you don’t have that confidence?
What if you weren’t raised in a family that created and nurtured it? What if you missed out on the confidence lottery? Is it too late for you? Umm, HELL NO! Let me share a few action items that you can put into place daily, to pump your confidence UP and better yet, make it a part of who you are.
1. Say What You Believe.
Don’t waste time speaking words for the hell of it. If you don’t mean it, if you are saying them to get a reaction, if you are saying them and they aren’t true…DON’T SAY THEM! I know you’re thinking that sometimes it’s easier said than done, but really it’s not. Say what you mean, mean what you say. I promise, you will feel better if you believe in your words. And it’s easier to keep up with the truth.
2. Surround Yourself with Like Minded People.
It’s not about being a positive Polly, it’s about being a solution based thinker. And the best thing you can do is surround yourself with those people who think like you do. Nothing gets solved by bitching, complaining and living the “woe is me life”. Bad things happen all the time, but it’s our reaction that can make them go from bad to better really quick!
3. Don’t Undervalue What You’re Good At.
We all are good at something! Whether it’s couponing, spreadsheets or that you’re a good listener, don’t undervalue what you’re good at and then….sprinkle it around like confetti! When you give freely, you receive naturally. So sharing what you’re good at, with no strings attached, will not only serve others but it will make you feel GREAT about yourself. PS: Do a solid and don’t brag about what you have done. Let’s your good, speak for itself.
4. Get to Know Yourself
I always say “If you’re not learning something about yourself every day, you’re not paying attention.” We can’t go through life blaming others for our situations. We depend on those around us to make sure they are confirming to what we want and need. And truthfully, we can’t keep making the same mistakes. Whenever I have a reaction to something I don’t love or get into a situation that makes me less than happy, I ask myself a few questions.
a. What actions/decision did I take/make to get me here?
b. What could I have said or done differently?
c. Is this something I can change or is it a non-negotiable?
Trying to be a better person isn’t always about bowing down to another. It’s about learning who we are and what we can do for OURSELVES to bring more peace into our lives.
5. Show Grace and Gratitude.
Sometimes people suck. And sometimes, they can’t help it. Think of a time you failed, but you really were doing the best you could. Now think of those that get on your last, damn nerve. Maybe, just maybe, they are doing their best too. Offer some grace! It keeps your blood pressure down and hopefully Karma is paying attention! That way, when you suck next time, those around you will return the favor. And when they do, show them gratitude. I mean real, deep down gratitude. People don’t HAVE to support us. They choose to! Remember this.
Real, true confidence comes from our understanding of ourself. It comes from looking the mirror and being honest with your self. Whether that truth is about your feelings, your actions or your beliefs just be honest. If it feels icky, it usually is. Your truth does set you free and it will attract those around you, that SHOULD be there! Now go on with your bad self and make yourself PROUD!