Day 99: Finding Your Self Confidence

When I was nineteen I was in a bad relationship with someone who drank way too much. Every night was a binge and rather than buy food or pay his electric bill, he’d sit in a dark room drinking hard alcohol. I cried to my mom one night and she said, “It used to be that men who drank couldn’t get a girl. Women had standards. Now, ANY guy can get a girl. He can be abusive, an addict, and there will be a woman willing to date him.” It’s true, isn’t it? What happened?

Years and years later, we watch our girlfriends make these awful mistakes and think, “What the heck? Why do we keep doing this??” Finally, I set a standard. I decided, “I want to be with someone who impresses me.” I wanted to set standards for the guy I gave my time to. I wanted to love someone not because I had this gut feeling and because we both liked The Office and Taco Bell, but because of real things. Because I valued the qualities he had and because I valued what he valued.

Does this make sense? Let’s take a moment and decide now, is this okay? Is this acceptable and understandable? It is for me.

So let’s flip it onto ourselves. What if you set a standard for yourself? What if you decided that it was time you impressed yourself? Suddenly tensions rise. Be careful what you say, Denise… it’s 2019 and we are supposed to be loving ourselves; telling ourselves we are perfect just the way we are. We are supposed to be looking in the mirror saying, “I am PERFECT just the way I am.” But what if that actually isn’t true? What if you’re sitting in a dark room every night because you spent your electric bill money on another bottle of Whiskey? Am I supposed to tell you you’re perfect? Or am I supposed to tell you, “You were meant for better things, and you absolutely, positively can have those better things.” ?

I recently read the book, “Girl Wash Your Face” and I loved it. I even wrote a whole post about it here. There was one chapter though, where she told me I was a perfect mom. Okay, I’m a pretty good mom but that doesn’t mean everyone who reads that book is. What if I was an abusive or neglectful mom? And then I read that book and thought, “Oh, good, I’m so glad, I was thinking I’d have to make changes.” We AREN’T all perfect. We all have really big problems and really big struggles that we should be working to overcome.

Self confidence isn’t the assurance that you’re perfect. It’s the belief in yourself that you can do anything.

Let me italic and bold that for you. Self confidence isn’t the assurance that you’re perfect. It’s the belief in yourself that you can do anything.¬†

So how do you build that up? It’s simple. You impress yourself. You set goals and you reach them. You set standards for yourself.

It’s not hard for me to impress myself. Going three days without drinking Pepsi is impressive for me. Losing ten pounds is impressive for me. Getting out of bed before seven is impressive for me. Being ever so slightly better than yesterday is impressive to me.

How about you? What are three small things you can do to impress yourself this week? Set a goal, knock it out of the park, and go to bed next Friday thinking, “Damn… I’m amazing. I wonder what else I can do?”

A few tips to get you started:

  1. Talk to yourself the way you would talk to your friends. If my bestie told me she gave up soda, I’d give her a huge, genuine, and well deserved congratulations. But if I told myself I gave up soda, my inner brat would be like “It’s about time, fatty!”

If my bestie told me she finally started a college savings account for her twelve year old, I’d give her credit for it, “Anything will help!” But if it were me, I’d say “It’s about time, are you kidding me? What have you been doing for 12 years?!”

The way we talk to others is infinitely more generous and gracious than how we talk to ourselves.

  1. Set small goals and build from there. Don’t set yourself up to fail. For example, the Whole 30 is a trap! We set a 30 day goal not realizing how long thirty days is, and we get 12 days into it and instead of congratulating ourselves for eating super clean for 12 days, we beat ourselves up because it wasn’t all 30 days. Instead of saying, “I need to book 25 weddings this year!” set a goal of booking ONE. WEDDING. Once you’ve done that, see if you can repeat the steps to book another. Bite sized goals.
  2. Make changes that work with who you are. Everyone has their own personal current, and trying to swim against it is another way we set ourselves up to fail. For example, don’t set a goal to run a marathon if you hate running. Instead, set a goal to find three active programs that you love doing. Once you’ve done that set a goal to do two of those things once a week. Then grown and build.

You guys, that was day 99! What???? SO CRAZY. Thank you for being here and I’ll see you tomorrow for day 100!!!

Denise Karis is an Arizona photographer who enjoys musicals, Doctor Who and breakfast burritos. IG @denisekaris