When you’re working hard to lose a significant amount of weight – or keep off what you’ve already lost – your friends and family members can be a source of comfort, enthusiasm and support, or they can be one of the challenges that you must overcome in order to succeed.
Family and friends know us – or at least they THINK they do – and sometimes what they know about us can be very hurtful. They’ve seen us at our most vulnerable, they know many, if not all of our secrets, and they know about our foundational experiences. They’ve lived with us through many of the challenges and triumphs that have made us who we are.
In order to succeed in your journey to a stronger and healthier you, you may have to find and develop a sense of confidence despite your friends and family. Let’s look at some ways that you can accomplish this…
Finding and Developing a Sense of Confidence
As you go through life’s inevitable trials, especially with regard to building a stronger, healthier body and learning how to love your reflection, you’ll benefit from knowing that you can reach within yourself to start the process. Adding to your sense of confidence helps you avoid feeling down or disheartened, no matter what (or who) happens to you. This will help you live the most Dynamic, Intriguing, Vivacious and Audacious life you can!
If you are unsure about how to tap in to your confidence – try these strategies:
- Think about the 3 toughest things you’ve ever done in your life. You were successful in coming through those crises – perhaps one of them was qualifying for weight loss surgery, or successfully losing a significant amount of weight after surgery. By mentally exploring these events, you’ll learn about how you found your confidence in those instances. Now that’s knowledge you can use.
Whenever you lack confidence, reflect on those tough times and the strategies you utilized to get through them. You are tougher than you may believe!
Feeling self-assured and confident becomes easier when you realize that you can make it through difficult times and emerge triumphant. You can hang on to this triumphant feeling no matter what friends or family say – after all, they haven’t necessarily been through everything that you have. They may not have seen you rise to the occasion, and so they don’t know your strength!
- What are your most significant achievements? Take some moments to survey your life. Whether it’s teaching yourself how to take proper care of your lawn or reading the entire collection of Shakespeare, recognize that you’ve achieved all kinds of milestones – many of them NOT related to your weight loss.
Reflect on your achievements and let yourself feel proud. Re-connect with the feelings of self-assurance you experienced at those times. Feel your confidence grow, and keep remembering that all of your accomplishments don’t HAVE to be related to your weight loss journey. You are more than your journey – and there is much more you can accomplish in addition to building that healthier and stronger you.
Allow yourself to look forward to a future filled with still more achievement. Use your past successes and achievements to fuel the next leg of your journey – keeping you motivated to the next goal, the next achievement, the next step on your plan!
If friends or family members don’t recognize or acknowledge your accomplishments, it could be that by celebrating your progress, they are realizing that they aren’t in the same place. Perhaps they can’t yet see that your success can inspire them – but don’t let THAT stop you from achieving. This journey to better health and a stronger body doesn’t have to be for anyone BUT YOU.
- Understand – but don’t get ‘stuck’ in – your mistakes. An important aspect of finding your confidence is examining what you’ve done in the past that you now see as a mistake. Thoroughly understanding your prior errors is integral to developing your sense of self-assuredness.
Reviewing your mistakes allows you to say to yourself that you understand what happened and that you know how to approach those situations differently. Knowing what you did wrong and recognizing that you wouldn’t do it the same way again builds confidence.
When you realize that you’ve gained some applicable knowledge, you also strengthen your confidence that you can meet any challenge in the future. People will remind you of your past mistakes to try and “keep you humble” – don’t let that drag you down. Once you’ve gotten through a challenge, don’t let it hold any sway over you. You are not the same person who made the mistake originally – by reviewing the mistake, understanding what happened and developing a plan to avoid another mistake just like it, you’ve already WON.
- Find a role model. You probably know someone who you believe exhibits great confidence – no matter what their size or “station” in life. Using them as a role model can be instrumental in helping you find your own confidence.
What does your role model’s self-assurance look like? Does the person make eye contact when speaking to others – especially those who would challenge them for their beliefs and actions? Can you see a comfortable ease with which he or she relates to others? Think about how the person you have in mind looks, acts, and talks – are there qualities of theirs that you share or could develop?
Perhaps your role model has a great sense of humor. The self-assured person isn’t afraid to admit he’s made a mistake. He may even gently laugh at himself for his errors – and the emphasis here is on GENTLY.
Now, try behaving like you think your role model would. You truly can live your way into a new way of thinking. If you emulate the person whom you view as confident, you’ll be more likely to exude self-assurance yourself.
Even when you’re experiencing a challenge and aren’t feeling too sure of yourself or your ability to overcome it, try “faking it till you make it.” Use your knowledge about how confidence appears and behave that way – act “as if”. Soon after, you’ll begin to recognize and connect with your own true confidence, and it will build that confidence even more.
Although you might not always feel self-assured, and sometimes our friends and family members can contribute to that feeling, try some of these strategies to help you find your confidence when you need it. Before you know it, you’ll have tapped into your self-confidence, and others will be emulating you!
If you’re a woman and a Mom who travels for work or business on a regular basis, you likely deal with tearful goodbyes, mournful phone messages, and requests for presents to be brought home – some of which can also affect your self-confidence. If you’d like some focused and well-thought out advice on making business travel more family friendly, check out my fellow blogger Jamee Tenzer and her latest article: Have job, will travel: How working moms can make business-travel, more family friendly.