Is there someone in your life who showers you with praise? Or someone who’s been rather critical? I bet you hear their voice in your head a lot. In either case, I want to help you find your own voice of confidence.
My dad’s voice is the one I hear the most. He’s been gone from this Earth for 3 years now, but in all the time I was blessed to spend with him, he loved me completely. He supported every decision I ever made. He was always proud.
To this day when I give a speech, publish a book, or accomplish anything exciting, I can feel him beaming.
The challenge is I created an expectation – that everyone should be this proud of me! – and while I love who I am, there’s always room to grow.
His voice kept me from receiving useful feedback for a long time. Constructive comments would cause me to shut down, thinking I failed, that I wasn’t good enough. Critical comments.. well let’s not even go down that road.
Because my dad was such a huge supporter, I learned to rely on that and put so much weight on what other people thought of me.
In my last job at a software company, I once arranged a meeting with a big-time manager to discuss process issues with our teams, hoping to reach a solution together.
I was proud of myself for taking action.
When I sat down in her office, she immediately unleashed the unexpected upon me… that I should be able to get this under control without coming to her, and that her team thought I was a b****.
I’d entered that room with confidence and courage. I left hollowed, dejected, a total failure. I was a few months into my leadership role, which I clearly did not deserve.
The conversation and low-worth thoughts of myself played in my mind for days, like weeds in a yard, overtaking any chance of a relaxing weekend.
Soon a different voice piped up, a little daisy peeking its head above the soft ground after the last of winter’s snow had melted.
“Maybe it’s okay that you couldn’t handle it on your own. You’re new at this. You’re learning.” It was my own voice of acceptance. The voice of truth. My inner wisdom.
I relaxed into these words, and soon I’d created space to get curious. “Maybe she has a point. Maybe I have been a bit harsh.”
And just like that, I received the constructive feedback I needed to elevate my leadership. My own voice helped me find compassion and empathy.
I returned to work the next week with a mission to listen better and help more, rather than constantly pushing back and demanding more of others when they were already drowning.
The confidence I had when I first walked into that woman’s office had been restored, strengthened, elevated.
What about you?
Is there a voice from your past or present that’s speaking louder than your own?
How can realigning with your voice, your inner wisdom, allow you to show up with more confidence every day?
And if someone threatens that confidence, how can you get yourself back to the truth?
We can’t change someone else’s delivery of their feedback, but if we accept ourselves more fully, we can be open to the message inside to help us grow.
This is my commitment to myself:
I am committed to tuning in and making my voice even louder.
By doing this I trust I will get back up even faster.
I promise to love myself for exactly who I am today.
I will accept feedback with gratitude.
I will show up every day and be the best version of myself!
What about you? Do you accept these commitments? Share with me below and feel free to write some of your own!