Women and Confidence: The First Step to Feeling "Good Enough"

I thought my confidence was intact and was actively working at building my career, enjoying a wonderful family and practicing self-care when I realized that there were more days than I wanted when I felt like I was swimming upstream. I paused and sat with that feeling, identified it, and decided I didn't like it. So I did something about it.

What can you do when you feel like you're hitting obstacles and can't seem to move forward in your career, have fulfilling relationships or find internal serenity?

Step one is to pause and take a look at what's stopping you from reaching your goals. I had many reasons that got in my way when I was trying to move forward, including: not enough time, too stressed, not having the resources to do what I wanted, needing help, and confused about what to do first. When I stopped and thought about those reasons they were mostly true and valid, but didn't include the whole picture.

Underneath the reasons were feelings of lingering fear and wobbly self-confidence.

Lacking self-confidence is often a result of trying to be something we're not. Comparing yourself to your peers or co-workers, focusing on doing things for others, or minimizing your needs are familiar behaviors for many women. When your confidence and worth are dependent on what you believe others are thinking of you, it's easy to start having self-doubts about your value.

Operating out of fear that you're not "good enough" to _____ (fill in the blank) is a common self-limiting belief that can keep you stuck and unhappy. What's worse is when you make decisions based on that negative belief, it may get reinforced through interactions with others. When we believe we aren't good enough, our behaviors often teach people what to expect from us and how to treat us. We inadvertently create this dynamic that keeps telling us we're not good enough.  (Insert negative thought here: See, I knew they wouldn't like my idea.)

We all struggle in various ways with learning new things or within our relationships, and that really is okay.

It's a typical human condition to feel challenged in things we care about, even though it may not feel good at the time. When you find yourself struggling and not liking it, pause. Acknowledge that you're feeling frustrated, disappointed or whatever emotions are present. Give yourself compassion in accepting that you're hesitant to do a project or that you're unsure how best to communicate with someone you love, and ask for help. Asking for help means you value yourself enough to get your needs met. And, you're still good enough. You are deserving, worthy and valuable.

Feeling self-confident can be a wonderful feeling of freedom, you are left with an awareness that you are capable and competent and good enough to know when to ask for help. You can relax into being who you really are and feel good about you!