Sometimes I feel like I am getting less confident as I grow older.
Isn’t it supposed to be the other way around? Aren’t we supposed to feel more comfortable as we age?
In truth, it’s only certain areas in my life that I feel less than confident. One of those places is in dating and relationships… and that’s because I have spent 20 years at war with my body.
When I was 12, I was diagnosed with a chronic, progressive muscle disorder. I was told there was no treatment and no cure and was basically sent out the door to fend for myself.
In all fairness, I have grown up with a super supportive family and friends. But I didn’t want to accept that I was different. I didn’t want to be different.
I denied it. And when that didn’t work I was angry as hell. And when that didn’t work I reluctantly tried to accept what was given to me while knowing that things can always get better.
When I was 30 years old, I decided to start a business. And that was a whole new level of difficult.
It was difficult because I had to put myself out there, I had to be seen (people could see my body!), I had to open myself up to rejection and judgment. It took me six months just to work up the courage to do a live video!
I slowly became more comfortable with showing up and owning who I was in that area of my life.
But here’s the thing… the beliefs I had for 20 years about how I wasn’t good enough, wasn’t pretty enough, wasn’t worthy enough (even if I didn’t consciously know these beliefs were there) have caused me the most problems in dating.
The thought that rocked me
I was on a first date with a great guy. He met me in the parking lot and we walked into the restaurant together. Full disclosure, I usually try to sneak into the restaurant before my date arrives in case my balance isn’t 100% and my gait is more awkward than usual. Well, I wasn’t at my best on this day and had to ask for his help walking up the small ramp into the building.
While being seated, I asked the hostess to move us to a new table because I didn’t like how the one she tried to sit us at was so close to the tables around it. I wouldn’t have had enough room to get up easily. As someone with limitations, I’m always scanning and altering my environment to make my way through the world a little easier.
And as I finally sat down with this guy, a thought shot through my head, “What if he’s disappointed?”
Disappointed that it’s sometimes difficult for me to walk from my car into a restaurant. Disappointed that I am picky about where we sit and maybe even come off as high-maintenance. What if he had this picture of who I was in his mind and the reality of who I am let him down?
The thought made me incredibly sad.
Not for him.
But for me.
Because I’ve done enough personal growth work to know that the reason I was worried about him being disappointed was probably because I was disappointed in myself.
When I got home I wanted to seriously reflect on this.
Was I a disappointment to myself?
Was I truly disappointed in my body?
Was I let down by where I was or how things had turned out in my life?
While I certainly don’t think I’m perfect, I was relieved to discover that I don’t see myself as a disappointment.
I was also reminded that I need to show my body more love, so I spent a few minutes mentally running through all the amazing things my body does for me. I thought about the things I’ve achieved in every area of my life. I reflected on the amazing dreams and goals I have for myself. I remembered how far I’ve come in the past 20 years.
I’m not disappointed at all. And I realized, if a guy I go on a date with is disappointed (when I’m pretty f’ing amazing), then he’s not the one for me.
Confidence isn’t a Continuous State
None of us is confident in all areas of our lives at all times. And confidence isn’t something you wake up with one morning and then it just stays with you forever.
We have good days and bad days.
We have certain things in our life that we’re TOTALLY confident about and things that we’re not so confident about.
Just being aware of what’s coming up for us when we’re not feeling 100% confident can help us to follow that feeling back to its root, challenge it, and move on.
Comment below and let me know one area of your life that you don’t always feel 100% confident… and one area that you do.
Lacey Nagar is a confidence and visibility coach, author, and mentor. She works with entrepreneurs who feel uncomfortable in the spotlight and helps them with both the confidence and the strategy needed to put themselves out there and make the impact they’re dying to make in the world. Learn her secrets to embracing the spotlight by downloading her wildly popular guide The Introvert’s Guide to Embracing the Spotlight here. You can also connect with her on her website or Instagram for a daily dose of confidence and motivation.
Image courtesy of veeterzy.