By Debbie Peterson – Founder of Getting to Clarity, Speaker, Trainer and Coach for the fed up midlife woman looking to fulfill her life’s purpose with confidence and clarity.
I had worked with one particular woman who was interested in making changes in the area of health and fitness and I asked her what specifically did she want. Here were her answers:
- I just don’t want to be fat anymore.
- I don’t want to have to keep buying new clothes when I have so many in my closet I don’t fit in.
- I don’t want to be winded when I try to exercise.
- I want to lose the weight once and for all so I never have to go through this again.
- I want to feel better about myself.
She was able to give me answers, but when you look at them what is she actually focusing on? Her answers (except for one) were about what she didn’t want or what she wanted to avoid. She said she knew what she wanted but what she was actually focused on, for the most part, was what she didn’t want.
The mind is a beautiful thing and it will search, discover, and bring to you what you hold in it (even if it’s what you don’t want). My classic example is “Don’t think of a blue tree.” You just did, didn’t you? You can’t help it! Your mind doesn’t process negatives (meaning don’t) which is why it is so important to focus on what you want to bring to you. Here’s how she chose to reframe her answers to focus on what she wants:
- I want to be at a healthy weight of 150 pounds or a size 12.
- I want to feel good about wearing all the beautiful clothes in my closet.
- I want to feel energetic when I exercise.
- I want to develop healthy strategies to support my healthy lifestyle change.
- I want to feel better about myself inside and out.
Focusing on what you want is a big key to building confidence because it allows you to focus your efforts and take action that will bring you results towards your desired outcome. Your focus, energy and intention are aligned with that which is most important to you. When you stand in the sunshine it feels warm but when you focus the sunshine through a magnifying glass it creates fire and quickly! This is what your focus does! “Whew! This girl is on fire!”
In the case of Confidence, what do you hold in your mind related to it? Do you think you can be confident? Do you think you can’t? In both cases – you’ll be right. Get it?
- Be aware. When you’re out and about, running errands, at meetings, traveling and you see a confident person, take a mental snapshot. Ask yourself, what is it about that person that gives off that confident aura? When you get home write it down. What qualities do you already possess? What qualities do you want to acquire? What is one small step that can take you in the direction of acquiring that quality? Take it! The same goes virtually too. When you see it online, notice it, be aware of it, write it down and ask yourself the same questions.
- Who are you surrounding yourself with? If you are the average of the top 5 people you spend time with, are they confident? Do they build your confidence? You may need to shuffle your “circle” a bit, if not. Who can you insert into your circle that has the traits you aspire to? Who do you have to limit? Be aware of those that pull you down.
- What are you ingesting? I don’t mean food either, although your health and fitness can play a role in your feeling confident. No, what I’m talking about here is what do you feed your brain? Reality TV? The trash sheets from the checkout aisle at the grocery store? Entertainment news? This is all fodder for your brain that just seeps in unconsciously. Ask yourself is this what you aspire to? All that drama? Not my monkey, not my circus! Instead, what can you listen to, watch, or read instead that focuses on confidence to help you build it? Just head to Amazon.com and type in “confidence” if you need some material that you can read or listen to in your car. My blog and website are continual sources for confidence so if you haven’t signed up yet, head to my website and join the conversation. My Facebook page and Twitter page are also sources for information to keep you focused on building your confidence.
- What activities do you participate in that help build your confidence? Some of mine this summer were hula hooping, flash mobbing and hula dancing. Seriously! When you take yourself out of your comfort zone with activities, especially fun ones, it expands your proverbial horizons and you feel more confident. Try something out of the ordinary today. Cook a meal you’ve never prepared before. If you speak Spanish – sign up for French lessons. Never painted – why not an art class? There are millions of activities, do something that is unknown to you and enjoy building your confidence one new activity at a time.
- Keep a list. Yep, a confidence list. Every time you rock something out and you’re feeling good about it, write it down! When you prepare a meal you’re proud of, when you shave 5 minutes off your morning walk, when you find the perfect gift for someone, when you hear that voice in your head (your internal wisdom) tell you something and you listen and it works out perfect – write it down!
Here’s wishing you the confidence and clarity you deserve!
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