Are you lounging in your comfort zone wishing that someday, miraculously, you’ll wake up with greater confidence and courage?
This is going to sound harsh, but in my experience, I think that’s what most people do, especially women.
Courage and confidence aren’t magical qualities that some people have and others don’t.
The truth is that people who have confidence and courage have chosen to practice living outside of their comfort zones. They’ve been, and are willing to feel scared, uncomfortable and challenged.
If it weren’t scary, hard and uncomfortable everyone would be completely confident and I wouldn’t be writing this blog post.
You say you want to live more courageously and confidently.
My question to you is: Are you willing to practice getting uncomfortable and start using your voice?
If you are, read on! If you aren’t, that’s OK, but don’t complain about a lack of courage or confidence when they don’t magically appear for you.
This week’s practice challenge is to use your voice. Here are 4 ways you can practice courage and confidence in self-expression.
1. Say Who You Are
You are Who you Say you Are.
Confidence is powerfully using your voice to say who you are and then taking action that aligns with who you say you are.
WHO ARE YOU?
I’ll start: I am a calm, supportive space for women to transform their mindset and bodies through challenge and adventure. I’m also the possibility of transformation and freedom through discipline and adventure.
Take out a piece of paper, your journal, or create a new document. Write down who you say you are. Not from the past or who other people say you are. Right now, who do you say you are? Write it down.
Remember, you can’t get this wrong! And, you’re not sentencing yourself to believe this or act on this for the rest of your life. You can make a different declaration anytime.
Next challenge, tell someone who has earned your trust who you say you are!
2. Ask for Help
No one accomplishes anything on their own. This is truth.
The belief that asking for help is weak, bothersome, lame etc… is all story. Those beliefs may have helped you in the past cope with and survive certain situations, but that doesn’t mean that they continue to serve you now.
Asking for help is powerful and courageous. It leads to greater results much faster than trying to figure things out or navigate a situation on your own.
When you ask for help you also give permission to others around you to ask for help. That’s how community is created and supported.
Today, in a situation where you would normally try to ‘go it alone’ try asking for help. It could be the smallest of requests or help with a bigger problem. It doesn’t matter how big or small, start the practice now.
3. Make Bold Requests
Have you been wanting to ask something of someone for a long time, but have been too scared of hearing ‘no’ as the answer?
This is an opportunity to practice big courage. Even though you’re scared of getting a ‘no,’ you actually don’t know what the answer will be. See if you can set aside your projections for a moment of courage and asking. Don’t be attached the the answer and don’t take anything personally.
This isn’t a practice about the request itself, but about courage.
4. Say What You Need
Repeat this phrase: “That doesn’t work for me.” And, “what works for me is x, y, z…”
Stop saying yes to everyone who makes requests of you without pausing to consider if what they’re asking really works for you. Is it something you want to do. Do you have enough time after the time you set aside for yourself to do what they’re asking.
You don’t owe anyone anything. Yes, it’s important to honor your word and meet and complete commitments, but that doesn’t mean you have to martyr yourself in the process.
The next time someone asks something of you, take a pause to reflect about whether it aligns with what works for you. If it doesn’t, then let them know: “That doesn’t work for me.” If you’d like to do it, but the timing or circumstance doesn’t work for you, you may say something like: “I’d like to do that and here’s what would work for me.”
Once you start practicing this and grow in confidence, you realize that there is nothing personal in saying no to someone or someone else saying no to your request. This is a helpful insight for the bold request practice.
You’ve got your assignments! Time to take action and put them into practice. Nothing changes unless you take action. So, if you’re ready, it’s time to stop lounging and step out of your comfort zone into courage and confidence.
If you’d like group support in building courage, confidence and health this summer, click here to learn about my Summer Health Tribe. You can join a group of like-minded women in living your healthiest and most confident summer yet!