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Self-confidence struggles can severely affect our personal and professional life.
Do you often wonder if you are enough? You have hundreds of friends. But, do they know who you really are? Do you question yourself why anyone would want to be friends with you?
If you’re a blogger or if you have an online media presence, do you struggle with the questions such as: Would people like what I am writing? Why would they want to follow me?
Today on the blog, we have Sarah Wall. She is taking care of 6 children single-highhandedly while balancing homeschooling, blogging and running a business from home. She is sharing her self-confidence struggles and how to overcome it. Read on to learn her story.
Social skills? Me?
Recently, I was at a family oriented picnic with my kids for an association I’m a part of. I’m a single mom of six girls, and they were running around making friends. I was simply trying to keep track of where everyone was when I nearly stepped onto a nearby family’s blanket. After my apologies, the other mom and I chatted briefly, sharing our stories. In all my chaotic glory, I was not expecting anything more than a brief conversation simply showing who I was.
To my surprise, as we were getting ready to leave a couple of hours later, she came up to me. She asked for my contact info and about my blog, Raising Royalty. I handed her a business card, and she said she’d definitely look to connect with me later.
Why was I so surprised?
Like most women, I grew up thinking that you had to look a certain way, act a certain way and be a certain kind of person to be popular, or even to be liked. I never looked that way nor did I act that way. I was a shy, too-intelligent-for-my-peers nerd who preferred books to people. I assumed that I was never noticed.
When I got married, the man I married told me how lucky I was that he married me. He told me flat-out that it wasn’t because of how I looked, but rather because I could cook and take care of children. By the time I realized what I had gotten into, my self-confidence was severely shaken.
The lies I believed
I assumed that no one would never really like me unless I did what was expected.
I thought that in order to be helped, you had to do what you were told by those helping, even if it hurt you.
And I believed that the only reason someone wanted to be my friend was because I could do something for them.
None of that was true.
Maybe it’s just me. Or maybe I’m just a little slow. This may be an obvious thing to most other people, but here’s the truth.
Most people are generally predisposed to like you, not dislike you.
Not the center of attention
One of the biggest lies I’ve told myself is that people pay attention to every mistake I make. But really, no one cares.
Few people think about you as much as you think they do. They’re too busy thinking about their own worries. However, if you do attract someone’s attention, it’s usually because you’re interesting. How are you interesting? Most people look at you and compare their real life to your highlights.
Social media perpetuates the lie.
If you watch a sports television program at all, you’ll see the highlight reel. Only the best catches, the most spectacular goals and the most fantastic plays make it on the highlight reel. We have halls of fame devoted to the best of the best athletes and artists. Even those who have had scandals and humiliating moments are still remembered for the records they set or the impact they’ve made. The highlights overshadow the bloopers. The mistakes fade away in the light of the accomplishments.
It’s so easy to think that everyone else has a better handle on this thing called life than we do. Just scroll down your Facebook feed. Even the dramas that our friends have seem more dramatic than our own! We compare our mundane, boring real lives to the highlight reels of social media. And then, we wonder if anyone really even knows us, let alone likes us?
How To Overcome Self-Confidence Struggles
They say that to make friends, you need to be a friend. To gain followers and customers, you need to give away value. It isn’t about confidence really. It all boils down to the one thing: be genuine and it will attract.
You learned this in kindergarten. Just be yourself. You, your real self, is good enough.
Ever heard the phrase “trying too hard”? We know when someone is trying too hard. It comes off as fake, and it repels. Trying to impress, trying to be likeable does the opposite. You don’t need more confidence. You just need to value yourself.
Easier Said Than Done
Several years ago, I attended a workshop on mindset and management. One of the repeated mantras (that still echoes in my head) is that “to think is to create.” What you think, what beliefs you have, will determine what happens. If what you intended to happen isn’t what you got, then you need to double-check your thought process.
It’s true with your confidence, and it’s true when you’re interacting with other people. If you think you are unlikable and expect rejection, that’s probably what you’ll get. You make it harder for others to get to know you.
What you think about yourself is how you encourage other people to think about you. They, then, have to fight through that smog just to be able to see you.
But if you think you are worth knowing, and that you genuinely have something to offer, not only do others not have to fight through a jungle just to get to you, but you’ve rolled out the red carpet inviting them to connect with you.
It’s not a gimmick
This may be an obvious thing to a lot of people. But from all the blogs, books, videos, podcasts and seminars I see on how to connect with people — finding clients, making friends, having influence, being a leader, becoming an expert, etc. — I think this concept is a bit more hidden.
There is no secret to attracting people. There is no gimmick to it. You don’t have to modify your body language or find the right combination of colors. The only thing you really need to do to “win friends and influence people,” to coin a phrase, is to be yourself and accept that as being enough. Trust that the authentic you is enough to attract.
Just me is enough
Over the last year, I have found that when I am sincere in my invitation, in my offer to help or sharing my story, I get a warm response in return. At the very least, I get a polite refusal. But usually, I see curiosity and connection happens. Because I’m helpful, real, natural and heartfelt, people like me. They get interested in me.
I don’t have to prove anything to gain a friend. I don’t have to manipulate, pretend or hide. In fact, if I try to be something I’m not, simply to impress, it is a huge turn-off. People can sense fake and phony from a mile away. The secret, if there is such a thing, to drawing an audience is to be real.
I am who I am… You get what you see.. It’s just me. And that’s enough.
About the Author
Sarah is a single parent of 6, including the new addition, born in summer 2017. She and her princesses live in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada, where they enjoy homeschooling, playing and growing together as a family. She runs XeraSupport.com, a virtual business support agency, from home.
Thank you Sarah for sharing your story. Believing in yourself is the foundation to thrive in life.
If you have an inspiring story you would like to share, please get in touch with me and check out this Finding Your Tribe post.
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