How I Became a Superhero
(Or just more confident.)
I thought I was confident. I thought I loved myself, had high self esteem and was happy in my own skin. And in many ways, I was. I was confident to the extent that I recognized my attributes and had a clear idea of what I deserved. Then, during a breakup that left me feeling empty, incomplete, and “not enough,” I realized that not all my behaviors were demonstrating confidence. I may have known what my goals were, how I wanted to feel and what I was looking for, but I wasn’t always acting like it.
Here are seven strategies that helped me align confident beliefs with confident action to reach a much more fulfilling level of of self awareness, wholeness, self control and personal power.
Learn when to respond to your feelings and when to take practical action despite them.
Sometimes feelings act as guides, like personal alarm systems that serve your intuition. For me, these feelings show up as an agitated flutter (not the sexy kind) in my chest or a heaviness that drains me. When your own sensation comes up, notice where it is and what it might be telling you before reaching for a glass of wine or seeking other escapes. Use uncomfortable feelings as signals to decide if there are actions you can take to come back into balance. It can be as simple as having an honest conversation with someone. Writing my feelings down and seeing them in front of me sometimes surprises me and often makes me laugh. It helps me understand them, take action if necessary, let them go and move on. Other times we need to accept negative feelings, allow them to complete their cycle in the body and take positive action anyway. If, for instance, you’ve left an unsatisfying relationship or an unfulfilling job and are now feeling lonely or anxious, pat yourself on the back for getting up in the morning, taking care of yourself, being kind and taking proactive steps towards your goals despite feeling bad.
Finally, sometimes anxiety is just fear and you need to take a leap in order to expand. Meditation has helped me develop my intuition to tell the difference, leading me to …
Meditation is like a gym for your brain. It develops intuition, relaxes your body and helps break down your walls so you can be your most authentic self. It contributes to what I call having mental and emotional sovereignty, in which you are much less susceptible to being dominated by your thoughts, emotions and external factors outside of your control. In my experience, meditation makes you feel stronger, more able to receive, more available to give, more replenished to take action, more inspired, more free, more peaceful, more loving, and just generally more awesome.
It can be tough to get started meditating on your own. I go to a meditation studio called Unplug Meditation in Los Angeles, and it’s always a highlight in my day. They offer a wide array of classes, so it’s easy to find one that resonates with you and fits your schedule. If you have access to a studio in your area, I recommend giving it a shot.
Become patient and grounded in your own self-love
How do we do this? By not forcing situations that are not good matches for us. By knowing our own values and sticking to them. By being proud of how we treat others and how we deal with conflict. By improving ourselves and learning.
By savoring alone time — reading, writing, working out, treating yourself to brunch, going to the movies, getting a massage, going snowboarding, taking a workshop … pick your healthy pleasure.
Allow yourself to embody strength and vulnerability simultaneously
We don’t need to act invincible, thick skinned, apathetic, fearless or like a super badass, unaffected boss all the time. Keep your heart open, celebrate your sensitivity and stay humble, but value your assertiveness and resilience.
Respect your living space and work area
No matter the size or permanence of your living situation, set up your home in a way that you enjoy being there. Relish in your routine and rituals, surround yourself with beauty and keep your space clean and clutter-free. It’s your sanctuary.
Similarly, create a work area that is conducive to concentration and creativity.
Entertain problems as puzzles that you can and will solve
You feel good about yourself when you use your own resources, ambition, creativity and intelligence to solve problems. Instead of resisting them, see them as opportunities to outsmart situations and come out feeling accomplished.
Protect and enjoy your body
Our bodies aren’t who we are, but they are our vehicles in the world. Make the effort to maintain or improve your health. Take a luxurious bath. Use a delicious-smelling moisturizer. Have fun with style to express your individuality and support your inner magnetism.
Be gentle with yourself when you need a break, and kick your own butt when you’re getting complacent or feeling sorry for yourself. Know that where you’re at and what you know is the perfect springboard for growth into your next state of being. With acceptance comes self-respect, and with self-respect comes confidence.
Originally published at www.desireelanz.com on January 3, 2017.