How does a baby get the confidence to walk when she’s crawling? How does she keep trying when she falls down over and over again? Why doesn’t she get discouraged and simply give up?
Beyond the natural curiosity and tenacity of blissfully forgetful children, the secret to their successes can be found in the endless encouragement they receive from their parents. Her parents are delighted with the tiniest amount of progress, fascinated with every step she takes. They’re her personal cheerleading squad, providing her the loving confidence she needs to keep trying.
Her parents’ enthusiasm is telling her that she’s just one step away from reaching her goal. Walking is just another fun adventure with cheerleaders. She’s the star of the show.
How do we lose that confidence along the way?
Often our parents aren’t that thrilled with every adventure we want in our lives. In fact, sometimes they oppose what we want to do- and they aren’t alone. Other people in our lives don’t understand us, feel competitive with us, or downright don’t like us. In these situations, we’re required to be our own cheerleaders. And often, that’s very hard to do.
Take Jackie for example.
Jackie is trying to lose ten pounds and she’s decided to try and meet some new men. Although she lost two pounds this week, she doesn’t feel good about it. She had a blind date with Jake last night and she could tell he was very disappointed in her looks from the first moment they met. She felt ashamed of her weight when he looked at her in that shocked way. She told herself that two pounds just wasn’t going to cut it. But it was hard to stick to her eating plan that week because she was so upset about the look on Jake’s face.
Is Jake the sort of cheerleader that Jackie needs? In this environment, Jackie can’t even seem to remember that she’s made any progress at all toward her weight loss goal.
Instead, she’s focused on whether Jake likes her. Jackie needs to remember that whether Jake likes her or not, she still lost two pounds and deserves some credit for that. It’s easier to reach your goals when you see your progress along the way, like we all did as cute babies.
How can you become your own cheerleader?
- Become your own Number 1 Fan. Focus on what’s best for you, what works for you. Being ashamed of her weight wasn’t a motivator for Jackie and isn’t for most other people either. Figure out what motivates you and use it!
- Cut out the people–pleasing. If Jackie had been less concerned with pleasing Jake, she might have been able to think, “Oh well. I guess he’s not Mr. Right” and moved on to the next date. She overvalued the importance of his opinion of her. After all, why give more weight to a total stranger’s view over her own opinion of herself?
- Find some other cheerleaders. It’s important to have the right support when you’re tackling major issues – or adventures. When you have friends or mentors who have your back, understand your goals, and enthusiastically encourage you, it can make a huge difference in your success.
- Join the revolution! We can create a sisterhood of support and encouragement where women (and men) act as each other’s cheerleaders from far and wide. What would it be like if we had the kind of positive environment that babies have when their parents are thrilled with their first steps? Imagine how much more confident we could be with that level of emotional support.
Want more tips to help you figure out how to get through the hard times, maybe even changing the way you see yourself and your potential partner? Check out my book, Be Your Own Brand of Sexy: A New Sexual Revolution for Women, called “a must have book for all women dating or looking to date”. Join the conversation on Facebook and become part of the revolution of women who are learning how to have confidence in themselves. Be Your Own Brand of Sexy.