I was with my husband in the car the other day after spending an hour the prior day talking with a life coach. I was thinking about confidence and this quote by Stuart Smalley popped into my head (yes, that is Senator Al Franken, btw):
The coach happened to be a friend of mine who is finishing up his training to become a certified life coach. He was clearly onto me and my lack of confidence. It’s something I am always working on. And it’s hard work.
He asked me: “Jen, how long have you been teaching yoga?”
“Um, 11 years.”
Coach: “Jen, how many trainings/certifications have you taken? How many hours have you studied?”
Me: “Um, a lot. Too many to count.”
Coach: “Jen, you are worth charging x$ amount.”
Me: “But that’s a lot of money.”
Coach: “Why not? You need to work with an uncomfortable number to realize what you are worth.”
Yes, I know I am good enough. But am I really that good? Am I really that smart? And sometimes, honestly, I don’t think people really like me all that much. Or else they are just laughing at my bad jokes so I don’t feel bad. Or maybe they are just pretending to like me.
Confidence is defined as “belief in oneself and one’s powers and abilities.” It’s something I have struggled with my whole life, starting when I was the chubby kid with no coordination on the playground picked last for dodgeball all the way up to now when I still don’t feel comfortable asking for what I am worth as a yoga teacher with a lot of knowledge, skill and training. Don’t even get me started on the amount of money I have paid to get to this point of being so skilled and competent. And that doesn’t even include my undergraduate degree in economics and a Masters in journalism.
It’s hard not liking yourself enough. Or believing in yourself enough. Loving yourself, and knowing that you are good enough JUST THE WAY YOU ARE comes from a connection to the deepest part of yourself. It comes from knowing yourself well enough to KNOW you are indeed good enough AND smart enough AND people like you (which I think they do, but I don’t worry about that too much anymore). It comes from your heart and the love of yourself, not from some Instagram photo of you doing a fancy yoga pose or some Facebook post that makes your life seem amazing (because really, my life is kind of normal and boring).
Granted, this is not an easy journey, to get to know oneself better and develop faith in ones abilities. It’s a long, arduous process that involves a lot of bumps along the path. And at times, I need to be uplifted by people who have great faith in me. It helps immensely. So as we move closer to 2015, I have made a decision to do a few things. To remind myself #everydamnday that I AM good enough, smart enough and doggone it, people like me.