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Ep #65: Self-Confidence

Self-Confidence

It’s pretty common for most people to think that self-confidence is either something someone is born with or repeatedly taught in their childhood or something that comes with achieving external success. My love, no one is just born with self-confidence. It’s something that everyone can have, and my goal today is to show you how to cultivate it within yourself, so you can finally go after your wildest dreams and live intentionally.

We all have fears that keep us from going after whatever it is that we want, whether it’s launching that business, going to grad school, or loving who you love. It’s this fear that is stopping us in our tracks and cutting off our growth. I’m sharing the truth about the reasons you aren’t doing what you wish you were, and hopefully, with this new lens, you’ll be able to show up for yourself with less blame, guilt, and self-recrimination than ever before.

Listen in this week as I show you how it’s totally possible for you to be kind, loving, and accepting of yourself, and why this is the key to building lasting and sustainable self-confidence. Imagining the regret, disappointment, or other people’s judgments of their endeavors stops most from going after their dreams, but this doesn’t have to be you.


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I’m going to be doing free open coaching sessions and free breathwork classes online, so if you want to join in, make sure to follow me on social media to stay connected and be the first to know when these become available. I also have one spot for one-on-one coaching left, so make sure to go schedule a call with me to see if we’d be a good fit!

`AND! I made you a present.

It’s a mix-tape, just for you, of my favorite songs to soothe and support your nervous system to be in that beautiful ventral vagal place, the safe and secure place where we can connect in with ourselves and others.

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What You’ll Learn:

  • Why comparison leads you to have less self-confidence.
  • How self-confidence used to show up for me.
  • Why external validation or success doesn’t give you more confidence.
  • How fearing other people’s judgment of you cuts off your own growth.
  • Why self-confidence is something everyone can have.
  • Where confidence comes from.
  • Why you have to shift the story of your value and worth at the level of your beliefs.
  • The truth about the reasons you aren’t doing what you want to be doing.
  • How to release the fear of your emotions.
  • My 8-step remedy to finding and believing in your self-confidence.

Listen to the Full Episode:

Featured on the Show:

Full Episode Transcript:

 

Self-confidence is this funny thing. It can seem like some people are just born with it and some of us, well, just aren’t. Some of us may come off as quite gregarious on the outside, but inside may spend our lives second-guessing, doubting, questioning ourselves.

My love, no one’s just born being self-confident. Self-confidence is taught to us. It’s a thought, it’s a decision, a belief, and it’s something that you can grow in your own life for your own life. And sure, society and our culture privileges certain humans and ways of being and tells certain people they’re better than and so much more to be confident about than others, but it’s just not true.

Each of us is perfect and amazing and equally perfect and amazing to every other one of us. And you have the power to be wildly confident about your own amazingness. To be decisive and to go for your dreams on the inside and the outside. Ready to learn more and to claim your confidence to live your life on your own terms? Keep listening, my love. It’s going to be a good one.

You’re listening to Feminist Wellness, the only podcast that combines functional medicine, life coaching, and feminism to teach smart women how to reclaim their power and restore their health! Here’s your host, Nurse Practitioner, Functional Medicine Expert, Herbalist and Life Coach, Victoria Albina.

Hello, hello my love. Here we are, pandemic week six billion I think. It’s really funny. There’s all these memes about what day is it, but I literally just keep not having any idea at all what day it is. I have a Louise Hay page a day calendar that’s super cheesy and amazing and I love it in my kitchen.

So that helps at least in the morning I know what day of the week it is, but yeah, sometimes the days feel so fast and then sometimes they seem endless. It’s been really interesting. And gosh, I mean, we could get all metaphysical and think about quantum theory and what even is time, right? We could take a shamanistic look at it, but I think that’s a different podcast. We can do that podcast, but that’s a different one.

So big news. I got bangs. I know, I know, so ill-advised for a curly girl in the middle of a pandemic at home with like, literally kitchen scissors. And I can hear Topher Gross, who cuts my hair, who’s like, just the most amazing hairstylist ever, like, cringing somewhere being like, “Oh…” but I did it.

And you know, it’s done, so my jury is still out. I’ll put some pictures on the Instagram. If you’re not following me on the Instagram, you’re missing out on my latest Leo hair update, so @victoriaalbinawellness over there. I’ll post some pictures in the stories. Y’all tell me what you think.

But you know, I was about to say be nice but you don’t have to be. You can just be real and I’m an adult and I’ll decide how I feel about whatever you say. And I’m going to decide right now in advance to feel fine about my bangs. I’m going to go for neutral.

I’m not sure I feel great about them. I definitely don’t feel bad about them. I’m being my bangs’ watcher. I’m just present to them, just having loving present awareness that there’s now a bunch of hair on my forehead. There’s no pinning it back. It’s just there. So that’s my life.

There’s a wild pandemic and I’m in the world epicenter of it and I’m talking about bangs because sometimes that’s just what you do, my darling one. So okay, bangs, self-confidence. I’m sure we could somehow muse together the links between those two, but I shan’t subject you to that.

But really, I am so happy to be here with you right now, to talk about a topic near and dear to my heart. And it’s one of the cornerstone topics I teach in my online programs, and that topic is self-confidence. So for a long time, I looked to others who were just going for it, just living their lives on their own terms, just being bold and brave and decisive, which we talked all about being decisive last week.

Nope, last week was resentment. It was the week before. Episode 63, April 30th, being decisive. But anyway, so we talked about that and I remember – like I can think back and so often thinking like, “I wish I could just have the confidence to just do what I want to do for me and my life.” And for me, it wasn’t that I wasn’t taking action.

I’m a Leo, there’s Virgo in my chart. There’s Taurus in my chart. I’m just like a doing machine. But what was always challenging for me wasn’t making the decision and taking the action. At the end of the day, it was the indecision after I’d made the decision. Like the second-guessing. The like, oh gosh, did I make a mistake? And it was asking the 473 different people like, “Is this the right decision?” As though anyone but me knew.

So self-confidence showed up for me like that and what’s really interesting is in talking to friends and fellow coaches, what is low self-confidence? What do you think of when you think that? And this trope of like, shyness always came up. And it’s really interesting because I am anything but shy.

I am – that ain’t me. Except when I fear vulnerability. And that’s when it feels like this pulling back, this withdrawing. It’s not like a full dorsal vagal collapse, but there’s a pullback energetically within me, or there has been historically. I feel like I don’t feel it as much these days, but anyway.

So yeah, for me, as a gregarious, forward, face forward into the world Leo, I never would have realized that I was low self-confidence until a friend pointed out like, “Do you ever just make a decision? Do you ever just let those stories about what you can’t do go and just go for it?”

So yeah, it’s an interesting thing to just question, just get curious about. Like, are you confident? And the sort of energy that often comes with this desire to be more confident is this thinking that it has to be bestowed upon you, that it’s something you have to get or obtain, that you have to be born with or taught as a child.

And for me, at the bottom of all this was perfectionism, self-doubt, low self-regard, not trusting myself, and of course, the codependency that kept me feeling stuck. Because I’d spent my life judging myself by other people’s reactions to me, or rather, what I imagined they were thinking of me because we never know what someone else is actually thinking.

So I had this story that if other people didn’t like me or my choices, what I produced in the world, then I couldn’t like myself or my work or my thoughts or anything. And of course, I wasn’t sitting there like, oh shucks, I guess I can’t like me. It was so much more subtle than that.

It was the second-guessing, the holding myself back, the doubting, the asking for a million opinions, the indecision. That’s, again, how my low self-confidence showed up. So I was always trying to get other people’s approval for my life. Subconsciously thinking that then I could have confidence in myself.

And all that externalization was so deeply tied to my sense of value and my worth and of course, left me feeling less than. And oh my goodness, did I roll around in the old compare and despair, which we’ll talk about on a show soon enough. And it’s definitely something that right now, during this COVID-19 pandemic, I’m hearing so much about.

I mean, we’re two months in and I’m getting all these DMs and all these emails from y’all comparing yourselves to others and really thinking about how other people are showing up on social media, which, how real is that, right?

But in what they’re producing, making, doing, that they’re still cleaning out their closets, that they’re making these gorgeous gardens or baking bread or losing weight or doing whatever right now, but also always. That externalization, that compare and despair, and all of that leads you to have less and less confidence in yourself when you’re comparing yourself to others.

Especially when the basis of comparison is these external accomplishments, which we could also call the C line, the circumstances of someone’s life or your life. Whether you’re married, have kids, got the degree, got the grant, got the promotion, whatever it is, because remember my darling love, no matter what happens on the outside, if you’re judging your insides, you’ll always hold onto those base thoughts that you’re less than.

And you’ll never be able to shift your thoughts at the level of your beliefs, which we know in this family are the thoughts that you’ve thought over and over again on repeat. That old cassette tape in your brain.

So when we look outside of ourselves, especially as folks with codependent thinking, to get approval from someone else, for someone else to validate our insecurity, which can often sound like, “Oh, do I look cute in this?” Or, “Oh, is the dinner I made yummy?” Then you’re looking to that other person to give you that yes you want that you think will make you feel better, that you think will make you feel confident in your looks, your cooking, your spreadsheet, whatever.

But my darling, it never really does. External validation never really fills your cup up. I mean sure, it gives you that dopamine hit that feels amazing for just a tiny bit of time, and actually, the half-life of dopamine is rather short, so it’s really, we’re talking seconds here.

But that delicious dopamine, that like, oh, you think I’m doing well, doesn’t last if you don’t shift the story of your value, your worth, and your self-confidence at the level of your beliefs. And so my love, that’s the work. As always in this family, to shift the beliefs.

What I’ve come to understand is that self-confidence is something that literally everyone can have. No exceptions. And that’s because it’s never based in something you earn or are given or achieve. It’s something you build within yourself.

Your external success doesn’t create confidence. It simply can’t. And instead, believing that you are capable does. And yes, you may have gotten lessons in your childhood that you’re less than or not smart enough or good enough or whatever the then painful lesson may have been, or you may have been told day in and day out that you’re amazing and great when you were a child.

And after working with hundreds of women over 20 years in wellness, those early lessons about our worth and value don’t always translate into self-confidence as adults. Once again, particularly when they’re based on external achievements like grades and trophies and sport awards.

And yeah, this is Feminist Wellness, my love, so let’s call out that women and folks socialized as women, people of color, differently abled folks, immigrants, queer folks, we’re taught in these subtle and often very direct ways that we are less than, that we’re measured up against the cis white male norm.

And that’s something to both keep in mind and to thus be gentle and loving with yourself about, having been told over and over and over again by society, the media, our culture, our politicians, et cetera, that you’re not enough.

And it’s something to say F that to, to reclaim your confidence, your power. To do so is a radical act and I’m all about each of us doing that work and then doing our part to ripple that change outward into the world for our collective healing.

A story that comes to mind immediately is back in 1999, very long time ago, I was back home. I took a semester abroad but it wasn’t really abroad from Oberlin College. What’s up, weirdo school? Then I went back home to Argentina for like, the American summer and the fall semester and winter term.

So I was back home for a while and it was really, really lovely. And I was studying at the University of Buenos Aires and I had a phenomenal time and lived with my dad, spent all this time with my abuela and my abuelo. It was phenomenal.

But relevant to self-confidence, there were these groups of Americans and it was so fascinating to step back and to watch how the white dudes, all the white dudes, but particularly the white cis straight dudes would just speak in Spanish. And it didn’t matter if their grammar was atrocious, if their accent was the worst.

They would just speak. They would just talk to literally anyone and they’d say literally whatever they could. And like, as a collective, I remember noticing this like, so powerfully in my body, that they just didn’t give an F. They were there to practice getting better at Spanish and so they just did it.

And then there were all these women who, 18, 19, 20-year-old girls who maybe had the most perfect grammar and were amazing at – they read Borges every night and they knew Spanish literature in and out and Argentine history… but they wouldn’t speak in Spanish because they didn’t want to get called out. They didn’t have the confidence.

They were nervous. What if they messed up? What if they made a mistake? And it was just so interesting to just watch them because the men got so much better and the women – and yes, this is a generalization of my memory from 20 years ago. Maybe there were some bold women, but stay with me because there mostly weren’t.

The women for the most part I didn’t hear their Spanish improving because they held themselves back. That fear, that lack of self-confidence. And so I want to pull back and I want to talk about – I want to nerd about your brain. Your prefrontal cortex, my darling angel, will hold onto thoughts as facts. And it already does.

Your brain already may believe that you are not confident about anything in your life, and it will continue to believe that. So whether it’s your ability to speak Spanish, your weight, looks, body, smarts, conversation skills, relationship skills, specific work skills, whatever, what you get to do is to pull back the curtain on all of it and call BS where it’s BS, to lovingly address your prefrontal cortex and say, “You have a belief that doesn’t line up with my best life, with my living forward, with my moving forward, with my creating the life that I want, so we’re going to shift this.”

We’re going to actively learn to build a new story, to build your self-confidence, knowing, like we do, that self-confidence is something that you can create with your mind and it’s something you can have more of right away.

So it’s common to think that self-confidence is something that comes from being good at something, but let’s look at the example of these dudes showing up in Buenos Aires, not speaking Spanish, having the chutzpah and the self-confidence to just speak it day in and day out. They weren’t good at Spanish, but they practiced being good at it and they had that self-confidence, which yes, they had likely been taught their entire lives due to their social location.

But they grasped onto it and they practiced and they practiced. And if you think about it, most of us weren’t born being good at the things we’re good at now. We learned step by step, day by day. And the most important think to know about self-confidence is that it is a feeling, an emotion. And it’s one that you can cultivate.

Most of us only feel confident about things we’ve tried in our past, and that’s why we don’t pursue things we haven’t tried before for our future. Forgetting that you feel competent and confident about new things when you decide to feel it. When you build that muscle, slowly and surely, like we do.

Never lying to yourself but rather, my little nerd, finding that internal willingness to try it on, to work with your nervous system, not against it. To decide that you’re going to do an experiment, that you are a little scientist, and you are going to try on the persona of being confident, to see how it feels. To try on the thought, “I can do hard things,” until that feels real enough. Until you can begin to believe it. I can practice doing hard things. I can learn to do hard things.

And then you can shift that next story to I can do hard things and maybe they’re not so hard after all. See what I’m doing there? Inching yourself ever closer, building confidence by deciding to build it for yourself. Isn’t that fantastic?

And I think about all the things I once didn’t know how to do that I now feel confident doing today. Like knowing how to make a podcast. I had no idea how to do that a year and a half ago and I decided that I would learn and I would try my hand, and that it was okay that it felt really, really scary because I was trying. I was learning. I was experimenting with the persona of being someone who thinks, “I can do this hard thing.”

And every single week, as I sat down to record it, it started becoming a less and less hard thing. And look at us now. So here’s what I want to offer you, my love. Confidence comes from being willing to experience challenging emotions. The emotions that folks might call negative.

And so often, we don’t try because we want to avoid having those challenging emotions. The thing is that self-confidence comes from having a willingness to fail forward. That is to risk failing, knowing that failing is an amazing thing. It is a gift you give your present and future self because when you fail, you learn.

And my love, you no longer beat yourself up for it, right, my darling one? Instead, you give yourself props for failing because you took courageous action to change your life. Well done, you. And yes, of course that can feel really risky. Totally. And my beauty, it’s so worth it. So very worth it to learn what works for you and what doesn’t.

And in that process of scientific exploration, you build self-confidence. When you decide to live with the discomfort of a new practice like eating differently, communicating differently, which we talked all about in episodes 31, 32, and 33, exercising or moving in a different way, trying on new thoughts like, “Self-care isn’t selfish,” all of these things may make you really uncomfortable as you practice doing them.

And my love, this is how we heal. We heal by building our trust in ourselves, by building our self-confidence, by knowing and choosing to believe that there’s no bad feeling out there. No feeling you can’t survive. Just ones that are likely to make you feel so uncomfortable and that’s okay. You can do uncomfortable things.

So my love, let me say it once again. Self-confidence doesn’t come from talent, upbringing, experience, having done a thing a thousand times. Self-confidence comes from being willing to experience the emotions that come with failure.

And if you’re new to the show and you’re like, “What is this crazy person talking about, saying that failure is a good thing?” I want to invite you to continue to listen to this show and then go back and listen to episodes 39 and 40 all about failing on purpose because in this family, we love failure.

So, if you’re willing to experience the emotions that come with failure, embarrassment, defeat, judgment, regret, on and on, then you, my darling, will have more self-confidence than anyone around you. More self-confidence than past you could ever have imagined for you.

When we feel insecure and we feel a lack of self-esteem, self-regard, that’s generally a projection of our own fears and worries about what we imagine other people will think of us. And of course, since it is your thoughts that create your feelings, and other people’s that create theirs, all that worrying about what other people will think of you is your brain’s way of protecting you because it loves you.

And doing new things and someone else potentially telling you you’re not doing them very well can feel really scary. And when you’re living your life to avoid other people’s judgment, to attempt to avoid feeling like someone is thinking something of you that you don’t want them to think and feel, you’re cutting your own growth off at the knees, my beauty. Robbing yourself of the chance to grow and stretch and become all that you can be.

And at the end of the day, what most of us fear more than anything is that we, that you will be mean to yourself if someone else doesn’t approve of you. So I’ve got a wild proposition for you. And yes, this is the remedy. What if you weren’t worried about other people’s judgments? What if you weren’t worried about feeling those challenging feelings?

Think about it. Think about if you didn’t worry about any of those emotions. The disappointment, the regret, the sadness, what if they were something you were willing to move through? Now, feel into it in your body. Breathe into it. Out.

Now, bring your beautiful inner child into the space for just a quick little moment. Connect in with that sweet human. What if you were able to soothe and care for your younger self? To let that person know there’s nothing to fear here? If you allow yourself to stop worrying about other people’s judgments, to stop worrying about feeling these challenging emotions?

And if you were willing to feel it all, with your inner child on board of course, reparenting yourself to your wildest success, then my love, you’d go all in. And then you would engage with your goals courageously and you would take courageous action and do the next right thing so you could build the life you so desire.

Going all in, dedicating yourself to yourself, your growth, your joy 110% makes you so much more likely to get the result you desire. And also to fail and so to learn. Funny, right? So we fear the emotion so we don’t do the thing, which means you don’t build the trust or confidence in yourself to do the thing, which strengthens your belief that you can’t do the thing.

And my goodness, isn’t it so ironic? And trust and believe that the longer you avoid doing something, the more you worry about it and create more stories about why that result, that outcome, that action, that confidence is for someone else and not for you. And so the harder it will be to take those first steps to build that confidence within you to achieve it, whatever it may be.

So let’s pause, let’s zoom out, and let’s look at some of these emotions we fear and worry about that keep us from taking the leap. So perhaps the thought that’s keeping you from doing the thing you want to do is a worry that someone else will be displeased if you do what you want.

If you go to nurse practitioner school instead of medical school, if you speak your needs, wants, or desires. If you set a firm boundary, if you shave half your head, if you love who you love proudly and out loud. And so you feel worry, stress, and anxiety.

The action you take may be an inaction. You don’t do the thing. You don’t have the confidence that you can do the thing, so you don’t do what you want to for your life. You don’t start the business, you don’t do the grad program, you hide it away.

And the result is that you don’t do the thing and you don’t like you as much as you could. Going back to that thought that started this off, “Someone else will not like me if I do this,” the result is you don’t like you as much as you could. You don’t build the self-confidence you could by doing the thing anyway, even if you’re scared, and even if someone else may not like it.

So let’s look at this concept. Judgment. The truth about other people’s judgment and your own judgment is that it’s harmless. It’s harmless. It literally cannot hurt you. But what makes it painful is what we make it mean about us, about our lives, et cetera, if someone else doesn’t like our choices. Interesting, right? How that fear can keep us from self-confidence.

Defeat is also one of these emotions, and again, what’s really important is to remember that it’s just a vibration. It’s just energy in your body and it’s inherently harmless because it’s energetic. My darling, it’s not real that you can be defeated by making a wrong decision. It’s just a feeling.

And failure, well, we are champions at that one, right, my love? So what about disappointment? Sure, disappointment is likely when you try something new. And you get to learn to breathe through it, to stay with that disappointment in all of its discomfort and to release your expectations and to learn how to accept life on life’s terms.

And thereby, to move through the disappointment instead of making it mean anything deeper about yourself or anyone else in the world. Disappointment is actually harmless, which like all of these feelings, doesn’t mean it doesn’t hurt. It sure can hurt and that’s okay. We have a protocol to shift that hurt, my love.

But yes, first, you feel it in your body. You feel all the hurt, the disappointment, the sadness, the failure, the regret. And the central point here is these words are just words until we fear them. These feelings are just feelings, energetic vibrations until we fear them. Until we make the experiencing of them mean things we don’t want them to mean. Until we beat ourselves up for them.

Telling ourselves we’re terrible, useless, bad, a failure in a bad sense. My beauty, that’s when they really hurt. When you fear these feelings ahead of time, you deny yourself the chance to experience them and to work towards reclaiming them.

To not let them hurt you beyond that initial sting because you know that your feelings drive you to take action and that fearing them and avoiding them ahead of time denies you the chance to experience them, to both survive and thrive for having lived through it, and to get to the goal you dream of for your own life.

If you’re not afraid of any emotion because you know how to regulate and give love and care and tenderness and reparenting to your nervous system and your inner child, you’re unafraid to take on any challenge. So my beauty, how do you do this? How do you release the fear of emotions?

Well, you start with a deep, slow belly breath in and long out. Through that process, you begin to shift your physiology into ventral vagal, to center yourself in yourself and your power, to ground yourself in your environment and your body, to release oxytocin and to get ventral vagal with you, which we talked all about in episode 61, polyvagal theory.

And so one of my favorite remedies is a meditation in which you go to there in your mind and in your body. You pick one of the feelings that you have recognized that you fear feeling, like regret, self-doubt, disappointment, failure, and you practice experiencing that feeling ahead of time.

So for example, you may imagine a bunch of people making fun of you for attempting to get to your goals. And so you feel into it, what that feels like. And it’s not going to feel great in your body, and the next step is to picture yourself. So there’s this row of naysayers saying nay and making fun of you for launching your coaching business or going to grad school or whatever that thing is that feels big and scary and I don’t know that I have the confidence.

And I want to invite you to picture yourself doing it anyway. Going for it. Putting yourself out there. And folks are still making fun of you in this mind’s eye. And you can acknowledge that it doesn’t feel fabulous, but I also want you to recognize that you’re holding this duality. I believe in me and some others don’t, and that’s okay because you’re still alive.

You’re still sitting wherever you’re sitting, breathing, your heart is ticking. You’re okay. You’re likely rather uncomfortable, but my love, look at you. You have the same hands you started with, the same arms. You’re fine. Look at that.

You went into that experience of a challenging emotion and you got right on through it. You felt what it feels like to feel that being made fun of, that being criticized, that being critiqued and you were just fine because the lesson here is that the fear of the fear is worse than the reality.

I also want to invite you to look at in your mind’s eye the people who are mocking you. The people who are questioning you. Are these the people who truly love you and value you and know your worth?

Most of the time, the people who are judging us in our minds are strangers, faceless people, or people from our past who have not held us in wild love and positive regard. Not the people who love and who truly love us because my darling, love is not judging.

Loving someone unconditionally, which we talked all about in episode 52 means radically and truly accepting them just as they are. So whomever you’re imagining judging you, having a critical thought about you going for your dreams, that isn’t someone who is firmly in the seat of love and acceptance for you.

So what if you decide that you care more about your own opinion of you and your choices, your decisions, than theirs? And if you don’t care about these people and their judgments truly, then the person whose judgment you fear is your own. Your own. Breathe into that. Hold a little space for that.

And I know this because I feared this for myself for so long because I knew that I was my harshest, most unkind critic. I was the one who would beat myself up for failing, for not doing it right because in my perfectionist thinking, that was a thing. And so I projected that fear and worry onto other people, and in a way, made them my own scapegoat.

If I wasn’t taking a bold risk for my own future, then well, I mean, so and so was to blame. Oh brains, so deeply committed to attempting to protect us, right? So let’s bring this on back to self-confidence. Self-confidence is the willingness to fail. And you can only be willing to fail when you attempt something and know that you’ve got your own back, meaning you won’t be mean to you and knowing that the worst thing that can happen is that you, my love, will experience a feeling, an emotion.

And when you know that you will have your own back, then it’s no longer as paralyzingly frightening to try, knowing that if you fail, all is well. You learned something and you can be so proud of yourself for it. And most of us have never done this. Gone 110% in and failed and didn’t make it mean anything at all other than you showed up or yourself, for your dreams, for your life.

So let’s talk it out step wise my nerds. Let’s take a look at the remedies. Remedy step one to finding your self-confidence and believing in it is of course, to ground yourself. To settle your nervous system. And we don’t just do that once. You can get to continue to remind your nervous system that you’re safe and secure, all is well here.

Step two, list out how you have been a wild success for you on your own terms for yourself. Now, I want to be really clear. For me, it wasn’t going to the best nurse practitioner school in the country and then teaching there. It wasn’t teaching at another very well-renowned university, or getting Master’s degree.

None of those external things, being a primary care provider at a very well-known large medical group, none of those things gave me self-confidence. Obviously because it’s a thought, but the things that I really put myself out there for and the places where I would call myself a wild success were in learning to be less codependent. Learning to release my perfectionism.

The thought work, the spirit work, the energy work, making peace with my ancestral line, all these ways. These are the things that I feel really successful about, so those are the things that I would list out in step two.

Like someone can give me feedback or something that sounds like criticism and I don’t take it personally. Babes, that’s wild success. That goes on the self-confidence list for me, far above a Master’s degree in public health. Like, that’s cute, I’m glad I did it, I actually really loved it because I love epidemiology and statistics and infectious disease and nerding out, but I have digressed.

So that’s step two. It’s probably going to be really, really challenging but get started on that list. Come back to it, come back to it, come back to it. Step three, make a promise with yourself that you won’t beat you up. No matter what you do, no matter what you feel, whatever life looks like, you are going to turn to yourself with kindness first and foremost.

Step four to build your self-confidence, look at your goals. Take one goal, one thing you want to accomplish and listen, these COVID days, it could be like, taking a shower. I’m not trying to be cute or cheeky. Like, today I’m going to get out of bed, I’m going to make some kind of food sustenance and I’m going to take a shower.

It can really be that if that’s where you’re at and that is perfect. Or it can be today I’m going to give my feelings equal air time. I’m going to do what Vic recommended in the third COVID special episode and I’m going to set aside particular time today to cry about it, to shake my fists, to be really upset at our government, at the systems that have failed us, at all the little abuelitas who don’t have money for food right now.

Maybe never did, but things are much worse for a lot of people right now. Anyway, whatever it is that is your goal for your day, make a plan. Break it down into super tiny steps and each step of the way, read back the steps and remind yourself of your promise to be kind to you.

Step five, this is where you go all in. You decide that you are going to be confident, to do this one small thing for yourself, and you’re going to practice writing out, “I am confident that I can do x. I am confident in myself as a person who’s willing to feel all my feels.” And in that, you can then take courageous action for your life in these big and little things because there’s no big and little thing, right? There’s just the next right thing that you are doing, and you can bring your full passion to it.

Step six, assess, evaluate, recognize your failures and your successes as equally important pieces of information. And step seven, feel more confident because you did it. You put yourself out there and that’s a magnificent thing.

And finally, remedy eight, step eight, remind your body, mind, and spirit, that you showed up for you with less blame, less guilt, less self-recrimination than maybe ever before. That you did your best to be kind and accepting and loving of you and that, that is the key to deep, lasting, sustainable self-confidence. And I know that you have it in you, my darling.

It’s all in there ready for you to turn your most loving eye to, to be your own most loving parent and remind you of just how magnificent you are. Okay my beauties, that is it for me. I wanted to remind you that I love giving you stuff for free. So there is a set of audio downloads of meditations.

There’s an inner child one, a boundaries one, a nervous system exercise called orienting. Those are all on the homepage, at the top of my internet page, victoriaalbina.com. If you go to there, you will see it literally at the top. Put your name and email in and you’ll get those all sent to your email.

You have to confirm your email. People, please, do this step. It is so important. Go to the spam and the social filters of your email after you sign up and look for the email from my system saying, “Hey babe, did you really sign up?” It’s a way to keep people from getting emails they don’t want.

It’s polite, so I do it. So make sure you confirm your email or you won’t get your presents. And if you’ve asked for presents before and you haven’t gotten them, it’s because you didn’t confirm your email, so you may just have to do it again, and that’s okay. It takes a little second.

So you can get those meditations from the homepage, and if you go to victoriaalbina.com/breathworkgift, we’ll put a link in the show notes, you can download my free breathwork meditation guide and a 13-minute meditation that I made just for you, for free.

Because it’s so helpful right now with all the stress and the worry and the uncertainty and all the everything of this COVID moment, and I really, really, really want you to have it. So please, it’s free, go download it. And be in touch. Follow me on the Instagrams, @victoriaalbinawellness. Be in touch, send me DMs, share the podcast with your friends. More than anything, I just love being connected with y’all.

So I hope this episode was supportive and helpful. Take good care. And remember, you are safe, you are held, you are loved. And when one of heals, we help heal the world. Be well, my darling.

Thank you for listening to this week’s episode of Feminist Wellness. If you like what you’ve heard, head to VictoriaAlbina.com to learn more.

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Victoria Albina

Victoria Albina, NP, MPH is a licensed and board certified Family Nurse Practitioner, herbalist and life coach, with 20 years experience in health and wellness. She trained at the University of California, San Francisco, and holds a Masters in Public Health from Boston University and a bachelors from Oberlin College. She comes to this work having been a patient herself, and having healed from a lifetime of IBS, GERD, SIBO, fatigue, depression and anxiety.

She is passionate about her work, and loves supporting patients in a truly holistic way - body, mind, heart and spirit. A native of Mar del Plata, Argentina, she grew up in the great state of Rhode Island, and lives in NYC with her partner. A brown dog named Frankie Bacon has her heart, and she lives for steak and a good dark chocolate.

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