A few years ago, my confidence broke.
I didn’t see it coming. It also didn’t happen quickly, like a breaking bone.
Rewind my life a few years, and you’ll find me hiding at home, avoiding interactions. Things like meetings and calls were way too much to handle. I had to stay home “for the dog!” “to save money!” “because I had a headache!” – and none of these things were true or necessary.
This wasn’t “just” a confidence thing – I had massive PMDD induced depression and I stayed home. When I got better – ie therapy, meds and caring for myself – I still wanted to hide.
My confidence was broken.
I didn’t know who I was anymore. Social situations were scary because I had no idea how to navigate them anymore – before my depression, I would have a few drinks and be fine. Alcohol was a social lubricant for me, as it is for many people. When I started getting better, I didn’t want to go back to drinking, so I didn’t.
Only now I had to navigate being a social and public person, minus the alcohol, plus massive self-awareness after therapy. Did I mention I had no confidence left?
You’re probably wondering why I am teaching folks to be the best version of themselves and to speak confidently.
Well, I got my confidence back. It wasn’t a day, or a week or month or even a year. I am 100% still working on it. It started coming back when I started to hold myself accountable to other people. I couldn’t keep promises to myself, so I just started showing up for the other people who needed me. Maybe they didn’t need me as much as I thought they did, but let me tell you – thinking that I needed to show up for others because they needed it? That worked.
When I showed up for others, I realized that I couldn’t keep doing this. Showing up for someone else all the time and leaving my needs for whatever time was left? Woof. It was almost ironic, the thing that got me out quickly became the thing that was making me feel stuck all over again.
So I started showing up for myself. I learned how to set boundaries, and weirdly enough, it made me feel more confident. For the first time in my people-pleasing life, I was telling people no, standing up for myself and cutting ties with toxic individuals.
I was finally doing what I spent so much time teaching.
And while I’m not “fixed” or back to being the most confident person in a room – if I ever was – I can safely say that I’m not hiding. And here’s the thing: if I can come back from where I was and rebuild, you can build your confidence too. Promise.