Nothing can dim the light which shines from within.

— Maya Angelou


I have been reflecting lately on what self-confidence looks and feels like to me. The dictionary definition of self-confidence is: a feeling of trust in one’s abilities, qualities, and judgment.  I believe deeply it is a life skill we can develop and strengthen with practice. The key to the practice of self-confidence is it’s core feature; learning to accept  and love who we are from the inside out.

What I know for sure is confidence doesn’t have to be loud, boastful or arrogant. And I know it isn’t always obvious to those around us, or even to ourselves, that we possess it. We sometimes exhibit self-confidence in fits and spurts and other times we feel full of confidence…it really all depends on the situation.

My own self-confidence is quiet, unassuming and gentle by nature. It often reveals itself in times when I feel the most scared or unsure. It can come out of nowhere and sometimes I am surprised it has shown up!

Recently I have had some pretty clear examples of how and when my self-confidence has helped me get through some difficult or challenging situations and I would like to share them with you.

1. Confidence To Accept Uncertainty With Grace

I have been facing a pretty large and uncertain health issue over the past little while. I continually have to wait for results, have follow-up tests and wait for more results. The negative voice in my head (the one who reeks of insecurity and doubt) could definitely get the better of me, if I let her.

But I have found an inner peace, a quiet confidence, that allows me to face the unknown with grace and patience. It gives me the inner strength to be grateful for the state of my health in the present moment and to trust I will be able to face each day as it unfolds.

2. Confidence To Accept Unkind Criticism

Effective feedback is a wonderful tool. I am very fortunate to be surrounded by incredibly supportive and loving people whose opinions I trust and count on to offer suggestions and help me improve in all aspects of my life. 

But there will always be those people in your personal and professional life who feel it is their right to hurtfully criticize you under the guise of giving you feedback. Paying attention to feedback, whether it is positive or constructively critical, is important but the source and intention of the person giving it must be taken into account.

In the past, I may have crumbled at the idea of someone attacking my character or pointing out my flaws. I would have turned their words inward and spent a great deal of time having self-doubt and being insecure.

I have learned to trust that the remarks of a few cannot erase the voices of the multitudes. And I have developed a strong sense of self-confidence in my personal qualities which allows me to trust those voices and block out the negativity of others.

3. Confidence To Step Outside Of My Comfort Zone

Public speaking has always terrified me! Until recently, I would have said it as one of the fears I never wan to have to face head on. But last month I started a new group for women called the Confident Women’s Collective (check it out here) and found myself compelled to face one of my deepest fears and push through it!

My passion to share what I do far outweighed my fear. I trusted myself and my abilities. Somewhere deep in my soul where purpose and confidence meet I found courage and joy while speaking to a room full of women. This is the power of self-confidence!

Self-confidence showed up to help me let go of things I cannot control, be okay with who I am at any given moment and try new things despite being afraid. I have learned that self-confidence is there for me to call on.

Trust yourself enough and invite the power of self-confidence to help you face your challenges. With practice and intention we are all capable of believing in ourselves in moments that feel difficult. Self-confidence doesn’t erase the problems we face but it allows us to give ourselves a break from the torment that comes from the internal pain of self-doubt and insecurity.

 Let the light shine in you!