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Episode 81: Confidence and Convincing

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Have you ever found yourself trying to convince others that you’re enough? That you’re a good enough person, friend, parent, human being? Or trying to convince them that what you believe is a good thing or a good idea? Do you try to convince them that you’re worthy and fun to be around? Often times we don’t even realize what we’re doing, but as we try to convince others that we’re a good person – and look! Let me tell you about all the amazing things I’m doing to prove it to you – what we’re really doing is trying to convince ourselves. This is a sign of insecurity and lack of confidence. Join me this week as I help you learn to believe in yourself so that you don’t ever need to convince anyone because you are already confident and certain in yourself. True confidence is calm and can be quiet. Insecurities are loud. 

Welcome back to the show! Love my Catalyst friends. So let me tell you about a few things going on: I survived Covid. One of my clients totally called me out on this last week. She could hear it in a couple of podcasts ago that my voice was different, and I probably was breathing more shallowly – so yes, it ran through my house, and while not fun – any illness isn’t fun, but we made it through, and we’re grateful to be moving forward. So I appreciate the kindnesses and prayers from so many of you; thank you!

I don’t know if you knew this yet, but I’m trying it out – it’s very much on a trial basis, but I have a podcast just for mid-singles. It’s amazing; there are 4 episodes currently and more in the works. This is a group of incredible individuals that have different circumstances and needs than people in other seasons so the things that weigh on you are different and specific to mid singles, so I created a podcast by request to speak directly to you. So you if you are a mid-single you have to go and check out the mid singles meetup podcast. It’s called The Midsingles Meetup with LDS Life Coach Hannah Coles. You could probably just type in my name and find it too. 

Okay, so here’s why it’s on a trial basis. I need YOU and your support to keep it up and running. I need to get to at least 30 reviews by the tenth podcast to keep it going. If I don’t have that kind of response by then, then that was super fun, and we’ll just keep focusing on this amazing podcast and teaching you all how to create and cultivate more confidence in your life. But if you want the mid singles podcast in addition to this one, then go tell your friends, make sure you leave a rating and review so I can keep bringing you amazing things. 

Also, if you’re on social media, there’s a specific page just for mid-singles as well – LDS Midsingles Coach and there you’ll find quotes, images, stories, pick me ups, and the latest news of all things mid-singles with LDS life coach Hannah Coles – myself so make sure to check that out and follow so you can stay up to date with all the fun things going on over there.

Alright, there’s always lots of fun things in the works for you all, and I love bringing you closer to your best self and living your best life, and today the topic I want to draw your attention to is one that I’m sure you’ve caught yourself doing on multiple occasions as it’s something very common. We actually think it’s helping, and it can feel like it is, and I’ll speak more to that in a moment but what it’s actually doing is hurting your confidence and your ability to create more confidence.

This is the act of convincing. Most of the time, we don’t even realize we’re doing it. It just comes out so naturally and automatic. It can sound like a justification or maybe a defense to someone else’s comments, and so we defend, we offer evidence to prove our side true. In short, we try to convince them about our point of view and what we think the truth or reality is, and it’s really important to address this because we think we’re Convincing them, but really, what we’re doing is just trying to convince ourselves.

Here’s the truth, we all need validation. Validation just to define it really quick. From the Oxford, dictionary says that validation is the act of checking or proving the validity or accuracy of something. It’s recognizing or affirming that a person, their opinions, their feelings are valid or worthwhile. 

Proving, affirming, checking that what you think and believe is valid or worthwhile. And like I said, we all need validation. We need to check-in and assess where we’re at and if what we’re doing is “good” or worthwhile, but what we mistake and oftentimes get wrong is who gets to do that checking, affirming, and validating.

All too often, we outsource that job to other people because a part of believes that if they agree with us, if they like us, if they like our idea, our talk, our posts, ourselves that we’re good, that we’re worthy, that we are worthwhile. This is where we get ourselves into trouble and where we invite insecurities in because we can’t control other people. We have no idea if they’re going to like us, approve of us if they have the same preferences and thoughts, and ideals that we have.

So we start in trying to convince or prove our thoughts, our feelings, our perspective to others in attempts to get that validation from them – for them to agree with us and tell us that we’re worthwhile. And have you ever paused or stopped to think about why we do that?

Why do you need them to agree with you? Why do you need to convince them? And most often, it’s because we’re not really trying to convince them; we’re trying to convince ourselves. We’re really looking for evidence to prove to ourselves that, see? We are worthy. We did make a good choice. We are a good person. When other people agree with you, it doesn’t make you feel good because it can’t. They don’t have access to your feelings. However, when other people agree with you and like what you have to say, then here’s the truth, you accept it and then you give yourself permission to believe it’s true.

When other people agree with you – you give yourself permission to agree with you. Do you see this? This is so fascinating and like I mentioned a tell-tale sign of insecurities when we’re trying to convince others. Ask yourself why you need them to agree with you or to validate you?

Most of the time it’s because we believe that if they like us then that means we’re likable but why do they have more power or more of say on that than you do? You, who knows yourself better than they do. I remember a talk by Dieter F. Uchtdorf that just struck me. He was talking about the Savior (on being genuine)

Remember, brethren, “God resist[s] the proud, but give[s] grace unto the humble.” The greatest, most capable, most accomplished man who ever walked this earth was also the most humble. He performed some of His most impressive service in private moments, with only a few observers, whom

He asked to “tell no man” what He had done. When someone called

Him “good,” He quickly deflected the compliment, insisting that only God is truly good. Clearly the praise of the world meant nothing to Him; His single purpose was to serve His Father and “do always those things that please

him.”  We would do well to follow the example of our Master.”

He only cared for what His Father in Heaven thought of him.

And we never need to convince Him because He already knows. So really the only one that ever needs convincing is you. You don’t need others to like you, you only need YOU to like you. It’s not their job to tell you you’re enough, or that your ideas are good ideas, or what you believe is worthwhile. That’s your job. Don’t outsource that to anyone ever.

It has to be you. It can only be you.

There’s so much power in this because when you feel confident – CERTAIN in what you believe and what you believe about yourself you don’t need others to believe that about you. In fact, you’re able to let them be wrong about you. And there’s this amazing feeling that comes from that space of knowing.

I had a good friend this week say something to me that had me on the verge of defending or convincing but I didn’t. My husband gave a talk in church last week virtually and he was talking about developing Christ-like attributes. There was one spot where he was being self-reflective and sharing that we often talk about virtues and our character and wanting to improve and develop specific attributes. It was a really sweet moment because he was paying a cute tribute to what he appreciates about me and my individual work with my character development and our shared thoughts and encouragement to grow in areas that we want to and he said that together we talk about attributes that we want to work on and he laughed to himself because he was saying, “okay, it’s really me that needs to work on this” kind of teasing and telling on himself. But my friend interpreted that as a grimace and that I was critical of him. 

She laughed and made the comment that she turned to her husband and was shocked that he rolled his eyes and grimaced – like it was a painful thing and it surprised me because I didn’t see that at all. Me, knowing my husband of 20 years looks and gestures, knew that he was actually being kind and sweet and she saw it as something negative and him grimacing.

My initial reaction was one of confusion and then on the tip of my tongue I wanted to defend. I wanted to tell her, that wasn’t what it was at all. But I didn’t because it didn’t matter if that’s what she chose to think about us. It doesn’t hold any bearing on our relationship and the happiness we feel together. Nothing would change by convincing her of otherwise. 

I could let her be wrong about us because I feel so confident and certain in our marriage and in our relationship that I didn’t need her approval or for her to understand because I know, I understand. 

There’s a quote I saw years ago on Pinterest that said, “confidence is silent, insecurities are loud”

Confidence CAN choose to be quiet because it’s certain in itself. It doesn’t need to convince or to prove to others. It knows deep down and knows that others thoughts or opinions about it won’t change it so they don’t have to prove, defend, or convince others.

Insecurities on the other hand aren’t sure of themselves, they think they need the approval of others. They need others to understand and agree because they think that if others agreed with them then they’d feel better -more worthy, more accepted – and really, all that means is that if others agree with them then they finally give themselves permission to agree with themself too.

When we try to convince others we’re really just trying to convince ourselves. That’s the only work we need to do. When we are confident and certain in our beliefs and the way we show up we’re better equipped and prepared to coexist with others and their differing beliefs. 

You don’t need them to understand you because YOU understand you.

You don’t need them to see that you have a great relationship because you already know you do.

You don’t need them to approve of that purchase, to approve of what you’re doing because YOU APPROVE of you.

Think about this from an extreme perspective for a moment. Say someone comes to you and questions why you have wings sprouting out of your back. You know you don’t have wings. You’re certain you don’t have wings sprouting out of your back. Now you can open a discussion about it and clarify – there’s nothing wrong with clarifying, and actually it can be a kind thing to do – like you might be mistaken, let me share (not convince but share) some information with you.

But they believe you definitely have wings on your back, so in that moment you don’t need to convince them because you’re certain of it. At that point you can just let them believe whatever craziness they want to believe because you are so sure, so confident, so certain of your body and the absence of wings.

You see this right? There’s a different feeling that comes with certainty and confidence vs insecurity and proving or defending.

When we need others to understand, we show up in a very shaky way. We show up needy, and pushy and more intense because a part of us believes that we need them to understand so that we can give ourselves permission to believe that we’re okay. Think about the model and what kind of results you create when you operate from this position.

If your action is to convince them and to prove to them, to defend your position to them you’re creating a hostile atmosphere for you. There’s something that is in need of defending which just tells your brain and body that we need to be on edge, we need to be tense, because war is afoot.

But when you’re certain. When you’re confident you can be calm, you can can show up kind, you can be of sound mind -like the scripture in 2 Timothy 

God hath not given us the spirit of fear but of Power, love and sound mind

When you’re confident, when you’re certain of yourself, when you do the work ahead of time on yourself for yourself and you like the way you’re showing up, you like your reasons, you like you – then you show up from a powerful position. You don’t need anything from them. You don’t need them to understand or care even because you already know. You are confident. You can be at peace having a sound mind.

Then you can coexist peacefully letting them create whatever story they want and choose to believe.

Think about it – when my friend shared her interpretation with me – how do you think that story – her story made her feel?

If I believe that someone’s husband is grimacing – I’m probably telling myself a negative story about them and their marriage. That doesn’t feel good to me. Those thoughts don’t feel good to me and why would I want to feel that way? Why would I want to choose that story?

I was so fascinated with the response to his talk because he had several people reach out to him and share their thoughts and gratitude and it was like they all heard a different talk – and that’s the thing, they all did – we all experience the world in different ways because of what we choose to think about the world.

You and I don’t exist in the same world. The circumstances are the same. We can agree we’re standing on the planet earth but our perspective, our experience, our interpretation of it is completely different because of what we each choose to think and believe about it.

So if you think about that, why would you want to convince anyone else of anything? They aren’t seeing what you’re seeing. The only one that I would want approval from is my Father in Heaven who sees it all, who understands it all and I find so much comfort and power in that connection because God is love. He is going to see thing through the lens and filter of love and so knowing that about Him that gives me insight and an invitation to also choose to see others and myself out of love.

When you find yourself convincing others just pause and ask yourself why. You’ll know when you’re convincing others because of how you’re showing up. I mentioned that insecurities are loud and part of that is that needy feeling. When we need others to believe us we start spouting off a ton of evidence and information in hopes that they’ll agree with us.

We think, “I need you to understand. I need you to like me. I need you to see what a good person I am and here, let me tell you all the reasons I’m a good person – like I’m doing this, and I’m involved in that, and I ate this, and I accomplished that” right? There’s a difference between wanting to share who you are and what you’re doing with others because you want to vs proving to them and giving them lots of evidence so they’ll side with you. Again, one is out of love and connection and the other is out of fear and lack.

If you’re lacking and you feel the need to prove just stop and ask yourself what it is you need. If you need validation – give it to yourself. 

If you need them to understand that’s a sign and a call for you to dig in deeper and connect with yourself until you understand. 

When I realized that we each have our own perspective and view of the world I stopped having the need for others to understand me. It’s difficult or impossible to convince you that the sky is blue when in your world the sky is actually gray. Connection isn’t built through proving. Connection is created when you show up with curiosity and compassion.

When you’re certain and confident in your position, in who you are, in what your relationships are like you don’t need other people to understand them. When you realize that you’re just trying to convince them of your point of view so that you can be liked or accepted you can use that as a call to action, to look inward, to do your own work to like and accept you.

You can just decide to let others be wrong about you. There’s a beautiful power that comes from this place because it let’s go of the need and pull to convince others. It allows you to let go of what they think. Remember this truth, you get to believe anything you want to believe – anything. You don’t have to believe certain things. Even if someone else believes it. 

I didn’t have to be worried about my marriage because someone else had a differing perspective or interpretation of what they saw. You get to believe what you want to believe and when you come from that place then you allow others to believe whatever they want to believe as well. 

You get to this place where you get to be you and believe what you want to believe and I get to be me believing what I want to believe. It’s helpful to pause and look inward and just notice the places you’re trying to convince others about. Do you need them to like your house, the way you look, the things you’re involved in, the things you like, the foods you prefer, the movies you watch, the things you find funny or entertaining?

And if so, why? Is it because you believe if they accepted or agreed with you that you’d feel differently? You won’t. I promise you. They can’t make you feel anything – you are the only one with that power. You feel how you feel because of a thought in your mind.

What you choose to make it mean about you. That’s power.

So cut out that extra step- that detour – and instead use your precious mental energy to work on convincing you – to ask yourself if you like what you’re doing, how you dress, what your relationship looks like, etc 

The only opinion that really matters and that makes a difference in your life is yours. Your thoughts create how you feel not others.

You don’t have to convince or chase after people. If they don’t want to understand you, they don’t have to. You get to be you. You only need you to understand. Turn inward, spend that precious energy on what you think about you. The more you do this, the less you’ll find yourself trying to prove or convince others.

When we spend time proving we create a miserable world for ourselves one that’s on shaky uncertain ground. Rather when you spend time understanding yourself and if you like you, validating yourself, then you don’t need it from anyone else. Your cup is already full. 

Your work is to practice believing in yourself and what you value. You need to look inward and check in with you – ask yourself questions. Do I like me? Do I like what I’m doing? Do I like what I created? Do I like that design or plan? Do I like my relationship?

And if so, then that’s all you need. You don’t need them to like you – because you like you. When you’re trying to convince others what you’re really doing is trying to convince yourself because your self-love tank is running low. External validation is like candy – it’s short lived, unnaturally sweet, and not good for you.

Go for the real stuff – the stuff that is genuinely rich and sweet and long lasting. The stuff that will feed you, nourish you, fuel you, and build you up. That comes from inside. 

The more you do this the more confident you will feel. The more love you invite into your life. I love and adore my sweet friend no matter what she thinks or how she chooses to interpret things. I don’t need her to understand because I understand. So we get to be friends with differing perspectives and opinions and it’s all good.

You only get one life, one shot at mortality do you really want to spend it convincing other people to like you or to like your perspective?

You don’t need to convince anyone – ever. Just focus on what YOU think

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