Episode 91: 5 Cold-Hard Truths for Confident Living
Sometimes the hardest person to be honest with is yourself. We try and sugarcoat or ignore certain thoughts and truths because we might think they’re hard. But when we don’t acknowledge these and just keep operating from our past beliefs we can’t move forward and we can’t live a truly confident life.
Today I’m going to spotlight just 5 cold-hard truths that you need to acknowledge and live by to create genuine confident living. There’s more but for time’s sake I’ll narrow it to 5 heavy hitters.
The first is that:
1.) You aren’t always right but you are the authority of YOUR life
This is a struggle for most people because we think we are right. We think that our perspective, our experiences, our thoughts are the most correct and that others should live by these.
For example, people shouldn’t say tacky things. I know you’ve experienced this. When someone says something that you wouldn’t to you, that seems tacky and not socially correct behavior but to them, they’re saying it. They’ve said it. They might say it again to someone else. This means to them what they’re doing is totally okay. It’s not tacky at all, it’s just what’s appropriate to them.
When we go into things believing that we are right and that our way it the correct way or the better way we set ourselves up for resistance and defense. Both traits that are not in alignment with confident living. And it’s not fun. It doesn’t feel good and it won’t have you showing up as your best self.
This same rule applies to every area of your life. You aren’t always right because right is subjective and when I realize that it allows me to be open to other options or to see others in a different light. This doesn’t mean that they’re right either. It means that we each have our own brains that formulate various ideas, beliefs, common sense, and behaviors based on their past experiences, how they were brought up, their customs, what teachings they soaked in, their friendships, their thoughts, etc.
We are each our own entity and this is where confidence comes in. You aren’t always right but you are the authority over you and your thoughts and your life.
That means that what is right for you isn’t for everybody and that’s okay. What is right for them isn’t what’s right for you and that’s okay.
You can acknowledge the other humans and make space for them in your life while not getting knocked off-kilter by playing the “they shouldn’t” game. We can be aware and think, ‘“hmm..I wouldn’t have said that/done that…” and that’s okay.
It’s okay doesn’t mean you endorse it but rather that you accept that other humans have their agency and can say or do what they are going to. That’s the great thing to know that I’m not always right – clearly if I was then everyone would be doing or saying what I would. They’re doing what they believe is right and that’s a really beautiful thought and belief because instead of resisting it thinking, they’re doing it wrong. They should be doing it MY way, we just let them be them knowing that everyone is really just doing the best they can.
It connects us. They are doing the best they can right now. It tells your brain that this is exactly how it should be because this is what is.
We don’t get upset at people for doing what they can. We get upset and into resistance when we believe they should have done better. But when we see that this is what they could do, we accept with compassion and we keep moving forward. We keep making progress. We create certainty and solid ground to move forward from and that’s really beautiful.
I have four kids and each one is so different with their own unique strengths and abilities and occasionally we’ll get into a conversation with one of them who is noticing that we’re accepting a “lesser” job than what we expected or asked of them. Like, “why do they only have to do x when I had to do x,y, and z?” And we tell them because that’s the best they can do right now. We’re proud that they’re doing what they can and with you, you were able to do more, that was your best at that time” It doesn’t always bring the understanding or outcome they were hoping for but someday it’ll click.
When we own that we aren’t always right but we are the authority of OUR own life it allows us to see a truer perspective. That what’s right for me isn’t always what’s right for them and that’s okay. What I would do isn’t what you would do and that’s okay. What’s my best isn’t going to be your best and that’s not a problem.
It also helps us take in feedback from others easier too instead of feeling judged and/or criticized. Of course, other people have their own opinions – they too think they are right so they might offer their thoughts to you but ultimately you are the authority over your life. You get to decide what is right for you, what you want to do, and how you want to live your life.
This whole premise is to get out of resistance for them and for you and to allow yourself to be an independent being with agency to decide and determine what you will do with the authority you have over your own life, your beliefs, and your actions.
2.) It’s not everyone else, it’s you – own it. If you are seeing patterns in your friendships, relationships, lessons…it’s not them, it’s you.
Okay, this is a toughy for many of us because your brain really wants to believe it’s them. They are the crazy ones, right? And you might be tempted to ask yourself, “why do I keep attracting these kinds of people in my life?” Or “why can’t I find anyone normal???” – it’s because it’s not them. It’s you. It’s not that they’re crazy or not normal – it’s that your practiced thoughts, your patterns are looking for that and sure enough, it’ll find it each and every time.
When you pay attention, you’ll find the patterns. You’ll see similar personalities, similar experiences, similar people throughout your whole life – back into childhood too because it’s not them, it’s you. You are the common denominator. It’s the current lens through which your brain filters everything else and finds this thread.
When you own that you are creating this – not attracting this – like a victim and this always happens to you – but that you are actually creating it with your thoughts and filter it’s easier to change these unhelpful habits.
But you can’t change anything until you’re aware of it. It’s really liberating when we own what we’re creating because this is the only way you can have any change, and any freedom.
But once you start to notice and start seeing patterns of rejection, feeling unseen or unheard, never feeling like you have close friendships – you’ll be able to put the pieces together and see that it’s not that those things are true for you – that they happened TO you but rather that you created them by the thoughts you had about them.
For example, in the Pixar film, Meet the Robinsons there’s this scene that my family and I talk about often. There’s this boy, nicknamed Goob that missed the winning catch in his baseball game and he was so down on himself for that and started this internal shaming track so that as he’s walking down the school hallway, head held low, and thinking lowly thoughts he blocks out all the kind, smiling faces inviting him over to play and hang out but he labeled his story as, “they all hated me” and then he blamed his roommate for years afterward for making him tired because the roommate and main character stayed up late inventing.
Now, this obviously is a fictional story but it’s not far off from the truth – different circumstances but the same mental concept and patterns. In a similar fashion, I had a friend that I was good friends with and saw often and I wasn’t the only one. She was a really friendly person who always had people and friends over and was always going and hanging out with people but in her mind, she chose to believe she didn’t have any real friends. I was stopped by someone at church who was deeply concerned for her and wanted to ask me if I could stop by more and check on her and I was shocked because I was like, I’m over there all the time. She comes here all the time. We talk practically daily.
But in her mind, she was so set on believing this story that might have been true for her at one point but even though the circumstances are different she couldn’t see what else is currently true for her. That she does have other friends that love her and want to be with her.
But none of that will matter if you’re glued to your story – and that’s what I want to invite you to be aware of – is your current story outdated? Is your brain filtering out the things you really want because it’s operating from past beliefs that aren’t helpful to you? Are you missing opportunities to experience what you really want because your brain is still filtering out anything but that painful tale?
It’s not them. You are not the victim. It’s you and your beliefs.
Notice the patterns and then ask yourself just one question: What else is true?
What else is true is so helpful because it allows you to see what other options you do have and what other thoughts you can choose to focus on.
What else is true for my friend would help her see that she has people who care about her, that want to be her real friend, and frankly believed that we were. That’s how powerful thoughts are and individual they are too. I thought we were close friends and then when I heard she doesn’t have any real friends that were eye-opening at first and you bet my mind had lots of drama about that – especially since it was before I knew how to do thought work but I can see it now. I can have compassion for her now because I get it.
Your beliefs create your world.
Byron Katie said, “The world is nothing but my perception of it. I see only through myself. I hear only through the filter of my story.”
It’s not them. It IS you.
Question your beliefs. Question your story. Reset your filters.
3.) Complaining makes you weak and the victim – and it lets others and your circumstances have control over you
Okay, we all know this in theory but in truth, complaining is harmful, like really harmful because you are allowing or outsourcing your emotional needs onto someone or something external and that’s a precarious situation to put yourself in because that means that you have to wait until they or it changes so you can feel better but what happens if it never changes?
You’re stuck. You are a victim. There’s no way to create or find security or certainty when you’re stuck waiting for external things to change.
We think that complaining is like venting and that we just “need to get things off our chest” and that’s fine – that’s what a brain dump is for. Write it all down so you can see what you’re complaining about and what your current story is. The problem is that most of the time we don’t do that. Most of the time we call a friend and vent and then they jump in because they’re your friend and want to validate and support but all that does is solidify the belief that something shouldn’t have happened and that your life stinks.
Thanks. Now I feel better.
Complaining is allowing someone else to take the driver’s seat and why would you want to do that?
When we complain we believe we’re just stating facts, like, “this terrible thing happened and it shouldn’t have” but we don’t realize that these thoughts, this belief is optional and we are choosing to feel negative which is the opposite of what we really want because we’re complaining that we’re not able to feel positive because this external circumstance “made you feel negative”.
But that’s just it. Nothing can make you feel anything and when you complain you’re assigning it – giving it power over you but why? Why would you want to do that to yourself? Why would you want to take your ability to create confidence and security away from you and offer up negativity instead?
When we’re complaining we skip taking responsibility and we make ourselves the victim. You choose to look for the negatives and filter out all the negatives instead of what you really want, to feel better. But when you complain you basically give your brain a job to do and your amazing brain will always come through for you. It will find things to complain about. It will miss all the wonderful things and only show you a display of one negative thing after another until all you see is a really bad day, a bad experience, just bad.
Then over time the more we do this it creates patterns and habits in your brain to always do this. Your brain is like, “what else is wrong?” And so it can seem like you have a really hard life when in fact, that’s just one side of the story. It’s so subtle and your brain does it so seamlessly that it seems like it’s true but it’s not.
When we complain we become the victim, stuck, limited. We dive into self-pity and I tell you what, for a moment complaining might feel good – it’s tempting for a couple of reasons:
1.) it offers you validation – which we need and validation feels good
2.) It takes the responsibility off of you – like this isn’t ME, it’s them, it’s out there – it’s their fault – which offers temporary relief – keyword, temporary
That validation and relief is so fleeting because after you’ve had your justification in that moment then it’s like, now what? You’re still stuck. You’re still a victim. You still can’t progress. It limits you and puts you in a weakened state – which is NOT confident living. By definition, the victim can’t move forward. They’re a victim. There is no empowerment there, no freedom, no progression.
Don’t allow yourself to delude that complaining is attractive or helpful because it’s not. ever. It will never give you what you really want or need.
Now, I’m not telling you that you can’t complain – you can do whatever you want to, you’re an adult with your own agency. I am telling you that it will never create the result you really want or help you live a confident life.
When you take responsibility for things – for ALL THINGS you start to see where you can move forward and how you can feel better because let’s be 100% honest here – the circumstances never make us feel anything anyway, it’s always our thoughts about the circumstances that create our feelings.
So when you take responsibility – which looks like, “I make it mean…”
When you said those words, I made it mean…
Or when it started to rain on my vacation, I made it mean that my vacation was ruined…
“I made it mean” is such a liberating phrase. This is what you want to practice, in your relationships, in your daily life, in the moment to moment living – because this is the opposite of victim mentality. This is freedom. This is your ticket to confident living. Because if you are making it mean something that doesn’t serve you, you see that only you and your thoughts can make it mean something else when and if you’re ready.
You’re not a victim. You’re choosing that thought and if that thought doesn’t feel good you don’t have to keep it. Does that feel good???
So complain if you choose to but own it. Take responsibility for it. I’m making this mean that this stinks! You can still feel validated but now you’re owning that this is your interpretation of your circumstances and that it doesn’t always have to stink. When you’re ready to feel better you can because you are the author of your story.
You can change the narrative any time you want to.
4.) It’s not their job to notice you – seen – be your own cheering squad
This is one I hear often. We have an innate desire to be seen, to feel special but we mistakenly think and believe that we need others to give this to us. We need others to see us, to notice us, to see what good works we’re doing and praise us.
But again, this thinking puts you in victim mode because you’re at the mercy and whim of others who aren’t in the best position to give that to you.
Thinking this way only sets you up for disappointment and resentment.
But there is an upside – you have an option to take ownership of your needs and make a point to see and notice yourself. You don’t need others to give you a gold star- give it to yourself.
You don’t need others to cheer for you – cheer for yourself. Now I know some of you are thinking that’s not as fun or that you shouldn’t have to cheer for yourself – if you were really worth cheering people would be cheering – but notice how sad those thoughts are and how restrictive they are.
When I believe that I need and want others to see me, to notice me, to praise me then I’m stuck waiting. I’m stuck believing that I’m not a person worth seeing, that I’m invisible or not important and those feel awful! Why would you want to do that to yourself?
Brigham Young once said, “Why should we worry about what others think of us, do we have more confidence in their opinions than we do our own?”
Why should you have to wait for someone else to have a thought about you for you to feel good about yourself? Why do their thoughts mean more than your own?
You are in the best position to see and notice all the good you are doing and that you are. It has to be you. Give yourself the gold star. And you know what happens when you allow yourself to be happy for yourself? When you notice all the good you’re doing?
You FEEL good! Know what happens when you feel good?
You DO more good! You create more goodness in your life and in the world and you know what else? It starts to get noticed.
I think of Mother Teresa with this one. She set out doing what she felt was best. She did good for the sake of serving and doing good and at first, it didn’t seem to matter. The people she served didn’t like her, they didn’t want her there, they mocked her and yelled at her. The opposite of the praise and attention we really want. But she knew she was doing good. She was able to see her works and praise them as being good and worthwhile so she continued.
Thought after thought, feeling after feeling, action after action she created a ripple effect that has blessed millions of people.
Steve Martin once said, “be so good they can’t ignore you” and I think that’s what Mother Teresa did – she didn’t do it for praise or for others to see her. She didn’t need that – she did what she did because she could see her own worth and the value in what she was doing and because of that it allowed others to see her too.
Stop focusing outward and keep your focus inward – see yourself, notice the good you are doing – the more you do this the more you’ll see you don’t actually need others to see you – you really only need you to see you.
Okay, last one we’ll talk about today – there’s more of course but I didn’t want this to be overly long so I condensed it to just 5. So #5:
5.) You are the Catalyst – it is you that makes the weather, you harm, hurt, or heal – but knowing this, you can heal, feel happy, and live in certainty and confidence!
I’ve shared this before and again in our membership this month, which if you’re not a part of yet, you most definitely want to be! It’s absolutely incredible for all the amazingness you get inside – come join us!!!
Okay, the quote – this quote changed me when I first heard it coupled with life coaching and it’s actually the inspiration behind my company name. This is by Haim Ginott:
“I have come to the frightening conclusion that I am the decisive element. It is my personal approach that creates the climate. It is my daily mood that makes the weather. I possess tremendous power to make (my) life miserable or joyous. I can be a tool of torture or an instrument of inspiration (for myself). I can humiliate or humor, hurt or heal. In all situations, it is my response that decides whether a crisis is escalated or de-escalated, and a person is humanized or de-humanized (in my mind). If we treat people as they are (as we currently see them), we make them worse. If we treat people as they ought to be (who we believe they are capable of being), we help them become what they are capable of becoming.”
It’s never about the circumstances and always about what you choose to believe about your circumstances. You are the decisive element.
You make the decisions of what kind of day you’ll have, what kind of a life you’ll live, how you’ll feel, what you create, and who you are. You are not dealt cards and now you have to deal with them. You are the author and create everything.
We like to get swept up in life and believe life is happening TO us, that we just don’t have time for anything so we continue running on the hamster wheel and feeling exhausted and then looking back and wondering where our life went.
That’s just a narrative – you forget that you make the rules. Your thoughts create the climate. Your beliefs about another human being create that connection or lack of connection. You possess tremendous power over your life. You get to make it whatever you want to make it and it’s through your agency, your power to choose your thoughts that makes your life miserable or joyous, confident or insecure.
We think we need the things or the people outside of us to be different so we can feel better but that’s just not true. You are the catalyst. You are the element that can change everything. It’s your thoughts, your beliefs, your choices that create confident living or not.
Looking at it like that really does feel frightening sometimes. It’s amazing what power you have been given and just how much trust your Heavenly Father has in you to let you create your mortal life any way you want it.
You are the decisive element. You make the weather. You decide the climate. You are the catalyst. In all situations, it’s always your thoughts that shape and create.
You are powerful. You are infinite. You are the catalyst.
Ponder on these 5 things and start noticing how they play a significant role in your capacity to feel and create a confident life. You’ll see just how much say over your life and your experience you really do have.
Okay, my friends! Don’t forget – the membership doors close in just TWO DAYS. This month we’re focusing on confidence in our connections which is a biggie so come join us – not to mention all the amazing goodies that come with joining – it’s so good! It’s a small investment of just $50 – less than dinner and movie and these tools will up-level your life and stay with you way longer than an entertaining movie or a fun dinner. Come join me!