The feature photo in this post is of the Harrison Lake Water Park in British Columbia. Most would look at this image and think ‘Oh wow, this would be so much fun’, ‘Exciting’, ‘What a great day out’! I actually DID start out by thinking all these things, and was very much looking forward to enjoying our amazing day out…until I got there! I managed to get a wetsuit on and jump in the little transport dinghy to reach the base of the park. It was so much bigger and scarier than I expected. I won’t bore you with the rest, but let’s just say the day was filled with an awful lot of nervous laughter and screaming…and procrastinating, by sitting at the top of the Park’s biggest slide for over 10 minutes, before I succumbed to the realization there was only ONE way down. In the end it was a fun day, and I had a taste of what it felt like to fear something with every fibre of your body, but to do it anyway.
Believe it or not, starting this blog, I mean, actually starting it, has been one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. I’ve set up a few Blogs and never actually written or published anything on them. I have made numerous attempts in the past 3 years to actually make my first post, but low self-confidence kept getting the better of me. I started to think about ‘Why?’ I wanted to start a Blog, and the answer to that is, I want to ‘share’ and give others the opportunity to learn through my experiences and the experiences of others. Then I realised, this Blog is not about ME, it’s about my readers, the other mothers and women out there who might take things away from what I can share. So, this past week, I finally took the plunge and pressed the ‘publish’ button. It was so scary and I will be honest in saying that I held off for some time (a number of days in fact), but when I finally did it, it had to be one of the most empowering feelings ever.
This whole ‘Blogging’ experience (all 3 years of it), has made me want to learn a bit more about myself, and has prompted me to want to improve on those things that have been holding me back these past 30 years. So, I ask myself, ‘What is self-confidence?’ To me, self-confidence is the combination of self-esteem and self-efficacy. It is an essential part of being human. Self-efficacy is the belief that I can accomplish a variety of tasks or goals throughout my life. Self-esteem, is similar, but for me, is more related to believing that I am generally competent in what I do, that no one is judging me, and that I deserve to be happy in life.
A person with self-confidence is generally positive, and willing to take risks to achieve their personal and professional goals. Should you ask my husband if he thinks me a positive or negative person, he will most likely say the latter. I’m not negative all the time, but I do always think about the risk factors in any situation or decision and this has had the potential to hold me back a lot.
I’m taking the first, baby steps to eliminate this negative thought process I have learned to hide behind, in a hope that I will develop more self-confidence to empower me for the remainder of my life. It’s a start, and it has done wonders for me already, so I will share them here with you.
Step 1: Identify negative thoughts
This is a relatively easy one for me. I am pretty good at thinking the ‘negative thought’ and I am usually always aware that I have just had one. Doesn’t mean I don’t have them though. The next step(s) will prove a little harder.
Step 2: Turn negative thoughts into positive thoughts
Positive affirmations really help out here. I’ve just had the negative thought, but ‘I’m going to try doing it anyway’.
Step 3: Nurturing a positive attitude
This is the on-going, life long bit. If you’re anything like me, negative thoughts will arise, no matter how hard you try at turning them into positives. But as an activity to cultivate a positive attitude, try refusing to allow negative thoughts to occur more often than your positive ones. I’m still learning this and practising this task each and every day. Like anything new, it takes practice and repetition, but the more you counter your negative self-thinking with positivity, the more natural this will no doubt become.
When I finally took that leap of faith and realised that this Blog is simply an avenue of sharing and learning, it made me feel like there was no reason to be shy or insecure, no reason why I couldn’t share my thoughts, my ideas and experiences with other mothers, sisters, daughters and why not any other member of the human race… Think positive, think ‘BIG’.
Truth is, we ALL have experiences to share. We want to live in a world where we are non judgmental, where we aspire to assist and help one another and that we are empowered to want to share our experiences, if only to enable others. So, I encourage any and all of you to adopt a positive attitude, to encourage others, and to feel that fear but give it a go anyway.
Over and out.