how i rebuilt my confidence

Confidence is not 'They will like me'. Confidence is 'I'll be fine if they don't.'

When I became a mom, I didn't realize how much my confidence would take a hit. At 24, I was just starting to come into my own, but being in charge of another life is scary. I thew all of my time and energy into motherhood and I had to take a back seat to care for my children. Well...I didn't have to, but that's what I did. I put myself last. 

Anytime you put yourself last, you will feel less-worthy. But, that's not what being a mom is about. Our job is to teach our kids the value of self-expression and confidence which can't happen if we are down on ourselves. That being said, it takes practice to continue to have lift yourself up when you are stuck in sea of self-doubt. 

Here's what I what I did (and still do) to build confidence. 

  1. Reflected on how far I've come. I only compare my personal growth to where I was before. I found that comparing myself to others lead to doubt and a lack of confidence. Instead I had to start comparing myself to where I was last month or last week and focus on that. I made time to acknowledge how far I had come and gave myself props for getting things done.

  2. Leaned on my tribe. In my circle, I am often the person who is cheering people on and trying to motivate, but this can become draining. When I felt depleted, I needed people who would also give and not just take. I made sure to create my tribe accordingly. I have a group of friends that cheer me on and hold me accountable. I also gave myself permission to ask for help and not feel guilty about it.

  3. Focused on the process, not my failures. If I made a mistake, I tried my best to analyze the situation instead of giving up or blaming myself. I made it a point to learn how I could do better next time.

  4. Pushed through. I pushed through fear, embarrassment and failure. Pushing myself out of my comfort zone was scary, but it's in those situations that I felt my confidence grow the most. The more I did it, the easier it got.

  5. Gave myself compliments. I told myself that I was capable, worthy, smart, creative and loving. I still have a hard time accepting compliments...but I deserve it.

Confidence is a mindset, not a onetime goal. Mindsets have to be fed constantly. Don't feed the fears when you can create a healthy appetite for confidence instead. Make it a part of you. When you start to accept and celebrate the person you are, you will become more confident.

that one time I cried over oatmeal

I can now add oatmeal to the list of things that have made me cry. What is it about motherhood that makes you so emotional about the simplest things?! As you know, I'm a big documenter of moments. It's what my style of photography is all about.  I decided one day, it was time to let Kit try out the feeding himself with the spoon. I gleefully watched as he happily accepted the spoon and began to feed himself. He was elated to be in charge of his own meal. When he was done, I reached in to clean him up and get him out of the seat, but he cried and snatched away...not ready for the experience to be over.  So, I refilled his bowl and left him to his newfound independence. Then, I looked at the photos and cried. I never knew oatmeal could be so beautiful.