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When your life falls apart you learn some $h!t. In 2016, I walked away from a seemingly perfect relationship one month before my wedding. For years, I'd struggled with low self-esteem and it was the bravest thing I’d ever done. I no longer pinned my worth on another person. Building confidence and self love was a slow process, and I learned a few tough lessons along the way but I'm grateful for it all. As a results, my connections with friends and loved ones are healthier and stronger than they were two years ago. Until that point, I didn't realize how my lack of self-esteem was toxic in all my relationships.
Over the last couple of years, I've learned that confidence leads to self worth. Both are necessary for a healthy relationship. Jumping two feet into loving yourself may seem a little scary, so today, I want to share with your three simples ways you can build confidence in yourself so you can start having better relationships all around.
3 Ways To Build Confidence & Have Better Relationships As A Result
1. Know what you want
Do you remember the egg scene from Runaway Bride? (If you’ve never seen Runaway Bride please do yourself a favor and watch it here ASAP). Maggie (Julia Roberts) doesn’t know what kind of eggs she likes because she always had whatever eggs her partner ordered. After my engagement ended, “finding what kind of eggs I like” was a metaphor for my entire life.
How can you enter a any relationship without knowing what you want out of it? It’s like renting an apartment without looking at it – oh this is an apartment, yes I need one of those, I’ll take it! – That sounds crazy because it is. After opening up about my relationship struggles, I realized that most people spend very little time thinking about what they actually want. If you know yourself and what you want, you have a much better chance of getting into the right kind of relationship, at the right time, with the right person.
2. Communicate Effectively
Knowing what you want isn’t helpful if you can’t communicate it with others. I didn’t speak openly about my feelings before developing self-confidence because it takes guts to say how you feel. So many women that I know struggle with this. I used to think my emotions were a burden to other people, but I learned that communication is necessary for real connection. In particular, talking about things that are sensitive or difficult strengthens relationships the most because being open is how people show vulnerability.
Being vulnerable is hard but necessary for real connection. I hear so much about the importance of being true to yourself, but few people talk about how painful it can be to open up. There’s no quick fix for being authentic. It takes hard work, introspection, and a lot of difficult conversations, but what you’ll find on the other side is 100% worth it. Opening up has added depth to all of my relationships in a way that I never could’ve imagined.
3. Stop people pleasing
I’m a recovering people pleaser. The common misconception about always trying to please others is that it means you’re a nice person. But guess what? Lying to people isn't nice – to be brutally honest, it’s manipulative. What if you found out that your best friend had been lying to you for years about liking country music, just to make you happy? You made countless memories singing in the car and going to concerts, but she wasn’t really into it?People pleasing hurts BOTH parties. So stop doing it! #selfloveClick To Tweet
That example might sound innocent enough, but people pleasing can quickly become toxic. Imagine staying in the wrong relationship for months or even years? It happens all the time and it causes so much unnecessary pain. You tell yourself that you're lying to protect the other person from pain, but deep down you know your causing both of yourselves MORE pain! You’re trying to protect yourself from the guilt. Let me assure you, based on personal experience, that you can’t protect yourself forever. If a relationship isn’t built on a foundation of truth it will crumble.
Stop worrying about everyone else. Start focusing on putting yourself first in all areas of your life. Have confidence in who you are and your choices. Start small if that's comfortable. For instance, if your partner makes all of the decisions, be the one to pick out a movie or a place to eat this weekend. Self-love is a long journey, but it is one that’s worth starting.
Want more self love? Grab TCM's positive self talk worksheets!