So often I worry the things I make and the things I do aren’t quite good enough. I compare myself to someone else who does things better, or bigger, or more completely than I do, and I think I don’t measure up.
There’s a loop that sometimes plays in my head saying: Someone else could have said it better. Someone else would have done it more expertly. Someone else would have known the best way to share it.
There’s always someone else. There’s always more to learn. But I think we can be confident in ourselves and our choices anyway — and I think we have to.
Confidence lets us move more easily through the world. We make better decisions, we worry less, and we’re more able to lead others in healthy ways. Confidence makes it easier for each of us to follow our own path.
We need that confidence as we look to design simpler lives, too. Simplifying your lifestyle goes against the grain. It’s not what everyone else is doing. Whether you’re paring back your stuff or your schedule, you’re making different choices than the world around you.
We can swim upstream without fearing the pushback of the currents, if we’re confident in where we’re headed.
When we’re confident in ourselves and our choices, we can eliminate the unnecessary from our homes, our schedules, and even our minds without worry.
We won’t second-guess ourselves. We’ll be healthier and happier as we are, where we are. When we operate out of that kind of confidence, we can change our lives and change our world.
So how do you boost your confidence? Your confidence grows when you know two things: who you are, and why you do what you do.
Remember Who You Are
You have your own personality, preferences, and passions. You have your own history and your own experiences. You have your own way of working. You have your own habits and talents and skills.
When you know who you are, you see why certain choices appeal to you more than others. When you know who you were made to be, you know what you have to offer.
That doesn’t mean you can’t grow and change and learn new ways of being in the world — you can, and you will. You’re always growing. But you don’t have to become someone else to be enough. You are already enough, and you can have confidence in who you are.
Remember Why You Do What You Do
No matter what you do, no matter how well you do it, you can take confidence in why you’re doing what you do.
When you feel overwhelmed by the journey ahead of you, or when you’re tempted to compare your journey to someone else’s destination, remind yourself of why you’re on this journey in the first place.
Staying focused on your “why” helps you hold back fears and make room for confidence, because you know your choices are about something bigger than you.
Maybe you do what you do because you know who you are serving. Maybe you do what you do because you want to help, or because you want to make a difference.
As you simplify your household, your work, your relationships, your way of being, you can focus on the purpose behind the actions. Your way can be different than the way of the world around you, because you have a different purpose.
You don’t have to do everything perfectly. The fact you’re making intentional choices, and bringing your whole self to those choices, is what matters.
You can have confidence because you know who you are, and who you were made to be. You know what you have to offer the world. You know the purpose behind the choices you’re making. That’s the foundation your confidence is build on.
When you operate from that place of confidence, you can start new projects and try new things. You can be bold. You can be different. You can be yourself.
How to Keep Growing Your Confidence
1. Develop healthy perspective — When your confidence starts to waver, try to step back and see the bigger picture. Where are you coming from? Where are you headed? Are you still moving in the right direction?
If you need a second opinion, check in with people you trust. Ask them to remind you of who you are, of what you have to offer, and of why you’re doing this new thing. Your people can help restore your perspective, and with it, your confidence.
2. Tell yourself a new story — As you’re taking steps toward a simpler lifestyle, instead of dwelling on where you are or where you’ve been, remind yourself about the changes you’re excited to make. Confidence comes from seeing yourself as a person on a journey, not from trying to measure up.
Remind yourself life is not a test. No one is grading your journey toward simplicity. You’re practicing, you’re experimenting, and you’re learning. That’s a good thing.
If you’re feeling stuck, remind yourself you can grow and change, and your way of doing things will change, too. “Mistakes” are part of the process, not something that should chip away at your confidence.
3. Practice — You don’t have to “fake it until you make it,” but you can practice acting as though you had more confidence.
What would you do differently if you had more confidence in your skills, your decision-making, your self?
Practice doing it. Practice telling your new story. Practice remembering who you are and why you do what you do. Your confidence will grow along with you.
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