I remember the scene, about 20 years ago. We were with a couple of friends, and one lady had just shared how bad she felt about her child being verbally abused by a horrible first grade teacher, and how she felt completely helpless, not daring to do anything about it.
“What would YOU do if someone were to attack your children?” she ended her lamentations.
Before I could even answer, my then-husband leaned back, folded his arms across the chest, grinned from one ear to the other and said: “I would so LOVE to see that.”
It’s true, lack of confidence was never an issue when it came to what I tolerated – or NOT – for my children.
When it came to myself, however…
Last week, as they were working their way through Module 2 “Confidence” I asked the ladies in my online course:
If you had more Confidence, what would you no longer tolerate?
When you think about what you tolerate, the first things that come to mind are probably what you tolerate from other people:
- The obnoxious team member who pointedly ignores everything you say.
- The cleaner who can’t be bothered to do more than a superficial wipe.
- The friend who tells “funny” stories at your expense at every party.
You can probably think of half a dozen examples yourself – you know, the ones that make your blood boil…
Why then do you tolerate them? It’s a safe bet that lack of confidence plays a big part.
However, before you bark at your friend and fire the cleaner, here is what you want to ask yourself:
What would you not tolerate from yourself any longer, if you had more confidence?
- Would you tolerate calling yourself names and criticizing your every single move?
- Would you tolerate stuffing down your feelings with third-class chocolate or wine from a plastic container?
- Would you tolerate letting your house go to such a state of neglect that you are ashamed to have anyone visit you?
- Would you tolerate looking at yourself in the mirror and make a grimace of disgust?
- Would you tolerate to only look at your mistakes from the past and allow them to undermine your future?
My guess is no, you would not. (To add insult to injury, you are then probably beating yourself up for doing all those things).
So let me ask you again: what would you not tolerate from yourself any longer, if you had more confidence?
The good thing about confidence is that it is not something you were born with like the colour of your eyes or your hair. Yes, confidence can be lost (don’t we all know it), but confidence can also be found again, re-learned, re-grown, shared and given.
So my invitation is: think about what you really don’t want to tolerate any longer coming from yourself. Imagine how your life would be different without that thing, and let this be your motivation to become more confident.
(Spoiler Alert: the less you tolerate that kind of thing coming from yourself, the less you will have to put up with it coming from others. You’ll see!).