Tag Archives: self-confidence

Do You Believe In You?

iGnite - You were created to do something great

Point to Ponder:
Do you realize you are here to do something great?

by Neissa Brown Springmann

by Neissa Brown Springmann

As I’ve written about in past journals, my favorite magazine is SUCCESS. SUCCESS provides countless stories and tips for anyone striving for personal and professional success and wanting to become better. Darren Hardy is the publisher and founding editor and he also provides a free and daily motivational message called Darren Daily, which I love. His quick, interesting and inspiring message is sent every morning via text and email. Because I’m a motivation junky and don’t think you can ever have enough positive messaging in your life, I subscribe to his service. I don’t always listen to it, but when I do, the impact is far greater than the three minutes I spend listening to it. Most recently I was inspired and encouraged by Darren’s terrific message on the power of believing in yourself.

I wish I could say that I never lack belief in my abilities, both personally and professionally, but I definitely do at times. As a whole, I would venture to say that self-doubt, a lack of self-confidence and belief in ourselves is what prevents us from getting exactly what we want in and out of life. Whether it be the career we desire, a mutually respectful and loving relationship, or simply trying something that we’ve always wanted to try, it all starts with belief in oneself.

This certainly trickles down to our children, marriages, and really all of our relationships. Where, when, and if we doubt someone’s abilities, even if we don’t speak it, has a negative energy and can be physically felt. Belief or lack of believe has infinite effects. Can you imagine if from the day you were born you heard the words, “I believe in you!” Can you imagine the compound and staggering effects!? And what if we added the words, “I believe in you and I love you? You were created to do something great!” Can.you.imagine?! To speak in terms of last week’s journal, ‘It’s Time to Turn on Your Shine’, our shine would be on all of the time!

You may be thinking, “I never tell myself I don’t believe in myself,” but do you ever tell yourself that you do believe in yourself and that you were created to do something great? The heart knows what the brain is thinking, and vice versa. We can’t hide from our doubt or disbelief.

The words “I believe in you. You were created to do something great!” cannot be heard or told enough, and we must always speak them out loud and to ourselves everyday, in every circumstance, and in all situations. Then, we should also speak those words to everyone else — our spouses, people we are in relationship with, colleagues, children, friends, family members and strangers. My mind gets blown just thinking about the progress we would make and how much happier, healthier and satisfied our lives would be if we did this on a regular basis. To believe that a divine source, whom I believe is God, not only believes in us but also created every.single.one.of.us to do something great, would forever change the negative and limiting thoughts that we can have about ourselves and others.

Small children are fearless inspirations. They will try anything and they believe they can do everything. The picture above is of my four-year-old son, Durant, at Solona Beach on his boogie board. While his boogie board is sitting on the sand and not floating on the water, he believes he is surfing. I didn’t tell him otherwise, I just cheered him on.

This child-like and child-proof sense of belief is what we can never lose and can never stop instilling in others.

Action Item:
Regardless of the lies that someone in your childhood may have told you, you must always remember that you were created for greatness. The lies were about that person, not you, and the unfortunate lies that someone once told them. Don’t let someone else’s lies define you, your future or your family’s future. Instead, let the truth — that you were created to do something great & that you were created to shine — define you and your family’s future.

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The Compliment Dare

Loving Yourself & Others, Part IV

compliments

by Neissa Brown Springmann

by Neissa Brown Springmann

When I sat down in January to plan what I was going to write about in February, the idea of loving ourselves and others felt natural because February is all about love. As I pondered different actions we could take that would demonstrate love, the one that continued to stir in my head was the ability to receive a compliment with a simple and gracious “thank you.”

Let’s face it, we women are THE WORST at receiving compliments with a “thank you” or without the extra “oh”, “well”, “but”, and “really?” On the flip side, we are THE BEST at giving compliments! We have no problem showering others with compliments, but when it comes to loving ourselves and the person giving the compliment enough to graciously receive it with a “thank you”, as a whole we’re pretty bad.

How do I know this? Because graciously accepting compliments was something I once stunk at, and I continue to struggle with. It wasn’t until a friend called me out many years ago that I became aware of how rude, ungrateful and unflattering it was for me to not to be able to say “thank you”. I thought a lot about why I couldn’t receive a compliment. Did I feel unworthy? Did I not love myself enough to receive a beautiful compliment? Or was it because I was too focused on my imperfections that I couldn’t see or appreciate what others saw? Honestly, it was probably all of the above.

Taking it a step further, my whole life I’ve wished I had long, slender legs. I’ve never been satisfied with my long torso and short legs until Dietitian Anne Wilfong spoke at one of our winter retreats. She too referenced her dislike of her short legs and long torso, and said that it wasn’t until she ran her first marathon that she realized how grateful she was for her short, strong legs. Not only did they carry her for 26.2 long miles, but they allowed her to train all of those miles! It was then that I realized I needed to stop wishing I had longer legs and simply be grateful for what I do have. So, to my short legs: I am blessed to have both of you. You are strong and allow me to run, jump, walk, play, skip, ride my bike and go everywhere I need and want to go. Thank you, and I will never wish you were longer again!

Gratitude. I’m learning that expressing gratitude is the key to living our best life, and while being able to receive a compliment with a gracious “thank you” and complimenting a body part that we are typically critical of might seem trivial, to me it all equals loving ourselves, loving the person who was kind enough to give us the compliment and appreciating what we’ve been given.

This week and moving forward, I invite you to join me in the Compliment Dare. The goal is to begin receiving compliments with a simple “thank you”, while also loving yourself enough to say “thank you” to your unique features and characteristics. And as you embark on the Compliment Dare, below are two beautiful iGnite leader examples of complimenting a body part that will inspire and encourage you to start saying “thank you”.

Amy

Amy

“On a good day when I’m feeling confident and self-assured, I call them my “character lines.” On a rough day when I am feeling anxious, worried and insecure, they show up as “old lady wrinkles.” What I realize when I am honest with myself is that every single one of the deep groves in my forehead and furrowed brow carry a lifetime of rich living. The etched wrinkles are complemented by the crows feet around my eyes that light up my face every time I smile and laugh…..which I must have done a lot of in this lifetime if their prominence is any indicator!  I have earned every single one of my wrinkles; a testament to a life well lived!”
-Amy

Catherine

Catherine

“When I get the occasional compliment on my hair, my tendency is always to respond with the bad — “oh really? Wow, it’s so fine and straight and flat and there’s so much of it…and this…and that… but thank you though. ” When really I should just rock it. Why am I responding with negativity when someone is saying something nice to me? The fact that my hair is relatively ‘easy’ to handle is something I should be incredibly grateful for and stop nitpicking about the things I wish were different about it. So, there — thank you God for this crazy head of hair that I should be nothing but grateful for!”
– Catherine

Action Item:
When given a compliment, practice receiving it with a gracious “thank you” and begin complimenting and being grateful for the physical features you are often critical of.

The Power of Accepting & Sharing Who We REALLY Are

Point to Ponder:
Do you ever find yourself not responding to questions or situations authentically
in order to avoid others having a negative opinion of you?

by Neissa Brown Springmann

by Neissa Brown Springmann

Do you ever find yourself wanting to laugh out loud, ask a question, make a comment or take an action, but instead you don’t follow through to avoid drawing attention to yourself, risking that someone might think you’re strange, or fear they will think negatively of you? I do, and that’s one of the areas I think we all can make self improvement strides in to see rich results.

Last February during our Winter Renewal Retreat, one of our guest speakers Dave Sunde said, Vulnerability never risked is intimacy never gained.” Let me repeat that: Vulnerability never risked is intimacy never gained.  For me, that was an epic A-HA! moment. Ever since Brené Brown brought the concept of vulnerability to light for me I have strived to be more vulnerable, but the idea of intimacy being the result of vulnerability- wow! That’s a game-changer and makes perfect sense… but it’s scary!

Intimacy doesn’t just refer to marriage or a physical relationship, it’s the result of anyone fully opening themselves up and letting others take a look into their desires, imperfections and messy life.  It’s loving ourselves enough to confidently express ourselves without the fear of rejection or need for approval. It’s being brave and courageous enough say YES to our passions and the things and people we love, because when you say yes to what feeds your heart, you’re giving others permission to join you. Being and living out exactly who we are is the highest form of intimacy, and that is where real life begins.

One of my favorite examples of vulnerability resulting in intimacy (and personal fulfillment and success) is Jake Worthington. Jake is a true country boy from La Port, Texas and the only thing fancy about him is his authenticity, which is brilliant. In 2013, after not making it past the blind auditions on The Voice, rather than slink away humiliated in front of millions of viewers and assume he wasn’t good enough, he respectfully asked the panel of judges how he could improve. The courageous result was his return in 2014 and finishing second place overall. I don’t know about you, but that kind of boldness inspires me to the ends of the earth and proves there’s only one way to live, and that’s passionately vulnerable so we can share our gifts and have intimate, rich, and meaningful relationships and life experiences. It’s a self-improvement opportunity for all of us and I invite you to watch Jake, witness his passion, honesty, vulnerability and ability to create intimacy. It’s mind-blowing and I love it!

Action Item:
Focus on being more vulnerable in your interactions with people this week,
and notice how much more rich and intimate those experiences become.
And, of course, watch the video below to be inspired by Jake’s comeback performance 🙂

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We Can CHOOSE to be Self-Confident

“Being healthy is a way of life. It’s not just about what you feed your body, it’s about what you feed your mind and the social environment you keep. Make healthy food choices, exercise your body and brain, and choose your friends wisely”
-Dr. Steve Maraboli

Point to Ponder:
Would you consider yourself self-confident?

Action Item:
Practice at least one of the 5 confidence-boosting exercises:
1. Meditate
2. Be grateful
3. Think small
4. Sleep, exercise & share
5. Practice power positions

by Neissa Brown Springmann

by Neissa Brown Springmann

To say that we are products of our past is certainly valid. There’s no doubt that many of our conscious and unconscious thoughts, behaviors and actions are a result of our upbringing and current social environments. Humans are easily influenced, and as children we had little control over the people we spent time with and who shaped our thinking, both positively and negatively. Now, as adults, we have all of the control and are either choosing to put ourselves in nurturing and healthy environments, or not. Either way, according to The Confidence Code, our environment and the power of habitual thinking have proven to play key roles in our confidence.

According to The Confidence Code, research proves that we are genetically born with more or less confidence. But the good new is that our confidence is malleable, and even as adults it can be altered despite our genetic wiring, pasts and memories. The best news is that we do not have to be products of our pasts, and just because our parents didn’t build us up, we had negative experiences in P.E., got dumped by our prom date or were told we couldn’t achieve a dream….these events do not have to define us or limit our level of confidence.

For adults, confidence really is a choice and like anything, finding it does not happen overnight. If we want it, we must practice using it everyday, and fortunately, there are scientifically proven confidence-building exercises that can create new confidence pathways in our brain. They are:

  1. Meditation: A calm brain is the ultimate confidence tool. MRI results show that the fear center of the brain (the amygdala) actually shrinks when meditation is routinely practiced. Meditation increases your ability to control your emotions and to be clear and calm. (Remember, meditation looks different for everyone. It can be prayer, quiet time alone, a walk/run around the neighborhood or lake, etc.)
  2. Be Grateful: New research shows that gratitude is one of the keys to happiness and an optimistic mindset. Believe and be grateful for the kind words said about you. Simply saying “thank you” will transform your mood and make the compliment-giver feel good.
  3. Think Small: Rather than focus on daunting challenges/daily tasks, break them down into tiny goals. Accomplishing them will give you a confidence boost.
  4. Sleep, Exercise & Share: A lack of sleep and exercise produces an extremely anxious brain, and anxious brains are less confident. Being close and sharing with friends boosts our oxytocin levels, which also increases confidence!
  5. Practice Power Positions: Abs in, chin up! Sitting up strait will give you a short-term confidence boost.

After finishing reading The Confidence Code, I am convinced that our confidence is part of our overall health and wellness. Why? Because our daily habits like what we eat, our exercise, the people we surround ourselves with, and the positive or negative information we choose to listen to and/or read all affect our happiness and confidence, ultimately influencing how we treat others and live our life.

 

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The “Way, Way” Ultimate Example

One of the most perfect examples of ‘actual confidence’ comes from the movie The Way, Way Back.  If you haven’t seen it, it’s the perfect summer flick & we highly recommend watching it!

To summarize, Duncan, the main character, has little to no confidence. However, his confidence and life change as a result of meeting his boss Owen at the local water park who builds him up, encourages and loves him.

Enjoy the sneak peek, and go out and connect, relate, listen to, encourage, and love people, which will inevitably result in having a great rest of the week 🙂

Video not working? Watch it here on YouTube

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What’s Love Got to Do With It?

IMG_2350

“It’s not enough to have lived. We should be determined to live for something. May I suggest that it be for creating joy for others, sharing what we have for the betterment of personkind, bringing hope to the lost and love to the lonely.”
-Dr. Leo Buscaglia

Point to Ponder:
What are the sources of your confidence?  Are they building actual or perceived confidence?

Action Item:
Challenge yourself this week to improve your actual confidence by connecting, relating, listening, encouraging and loving people.

by Neissa Brown Springmann

by Neissa Brown Springmann

While I haven’t opened The Confidence Code in over ten days, since writing last week’s Journal I continue to think about confidence every.single.day. On the surface it seems simple (like everything), but then as I dig deeper into my heart, the heavier and more complex it gets. And if I don’t get it out of my heart and on paper I think my head may explode!!!!  So here it goes:

I believe there are two types of confidence. The first is ‘Actual Confidence‘ which is spiritual confidence that is derived from our soul and tells us that WE ARE ENOUGH. We are enough just as we are and without having to perform, measure up, gain approval of or be accepted by others. And, we all have ‘spiritual confidence’ because I think we are born spiritual, a.k.a. created by God, for relationships and for one another. ‘Actual Confidence’ is sustainable, outward focused, and fulfilling because we get it from connecting, relating, listening, encouraging, and loving people.

Then, there is ‘Perceived Confidence‘, which is ‘wordly confidence’ and it’s based on societal success standards like wealth, job status and physical appearance. These types of things may temporarily validate us and give us confidence, but none are life-giving and they are all short-term. Just when we get to “the top,” there’s someone better looking, more wealthy and more successful. ‘Perceived confidence’ is unsustainable, inward focused, and unfulfilling because it’s about approval. It’s a road to nowhere.

So, how do we get and maintain actual confidence?  Again it’s simple, yet complex. The simple solution is to make our life about pouring love, joy and encouragement into others, every-single-day. What makes achieving actual confidence so complex is our consumer-filled and busy lives, which create the perception that we don’t have enough time. That busy-ness and stuff, no matter who we are, is a distraction that prevents us from connecting and loving others,  negatively affecting our actual confidence.

Finally, the million dollar question is, can we have the best of both worlds? YES, at least I think we can! I do think we can enjoy nice things, have amazing and successful careers and strive to look and feel our best, however; the foundation, which gives us the confidence to be our best, is connecting with and loving people on a daily basis.

So, what’s love got to do with it? Everything! And fortunately, at Saturday’s Austin’s Fittest Competition, I saw first hand what love is and can do. Love is loud, love is colorful, love is supportive and it came to cheer Kathleen on to her third consecutive fifty and over victory! Bottom line is, love is the greatest power on the planet and WHEN WE GIVE IT, there’s no doubt that confidence is one of its many wonderful by-products, leaving us feeling, doing and giving our best.

Just Do It!

www.igniteyourlifenow.com

“Confidence is like a muscle: The more you use it the stronger it gets..” (Anonymous)

Point to Ponder:
Do you lack confidence?

Action Item:
Get outside your comfort zone this week by trying an exercise or class you wouldn’t usually try.

by Neissa Brown Springmann

by Neissa Brown Springmann

Well, I did it! Last Monday I flew to Santa Monica for my ‘de-blorfting’ trip— a personal getaway (all by myself and for myself) for the sole purpose of recharging my battery. And just as the wise and wonderful iGnite member Louise Pincoffs warned me I would, the day before I left I began questioning if I indeed needed the trip and if it was worth the hassle of organizing myself and the family for my departure. I won’t lie, there was tension in the household, which made it even more uncomfortable for me to leave. Then, of course, I had multiple conversations with ‘Lady Guilt.’ She tried, almost successfully, to convince me that I was being a bad and selfish wife and mother by doing something completely for me. But I had prepared for her pathetic attempts and for no other reason than to defeat her, I was going on this trip!

Upon arriving and for about the first eight to twelve hours, it was rough. I didn’t know what to do with myself. As much as I wanted to completely remove my ’wife,’ ‘mom’ and ‘business owner’ hats and instantly make the trip about me, it was impossible because I had not practiced it since pre-marriage! I’m a giver and a do-er, and as good as it sounds to completely relax, have a glass of wine and empty my brain, this was waaayyyyy out of my comfort zone and much more difficult than I anticipated. In fact, I even considered catching an early flight back. However, I continued to remind myself that good things always come from discomfort and I would be cheating myself and my husband Russell’s confidence in keeping the children if I didn’t stay the course.

Long story short, after a five-mile walk along the beach, a glass of wine, a few phone calls with two veteran wife and mom friends reminding me why it was so important to be on this trip, the guilt, discomfort and fear was completely gone, and I found my groove. In fact, by sunrise on day two I was ready to add another day!

As I had hoped, this trip did wonders for my body, my mind, my spirit and for mine and Russell’s relationship. Oddly, we had better conversations on the phone than we have had in years. They weren’t rushed or interrupted, they were brutally honest, and there were no arguments. Because our roles were reversed for the first time ever, it was an incredible opportunity for us to see things from each other’s perspective. We shared compassion and gained a greater appreciation for each other and the roles we typically play.

I also finished reading The Confidence Code (our suggested summer read) which continues to get more fascinating with each page. In it, the authors interview a range of confidence scientists and experts. I was completely unprepared for one piece of research: that between 25% and 50% of our confidence is in our DNA, meaning we are genetically predisposed to have less or more confidence (regardless of our environment, experiences, etc). Another finding proved that while we are genetically predisposed to have less or more confidence, much like being born with the certain skill sets and talents, the more we practice confidence, the more comfortable we get at using it. So, to translate this finding into muscular physiology, most of us are born with more slow-twitch muscle fibers, which are the endurance type muscle fibers, however by performing and practicing quick and explosive movements, we can actually recruit fast-twitch muscle fibers, which will inevitably increase our speed and quickness. And so, the notion to ‘JUST DO IT’ (which the authors and of course Nike suggest), by practicing doing the uncomfortable things that we really want and need to do but avoid because we fear failure or the unknown outcome, is absolutely necessary in building confidence.

Lucky for us, summer is within an arm’s reach. I don’t know why, but the summer season has always felt like we can color outside of the lines and tip toe beyond our margins more than we would typically allow ourselves during any other season. With this liberty comes the opportunity to practice stretching our confidence zones. You can actually start in a safe place, like iGnite, and then take a class you have feared you can’t do or practice an exercise or pose you didn’t think you were strong enough to perform. Then you take that confidence/momentum and apply it when trying something else you’ve been hesitant or reluctant to try, do, or talk about.

When you practice enough, your confidence builds like a fast growing snow ball rolling down a mountain. Soon enough it becomes a massive avalanche and you become unstoppable! The bottom line is, you have to say ‘yes’ to yourself and JUST DO IT! Without a doubt, you can count on iGnite to be your never-ending source of encouragement and cheerleaders. We all have one shot at this life and we want to knock it out of the park with you. So let’s JUST DO IT!

 

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