What It Truly Means To Be Confident. (Psst, it’s not what you think.)

Through my work in front of the camera as a TV personality and model, I learned what it truly means to be confident. (It’s not what you think). The truth is, you already have what it takes. You were born with it. You just need to remember what that feels like.

As a confidence coach, I hold space for my clients to awaken their inner wisdom and guide them back to their fiercest self. I don’t believe it serves any of us to coddle our weaknesses or neuroses when we can choose to honor our greatness instead.

It is our birthright to be unstoppable. We just have to rediscover what it means to be free—of judgment, fear, doubt—of anything that weighs us down.

I know it can feel scary and overwhelming to put ourselves out there in a big way and actually do what our hearts are urging us to do. We think, “Who am I to start this business?” “What will people say?” “Am I smart, talented, good enough?” and so on.

But whatever pain we may experience from another’s judgement of us is nothing in comparison to the pain we will undoubtedly feel by playing small.

What does it mean to play small? It means shrinking so others won’t feel insecure around us. But when we dare to write our book, leave the unhealthy relationship, quit a job to start our dream business or whatever it is, we inspire others to do the same.

The real question then becomes: Who are you not to start your own business (or anything else you feel called to do) and show up fully for yourself and others? Who are you not to be gorgeous, brilliant, wildly successful and joyful?!

Expressing our full potential is not just our right, it’s our responsibility. And it starts with confidence. To have confidence, we first must define what it means for us. So take a moment to write down what confidence means for you.

*I believe confidence is remembering who we truly are (love) and owning that—each and every day. Confidence is honoring who we are—perceived “flaws” and all—and presenting our highest self to everyone we meet, with a smile.

*Confidence is making our own rules, and refusing to settle for societal standards we don’t believe in. It is forgiveness, kindness, grace, and the ability to laugh at ourselves. It is taking our lives seriously, so we don’t have to take ourselves so seriously.

*Confidence is more than just knowing we deserve the best; it’s making choices that reflect that. It is saying “no” when we want to say “no,” and not feeling bad about it. It’s staying in bed when we need to rest without feeling guilty, and listening to and caring for our bodies.

*Confidence is choosing to be the victor, not victim. It is admitting when we are wrong and sincerely apologizing. It is following our heart’s desires, and asking for help.

*Confidence is knowing we were created by the same loving force that created the sun, moon and stars, and living from that magnificent space. It is not needing anyone’s approval, validation or applause.

*Confidence is looking within and asking, “Who do I need to be, to transform this relationship/situation/society/world?” It is the recognition that the peace, love, freedom, and abundance we wish to experience starts with us. It’s the willingness to show up fully, speak up passionately, and stand up straight.

*Confidence is the spark that lights up any room. It doesn’t label, judge, shame, blame, condemn or attack.

If you struggle with feeling confident on a consistent basis, don’t fret! You’re normal! Thanks to the power of meditation and regular self-compassion practices, I’ve discovered a few perspective shifts that have transformed my self-confidence:

1. When I base my self-worth on who I am and on my inherent value as a human being, rather than on what others think or how much I achieve, my confidence soars and my inner critic quiets.

Mantra: I am willing to see myself through a lens of love.

By looking at ourselves through a lens of love (rather than fear), we are able to weather difficult situations, be confident in our true worth, and see ourselves as lovable. When we take full responsibility for our lives, we are able to change them.

2. Whatever I want from others (love, attention, validation), I give to myself.

Mantra: Instead of feeling offended when people fail to acknowledge me, I see it as an opportunity to expand and grow.

As long as we are doing our best, honoring ourselves and our purpose, we will feel less and less inclined to seek the approval of others.

The less we depend on people to validate us, the stronger our emotional muscles become, and in turn, the stronger our sense of self-worth. Focusing on the special characteristics that make me ME is much easier and more rewarding than waiting for someone to say or do something that makes me feel good … for a matter of minutes until I need my next “fix.”

Our lives truly become fuller when we turn our attention inward to the miracle that we are, release expectations, and stay detached from outcomes and other people’s opinions.

3. The answer to any question can be found within.

Mantra: I give myself the space and time to grow still, present, quiet—and then listen to my inner wisdom and guidance.

Any outer limitations (like stress, anger, unhappiness, feelings of lack or unworthiness) are just reminding us to get steady inside. Our strong urge to take ourselves overly seriously can be tempered by giving our inner child some attention.

Start by giving yourself a hug! I think I’ll do the same.

A Simple (And Fun!) Exercise To Discover Your Life Purpose

Do you ever wonder if you’re on the right track? Do you sometimes struggle to find meaning and purpose in your life? Have you ever thought, “Is this as good as it gets?”

If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, you are not alone.

I recently lost two dear friends to suicide, and their tragic and untimely deaths shook me to my core. I not only had to deal with the pain of losing them, but I was also forced to take a deeper look at how I was choosing to live my life.

Like my friends who decided to end their lives, I, too, was placing so much importance on what other people thought, and getting most of my worth from the external world—my career, financial success, material possessions, appearance, validation from social media, you name it. I didn’t really know who I was on the inside. My identity was wrapped up in my job title, relationship status and what I looked like.

We all know if we want strong physical muscles, we need to move our bodies so we don’t get flabby. But what about our emotional muscles? How do we combat emotional flabbiness and stay spiritually fit and strong?

The answer for me was found by going within. By getting still, quiet, removing distractions, and becoming practiced at listening to my inner guide, higher Self, infinite intelligence, God, spirit, universe, whatever you want to call it, we all have a brilliant wisdom deep within us that has all the answers. We just have to learn how to hear it.

One of my favorite ways to do this is by going on a walking meditation. I live on the Hudson River, right across from Manhattan, and there is a beautiful track right there where I go for guidance. I don’t meet with a sage, teacher or coach, instead I take myself on a walk.

It doesn’t matter where you take your walk, but it’s inspiring to be surrounded by beauty and nature. You can listen to music, but I prefer to be earphone-free, and listen only to my inner guide and higher power.

While moving your body at a comfortable, not strenuous, pace, ask yourself this question: “If you take away money, what people think, other people being impressed by or validating you for doing something, geography and all other external circumstances, what do you really want to do?”

Let your heart, not your mind, answer. You should hear a response almost immediately. Don’t edit, judge or try to resist what comes up.

I asked myself this question recently at the track, and my answer blew me away. It was everything I tell myself and others I don’t want. For example, I pride myself on being a fiercely independent career woman with my own money, and (up until very recently) a huge part of my identity was being a single woman who is open to a life partner but doesn’t want to get married or have children. So when I asked myself this question, and my heart/inner wisdom answered immediately, “I want to be a wife and mother,” I began to weep.

This walking meditation exercise has opened me up to myself in such a profound way, and I know it can do the same for you. It proves that we often do things in life in the name of what we think we want, should do, what society deems as important and worthy, what others will think or are impressed by and so on.

I love this exercise because it’s fun, easy, free, can be done at any time, and once we get clear on our heart’s true desires, we can go back and meditate, asking for what inspired action steps to take. When we get quiet, go within, clear ourselves from distractions and ask for divine guidance, it is always available to us. Our inner GPS is like a computer file that cannot be deleted. We just have to choose to download it, and keep downloading it.

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