When I decided to move to Ireland in February 2018, I had no idea it would take so long. This very view (above) inspired me. I made a picture I took during my first visit to Westport last March my logo. And in spite of all the delays and obstacles, I always had confidence that I would get here.
I realise that this is a type of confidence. In some ways, looking back at when I was younger and felt like the opposite of confident, I would often do things that seemed huge and which took confidence I didn’t even know I had.
This move has been challenging (as well as amazing) and I’ve been pondering confidence for a few weeks now, knowing this was the next social media week theme I was doing and unable to do anything about it without internet for ages.
In some ways, my heightened anxiety and stress levels have felt like rolling the clock back to when every day felt incredibly challenging – fortunately, I now have the tools to help myself but even so, some days, I wondered what on earth I’d been thinking.
When you think about your life what transformations – little and large – have you already had the confidence to make? It may have been a big (for me, this was a big move – others do far bigger without even batting an eyelid) move, a change of career, asking someone out, putting your money where your mouth was re a big dream, starting a business…?
How do you feel as you reflect on this or these transformations? How does it feel to pick one and journal around it for a few minutes and see what else comes up for you as you connect with that already confident aspect of yourself?
A lot of people think I’m making my cat up, I think – she’s spent most of the three weeks and a day (at time of drafting this) since our move hiding under the duvet, first at the b&b and then at our temporary studio.
When she took her first steps outside in the garden of the place I chose for her (even though it’s further out of town than I’ve ever lived and a complete culture shock if stunningly beautiful), I noticed that even though I’ve had her for over five years and my self-talk has been improving all this time, I had a way to go.
Observing my patience and encouragement with Rainbow MagnifiCat helped me be more gentle with myself. This morning, when she hid under the duvet, I stayed with her – for weeks, I’ve had to be getting up earlier than I’d have liked in order to sort internet etc etc (mostly internet – it took AGES but am over the moon to be connected now).
It felt good to honour that scared, vulnerable, exhausted part of myself and give myself a gentler start to the day.
How might you go a bit easier on yourself right now? How might you make your self-talk that bit kinder? More compassionate and encouraging?
It may feel counter-intuitive but that step back and extra duvet time has led to the most productive day I’ve had in weeks. And it’s been enjoyable, too – broken up by following Rainbow’s lead as she chooses to explore the garden more and more – additional mindfulness practice for me, too.
10 days ago (at time of drafting this), the internet engineers said I wouldn’t be able to get internet even though we’d done what they’d suggested the previous week.
I knew I needed to be online to work. I hadn’t counted on the people who’d told me I’d be isolated in the west of Ireland not knowing how to drive being right. But those weeks without internet (even the dongle didn’t work on account of the mountains I’d moved for) and really bad mobile signal made me realise how much I depend on the internet for communicating with loved ones and online friends, too.
Where I’d been telling people that I was getting to know people in my new home town thanks to social media, I couldn’t arrange to MEET anyone because I had no signal.
Miraculously, the crew from RTE, interviewing me about my Brexit inspired move for the news (will share a link when I hear it’s airing / been aired – I don’t have tv yet) found it and this was a nice distraction.
The pic above shows part of the trenches we dug for the cables. I wouldn’t have had a clue how to do any of that (and still don’t) but thankfully had met someone who DID and was an absolutely angel in getting it all ready for the engineers to connect me at the start of last week.
Hindsight is always 20/20 and I have no regrets in terms of knowing I did the best I could at each step of the way but I definitely needed to dig deeper to adapt to my new life.
Is there a situation in your life that is requiring you to dig deeper than you’d like? It’s part of being alive. It helps us grow and develop. And it can suck. But when we look back, we see that it helped us learn something new and develop confidence and resilience.
When you think about your situation (you may want to journal around it), what can you do to make it a bit easier for yourself as you learn whatever lessons you need to learn from it?
How can you support yourself? Counselling? Reaching out to loved ones? An early night? What springs to mind?
I see this wall (above) and see beauty but we often see our own vulnerabilities, flaws and failings as shameful.
Sometimes, we can boost our confidence by gently coaxing ourselves to try again. To reach out. To dig deeper.
Other times, we can take a step back and let ourselves wallow, wail, weep or do whatever it takes to heal. There is richness in this pain – not suggesting we seek it out. Life offers enough naturally.
If you feel like it – you know yourself best and resourcing yourself may be exactly what’s needed now – you might want to think about something that springs to mind when you look at this picture and ponder things that have dented your confidence.
When you journal around it, what insights and lessons come to mind?
When you think about what you’re wearing or your wardrobe as a whole, what clothes help you feel most confident?
What additions might help next time you’re in a position to add to your wardrobe?
What doesn’t feel good?
Thanks for reading and reflecting and (if you have wanted to share) sharing.
What will you take from Confidence Week 2? What will you do differently?
If you’d like some support, please get in touch. You can find out more about my approaches to working with confidence HERE.