I spent the majority of my twenties absolutely hating my body. I wasn’t thin enough (which sadly I was too thin, but just didn’t see it for myself), I wasn’t fast enough (yet I ran a 1:39 half marathon), and I just wasn’t GOOD enough for anyone. I entered my thirties with zero confidence and absolutely miserable. My life wake up call came when I was 32 and found I was pregnant. Suddenly my priorities had to switch from caring about ME to how was I going to care for this wonderful new life growing inside of me? It was a challenge and I was terrified. If I thought I was slow before, being a pregnant runner was humbling. I will admit that I took the “eating for two” recommendation a little too far and packed on 65 pounds—most of it from ice cream. Fast-forward to 10 years later and I now have four healthy, yet wild, little boys. While I am no longer that rail thin person I was in my twenties, I am much stronger both physically and mentally. My confidence is at an all-time high and I give full credit to my kids. Here are four confidence lessons they have taught me:
1. Face your fears.
My middle son has some issues with social anxiety. Although he is an amazing football player, the beginning of the season is always tough for him because he has to adjust to a new situation. We talk about his fears, he tells me how stressed he is, and yet he gets out there every year and faces his fears. Whenever I pitch my blog to a new company, I feel the same thing—-“what if they don’t like me?”— now I think how if my son can do it, so can I! If you want to get anywhere in life, you have to meet challenges head on. It’s okay to be afraid, but facing those fears is what will get you through them and make you strong enough to face the next one.
2. Bring your A game.
My kids are very competitive. They love to win and will go all out in their sports. There are days when I am tempted to just dial-in a workout and then I am reminded by their enthusiasm for their sports. I wouldn’t want them to just show up and be on the field without actually trying, right? So the same goes for me. Whatever plans you’ve made or goals you’ve set for yourself, always stick to them and just do your best. Obstacles arise and some days your motivation just isn’t there, but fighting through discouragement will always make you feel better than giving in to it.
3. Make new friends.
We just moved to a new neighborhood and I am amazed at how easily my kids make new friends. My 5-year-old asked me to ride bikes around the neighborhood with him so he could “meet new friends.” He told me maybe I would meet some new friends too! They make it sound so simple—and it is. I just need to step out of my comfort zone and talk to people because chances are, they could use some new friends too! It is definitely more difficult to make new friends as an adult, but sometimes all it takes is a kind voice and a big smile. Look around at the people in your neighborhood and I bet you can find someone who shares the same interests as you.
4. Be happy in your body.
My kids never care about what they wear, how their hair looks, or if their butt looks big! They are just happy to “be.” Sometimes I catch myself looking at my rear view and have to remind myself that no one else cares about it, and therefore neither should I! We often are our own worst critics. Practice positive self-talk and be kinder to yourself. When negative thoughts pop in your head, remind yourself of how far you have come and how amazing you are! Becoming a mom has brought me confidence in my life that I never thought possible. My kids love me unconditionally and because of that, I am able to do so as well.