Becoming a More Confident Mama (Notes)

Every parent out there wants their kids to be confident. We want to see our darling babies grow up to be independent and self-sufficient adults. We want to see our children shine. We pray for the day when we can say, “We made it. We did it. Look at him/her go!”

It doesn’t matter how different we are from one another, we can all agree on this point. Yes?

I am a student in this crazy beautiful world, in this society of endless opportunities and disappointments. I know a lot yet I know nothing. I am a scared mama. But, I also have faith and I am optimistic about the world. Just like many of you out there.

I’ve struggled to truly grasp the importance of helping Mariam become confident. Where do I start? How can I begin to teach her how to be a strong and confident person now? What will work and what won’t?

Recently, I came across this podcast episode titled, “The Secret to Raising Confident Kids is Being an Example as a Confident Parent” on an episode of The Fourth Trimester with Sarah Trott. This episode featured none other than the Queen of Confidence, Erika Cramer. During this episode, Erika discusses and intriguingly explains her Confidence Master Class and what it entails.

I tried to soak in every detail, every analogy that I could while listening. This stuff is golden!

I was mesmerized and no doubt enlightened by the reminders that I have the ability and opportunity to shine as a parent. To teach my child confidence, I have to practice the art of confidence within myself first.

The tips and examples Erika gives are priceless. And this, friends, is why I wanted to share highlights from the podcast. I want to remember what I heard. I want to share what I’ve learned. No woman should wander around this world feeling hopeless or worthless. We can do this!

Learn more about the Queen of Confidence here: http://thequeenofconfidence.com/

And here is the link to more information about the podcast episode: http://www.fourthtrimesterpodcast.com/2018/07/

You can follow Erika on Instagram here.

Without further ado, here are my notes from Episode 62 of The Fourth Trimester Podcast. I hope you will be as inspired by Erika’s words as I was. For more details, listen to the podcast here.

Note: These are NOT my ideas or information. These are Erika ideas and information that she has presented with commentary from Sarah Trott. I have paraphrased some topics and left out some details. Please listen to the recorded podcast for more details.

You can’t own confidence. It’s a practice.

Us mamas need to address our internal confidence (how you feel about yourself), rather than the external portion of confidence (how you feel about what you look like). We need to be having deep conversations…

We should be asking ourselves: Why do we lack confidence? What is it that impacts our confidence as women?  Why are we not living the life of our dreams?

We can do it! We can access that alter “shego” (as Erika calls it). We all want to be awesome, great, the life of the party, goes for what we want, funny, hot, etc. We are all that. But we’ve allowed ourselves to be pushed down with negative thoughts and by comparing ourselves to others.

Sit and think about this question: “Why am I not confident?” Here is something to think about: No one is truly 100% confident. You can’t own confidence. It’s a practice.

Erika came up with “the five Cs of confidence” that helps you to get back into the practice of confidence. It helps you build momentum and get in the habit of going for what you desire.

The Five Cs of Confidence are:

  1. Choice: you have a decision to make. What do I need to do to build confidence in myself in this (area)?
  2. Courage: you decide to be courageous. Whatever it is you want to be confident in, you have to be courageous. You don’t care what anyone else thinks. You will never please anyone.
  3. Create: take action. Do what you need to do or go where you trying to get to. Even if it’s something small (e.g. editing blog post, telling your mother-in-law not to feed your kid something you don’t want him/her eating, etc).
  4. Consider: what did you learn from this (whether it worked or didn’t work)? Be committed to learning and trying again.
  5. Continue: repeat the whole process. Build momentum, become braver. Just get into doing it.

No one is really “there” yet. Everyone is busy caring and thinking about how much they suck that they are too busy to be thinking about how much you suck.

Confidence is a practice and just like it comes, it goes away too.

Don’t go with the mindset of, “I want confidence first and then I’ll take action.” Take the action and you’ll fly. You won’t grow wings before you learn to fly. Confidence is a practice and just like it comes, it goes away too. It may go when someone says something to you or somethings happen to change how you feel (e.g. your husband says something to you, someone makes a comment about how you look).

We’re programmed. Our brains have old software that needs upgrading. We have fight or flight. We feel like if something negative happens, it’s the end of it. This isn’t the case now. We have to stop the negative thinking. We tend to see what we are conscious about in other people. For example, when you notice a pimple or large pores on your face and you’re fixated on that problem, you will see and focus on the pimples and pores on other’s faces.

If you can turn this negativity and self-consciousness off, you won’t focus on these things when you encounter other people.

Also, we find it hard to compliment ourselves, but easy to compliment others in areas of beauty, intelligence, etc.

Advice on how to get out of that funk of negativity and self-loathing: Find a stranger and genuinely compliment them on something about them. You will feel better when doing this, because you will not find another way to feel better if you remain deep inside of yourself in this funk, feeling like crap.

Serve others. Get out there, outside of yourself, and do something for someone else. Forget about “I”. Help a stranger. Your mindset will be of love, hope, rather than fear and negativity.

In our minds, we have two roads:

1 – Low road – fast and irrational

2 – High road – takes longer, uses clear thinking

When we work out our fear, we are using the high road.

Our brain impacts how we think and feel, and our mind is messy. Pay attention to your mind and what you’re thinking:

A – Is this thought true?

B – Where is this thought coming from?
Is it coming from our childhood or is it future-based?

We think a lot of negative thoughts. It’s scary to confront our minds and open up. Go there, look at your thoughts. How are they serving you? What are those negative thoughts that keep coming up?

Erka does a thought-inventory with the ladies that she coaches.

In this inventory, she has them take a piece a paper, close their eyes and take some time to see what thoughts are coming to their mind and write them down. Almost unconsciously write. Guaranteed that most of those thoughts are negative or they are a worry about the future. We can learn how to manage our minds in the heat of our pregnancies, births, and post-births.

96% of what we use is our subconscious. We do things out of habit and programming and don’t realize certain patterns that occur.

Gratitude is key!

Our thoughts lead to our feelings. When you think that you look terrible, you end up feeling ugly and you don’t feel good enough. It’s a negative spiral. Flip it to the positive! Can you create a thought that is nicer and more positive? Gratitude is key!

Motherhood is so hard. It’s important to manage your thoughts and be in the moment, whether during pregnancy or with baby. Just be here, in this moment. Nothing is wrong. You don’t see things as they are, you see things as YOU are (a quote Erika mentions).

You see parts of yourself in others whether you love that person or not.

An exercise Erika recommends to her students:

Qualities of Confidence: Think about 3 people in your life that you think are confident, amazing, and have the qualities that you want. Write three qualities about one of those people and consider that you’re that person and know that you have those qualities.

They have the courage to own their greatness and so can you! Apply these qualities in your daily life. You can own these qualities if you let yourself.

Children learn confidence from you. They are smart and can catch on to what you do and what you say. When you practice being confident, it will translate onto them as well.

Be grateful for your postpartum body.

Be grateful for your postpartum body. What you did is a miracle. Be grateful because there are many women out there who cannot have children, who cannot have your body after giving birth, who cannot experience this part of life.

We are concerned with what we look like, what we have in the world, and how others see us. But, when we know who we are, we don’t care what others think about us, and we can’t control every aspect of our lives. Just be who you are. You will start living and loving your life. Don’t miss out because you’re worried about what you look like or what others think of you.

Commit to doing something for yourself every day, even if it is something small (e.g. light a candle while you prepare dinner, listen to an audiobook while doing something for your family). Do something to make yourself feel good.

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