A common theme among many of our clients is that, somewhere along the way, they have lost 'them'. Their feeling of self has been eroded, and they feel adrift - not really knowing who they are.
There are lots of reasons why women get to this point. Often life can almost consume us as individuals when the demands from children, relationships or work pull us in many different directions.
Who's at the top of your list?
When you're dashing around, prioiritising many different things, do you ever make it to the top of the list yourself?
Actually, do you sometimes feel that you're not even on the list? You think 'me-time' is a lovely theory, for those that can have it? And, more crucially, you wouldn't know what to do with it if you had it?
Have you stopped listening to yourself?
When we consistently subdue our own needs, eventually, we lose track of what they are. Our internal pleas die away, when they're a voice that never gets listened to.
Then, when we suddenly do find ourselves with the opportunity to do something we want to, we can't hear that voice. It's learned to be quiet. We taught it to be quiet, and we taught it well.
Learning to listen to yourself
We should be able to listen out for our own wants, and, more importantly, needs - it's at the absolute root of self-confidence. As we let that inner voice get faded out by the demands of life, that is how we lose ourselves.
We taught that voice to be quiet - all we we have to do is teach her to speak up again!
You have to make it back onto your own list of priorities. If it feels self-indulgent, look at it this way. You can't maintain everything else you're trying to do, if you disappear yourself.
You can't draw water from an empty well.
Building confidence and listening to yourself means making decisions that are about you. Compromise is, of course, necessary, a lot of the time. So pick something that isn't going to have a huge impact on other people and go from there.
It could be as simple as choosing a film you want to watch on tv, or at the cinema. Rather than saying "I don't mind", make an active choice - it may not be everyone else's first choice - let them have their first choice another time.
It could be saying yes to a night out (or it could be saying no to something you've fallen into a pattern of doing, but don't enjoy).
Just start letting your voice be heard by you. Stop subduing it. Hear her - she's the 'you' you've lost.
Start listening to your own voice, and hear it get louder
I've said time and again that confidence is a muscle that has to be exercised, and in tandem with this goes listening to your own wants and needs, and sometimes (not always, you don't have to get selfish about it), putting those to the top of your list of priorities.
Even acknowledging how you feel when you can't necessarily act on it will help you to find your path back to you.
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