UNBROKEN: Finding Your Inner Strength to Boost Confidence (Part I) – Overcoming Fear

What is YOUR “inner strength”? Do you know? Have you spent much time thinking about it?

Right now are you thinking of your positive qualities: I am kind, giving, a good listener, generous… ? These are all wonderful! However… these are ‘strengths’ that you use to enhance relationships with others, to support others when they are in need. But what strengths do you use to support yourself in times of unpredictability, uncertainty and hardship? What ‘inner strengths’ do you call upon when you feel off balance, insecure, don’t know what to expect or what to do next?

If you knew that your inner strength(s) could increase your confidence if you were more aware of them, would you want to know what they are? I WOULD!

Who couldn’t use a little more confidence in their life? A little more: courage, assurance, tenacity, fearlessness, daring and grit?

Most of us have endured struggles that have left our confidence levels depleted, left us feeling broken. These hardships may have been:

  • health struggles
  • mental health
  • school
  • work
  • relationship issues
  • dealing with grief
  • abuse
  • parenting
  • goals unmet
  • and many more
The pieces of our life

Where do we find the strength to rebuild, and increase our confidence, our self-esteem, once the pieces of our life begin to fit together again?

Our INNER STRENGTH comes from the totality of our experiences – both the positive and the difficult must be embraced. Our struggles develop our inner strengths just as powerfully as our accomplishments, greatest moments, and sometimes even more so. We can find our strength within ourselves if we know it is there, and where to look. You have to let the fire inside you burn brighter than the fire around you and you will find your inner strength.

This calls for vulnerability and none of us seem to like that word! Being vulnerable means we are opening ourselves up to the possibility of being hurt, so to be vulnerable ‘feels’ weak. But this is where we are wrong, ladies!

Vulnerability is not weakness. Vulnerability requires strength and courage. Vulnerability is where change happens!

You have endured struggles over which you had NO control. Why not ‘choose’ to be vulnerable and show up for yourself, be IN control as you confront your fears and say, “NO MORE!” It doesn’t have to be comfortable in the moment, but with this courage, you will find your “inner strength” and from there, your “confidence” will flourish!

Don’t let your struggles be your side hustles, always fighting with yourself to determine your own self-worth.

  • Be Fearless
  • Be Daring
  • Be Vulnerable
  • Be Courageous

What’s your story? It’s time to get inside it, and own it, girl! Are you ready to be IN control, be courageous and vulnerable, confront your fears and watch your confidence grow? (This is where you yell, “HELL, YA!”) Let’s take the first step toward finding our inner strengths. We are going to kick our fears’ ass together! Let’s do this!

*Update: I was contacted by Verywell Mind on April 1, 2020, in reference to this article I wrote on inner strength. I was asked to share Amy Morin’s podcast on this subject to expand the reach of the new Verywell Mind Podcast on Spotify. Please have a listen and follow their podcasts.

https://open.spotify.com/episode/1MQ25BsxWCNY52LL7m6oAu Episode 57 – Friday Fix

57 – Friday Fix: How to Find Inner Strength When You Need It the Most – The Verywell Mind Podcast with Amy Morin | Podcast on Spotify

What is FEAR and how can fear diminish our confidence? There are many types of fear that limit us day-to-day, some of them we don’t recognize, or choose not to recognize in ourselves (because why the heck would we want to be vulnerable and do that, am I right?):

  • fear of judgment
  • fear of failure
  • fear of rejection
  • more specifically the fear of public speaking
  • and more

Do any of these fears resonate with you? Do you see any of these in yourself?

Outstanding influencers have voiced their thoughts about what fear is, the limitations fear places on us, and the results of these limitations.

Nelson Mandela declared:

“I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.”

Let’s look at the fear of judgment as an example. Fear of judgment has dramatically increased rates of social anxiety, led to a shocking number of women who avoid the gym or running in public, has had a paralyzing effect on many talented women (and men) who will not action their purpose/business/life goal or embrace their potential for fear of criticism, and has also led to increased debt ratios due to a “keep up with the Jones'” mentality. Perhaps you are affected by the fear of judgment in one of these ways or in another way.

Try these four strategies if you recognize the fear of judgment as limiting you:

  • Do you have the courage to say, “I am enough”? To holler it from the hilltops, “I AMMMM ENOOOUUUGGHH!” To write this affirmation on your mirror, make it your screen saver, place sticky notes around your home that you will see, set pop-up reminders on your phone.
  • Can you let your judgment go? Just catch yourself mid-judgment, and bravely intervene. Recognize your judgmental thought, your judgmental mindset, and choose to let it go. “I would so go to the gym if my ass wasn’t so…” AH! Caught you! Good-bye!
  • You think finding your inner strength might be a challenge, how about owning your inner critic? Bring – it – on! Your inner critic has you doubting yourself, questioning your self-worth, comparing yourself to others.

Guess what? No matter what you do or where you go, people will judge you. FACT! But, guess what else? Those who judge others are too busy judging others and doing nothing themselves out of fear. So why do you care what the critics have to say? Are you going to let them be your reason for not being vulnerable, courageous, daring, fucking awesome and living a life with meaning and purpose? (This is where you yell, “HELL NO!”)

Be like Nelson Mandela! That man was the real deal! He had tenacity and grit! He was fearless! He showed courage and triumphed over fear despite being afraid! You can too!

That is some daring shit! But… keep in mind:

“The fears we don’t face become our limits.” – Robin Sharma

If we allow FEAR to control us, and we do not have the courage to contain our fear – we allow it to limit us, our dreams, and our potential. We do not feel we are good enough. Do you see how fear can paralyze us? How the fears we choose not to face can become our greatest limits and defeat us?

Don’t let fear stand in your way!

Fear of failure is a fear many choose to never face, not only because confronting fears is undesirable but because most of us see failure as a huge negative – it is a big, bad direct reflection of our skills, value, worthiness and potential. Yuck! Unfortunately, by not staring the fear of failure straight in its ugly face, we are allowing it to control us, and keep us from progressing in life and from fulfilling our dreams.

Fear kills hope. It can hold you back from something you know you are capable of doing. Fear will paralyze you! But… what if we can change your perception of failure so that you embrace it, rather than fear it? Whoa… this is some daring shit right here!

  • Fear has us believe we are losers if we fail. Even successful people fail (Einstein, the lightbulb, blah blah blah, you’ve heard it a million times) The difference between successful people and unsuccessful people is: successful people overcome fear, take further risks, and learn from their mistakes. They continue to grow, and you can too. You are not alone in your experience of fear of failure or your experience of failure.
  • You cannot predict the future. You cannot control the future. Don’t let the unpredictable stop you from trying. What if I fail? But… What if I succeed?
  • Failure leads to expertise! Have you ever wanted to be an expert at something? The best of the best? Instead of fearing failure, view potential failure as an opportunity to become an expert. Try one way, it doesn’t work? Try another way. It doesn’t work? Try two hundred other ways! Stop fearing it! Get out there and kick some ass!

“Too many of us are not living our dreams because we are living our fears.”

– Les Brown

“Fear kills more dreams than failure ever will.”

Have the courage to be vulnerable and act on fear if you want to begin to find and build your inner strength so that you can increase your confidence!

If it were easy – everyone would do it! You have the courage! Be fearless, be daring, define your own path and choose you, girl!

Check out one of my favorite videos about overcoming fear.

Krista xo

Growth… But First, Fear

(My husband and I attended the Growth Summit in Phoenix, Arizona, Oct 19-21, 2017. There were the most incredible, inspiring and influential people there. Brendon Burchard, Larry King, Dr. Daniel Amen, Dean Graziosi, Ethan Willis, Trent Shelton, Chris and Heidi Powell, Daniel “Rudy” Reuttiger, Harvey McKay, and more. I will share my biggest moment from that weekend with you.)

Event-Reg-Pag-Pic-2

“What’s the story you are telling yourself that is stopping you from reaching your goal?”

I can’t remember if it was Brendon Burchard, Dean Graziosi or Ethan Willis who asked this question, but I do remember it was 6:50pm on Thursday, one week ago, when all three of them stood on that stage, 20 feet in front of me, and I thought:

That’s it!

It is my thoughts.

I think that I need to be “perfect” for people to want to connect with me, want to learn from me, and be able to trust me.

And then suddenly, overwhelming FEAR set in. Why fear? Because I knew at that moment, in order to move forward, to achieve my goals, I needed to change my thoughts, change my mindset. That’s scary.

F forget

E everything

A and

R run

I took the evening to quietly contemplate how I might begin my journey of changing my imprisoning mindset to an empowering one.

I repeated Brendon’s words from the day back to myself like a mantra,

“Own your dream!”

“Do not live below your potential.”

I asked myself over and over:

What am I afraid of?

  • Not being perfect?
  • Not measuring up to society’s standards?
  • Judgment from others?

I thought… pfft… I can handle that! I can change that! Those things may bother me a little bit subconsciously, but with some conscious effort, I’m back in the game baby!

The next morning, I woke up feeling more empowered, positive, ready to take on new challenges.

Later that afternoon, as Trent Shelton inspired everyone in that room, asking the pointed questions… SHIT GOT REAL for me!

“What are you running from, that you need to stop running from?”

“OWN yourself!

OWN your imperfections, your past, your mistakes!

Then NO ONE can hold it against you.

BE YOURSELF!”

Then for the bombshell:

“What’s going to be YOUR story that changes the world?”

  • Give the world your story, it is the ONLY way to influence change in others
  • Be transparent. Share the things you aren’t proud of; THAT is how you will influence others!
  • You never know who is watching; you never know who you are going to affect.
  • Give your pain, your struggle a voice.
  • *Share your journey, don’t worry about it being perfect.

NO… WAY… IN… HELLLLLL!

Forget Everything And Run! FEAR! FEAR! FEAR!

Thanks Trent 😉

There it was! The TRUE answer to the question:

“What’s the story you are telling yourself that is stopping you from reaching your goal?”

I, Krista, cannot share my personal story, my journey with the world.

I cannot be transparent.

I cannot share my pain, my struggles.

Yet I KNOW, in my heart and mind, this IS the only way to influence change.

So… what now?

Alot of tears; Support from my wonderful husband who took the time that evening to identify the positive steps I had already taken in this direction.

Both being Life Coaches, of course we discussed goal setting and strategies for moving forward based on past successes. We also discussed how each success would be celebrated.

I guess I hadn’t even thought about some of my successes in this area, until that night. I thought I was starting at zero. Sharing them now will be another success.

growth-ahead

I will share one for the first time to begin this journey… deep breath.
On my website, I briefly share that I was widowed at 37 years old. My husband died by suicide after 13 years of marriage. I don’t have shame, I don’t have guilt because he chose to take his life. I do have guilt because of what it did to my daughter and my other daughter who is no longer with us. I didn’t fully understand the damage that was being done with us all living under one roof, as a family. I thought it was safer for my girls, to keep us all together rather than to have them alone with him on weekends, if we were to separate.

Our marriage did end, but my husband slept in the guest room for ten months and we made every effort to make it appear “normal” to our girls and everyone else. At that time, I did very seriously look into whether my children could be protected by the mental health act or any act for that matter, and not be under his care if they chose (despite their young ages), but they could not. He had rights to see his children (which I didn’t want to keep him from) unsupervised, despite his serious mental health concerns. So I did what I thought was best for as long as possible. I believe I was wrong now. I continue to live with the consequences of my decisions. I continue to work through my guilt.

F face

E everything

A and

R rise

I am changing my definition of fear as I work through this process. I am allowing fear to contribute to my growth.

Holy cow! I did it!

What am I running from? Not that! I’m on a roll.

Here’s something no one knew… (well some friends and family knew our story, but not that it is available on Amazon) 😉

In 2015, I wrote a personal story about our ectopic losses that was published in the book, The Untold Stories of Ectopic Pregnancies, Part 2, {Compiled by Cindy Sexton, available on Amazon.com}, entitled “Our Bean and Our Blueberry”. (and told no one lol)

In March 2014, we had a ruptured ectopic. I lost a baby with a beating heart, that we heard, more than once. I also lost a fallopian tube. My life was very much in danger, but I recovered well. In July 2014, at 8 weeks pregnant again, we had another ruptured ectopic. This time I felt immense pain around my kidneys, shoulder blades and eventually lungs from the internal bleeding. I lost another baby with teeny arms and stubs for legs and a healthy beating heart. I also lost my second fallopian tube and experienced damage to my ovary as a cyst the size of an orange was removed. I lost alot of blood, and this time, the fight back was not as easy.

I am a private person. Our wedding was scheduled for less than two weeks. We had to change the date and tell those that were invited and all the vendors. We were showered with love and kindness. We didn’t however, take the time to grieve as we had to replan our wedding, and focus on my recovery. That is why I wrote the story. It was my therapy. I did it for me.

I have more difficult stories to share. I will continue to work up the courage to do so by changing my mindset, changing my thoughts and reminding myself of the importance of authenticity.

I am grateful for such a forum, I am grateful for the inspiration and encouragement from Trent Shelton, Brendon Burchard and others last weekend.

I know from past losses and past trauma, that the only way to repair is to face the pain.

“Pain is the foundation of strength.” -Trent Shelton

The toughest moments in your life, the moments you hate the most, the moments that are most difficult to share – those are the moments that build you up the most! Those are the moments that make you GROW! Those are the moments that inspire others to grow!