Last night we were treated to an amazing team call with Britt Michaelian of Work Smart Mompreneurs. Her message was right on the money for me. It was all about boosting your self-confidence. For many of you reading this blog, you can relate to times in your life when your self-confidence has been lower than usual. And becoming a new mom can often be very challenging on your self-esteem as you often wonder if you’re doing it right or being a great mom! I wanted to share two points that she brought up last night that really hit home for me.
First, being a good listener. What does that have to do with your own self-confidence? It’s really about engaging with other people and really getting to know them, understanding their challenges and sharing their difficulties or celebrating their successes. What I’ve noticed is that when I get together with other moms, it tends to be a time when we either dump on each other about all of the difficulties we’re having or we are sharing our baby’s latest milestones. I feel like often we’re not really listening to each other, sure we’re sharing similar challenges sometimes, but once in a while it’s nice to share either your challenges or your successes without having some else “one-up” them. If you catch yourself preparing your reply or response in your head while the other person is talking, you’re not really listening with your full attention. I am guilty as charged! And am working on recovering this skill. How good does it feel when someone shares a success with you and you can just listen to them and be happy for them without having to share your story too? Pretty amazing!
Second, surrounding yourself with successful, focused people. This is such an important thing for us, especially new moms, since we are often desperate for adult interaction in our lives. Who is it that we are choosing to spend our time with? Are we spending time with people who are bringing us up? Or with people who are allowing us to stay in the negative and are ok with us complaining? Or even worse, are we choosing to spend time with people who we aren’t comfortable with and we feel worse after spending time with them? I have a friend who has been in this kind of situation for over a year, and I can see how much damage it has done to her self-confidence. I recommended spending time with more encouraging and positive people in order to repair her self-esteem.
So, what can we do to make changes in both these areas of our lives? Once a day, when engaging in a conversation with a friend, partner, child, co-worker – take the time to clear your mind of any other thoughts and just listening. Resist the urge to share your story when they are done. Wait until they have finished speaking, pause and perhaps ask them a question to further the discussion. Second, find time this week to do something or attend an event where there are positive, friendly and encouraging people, whether it be a live event or a webcast or even just watching an inspirational DVD.