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What Does Confidence Really Feel Like? It Isn’t What You Think…

It's DAY ONE of the Confidence Blog Carnival and I'm SUUUUPPPPEERRR excited!!

Every day for 11 days there will be a brand new blog post on the topic of Confidence written by some of the top powerhouses in the body positivity, health at every size and confidence arena. This really is a killer line up so enjoy the very first post from Sarah Vance, you can read the original on her website here or in full below.

Written by Sarah Vance

Confidence what is it, and how the hell do we get it?! It seems just about as confusing and elusive as the Loch Ness Monster. People debate if it is even a thing. Whereas some people seem to be born with confidence, many others spend their lives trying to grab just a glimmer of what it feels like.

We often hear about confidence in the sense of how it looks. Our culture and society is dead set on this idea that you can actually see what an individual is feeling inside. That depending on how they look – we assume that they are confident. However, this way of thinking can severely limit people actually experiencing confidence, and standing tall in who they are.

When I was younger I bought into this façade as well.  I was sold on the idea that if I could just change the way I looked then I would feel confident. As if changing my body was the magical key to unlocking what other’s had, that I didn’t. There is no denying the fact that confidence has been marketed to be saved for people who meet society’s very narrowed idea of beauty, wealth, or success.

Little did I know that in my efforts to attain this narrowed standard that I would actually be stripped of my confidence and left as a shell of a woman who was filled poor self-esteem and self-judgement. I didn’t understand it, how could it be? Didn’t being a certain size automatically mean I would feel confident?

In reality confidence doesn’t come from how an individual looks, and it sure as hell isn’t saved for societies impractical standard. Confidence is a feeling that is cultivated within through knowing that you are enough, and can handle whatever outcomes occur in your life.

This may seem that in essence, confidence means that you are fearless. However, I don’t think that is necessarily true. Especially if you are an individual like myself who comes from having a poor self-esteem. Creating confidence in your life can seem like a courageous act, because it is.

Confidence does sometimes stir up those emotions that many of us try to avoid. It can feel messy, fearful, anxiety producing, and like you are facing a giant curtain hiding what is on the other side. The difference is that you have courage to move forward regardless.

I used to think that when a person was confident that they were immune from experiencing self-doubt, and sure, some may be that way. But in my personal experience and with coaching a ton of amazing women to be more confident in their lives – I now know that self-doubt seems to go hand in hand in creating more confidence within an individual who doesn’t have much.

It doesn’t feel like a walk in the park with birds chirping around you, it feels like being really vulnerable. You are stepping out of your comfort zone, and that doesn’t always feel great when you are used to your safe haven.

You can feel exposed. You may feel open to judgement. You may fear the uncertainty of the situation. It may feel completely foreign to you. And often times these emotions are enough to keep people staying or running backwards to what feels safe, all while limiting them from showing up in their lives as their most authentic self.

Confidence feels like an internal peace with who you are and having the courage to show up in the world despite how your self-doubt is telling you not to. It isn’t in the absence of discomfort, but rather in the presence of compassion that you really start to feel confidence.

As you can see – that has nothing to do with your body, and everything to do with the internal feeling of enoughness and knowing that you’ve got this, whatever “this” may be for you. That emotion can be felt in the body you have today.

My challenge for you is to be the courageous person I know you are. Do one thing that feels slightly uncomfortable. Walk through the discomfort versus avoiding it, and through doing so you will start to feel more confident in who you are knowing that you are showing up. Period.

And if you want my honest opinion: Showing up as your raw, imperfect, messy self is an act of confidence.

Sarah Vance is a body image and self-esteem coach who focuses on helping badass women show up in the world as who they are, and not how much they weigh or what is on their plate. With her no nonsense approach to body image she has helped hundreds of women stop the madness around food and body by kicking self-doubt to the curb and giving the middle finger to perfection.  She helps others reconnect with their inner radiant self and step into freedom feeling happy, confident, worthy, and enough. Grab her free guide on 5 Mindshifts to Make to Embrace Your Body and Experience Food Freedom Here

Victoria is a Confidence and Body Love Coach at BAM POW LIFE. Learn how you can be exceptional at whatever you turn your hand to with free advice by signing up here. Read more articles, and get access to her FREE eCourse "Extreme Confidence Makeover" here.