I was invited to speak live in a Facebook group, where I covered Building Self Esteem, Confidence and Honoring Intuition through sharing the most transitional 7 years of my life.
I discussed how to make difficult changes, accepting transformation and how to utilize and practice self care and I broke it down into three phases…
- Phase 1: Building Self Esteem
- Phase 2: Building Confidence
- Phase 3: Honoring Intuition
A lot of what I shared in this event are things I’ve shared in the past through various articles, so below, I’m going include 1) references to the full story whenever possible and 2) any resources that viewers may find helpful.
I mention a lot of resources in this post, so I created a resource guide you can download to have everything in a neat, little package.
Phase 1: Building Self Esteem
I started my talk by sharing the event in my life that kicked off a lot of what I worked through later that caused change…
And that’s the story of my dad leaving my mom when I was 14.
At the time, I was in a relationship, and that relationship didn’t last long. It was my first real kiss, and also the first guy who cheated on me.
Resource: Learning Contentment as a Single Mom (Guest article)
These two things happening shaped a lot of insecurities for me in dating relationships for years to come. After my dad left, a mentor even told me…
You’re going to have struggles in your relationships with men because of this.
I know that sounds F’d up, but it was someone I trusted at the time. He ended up being someone I later felt abandoned by, but I’m not mad that he said that to me—because it gave me awareness later on that I needed.
I won’t go into too much detail in my writing here (the video is embedded in this post), but a lot happened over the next few years.
I was very involved in a church for over 10 years that was a huge positive influence in my life for many years.
And after going to a very powerful women’s conference, I told myself an affirmation that was transformational, and continues to be important to me to this day…
Even if someone leave me, I will never leave myself.
Eventually, I found my way into therapy. I was initially resistant, but this led to many positive changes.
I went to therapy for 3 or 4 years after starting, eventually transitioning to group therapy. Therapy changed my life and I highly recommend trying it, even for small things. It was the first time I dove into WHY I thought and acted the way I did, but awareness alone wasn’t enough to change my behavior. It took work, support and exercises.
I discovered through therapy that I was abusing alcohol. This is a long story you can read about here. Because of this, I didn’t drink for many years.
One of the tools I used during those years (eventually) was affirmations. I would stick sticky notes to my coffee maker, shower, alarm clock and refrigerator—and I’d read those affirmations out loud to myself. Things like: you’re beautiful, you’re successful, you can get what you want, you’re worthy of love, etc.
The affirmations helped, but over time and with some work.
That concludes the first phase of my story, where I built my self esteem…
Resources For Self Esteem:
- How to Rebuild Self Esteem After Someone Cheats
- Learning Contentment as a Single Mom (Guest article)
- Free And Affordable Therapy Options
- How to Process Feelings Instead of Stories
- How to Fight (Similar to Pot Above)
- How I Stopped Drinking and Stayed Stopped
Phase 2: Building Confidence
Dating was still hard when I was in therapy, which I think is one of the reasons I eventually went to group therapy at the recommendation of my 1:1 therapist. Once I got a handle on my alcohol abuse, I think he knew I needed more support around my relationships and self care in general.
I was still very involved in my church, but a series of events made me feel very conflicted about it.
One day I got a call from my step-mom, and I was stunned to hear…
Your dad is gone.
Resource: Dealing with My Dad’s Unexpected Death
After my dad died, I just didn’t have it in me anymore to simply do what people wanted me to—but I don’t think I realized until then that I was allowing that to happen.
I had a God-chair in my life, but I was letting my church sit in it instead of a higher power.
I said “F” it after my dad died, and I asked myself…
What does God look like when no one is telling me what he should look like?
I gave myself permission to begin following my intuition. It was the hardest thing I ever did, and also the best thing. In the resource below, I share my story of gaining perspective a couple years after leaving my church. The post went viral when I wrote it a few years ago, and its why I still have this blog today.
Resource: Why Marriage Equality Made Me Cry
During this phase, I did some awesome things to build confidence. I created boundaries, and I HELD THEM. Keeping your own boundaries is a great way to build confidence.
I learned how to take care of myself—taking time to do what I want, assess my feelings and take action or inaction.
I also learned how to use lists and vision boards to manifest what I want—which starts by…learning what you want.
Resources for Building Confidence:
- Dealing With My Dad’s Unexpected Death
- How to Make a Vision Board
- What is Self Care and Why Do You Need It
- My Experience on “The Other Side” and Why Marriage Equality Made Me Cry
Phase 3: Honoring Intuition
Eventually, I started dating my husband, who respected my boundaries and wanted to both 1) spend a lot of quality time with me and 2) honor my need to feel independent and follow my intuition, even if at times it seemed confusing or strange.
Long story short, I got married and my life was happy and stable. I stopped going to group therapy with the encouragement of the therapist and friends who said I had basically “graduated” after 4 years of going consistently. I learned a lot of tools I needed and finally was confident enough to practice them.
And it was during this time that I began evaluating my decision to stop drinking 5 years earlier. I knew I had abused alcohol in the past, but I didn’t identify with a lot of people I knew who couldn’t drink.
I needed to know that not drinking was something I wanted—and not just another thing someone told me to do.
Long story short, I began drinking again over the course of a few weeks and months of experimentation.
It was hard to accept all of those changes at first, but I realize now that everything I’ve been through served its purpose at the time.
Resources for Honoring Intuition:
Thank you all so much for watching! If you have any questions, be sure to let me know.