Something I hear a lot is, “How are you so confident, Anna?”
Well let me tell you a story….
I was nine days away from delivering my baby and everything was organised. Baby room, complete with adorable teensy tiny baby onesies (swoon), stockpile of nappies and an army of loved ones ready to adore the latest addition to our family.
I should have been on cloud nine. In reality, I was mid-way through the kind of panic attack that sweeps your legs out from under you and leaves you completely emotionally crippled. Because while my baby prep was sorted – or at least as sorted as it can be when you plan on birthing an x pound baby from your lady parts – my life was in turmoil.
I was afraid to step away from my business because fear was planting a whole heap of false beliefs in my head.
– What if my peeps forget me? (Surely you couldn’t)
– What if while I am away someone else comes up with a better/bigger idea than me?
– What if I totally lose my mojo?
Not to mention all of the fear and anxiety I had coming up related to my last pregnancy (where my husband left me five months into the whole thing) and I had to do all the things on my own – but that’s a whole other story for another time.
I logged onto Facebook (as you do when sh*t gets real) and saw two messages waiting for me in my FB inbox.
Message number one (from a stranger):
Hi Anna! I’m a huge fan of yours and have been following you for a while. I was wondering … How did you become so confident? You’re always so calm and in control and I really want to channel this into my business. Help!
Message number two (from my friend, in response to a brain vomit message from me):
Stop. Being. A. Dick. Head. You’re a new mumma again with an awesome husband and a great income. All that crap you went through last time isn’t happening this time. This time you can enjoy your gorgeous family and your success. Your business isn’t going anywhere. So. Chill. The. Expletive. Out. And enjoy!
I had to laugh. It was a laugh/cry/snort kind of deal, but a laugh nonetheless.
Because the thing about confidence is that it works until it doesn’t. I know that doesn’t make much sense, but confidence is really about controlling fear and keeping it at bay. But with the heavy injection of pregnancy hormones floating around in my body, I let that old wet blanket fear take over the driver’s seat in my brain.
I am not perfect.
My confidence armour has some chinks in it and there are definitely times when self-doubt creeps in.
Thankfully, though I have boss-lady friends waiting in line to smack me back into reality.
So I took a moment to combat these thoughts and rebuild my confidence, by …
1. Visualising a STOP SIGN. I put my thoughts on pause and asked myself, ‘Are these thoughts true or false? What evidence do I have that all of these irrational fears will in fact become reality?’
- I have a database of raving fans, in fact I receive emails of love almost daily. Could these people forget me overnight? NO!
- What if while I am away someone comes up with a better/bigger idea than me? Does originality even exist anymore – NO! No one is me, right? And my ideas are mine. I want us all to win.
- What if I totally lose my mojo? Well that is unlikely as I come up with new ideas and inspo daily. The notes app on my phone is overflowing!
- What if history repeats itself and I have to do this mum & business gig on my own again? My husband is not my ex! And I am way stronger than I can ever imagine.
SO … there is zero evidence, dah!
2. Picking up a book that always helps me stay on track. Isn’t Liz Gilbert just the best? There’s one particular quote from her book ‘Big Magic’ that really helps me keep things in perspective
“FEAR – I recognise and respect that you are part of this family, and so I will never exclude you from our activities, but still your suggestions will NEVER be followed. You’re allowed to have a seat and you’re allowed to have a voice but you are not allowed to have a VOTE.”
3. Reaching out to someone who I can trust to put me back in line. You saw her response … it was exactly what I needed to hear. If you don’t have somebody like her in your life – I am happy to be that for you!
4. Letting it go. Business is not life or death. Perspective, yo. This is my last opportunity to be a mama and enjoy it.
So here I am now, with my newborn baby girl resting next to me.
No more fear, only love and joy. And confidence through the roooooof.
I will be back soon, my designer boss-ladies & I will have all my mojo ready to serve you, but for now, I must snuggle.
And here she is….. Sage Alice Dower 🙂