Lifestyle Change

Build Your Confidence By Taking A Look At How Far You’ve Come

confidence is something we can work on by slowing down and tracking our progress with it

How often do you really take the time to celebrate the wins in your life? If you’re like many of us, you probably don’t do this nearly often enough.

I had come to learn pretty quickly that life has its highs and lows just like the ocean does and sometimes you just have to see how far they’ll carry you”. — C.A. Williams

How far has life carried you? Taking time to acknowledge how far I’ve come and how much I’ve accomplished is always a HUGE confidence booster for me when I take the time to do it. I’m sure it’s no different for you. To be honest, there’s a lot we’ve all done over the past few fears or even few days that we should be proud of, yet we often don’t see it or foget to be mindful of where we’ve been and its contributions to our present. There always seems to be so much left to do, or a focus on the things we failed at that seems to take the joy out of the room.

A crucial component of confidence and our general well-being is our ability to pause and notice our past with compassion, while celebrating even the smallest wins that shape how far we’ve already come.

Why Do We Struggle to Slow Down and Celebrate Ourselves?

  • There is an urgency to keep going, to get to the next thing, the next accomplishment. It’s probably a feeling that keeps you up at night with thoughts you just can’t seem to shut off, and it’s just physically and emotionally hard to do. 
  • You’ve set the bar so high that no matter how far you get, it never feels like enough. A feeling that can erode your confidence because it’s personalized to, “I’m not enough”.
  • It’s hard to see the things that went well, and you tend to focus on all the little things that didn’t go as planned. 
  • It’s a reflection of your upbringing. You were raised to be humble about your accomplishments, or no one was really available to celebrate you. 
  • There is a part of you that’s scared that if you pause to celebrate, you’ll somehow fall behind. 
  • You’re not there “yet,” so there isn’t a big enough reason to celebrate- leaving no room for small wins.
Build confidence by honoring where you came from. Coaching tips and life strategies, life hacks. Quote.

Which one resonates with you? 

I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments. The value of slowing down is you get to find your strengths and the realizations you need to validate your ability to navigate current challenges and achieve your goals with confidence. But where do you start? Let’s begin with gratitude. 

How to Slow Down to Achieve Your Goals and Boost Your Confidence

Reflection and Gratitude

The simplest way to ensure you notice what you’ve accomplished and how far you’ve come is to get into the habit of spending a few minutes in the morning or right before bed in reflection and gratitude.

“Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.” 

William Arthur Ward

When you wake up in the morning, before you get out of bed, or while munching on that bagel or sipping on your coffee, think about what you’ve accomplished and what you’re grateful for. 

I like this morning habit because it sets a positive and confident tone for the day ahead. If that doesn’t work for you, try it at night before you fall asleep. Keep a journal next to your bed and don’t just dump out your worries; dump out what went well for the day. You can even add three accomplishments or things that made you feel proud in the week or the last few months. 

Make reflecting in gratitude a daily habit, and watch your confidence grow.

three unexpected tips to boost your confidence

Journaling And Habit Trackers

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Spending a few minutes daily writing down your wins is a great way to reconnect to your truths. To build a better routine and establish this as a habit. If you’re trying to develop better habits, try a habit tracker. Grid paper and excel spreadsheets work well for this too. Seeing a month’s worth of little checkmarks on your habit tracker can be very motivating.

With the journal, make it a point to review your wins regularly and of course, whenever you need a little boost of self-esteem and confidence. Look online for plenty of journaling and habit tracker ideas. Give the ones that look good a try and devise a system that works for you. 

Get Your Own Personal Cheerleader

Sometimes it helps to have your own personal cheerleader. No, I’m not suggesting you hire a person with pompoms to follow you around everywhere (although that might be fun for a day). Instead, find a good friend or family member who’s encouraging already and ask them to cheer you on. Who are your cheerleaders? Keep their numbers on speed dial so you can call them whenever you feel low or don’t want to do something and need some encouragement.  

You can also think about who has been a key support person in your life, even if they played a minor role. I can think of my 4th-grade teacher Ms. English and how loving and accepting she was, which meant the world to me as a migrant child in a new country and school system. Who is your person? In your journal, list 2-3 of those people you have had in your life and note their impact on you. That relationship might even be another reminder of how far you’ve come. 

You now have some great ways to slow down and notice the value in your life daily. Taking the time to recognize those wins and seeing how far you’ve come has a ripple effect of increasing how good you feel about yourself, improving your mood, and building your confidence and momentum so you can continue to tackle future goals with more ease and joy. 

Celebrate yourself. You work hard, and you deserve it. 

How are you planning on bringing more celebration into your life? Let us know in the comments below!

Other great reads: Actionable Steps to Overcome Anxiety

The Self Love Journal For Women

Amanda Fludd, LCSW-R is a Licensed Psychotherapist, speaker, and Mindset Coach for high-achieving women in business. Her joy is addressing mental health on multiple levels from the boardroom to your virtual office.

prioritze your self care and wellbeing. Wellbing ideas to support good mental health.

Show Up and Glow Up

Pause, take a deep breath, and take in this present moment.

You have made it into the summer, and this is your reminder to make yourself a priority and not sabotage your emotional wellbeing and good habits.

To help you with that, we are sharing our Summer Glow Up Plan!

Glow Up means taking time to acknowledge and nurture your needs by showing up for yourself and your mental health.

Your Summer Glow Plan might look like this:

1) Figure out your daily routine. Add things you love or want to do for the summer into that routine. Without goal-directed action, it’s easier to lose motivation and fall into slumps of procrastination. We recommend starting your day writing in a journal to organize your ideas and embracing your phone calendar to keep you on task. 

2) There is healing in community. Take time to connect. Call, text, or even write a friend to say hi, or offer a compliment. Social connections promote positive mental health outcomes. Another great option is joining an online group or finding events on places like Eventbrite to expand your social networks.

Relate read: Women’s Retreat and Healing Community

3) Move your body. Your body is craving to be noticed and to move. Try a free yoga application like Down Dogg in the App Store, find a 10-minute workout on youtube, or turn up your favorite mashup and dance like your office mate isn’t watching!  

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4) Set your alarm to get outside during the day. Walk, run or sit outside and get some fresh air and sun. To get even more grounded, kick off your shoes and feel the earth beneath you- we call this grounding “earthing.” As you ground yourself, use that time to think about a few reasons to be grateful.

Let us know which self-care tips you’ll be working on this week in the comments below!

Amanda Fludd, LCSW-R, is a Licensed therapist, speaker, and Mindset Coach for high-achieving women in business. Her joy is addressing mental health on multiple levels, from the boardroom to your virtual office

The Powerful Lessons I Learned at the Business Retreat

A blog around the key learnings after attending the Retreat

I recently returned from my first curated Retreat for minority women in business in Mexico: Renew, Connect, Restore, Retreat.  It was more than I could’ve expected.  I wanted to pause and share five things I learned from sharing space with 12 exceptional women.

What Was The Business Retreat About?

The Renew, Connect, Restore Retreat was birthed out of the Mindset and Motivation Community for Women Entrepreneurs of Color.  It has been such an uplifting virtual space that it naturally made sense to transition it to a live experience.  As women, we often struggle to set aside time for ourselves because we are busy supporting everyone else’s life, with little energy left to create, ask for help, or continue to stretch ourselves.  When we attempt to work on ourselves, we are so wrapped up in our heads that things like procrastination, worry, and overthinking rob us of our potential.

The community is an intentional space to refuel, encourage, teach, and share.  Along the way, we foster skills to grow your business and voice.  What’s unique about the group is you don’t even need to have a business!  Just good intentions and a true understanding of sisterhood.  Those values are what I took and curated in Mexico.

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The Retreat was four days of connection, workshops on purpose, profits, and self-care, all facilitated by women from the community.  One of the facilitators was my good friend from UCONN Tasha Smith, MSW, MBA from Peach Valley Co (an inclusive Real Estate and Tech Company) who happened to be in Mexico and volunteered to do a workshop.

Here are five of the most powerful business lessons I learned from attending the Renew, Connect, Restore Retreat for minority women in business:

1.  The importance of building a solid and supportive tribe.  I was reminded that I don’t need to rely on others outside my circle to help deliver an experience.  Instead, I can ask within my tribe for support.

2.  It’s very encouraging to share space with like-minded women.  These women did not know each other, but you would swear we were best of friends. Being around other black and brown women striving for similar goals and willing to serve as mirrors to listen, be honest, and help identify issues that maybe you didn’t want to see on your own created such a safe and healing environment.

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3.  The Retreat was an opportunity for personal growth and development.  The speakers learned as much about themselves as the participants did.  I had the chance to coach some of them on expressing their gifts in creative and tangible ways, which led to dynamic and effective handouts for the group.

4.  Leveraging your skills and experience to create new business opportunities is possible.  There is a huge need for us to learn how to think outside our well-constructed professional box.  I challenged the idea of “an expert,” had them identify tangible skills, and walked them through how to use that to create a product.  The women were challenged to think outside the box and use their professional skills to create new opportunities.

5.  I am capable of so much more than I realize.  Challenging yourself with new and complex tasks or concepts that seem outside your reach will only push you to develop those tangible skill sets that can open doors.  Pouring out in this capacity also has a counter effect of filling you with things like joy, confidence, and contentment.  This experience showed me that I haven’t even reached my potential as an entrepreneur.

The experience solidified my purpose and strengthened the value of community and how far we can go together.  If you are a minority woman in need of a tribe, we extend an invitation to you and hope you will join us.

And yes, by request, we’ll be hosting the Retreat again.  We are thinking of a tropical place like Antigua.  What’s your favorite island? 

Let me know in the comments. If you don’t want to miss an invite follow me at Ig@amanda.fludd if you aren’t in the community already.

If you need help defining and implementing a digital strategy as you start to build your business, let us know if we can assist you.

Amanda Fludd, LCSW-R is a Licensed Psychotherapist, Speaker, and Mindset Coach for high-achieving women and professionals venturing into business. Her joy is tackling mental health on multiple platforms and she is available for speaking engagements and training.

Related Reads:Dismantle The Doubt and Build Your Dreams or How to Follow Through On Your Goals

Disclaimer: There are affiliate links on this page, which means we get a small commission for anything you decide to buy.  We only recommend quality products, but you should do your research before making a purchase.
extreme close up photo of frightened eyes

5 Actionable Steps to Overcome Fear and Anxiety

Fear is a powerful emotion that we all experience in our lives, and it is something that can be very challenging to deal with, but you can learn how to overcome fear and anxiety with a few easy to follow actionable steps.

When we are pursuing a new experience, like a new job opportunity, relationship, or starting a business, fear can hold us back. It can make us see challenges as insurmountable or make us over-prepare to the point that it slows our growth.

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Fear and Anxiety

Quote: Every time your fear is invited up, every time you recognize it and smile at it, your fear will lose some of its strength

“Every time your fear is invited up, every time you recognize it and smile at it, your fear will lose some of its strength.”

Thich Nhat Hanh 

The best way to deal with fear is to face it. In facing it, you get to see if the story you made up around the issue is true or what you may be lacking to help you move forward. The more we avoid the problem, the more anxiety we consequently cause around it. For example, if you are constantly thinking about whether you will do well on an upcoming exam, you can’t sleep. The consequent exhaustion then triggers even more anxiety because you can’t concentrate and study, further impacting your sleep– and just like that, the worry has just become a debilitating cycle, confirming your worst fear- you won’t be ready for the exam and will fail.

Instead, the goal has to become to lean into the fear so you can disarm it. What if you acknowledged what your worry and fear was in the first place instead of reacting to it. Could we possibly find a better response so it loses some of its strength?

How do fears get in the way of being successful?

Culturally, I’ve been raised to not speak over others, and I think I have this natural resistance to being seen, and it’s my kryptonite that shows up at the wrong time. I can still recall moments sitting “at the table” with people in my profession and listening to them give their opinions on things and wanting to give my two cents but struggling within myself to speak up. 

Fear and anxiety work like that to cripple you within yourself. 

Those experiences can be triggered by various fears like the fear of judgment, failure, or the fear of being alone, and sometimes even the fear of being successful. 

When challenged in that space, it can have this counter-response that looks like overthinking, avoiding opportunities, missed deadlines, low energy, feeling disconnected from your work, procrastination, perfectionism, irritability, or indecisiveness.

How can we overcome fear and anxiety?

Fear is a built-in instinct to protect us, so we don’t want to get rid of it, but we do want to help our brains understand the moments we are safe and don’t need that fear reaction. The best way to overcome fear in that case is to repeatedly do the thing that causes it but in a safe and controlled way. During this process of exposure, coupled with positive coping skills, you can learn to ride out the fear or wave of anxiety until it naturally subsides.

Need a place to track and challenge those thoughts, and work on your wellness? Grab a Wellness Planner here.

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When the emotion of fear or anxiety seems overwhelming, try to shift your focus to a healthier thought or a skill that will reduce the feelings, so it is more manageable. A stress-reduction approach like mindfulness or simply taking a break and disconnecting from the issue and going for a walk may help you better take the actions you need to be successful. I would also add to be patient and add some compassion into the process. Your mind is working to keep you safe when these responses are triggered. It can’t always tell the action you want to take isn’t a dangerous risk but one you can handle and necessary to improve your current situation.

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How to overcome the fears of growth as a professional

Start by identifying the fears holding you back from reaching your next level. Our thoughts are powerful, but they can be damaging and limiting when building out your dreams. The fear of failure is like the dark cloud that follows most professionals as they work on advancing their careers, especially through entrepreneurship. Rather than simply stopping people from being entrepreneurial, fear of failure can also serve as a motivator for success with a better understanding of your response dynamics. To help you better recognize and challenge your internal reactions to growth we put together some exercises to help you find those fears with the Believe Bigger Workbook available here for entrepreneurs.

Here are a few prompts from the workbook to challenge your mindset:

  1. Once you’ve identified a few of your fears, can you think of specific experiences from your life that might have formed these fears?
  2. What do you feel is holding you back from more significant success?
  3. Recall a time you were afraid. How did you move past the fear?
  4. Pause for a moment and identify and write about five of your strengths.
5 Actionable steps to overcome fear and anxiety. Prompts and steps to reduce fears and challenge your mindset.

To deepen this practice and find the root of self-sabotaging behaviors, try keeping a journal over a period of two or three weeks. Look for any patterns you notice, the source of those fears (family, culture, financial, criticism, etc), and their validity. Fear is often fed by false stories making your experience seem much worse than it really is.

In Summary:

  1. Lean into your fears. Figure out what it’s about, and if it is valid for the direction you are going.
  2. Practice stress reduction techniques like mindfulness or disconnecting from the source of distress at the moment.
  3. Shift your focus to more positive thoughts or emotions. Use your imagination or visualization to picture that same fearful experience with a positive outcome, and embrace the positive emotions you anticipate feeling with your successful outcome. The control and calm you experience during your visualization can actually help you get through the actual ordeal with more ease.
  4. Challenge your mindset around the fear with journal prompts like the one above and other exploratory resources like the Believing Bigger Workbook for Women in Business.
  5. Practice Compassion. Your mind is only trying to keep you safe.

If you are a Minority Woman in Business and would like consistent support and accountability on your goals, the Mastermind Group may be a fit for you.

Related Reads:

How to know if negative thinking is affecting your business

Why do we let ourselves down

At home treatment for children with anxiety

Amanda Fludd, LCSW-R is a Licensed therapist, speaker, and Mindset Coach for high-achieving women in business. Her joy is addressing mental health on multiple levels from the boardroom to your virtual office.

Disclaimer: There are affiliate links on this page, which means we get a small commission of anything you decide to buy to support our tea-drinking habits at no cost to you. 

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Are You Ready To Communicate Your Feelings?

Communicating your feelings to your partner is sometimes easier said than done. A lot of times we struggle to find the words to really express ourselves, especially in a way that will be well received by our partners.

Sometimes, despite your best intentions, what should be Huxtable moments on the couch turn out like an episode of your favorite notorious reality TV Show. Communication difficulties are actually the number one reason couples divorce in the United States. According to one study, 67.5% of marriages that ended did so mainly because of communication problems.

Common Communication Pitfalls: 

  • Blaming your partner or criticizing them 
  • Being defensive when your partner shares their feelings 
  • Calling your partner names/labeling your partner negatively 
  • Giving the silent treatment – refusing to respond to your partner’s bids to communicate  
  • Interrupting or cutting your partner off
  • Shutting down and withdrawing emotionally and verbally. Giving the silent treatment. 

Difficulties with communication can lead to increased arguments/conflict, lack of trust, feelings of insecurity, emotional distancing, and overall stagnation and unhappiness in a relationship. Communication is a skill that is essential to a happy and healthy partnership and may take some practice.

Five Ways to Communicate Your Feelings In Relationships: 

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  • Say What You Need – Think of what you need to resolve how you are feeling. What brought up the feelings in the first place? What needs attention, or what could your partner be missing? Our partners can’t read our minds and can misread behaviors. A way to reduce the tension is to begin to say what you need. That might sound like: I get really worried and scared if I don’t hear from you when you’re running late. Can you give me a call or text if you’re running late?
  • Use “I” Statements – “I” statements are a great way to express how you feel to your partner and avoid common pitfalls. Using “you” statements can quickly be taken as blaming and tends to raise the temperature of conflict. An example of this is, “I feel sad when we don’t spend time together” vs. “you never spend time with me” can you see the difference?
  • Label your feelings – Give words to how you feel. It is helpful for your partner to hear and know your exact emotions instead of going silent or communicating with passive-aggressive actions.  

Are You Ready To Communicate Your Feelings?

  • Take A Break – If conversations get difficult, it can be helpful to take a break and do something to self-soothe or calm the intensity of your emotions. To slow down the pace of the conflict, use an “I” statement and express your need for a break positively. That might sound like: I think I’m starting to get overwhelmed. Can you give me 20 minutes to calm down before we continue? Always revisit the conversation when you are calmer instead of ignoring or avoiding the issue. 

Relationships need healthy challenges that allow partners to grow together. Be patient with yourself and your partner, try a skill like validation and avoid those common communication pitfalls described above. As you improve your communication style, both in how you express yourself and respond to how others express themselves to you, you will see growth in your relationships. 

Think you might need some more practice in this area? Join us on 4.11.22 at 6 PM EST for a FREE Couples Workshop on Communication.  Our community deserves more skills, and we are here to facilitate it. Register in advance here 👈🏾

Article by Alyssa Heavens a Marriage and Family Associate at Kensho Psychotherapy Services. Piece edited by Supervisor and Mental Health Consultant, Amanda Fludd, LCSW-R

Build Your Confidence By Taking A Look At How Far You’ve Come

How often do you really take the time to celebrate the wins in your life? If you’re like many of us, you probably don’t …

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Show Up and Glow Up

This is your reminder to make yourself a priority and not sabotage your emotional wellbeing and good habits this summer. …

The Powerful Lessons I Learned at the Business Retreat

The experience of hosting a women only mindset and business retreat in Mexico. Exploring the power of community, connection, …