The Connection Between Confidence & Independence

Independence changes you.

I’ve had the opportunity to become more independent in both work and outside endeavors, and it has really changed me. I go to work early in the morning, I go home to two cats and a dog, I do some form of exercise–whether it be Beachbody or running–and I prepare my dinner and give the animals theirs. It’s made me see that I haven’t been solely responsible for me in a very long time–if ever. It’s been an adjustment, but I think one that was needed in order for me to get back on track with myself and God.

I’ve said before that I feel I lost myself in my marriage. I had unconsciously replaced God with my husband, and it meant I couldn’t be the woman he had married. This has become my opportunity to find myself–and God–again.

. . . . . .

I feel more confident at work because I am confident in my knowledge and my abilities, something I was lacking in my first job. I know I can do what I’m doing and that I have the tools and the skills to do it well. I think that’s the first sign that I am doing what God has intended for my life. I’m not turning to work for my meaning anymore, but instead turning to my faith.

But independence has also made me more confident in who I am as an individual. I’ve found I can do things I didn’t think I could…and things I didn’t want to. I can save money on my own. I can cook for myself. I am working on making sure I don’t rely on anyone but God to fill a space in my heart.

It was once insisted that there must be something I like about being on my own. The truth is, there is. But it’s nothing about the tangible–it’s the mental. I like that I have gained my mental strength back. I like that I have a bit more confidence in who I am. I like that I have a better idea of what I want to do with my life. And I’m even more confident that my heart hasn’t changed.

For me, independence has boosted my confidence, and my confidence boost has made independence a little easier. It doesn’t mean I don’t still have bad days, that I’ve suddenly changed my mind, or that I’m an entirely different person. It just means I am working to get back to who I am.

God uses our weakest moments, the things that didn’t go “according to plan,” for His glory and to draw us nearer to Him. I never believed that until this storm, and it’s truth I am clinging to.

. . . . . .

Have you gone through something that has shaken you to the core? How did God use that?

Are confidence and independence linked for you? What has made you more confident or more independent?


Day 4: Confidence & Positivity

How did it go? 

Some days are better than others. One minute you’re alright, the next you’re not. It’s the nature of life. It’s also the nature of dealing with depressive symptoms.

It also seems to be the nature of dealing with technology.

There was a TED Talk podcast the stood out to me today: “Why our screens make us less happy.” What I heard was fascinating. If you’re at all interested in the affect technology has on us, I recommend that episode.

But it made me wonder if that’s maybe part of my anxiety—that I seem reliant on technology.

So I decided to add something to my positivity challenge: I will reduce my time on some of my social media accounts. I am interested in how it will affect me.

Probably the best part of my day, though, was Belle graduating from training. She has gone through basic obedience training before, but I needed to feel more empowered in working with her, and I felt she needed a gentle reminder (as did I). She passed the test! Then the class did a “race” with loose-leash walking, and she did very well. I was so proud of her, and, I have to admit, a little proud of me. As we were doing the test, I realized I felt a lot more confident with her than I had before. I know she will be able to pick up on that confidence, which means she will listen better. I don’t know about her, but I certainly felt a sense of accomplishment when she received the laminated paper certificate.

What did I learn?

The one big message I’ve learned today is this: maybe society lends to our depressive symptoms. When we are on social media, we tend to compare ourselves and our lives to the lives of others. It adds to our expectations, which can lead to disappointment. (Check out “(Not) Exceeding Expectations” for more on expectations and disappointment.)

Most importantly, though, I think I learned my confidence is tied to my positivity. Being confident in my ability to do something, even if it is in training my dog, boosts my attitude significantly. Perhaps that is why I am happiest when I write, and why I want to teach again—because I am confident in those abilities.

And, as my therapist told me, it’s okay to desire a piece of your comfort zone when everything else seems outside of that zone.