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  • Writer's pictureSarah Kuhn

You Need More Confidence

I'm starting this new series that's called Coffee and Confidence because confidence is one of those things that INFJs struggle with so much. I hear so many people tell me that they have a problem with confidence, and I know that that's been one of my biggest problems ever since I can remember. It's a problem for INFJs, especially because when we grow up, we know that we're different than everybody else and we feel like we don't belong. We feel like because we don't belong, that we're not lovable, that we're not enough.

And so what happens is we have this feeling of, I'm not enough. I don't have enough. I don't know enough. And it becomes this voice in your head that lingers there, and it just constantly berates you through your whole life. And that's where the lack of confidence comes from, right? Because every time you're like, I want to do something new, I want to put myself out there some way. I want to start a blog. This voice in your head is like, no, you can't do that. Why would you do that? What are people going to say? What if they laugh at you? What if they make comments about the way that you look? What if you get on YouTube or Instagram and you start stumbling over your words and you can't find the right words, what are people going to say?

And we let that voice in our head tell us that we're not enough and we let it hold us back from so many things. So I wanted to start this series to make these videos because I want you to know that you are enough that you can do all the things that you want to do.

There's a reason that that voice is in your head saying you should start a blog. You should start a YouTube channel. You should start an Instagram account or even just things like, hey, you should go talk to that person because you might be really good friends with them, or you should get a new job because you deserve to be paid more. There are so many ways that confidence or lack of confidence affects your life, and it certainly affected mine so much.

When I was young, I used to have these conversations with my mom, and I mean, it was everything from school to boyfriends to later in life. When I was trying to get a job, we would have these conversations and she would say, Your problem is that you just don't have enough confidence. And we had this conversation so many times that my response got to be, yes, that is exactly my problem. How do I fix it? And she would be like, I don't know. I've never had that problem. I don't know how to fix it, but you should really fix it because it's a really bad problem. And I'd be like, thank you. Thank you. I appreciate that. So you don't know how to fix it. I don't know how to fix it. What if it's not fixable?

And I kind of had this idea that it just wasn't fixable because I didn't know how to fix it. So if you don't know how to fix it, then it must not be fixable, right? I pushed through a lot of it because I was stuck kind of between, Well, it's either not fixable or maybe it's just a problem with me. And I'm the only one who has that problem. So maybe if I just push through it, it'll go away or I'll figure it out along the way somehow and a lot of it I did.

The more that I would put myself out there - sometimes good things would happen. Sometimes I'd get slapped in the face. That's what happens. That's part of life. But I got to be more and more brave and learn how to put myself out there a little bit more and a little bit more. And it was still really difficult, but it got a little bit easier.

So when I decided to start my blog, I had wanted to start a blog for years and years, and I had tried multiple times, and I always let that fear of not being enough hold me back and stopped me, even though I would put in the work to write a blog post and set up a website. And inevitably, that fear would always hold me back. So when I finally decided in December 2018, I'm like, I'm not going to be focused on the fear of this time. I'm going to be focused on helping people because I know that the information that I have will help people, and I want to help even just one person. That's all that I want to do. I think that it works that time because I took the focus off of me and I put it on to somebody else. Instead of saying this is what I want to do, I want to be a writer. I want to have a nice website. I want to learn how to write so I can write a book. Instead of focusing on me, I was focused on helping other people. And when I took the focus off of myself, it was so much easier to say, okay, I'm going to do this, and I don't care what people say, because I know that I'm helping people.

We as INFJs we are most ourselves when we're helping other people when we are focused on other people. So that's one of the tricks that I learned when I want to do something that's difficult for me to do. It's like, okay, can this help other people? Can I figure out how to make it about other people? Because when I make it about other people, then it's so much easier to do it.

When I started my podcast, I felt the same way I was terrified to be on audio recording or video recording. I knew that I wanted to start a YouTube channel as well, and I had kind of dabbled in making a couple of videos, and it was so difficult I didn't want to show my face on video, right? I was like, no, I'll just put slides over the screen. I don't really even want to talk because it feels really weird to edit my own voice on video. But I knew that my podcast would help other people, so it's like, okay, I can do this. I can help other people. As long as it's helping other people. Then I can do it. I can make it work. And it was really difficult to learn how to listen to your voice, right? Because it's like, terrifying.

I was shocked and surprised once I started recording the episodes and people would listen to them and send me these comments of how sweet my voice is and how they could listen to it all day. And I was like, really, I didn't think that about my voice, but I appreciate the compliments, even in the midst of those complements. And in the midst of so much positive feedback from my blog and my YouTube channel and my Instagram account, there's still a lot of fear that comes up.

There's still a lot of confidence problems that I fight through all of the time because it's like, every time that you put yourself out there, it's another layer of is this okay? Does this work? Is it really helping other people? And even when you have the reassurance, there is this line of questioning that comes through in your head that's, like, okay, this is a real problem.

I've been focused a lot recently on trying to figure out how to change that voice in my head. That voice that tells me that I'm not enough, that I'm not good enough, that I don't belong. A lot of it comes back to childhood trauma, things that happened to you in the past. When I thought about childhood trauma. When I was first learning about it, I thought, Well, there was nothing really traumatic that happened to me when I was young. I had a pretty good childhood. My family is really pretty good. There wasn't anything horrible to happen to me, but what I learned is that trauma comes in many different ways. It's not just really horrible, awful things that happen to you. It could be traumatic for you.

If somebody is telling you, you need to speak up more. You need to talk louder. I heard that so much when I was young, because I was so quiet. I was very shy and very quiet when I was young. And my mom recently gave me my report cards from grade school, and I was looking through them. And I always had straight ace when I was in school. But there were these comments on almost all of them that said, there's a great student, she does her work really well, but she doesn't participate in class. She needs to speak up more in class. That was always a constant problem for me.

And so every teacher that I had was always almost like, harassing me to speak up more. And for me, that was traumatic because it was like, Well, I had this idea that you're not enough because you don't talk, you're not enough because you don't participate in class because you don't like to participate because you don't have enough friends. And then what happened, which made it even worse, was when I did try to speak up, people would give me these weird looks and they would say things like, oh, my God, you have a tongue like, you know how to talk. And after that, it's like, okay, I don't want to talk anymore. I'm not going to do that. It's too much. And I don't want to go through all that because I didn't know what to say to them. Even when I was in high school, it was a problem.

One of the first places that I worked at was at an arts and craft store, and I was super quiet then, too. And one time, I don't even remember why I spoke up about something. And one of the managers who was still a pretty young girl, she looked at me and she was like, oh, I didn't know that you could talk. You've been here for six months, and I don't even think I know what your name is. And that was just like, it really hit me, and I took it super personally. Like, why would you say something like that?

For me, a large part of my confidence problems, too, comes from the fact that I take everything so personally. I have always viewed that as a negative thing because it was always said to me in a negative way. People have always said to me, you take things so personally and you need to stop doing that. That's your problem. I don't really feel like it is a problem. Obviously, it's a problem when you're taking things that people who don't know anything about you like, there have been some people on Instagram in the last six months who have been harassing me and they don't know me. They don't know anything about me. They just look at one or two posts that I have on Instagram and decide that I'm a terrible person and decide to send me these horrible, awful messages. Should I take that personally? No. Absolutely not. I shouldn't take that personally because these people don't even know me, right? These are like teenagers who still live in their parent’s basement, who are harassing me when they probably wouldn't do that if we were face to face. They're hiding behind the Internet. They're hiding behind their phone, and they're saying whatever they want to say because there are no repercussions for them.

But when somebody says something to me, somebody who I know is it a good thing for me to take it personally. I think a lot of it comes back to how you frame it and how you view it. I feel like it's a good thing that I have such deep emotions that I can feel things so deeply. And it's important for me to learn how to almost control that, because if I let people on the Internet get to me, then I'm going to have a lot more problems than if I just recognize that for what it is is a bunch of mean people just being mean to be mean rather than a personal heartfelt critique of saying, hey, I think you could do this a little bit better, so, yeah, that's confidence for me.

I'm doing this series of videos. I'm calling it coffee and confidence because coffee is one of my favorite things that gets me going in the morning, and I feel like we could all start our day with a motivational chat, right? With a little bit of confidence and a little bit of understanding about ourselves. And I think that it's going to go a long way, so I hope that you will subscribe and that you will join me.

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