How Self-Care Creates Confidence
By Louise Warren
I remember that night clearly. It was something I never thought that I would do. I was running late to my own show.
As a musician, I hold high standards for myself, even as a solo artist that isn’t an intricate part of a band depending on me. My standard protocol is to arrive at least an hour early. Instead, I was performing the fastest set up and warm up that I had ever done, frantically counting each second in a state of utter panic.
I was a train wreck.
I felt incredibly ill but stubbornly pressured myself to perform anyways. Always looming overhead was a belief that saying no (even when I needed to) would somehow burden others. But if I were being brutally honest, I was even more terrified that it would tarnish their opinion of me forever.
This was something, despite pretending not to, I cared deeply about. I guess I assumed that I had overcome this fear because I was, after all embarking on a riskier career choice as an artist thus ignoring the opinion of those urging me to take a more practical path.
Apparently, I was deeply wrong in this assumption because here I was singing at an unpaid gig with a low grade fever and the beginnings of bronchitis because I was afraid to say no and afraid of being rejected if I did.
You better believe that when I went for those high notes, I felt deflated, insecure, and near tears.
I had broken the oldest self-care code in the book. I chose to prioritize the opinion of others over my own needs. It was an act of self-betrayal.
In this case, it deeply impacted the way that I was able to show up. I showed up as tired, sick, and with my ability to perform nearly cut in half. More importantly, I didn’t extract as much personal joy from the experience and just left feeling down about myself. Though I made it through the show, everyone around me felt more concerned than connected to the performance. It was obvious that showing up unwell didn’t really do me any favors.
When I thought about my favorite performances, I realized the obvious common denominator was that I acted from a place of confidence.
Confidence is a way of showing up with self-assurance and belief in our ability to carry something strongly to the finish line. Giving our energy to its fullest in this way requires fuel in the tank and sometimes even an extra reserve tank as well.
It’s the difference between performing when you are clearly not at your best and performing when you are well rested, properly hydrated and fed, and have given yourself ample time (and a bit of a buffer) to complete a task. It’s the difference between not being connected to your intuition and making decisions from that place or taking a few extra minutes to journal it out and dig deeper. It’s the difference between over drafting because you refused to confront your bank balance or sitting down with a calendar and a game plan.
Confidence requires energy. Self-care creates energy.
When we properly take care of ourselves, we learn to trust ourselves. Just as we learned to navigate where our care and comfort came from as a child, as adults we learn whether or not we can be trusted as a parent of our needs. If we fail to create a stable environment, our self-belief suffers. We begin to feel stuck in a pattern of can’ts and never fully realize our true power.
On the other hand, when we self-care it’s showing up as a self-parent who keeps their promises. It sends a reverberating signal to our brain that we matter, we are worthy, and we deserve time and attention. It sends the message that we love ourselves because we are willing to prioritize ourselves.
When we walk in the world with that kind of internal energy, the people and projects we encounter and touch thrive. Life becomes a little magical. But it’s more science than it is mystery. And it can be easily acquired by all.
Here are 3 ways to apply Self-Care to your life RIGHT NOW:
Look at your calendar.
Are you overcommitted? What is essential and what is obligation? How can you give yourself more buffer time before saying yes? Write in rest days on your calendar, in pen, and honor them.
Separate how you show up from your self-worth.
I might hit a bad note but that doesn’t make me a bad singer. I might flunk a test, but I’m not a bad student because of this. Don’t take on the way you show up as self-defining.
Divide and conquer.
Create a self-care wheel of all the areas of your needs: spiritual, physical, emotional, social, professional, etc. Evaluate what you need from each area to fill up your needs and be the best self-parent ever.
BY LOUISE WARREN
Louise Warren is a Life and Creativity coach as well as a nationally touring Singer/Songwriter.
She has trained with both the Beautiful You Life Coaching Academy and the Creativity Coaching Association.
Her mission is to empower creatives to stay in their lane, self-care, and dream big so they can shine brighter than ever in their true masterpiece: the life of their dreams.