One way to think about self-confidence is that it’s the courage to be yourself, in whatever form that takes. Self-confidence is a natural result of healthy self-esteem, self-worth, self-acceptance, and self-love.

What if you don’t feel confident, particularly in relationships?
When it comes to relationships, it’s not unusual for well-adjusted, high-performing people to have a missing piece in the self-esteem department, underneath it all. It doesn’t mean that anything is wrong or deficient. It just means that an essential part of your development (your sense of self) didn’t get supported the way it needed to, and therefore hasn’t fully developed. (Not to worry, this is totally fixable.)

Ideally, developing a strong sense of self with a healthy self-esteem would happen in childhood. Ideally, a little one would get all the emotional validation they needed so that they go into the world believing that their feelings are important and valid. Ideally, they grow into adults with a fundamental belief that who they are and what they think/feel matters. That they are adequate, and acceptable, and important – as much as the next person.

But what ends up happening more often than not is that people are raised with a certain lack of emotional validation that makes them feel somehow less-than, deep down. That somehow other people’s wants or feelings are more important than their own. That it’s not okay to speak out if it makes other people upset. That it’s not okay to reveal their real emotions. Or maybe they don’t even know what their real emotions are.

So, the kind of self-confidence we’re talking about here is the kind that happens naturally from building a solid sense of self. Re-building, you might say. What didn’t happen in childhood, can happen now. Your true self can be validated, supported, respected – by you! Relationship-Confidence Coaching will guide you in growing and improving the most important relationship you have – the relationship with yourself. That’s how self-esteem grows and self-confidence flourishes.

Relationships and the Authentic Self

To be your authentic self in the company of others, particularly with your intimate partner, is the ideal way of being in alignment with your true self. Being your authentic self means living life as the whole person you were born to be, not some paired-down version of yourself to fit into someone else’s mold. Parents, spouses, partners, friends, religion, culture, society… all have an impact on your definition of who you are in this world.

What happens when we are not living in accordance with our authentic selves? We pick the wrong partners, we operate with defense mechanisms (knee-jerk reactions to emotional triggers), we don’t have good boundaries, we don’t feel confident and empowered in our relationships, and we are not as present and tuned-in as we could be. Perhaps there is too much chatter going on in our heads. Perhaps we second-guess ourselves? Perhaps we are so focused on how others are going to react that we edit ourselves and hold back what is really true for us.

Living life as your authentic self is one of the best gifts you can give to yourself, and to the world. But many of us were not groomed to be our authentic selves when we were first staring out in life. So we have to learn how to be authentic. It takes practice. And it’s worth it.

Boundaries: Internal & External

When we think of boundaries, we oftentimes think of things like saying “No” when you don’t want something, or saying things like “That’s not okay with me” or “This is not what I want.” Those are thought of as external boundaries, because they have to do with responding to something outside yourself, usually in response to another person’s words or actions.

But there are other kinds of boundaries, which are referred to as “internal boundaries.” Internal boundaries have to do with having a solid sense of self. Knowing who you are, what you want, and where you stand. And communicating that to the people in your life. Internal boundaries are about knowing where you end, and others begin. It’s about knowing who you are as a unique individual, totally separate from the wants and needs of other people around you, like spouses, partners, parents, and so on.

Good healthy internal boundaries allow you to be your true self in relationship to others. And when you’re clear about yourself, it makes it easier for you to see people for who they are, to love them and appreciate them in spite of their human deficiencies, without the need to fix, take care of, or change them. It’s like the saying, ” You do you.”

When you have solid internal boundaries, it’s sort of like having a transparent bubble around your self (your heart and your mind): you can see through it, feel through it, and others can see you too. People can see you, and feel you, but they can’t take from you.

If you don’t have solid internal boundaries, you either have to erect a brick wall around your self for protection or if you don’t, it feels like people can come in and exert some kind of influence over you that you don’t want. In our work, we focus on strengthening the internal boundaries as well as the external ones. And that’s what it means to develop a solid sense of self. …Deep stuff. This kind of work can be a game-changer; making life more manageable, more satisfying and definitely more fulfilling.

Being Me, While Being with You

Maintaining a healthy sense of individuality while being in a relationship with another person is challenging for some people. For those who find themselves compromising who they are a bit too much in their relationships, this topic is for you.

A healthy relationship supports each partner to be the best version of themself. So ask yourself: Are you able to be the best version of yourself in your relationship? Do you shine, speak your mind, follow your passions, and express your unique opinions and reactions to things going on around you?

Or is the opposite true… do you find yourself holding back, compromising, editing your words? Being your genuine, authentic self – all the while being in close connection with a partner – is one of the many topics we discuss in our work.

The Four Basic Emotions

Having good self-awareness about emotions is important when you are working to build self-confidence. Human emotions can get complicated, but there’s an easy way to break them down with one simple checklist.

Part of being a human being is having human emotions. We all have them. Some of us wear them on our sleeves; others keep them neatly tucked away and out of view. Some of us have words for every emotional experience we encounter, and others have no idea what we are feeling, at least not right away.

What’s great about emotions is that they serve as a guidance system for when something “doesn’t feel right.” When your body tenses up, it’s telling you there’s a feeling going on underneath that warrants your attention. When you “follow your heart,” emotions are telling the truth about something that is meaningful and important.

For those who find the language of emotions to be just a little bit foreign, this article is for you. I’m going to break it down into four simple types of emotions.

If you’re old enough, you might remember a nutritional guideline called The Four Basic Food Groups. Up until the early 90’s, kids were taught in school that Meat, Dairy, Grains, and Fruits/Vegetables are the four basic food groups. (The list has been broadened since then.) When I think of the four basic human emotions, it reminds me of the four basic food groups: something that is simple and easy to grasp.

The Four Basic Emotions are:
Mad, Sad, Glad, Scared

Pretty simple, huh? It almost rhymes.

When you are trying to sort out what you feel in a given situation, you can run through the four basic emotions, and ask yourself, “Do I feel mad? Am I feeling sad? Does this make me glad? Or, am I feeling scared?”

When you’re feeling annoyed, resentful, ripped off, mistreated, impatient, frustrated, overloaded, disrespected, taken for granted, you are probably feeling some version of MAD.

When you are feeling lonely, missing something or someone, hurt, rejected, left out, unloved, hopeless, you are probably feeling some version of SAD.

When you are feeling excited, interested, looking forward to something, relieved, grateful, victorious, comfortable, satisfied, you are probably feeling some version of GLAD.

When you are feeling anxious, nervous, apprehensive, unsure, worried, trapped, unsafe, uncomfortable, not good enough, ashamed, you are probably feeling some version of SCARED.

When you identify what you feel and put your emotions into words (especially calm, clear-headed words) you increase your emotional intelligence. And who needs emotional intelligence? Anyone who wants to successfully interact with people.

Understanding emotions, both yours and others, increases communication skills and reduces potential conflict. Strong communication skills have a direct correlation to healthy relationships and lower stress.

If you haven’t been fluent in the language of emotion so far, it’s never too late to learn. Afterall the emotions are already there. They’ve been there all along. It’s just a matter of getting better acquainted with them.

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Laguna Hills, , CA 92653
(949) 445-3855

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