(This is a blog I wrote earlier for the blog LifeSurfer.net)
One of the most common things that people tell me after they have heard me speak about violence is: “Alianne, you are really confident.. It is a shame that I could never be like that!”
But the thing is, they don’t see my vulnerable moments, or how I handle them. Seconds of closing my speech during the WAVE conference (women against violence Europe), I felt fear was creeping in. In my post adrenaline glow I thought I could have spoken better English, that I could have done better in general. Maybe I had messed things up. Maybe the other professionals would think my speech was silly.
A few more seconds later (without exaggeration) my hand was kissed, I saw the tears in the eyes of the professionals who work to end the violence against women, people exclaimed how glad they were that they had come to listen and to have met me, told me how brave I was, professionals were telling me that they wanted to hire me. etc. (I still need to get used to all the love in life, but I love it, it is so empowering!)
Don’t settle for the way you are handling things right now
But there is this thing that nobody saw and that is what happened between those two moments. What I have trained myself over the years and the thing that separates me from most people is that I correct myself pretty quickly. A personality is largely made by ourselves and our thoughts about ourselves. We can choose to be confident and strong. We can learn to master our thoughts. We can choose and work towards being free.
Do the work
The reason that most people aren’t confident is that they are either to afraid to step up for what they want to become, the thoughts in their head seem to strong, they are afraid to do the work (or what they will have to face about themselves) or they don’t know how to start.
Be your own cheerleader
But how did I transform from insecure to confident in just a matter of seconds during the WAVE conference? I just interrupted my thinking. Whenever I feel that I am attacking myself, or approach myself from a place of scarcity I will stop myself from doing that immediately. I want other thoughts and believes for myself. I want to support and grow myself, not belittle me. (You can learn how to do that over here: http://www.aliannelooijenga.com/19-ways-to-become-a-confident-woman/)
I knew where my insecure thoughts were coming from and I chose not to accept the way I was thinking about myself. I knew that my negative thoughts were a lie and I decided not to dwell on depressing emotions.
Yes I am confident. But I don’t have a magic wand that gave me this “skill”. Sexual abuse, partner abuse, financial abuse, abuse supported by the government and institutions break down your feeling of safety and your self worth.
I had to work damn hard to find myself and lift me up to some higher plan with a vision and goal for myself. I had to work damn hard to remove the voices in my head that said I couldn’t do something or that I wasn’t good enough of a person. I had to work damn hard to get rid of the feeling of constant uncertainty and loss of direction in life.
But I just didn’t settle for the status quo. Working hard, every day, gets you where you want to end up.
That’s the key for everything in life. Working hard and empowering yourself in order to support others in life.