5 Ways to Cultivate Confidence

mala-beads-yoga-tiny-devotions-photographer-photographer-richelle-hunter-photography-summer-of-soul-125When asked if I could only have one wish for my children what would it be, I responded, for my boys to be filled with confidence.  Confidence can be the determining factor between reaching for what you want in life or simply letting each day pass hoping your dreams and happiness will simply fall into your lap.  The power of confidence can allow you to make the mistakes you need to grow, ask for the help you need to move forward or simply to back away when necessary.  So how do we cultivate more of this magic power that can continue to fuel our inner fire.

1.  Lean into the fear. Quite often the very thing we want can also be the thing we fear the most.  However, fear can be paralyzing and if we allow it to rule our actions we move further and further away from our confidence catalyst. That’s not to say that if you are afraid of public speaking you should instantly speak to a group of 20,000 people.  However, perhaps start with a group of 5, then 10 and so on.   But keep leaning into that space of speaking in front people or whatever might be holding you back.  The more you act and the less you sit in that fear, the more confident you will become.

2.  Be active, eat well, sleep. These 3 things are an incredibly powerful foundation for life and are no exception when it comes to confidence.  When we are active we release endorphins and other happy hormones affecting our outlook on life and our abilities.  Food is fuel.  When we are filled with nutrients that support our health and well being our body doesn’t have to work to find the energy that can be required to feed our confidence.  Sleep is well…sanity.  When we are well rested our thoughts are clearer and our ability to problem solve is that much stronger.  When we feel we have the ability to solve problems indeed our confidence grows.

3.  Be willing to fail. My eldest son was once asked “Tyler can you play the guitar?”  His response “Yes I can, but I think my guitar needs to be fixed because it doesn’t sound very good.  I keep playing it over and over as I am sure it will get better”.  In order to gain more confidence with something new we have to understand that at first attempt indeed we might fail.  However, when we eventually begin to strum a tune, land a job or accomplish a dream our confidence grows.  Each time we fall and pick ourselves up we either realize we have tools to overcome the obstacle or the ability to cultivate the tools necessary.  Of course one of those tools we connect with is confidence.

4.  Surround yourself with a healthy supportive tribe. Confidence is certainly a skill that is cultivated from within.  However, there are times when we all need help or a little push to help us take that next step.  Having a positive tribe to share ideas with or to simply practice taking that leap of faith with can have a powerful impact on our confidence.

5. Get out of your head and into you, better said, meditate.  Through meditation we can create a greater sense of connection to our own personal values and beliefs.  When we operate from a place where we can take the time to find a sense of personal meaning, confidence is a natural by-product.

1506397_625393604181735_1180008492_nA lover of life, yoga instructor, motivational speaker, wife and mother. Mieka’s passion in life is sharing her belief that choosing happy is a possibility for everyone and that everyone deserves to be happy. You will find her teaching challenging and inspirational yoga classes at Chrysalis Yoga studio in Burlington. Her choosing happy workshops have frequented yoga studios, health institutions and corporations. Mieka has her bachelors degree in Kinesiology, is a Certified Exercise Physiologist, Registered Yoga teacher and STOTT Pilates certified. She is also an ambassador with Lululemon Athletica. Mieka currently is studying positive psychology.  In her spare time Mieka, loves to travel with her family, do yoga, cuddle with her animals and regular kitchen dance parties are a priority.   

Website: www.mieka.ca
Instagram: @MiekaForte

Back to School Soul Search: 6 Things I’d Tell My 18-Year-Old Self

TINY-DEVOTIONS-LIFESTYLE-mala-beadsBack to school is one of my favorite times of year. The fall weather (warm days and cool nights), pumpkin spice lattes, flowy boho tops paired with crops and leg warmers and nice big mugs of love when meeting friends in the city on a beautiful afternoon. For over 20 years I was in school and loved every moment of it: from grade school to grad school and a stint of teaching in between, books & highlighters are my jam.

But somewhere in the last few years, I have been without traditional schooling and have been instead embarking upon the lessons of life. This year I’m taking a guitar lesson and saving money for my third yoga teacher training to get into the spirit. Seeing my friends children enjoy the first day and teacher friends arriving back in their classrooms this week has me thinking: what would I tell my 18-year-old self? There are quite a few things I wish I could go back and explain, but I’ll let you in on the top 6 secrets I would have told my younger self.

 1. Ignore the haters. Somewhere in your high school and college career a few people will tell you that you aren’t good enough. They will tell you to quit journalism and that your writing will never make it. They will encourage you to do other things in life and beg you to choose another path. Ignore them. Use those years of anger for writing instead of crying. Develop your skill because in a few years you will rock it! You are meant for big things, so learn to ignore the haters early on.

2. Your intuition is spot on. You are always asking WHY – Why am I here? What am I supposed to do? How can I help the world? This is because you KNOW that you are destined to bring love to the world. You’ll find it I promise. Just keep searching and listening to your intuition. Those tarot cards you friends pull out during slumber parties, the feathers the universe gifts you as you walk down the street and the hidden message box from your aunt that holds your intentions – they are your intuition screaming at you. Pay attention and hold on for the wild ride!

 3. You will make LOTS of mistakes. And that’s okay. Seriously. Life is a learning experience and a big lesson. Keep moving and keep trying because these mistakes are just tiny little blips on your path to success. You may not know what you want right now, but if you keep moving forward you’ll find them. And remember, a mistake is not a failure: “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” – Thomas Edison.

4. Boys & the scale are NOT everything. I don’t know how else to say this but: get over it. Wow are you dramatic. You have a flare for it and in fact you majored in it! But let me tell you something, the amount of boyfriends you have and the number on the scale do not define who you are and they never will. Those silly magazines will get into your head and convince you otherwise but it isn’t true. You are beautiful, so beautiful it hurts and you have no idea. Look in the mirror and appreciate who you are. Put down the diet coke and the salad slathered with fat free dressing. Walk away and find a delicious, nutritious meal and love yourself and your girlfriends more than you know is possible. Boys are not meant to be fixed and when you are ready to accept that, the perfect man will arrive in your life. I promise.

5. Your parents will become your best friends. Your mom and dad are going to become your best friends. And it’s great! I know you “hate her” but your mom loves you beyond belief. Don’t worry you’ll apologize when you’re ready — but someday she will become your very best friend. It’s not stupid to end up like her in fact it’s a blessing. When you’re in the middle of a hurricane and you’re the only friend on Facebook with back-up candles (and board games), or you’re driving down the street and know all the back roads to avoid traffic or score an amazing deal at TJ Maxx in the clearance section, you’ll have her to thank. When you remember how to change light bulbs and remove doors to make room for new furniture in tiny places or make a killer business networking connection, you’ll have your dad to thank. Listen to their advice: the silly and the serious because it will take you pretty far in life.

6. You will become an amplified version of you! In ten years you will still be you, but you’ll be so much better. You’ll be happily married, rescue a puppy, own a yoga studio and write every day as your actual day job. You’ll read tarot cards and meditate and drink vegetables. I know some of this sounds so far out of your comfort zone right now, but all of it ends up being the biggest blessing of you life. Take life as it comes: one step at a time. Hold on for the wild ride and accept whatever comes your way. Your life is amazing and will get better as each day passes so keep on trucking and let go of all the things that are no longer serving you. I suggest starting with that diet coke!

1157699_383157768473367_247012539_n-199x300Jenny Ravikumar is the owner and a yoga instructor at Barefoot Yoga Shala.

Twitter: @Jennyravikumar
Instagram: @Jennyravikumar