Losing Your Confidence – And Finding It Again
I was a confident person. It is actually kind of strange because my childhood was sort filled with fear and uncertainty. My young mother was working hard to take care of her three children, so we were not exactly in the world of motivational speeches or “you can do anything you set your mind to” leadership. For some reason, I came through as a fairly confident person. I am very capable and I could make stuff happen.
Then all of a sudden I couldn’t!
No matter what I did or didn’t do; my life was falling apart. It confused and frustrated me. Okay, let me be even more honest – it scared the crap out of me! It seemed the harder I worked at “making stuff happen,” the more out of control my life became. While Jamie was lost in the belly of her addiction Beast and I couldn’t make that stop, I became focused most of the time on the that one thing; the thing I wanted to make happen more than anything – something I had zero control over. The longer that went on, I lost my confidence.
Floundering around – for years!
What was a was once a confident, take-charge, capable person supposed to do when she couldn’t make anything happen? I didn’t know where to turn or what to do. I asked God to fix everything, but he didn’t. I asked him to save my daughter, but he didn’t. It appeared I was on my own, trying to navigate waters that were very unfamiliar. Suddenly I couldn’t even cook a meal very well, something I always enjoyed.
Becoming a Victim
When Jamie was shot the first time back in 2004, I didn’t want to be a victim. I tried really hard to keep a good attitude and to believe things would finally turn around for her – for us. When all hell really broke loose, I allowed myself to feel like a victim. I was a good mom and this whole things was just not fair. The more victimization I felt, the more my confidence dissipated.
Thanks a lot, God
I was mad at God. I tried not to be, but truthfully, I was. I could pretend all I wanted, but he knew. It was so strange to be in a place in my life where I wanted to know God and to hear from him like never before, only to feel as if he didn’t give a rip about me. I knew this wasn’t true, but seriously…couldn’t he just throw me a bone? I needed a break, and I didn’t see one anywhere in sight, so I slipped further into Victimland and my confidence in who I was and my value as a human being on this planet was fading.
The Day That Changed Everything
Have you ever heard someone say they had a moment that changed everything? I love those stories, but it took me awhile after to realize that I had one. It was the moment about 3 – 4 years ago when I told my husband, Rich, that I didn’t want to be here anymore. I told him it was too hard. I was not a quitter, but I felt like giving up. I could not save my daughter from her addiction Beast. I couldn’t make anything happen anymore, so I basically lost all hope that I had a purpose. I thought that boat had sailed.
So, I had my moment, but it took me a little bit to act on it. I remember how awful it felt to have those words slip from my lips. I felt terrible that I had hurt and scared Rich, but I think there was a part of me that was hoping if I said those words, he would somehow save me from my despair, but of course he couldn’t; it wasn’t his job. I don’t know exactly how soon after that moment that things began to turn around, but it was definitely that moment that lit a fire. It was more like a flicker, but at that point, I would take it. It was then that I decided I would no longer live as a victim, that God did care about me, and I had a purpose. I guess, in a way, I was back to my old ways – trying to figure stuff out. Only this time, I went about it much differently.
Giving Up Control
One of the critical things I did was to stop trying to control everything. Sounds strange, I know, that giving up control gave me more control, but it did! I used to “give it to God” only to start giving him a list of pointers. I finally said it (and this time meant it) – use me God. I am done doing it my way.
The Nine Actions to Battle Your Beast were developed over time and so much of it just “came to me.” Seriously, I am not that good. It turns out that God is willing to use someone like me. Wow. A woman whose daughter was lost in the belly of the addiction Beast. A girl who partied hardy for a few years “back in the day.” A redheaded fireball with a mouth like a longshoreman. He was willing to help me put the pieces of my shattered life back together, even after I nearly lost my faith.
So, when I gave up trying to control everything, and became open to what God wanted for me, my life really began to change.
Now, don’t confuse letting go with sitting around doing nothing. We often think of “giving it to God,” or letting go as just hanging around waiting to see what will happen. Being willing to listen to God and to let go of things we have no business trying to control does not mean we don’t take action. In fact, it is quite the opposite. We were given brains, and dreams, and abilities, and experiences so we can use them. Once you are ready to go start rowing the boat downstream, rather than paddling helplessly upstream, amazing things can happen. But, you still have to get into the boat and grab the oars!
Confidence Returns When You Act
Remember my confidence was in the toilet while I was trying desperately to make Jamie change; to make her battle her Beast. Not only was that not happening, but I couldn’t make ANYTHING happen in my life. Once I turned that boat around and started to paddle downstream, I was able to make some things happen. Little by little, more things began to happen, and slowly my confidence returned.
I still get rocked on occasion; after all, the Beast is not just going to forget about me because I figure this stuff out. As a matter of fact, he is even more determined to throw me off course, the more I stand up and fight. The more determined Ia m to live out my purpose, the more determined he is to stop me. The problem for him is that I have built up my confidence. No matter how shaky it gets, it is FINALLY built on a solid foundation. My confidence is definitely based on my gifts, talents, abilities, and experiences. But, importantly, it is NOW tied directly to me walking out my purpose than anything else.
I believe in you, probably more than you believe in yourself. You are not alone; I am standing with you.
To learn more about Beasts, courage, happiness, and so much more, visit my website.
Valerie Silveira is an Award-Winning Author, Empowerment Coach, International Speaker and Beast slayer. Through the devastation of losing her daughter over and over to the addiction Beast, and finally losing her to a senseless murder, Valerie empowers others to stand up and fight for their lives. She is the creator of Nine Actions to Battle Your Beast and the Still Standing Sisterhood membership program. Valerie uses her books and Sisterhood to guide women in their quest for happiness, peace, and purpose. She builds up women of courage who stand strong against any Beast in their lives.
Until her death in August 2016, Valerie chose to call her daughter Jamie, “Jordan.”