Amber’s heart is beating so fast she can almost hear her heartbeat. She looks pretty fidgety, and her mind is racing. It almost feels like her thoughts are talking to her all at once. She’s pacing across her bedroom and trying to calm down.
Meanwhile, her four-year-old French Bulldog, Cookie, comes and sits beside her. Amber instantly begins to feel much better. She begins to breathe deeply, and she notices feeling calmer. She’s so thirsty, and as she sits on her bed with this tumbler of water in her hand, she begins to investigate why she just had an anxiety attack.
She’s going on a date today. While this may not be bad for most people, Amber has had a sling of bad boyfriends in the past. Her current ex-boyfriend was emotionally abusive. While there was no physical abuse, you could tell Dave just wanted to hit her. And he did everything he could to let her know how scary he was.
She was so scared to get into a new relationship. But it’s been two years already. When Amber’s friend pointed it out to her, she realized a lot of her loneliness had to do with her yearning to have someone to love. Someone to hold her close, tell her she’s safe, someone to come home to, and bitch about work. Someone to laugh with, to cuddle with. Someone who’d lend her a shoulder to cry on. Someone to call her own.
Amber recalls multiple fights between her and her ex-boyfriend Dave. She recalls how abusive he was. He manipulated her left and right.
Suppose she was getting dressed to go out with her friends, he wouldn’t talk to her till the last minute, and right when it was time for her to meet her friends, he’d call her and make her feel guilty for not wanting to spend time with him.
Of course, this was far from the truth because Amber was always initiating dates. Dave never had any time for her because of his work, friends, or family. Everything else took precedence over Amber. And when she’d confront him about his behavior, he’d ensure she knew it was always her fault.
Every time she’d go out with her friends, he’d try to get into her head about how she shouldn’t dress this way because other guys would try to hit on her. He’d make her question the intentions of her guy friends. He’d always try to make her feel like she’s never enough. It quickly got way out of hand. What started as slight commentaries now and then slowly turned into verbal abuse and name-calling.
She remembers this other instance where she’d be getting ready to go for an office party wearing an elegant dress. And suddenly, Dave would see a picture of her and right away call her an attention-seeking whore! To her face! She’d get upset with him, and he’d always find a way to justify his words. And she’d begin to “understand.”
He always spoke with contempt, as if Amber was less than him. Like she’d be nothing without him. All of this was, of course, absolute lies, but as they say,
“repeat a lie long enough, and it becomes the truth.”
Slowly but steadily, he was chipping away at Amber’s self-worth. He leached her self-confidence and made her feel like she was nothing. Amber had a lot of work to do in healing herself from this abuse. To once again return to her restored self. She had to learn to love and parent herself. She had to rebuild her confidence.
This history is why she had an anxiety attack before her date. She feared what if this guy turned out like Dave? She fought the thoughts that told her she wasn’t trustworthy. She had to calm her negative voices and be brave. She knew that.
Amber’s friend once told her,
“Confidence is when you know you’ll be alright even if they reject you. Because the truth is, it was never about them. It was always about you.”
So, Amber’s being brave today. She’s finally deciding to say yes to the guy that asked her out. To say yes to new possibilities. To say yes to a future where she’s in control. She’s allowed her fears to get the better of her all these days, but no more. She’s decided to take charge of her life.
All these days, Amber has been diligently working on improving her self-image. She’s worked hard on loving herself. She’s joined Facebook groups, heard hundreds of self-help podcasts on Google Podcasts, and even followed relationship coaches on Instagram. Journalling, meditations, and positive affirmations have gone a long way in helping her self-esteem issues. And now she’s ready to try on this new skin called “confidence.”
So, she starts with baby steps. For the past month, she’s allowed herself to get into the mindset of dating. Allowing men to talk to her without shying away instead of hiding because her thoughts in Dave’s voice telling her, “who’s going to love you.” Overcoming these negative thoughts and all the limiting beliefs she created through her life experiences.
She’s been on the dating app for a few weeks, and now she’s ready to go on that date with this new guy. As she looks at her French Bulldog and rubs Cookie’s belly, she says,
“everything will be okay. I need to decide whether or not I want to go on another date with this guy. If we don’t click, that’s okay too.”
She reaffirms her worth and heads out to meet her date.
I’m glad you’re here. To me, this means you’re serious about working on embodying confidence. As my token of appreciation for your time, let me give you a little sneak peek into what I have in store for you.
Over a few weeks, we’ll be deep-diving into self-confidence. Where do insecurities come from? How to build confidence? What does self-confidence look like? Self-confidence in the workplace. Confidence at school. Confidence in relationships. And so much more.
We’ll analyze Amber’s relationship under a microscope and see everything we can learn from her. Amber’s story will guide us through our journey of embodying confidence.
Keep track of your progress here:
- Amber’s Story
- Amber’s shift in mindset to confidence
- Amber’s tested tools to building confidence Part 1
- Amber’s tested tools to building confidence Part 2
- Amber’s tested tools to building confidence Part 3