I'm lying here on my round pink satin bed thinking of all the gifts I've received through bellydance: confidence, glamour, freedom, sexiness, joy. Bellydance has empowered me in nearly every area of my life but one: business. Shimmy half naked for Arnold Schwarzenegger? No problem. Read a financial report? I don't think so. Give me some rose petals and tell me to spread them on my pink satin sheets - can do. Ask me to do an Excel spread sheet and I'll run screaming the other direction. Actually, that was the old me, before I embraced my inner entrepreneur. Now, spread sheets and running numbers come to me as easily as belly rolls. How did this happen? By following some simple steps.
First, I set the goal. I wanted to empower women through my company, GoddessLife. To do that, I needed to empower myself and face my business fears. And so I applied to and graduated from the Anderson School of Business at UCLA. Attending business school with other entrepreneurs was like leaping into the abyss for me. But I stepped outside of my comfort zone and faced my deeply rooted fears of not being able to understand complex business theories. When I did my first class assignment on my own using Excel and programmed the formulas for a P&L report, I felt like the Queen of the World! I celebrated my accomplishment with a bubble bath and a glass (or two!) of Cristal. While people across the world create spreadsheets everyday, for me it was like climbing Mount Everest. I could now meet with my accountant without leaving in tears, and while I will never be a CPA, I am now a BDE - Business Diva Extraordinaire.
And now I can balance a spreadsheet and a Moroccan tea tray on my head. How many CEO's can say that?
I also discovered a secret. While we all have worries and doubts that chip away at our self-worth, it is through facing these fears head-on that we gain trust in ourselves. By doing the things that scare us most, we learn self-reliance. Being proud of yourself is something you can wake-up with, take with you throughout your day and go to sleep with. It helps to shift the focus from looking to others for validation to being able to give it to yourself. Most of our fears are irrational and we know intellectually that they do not seve our higher good. They gain power in our minds. Most of us have agonized over a phone call that we assumed would be an ugly confrontation, only to realize that "it wasn't that bad". It is up to each individual to tame the little beasts. As SARK says, "Put your fears and negative thoughts in a Rolls Royce and gently shut the door and say 'Thanks for Sharing!' and then, send them on their way. Don't forget to wave." Then, take a deep breath and accept that you can do anything to which you set your mind.
It might seem I'm stating the obvious when I say being gorgeous, rich, smart, famous, successful or thin does not automatically give you self-esteem, but you would be surprised how often we all delude ourselves into thinking that we will finally feel good about ourselves once we have achieved these things. Achieving your idea of perfection will not bring you confidence because the opposite of confidence is not perfection. The opposite of confidence is fear.
Just analyzing or thinking positive thoughts about what scares you is not enough. It is through action that we truly face our fears. If you are afraid of the ocean, take a snorkeling class. Take small steps towards the ultimate goal - start in a pool, move to a lake, then move to the sea. There is a reason we use the term "build confidence". You can do it! Unlike narcissism, you can never have too much self-esteem and we all need to lift ourselves up occasionally and redefine what gives us a sense of worth. True confidence is the best investment you will ever make in yourself and can outlast your job, your boyfriend and even the most darling pair of Manolo Blahniks. Go Goddesses! I have confidence in you!
Posted on Mon, January 27, 2014
by Ms. Dolphina