• Emily Brooks

Confidence.. the illusive goal

Updated: Jun 17, 2019


Sometimes it comes and you feel like a queen.

Sometimes it goes and you want to curl up and cancel all the things. 

True, lasting confidence is a symptom of believing that you are enough.

As you are. 

This is one of the hardest truths to believe about yourself in the face of all the standards the world holds up for you to live up to. It tells you you’re not enough.

In my training as a therapist, I saw that how we can fall into an up/down cycle of conditional, surface confidence. This is when, for a moment, we live up to the world’s false standards of ‘enough’, or meet somebody else’s expectations, and we get a burst of ‘yay!’ i’m up there! 

We get a bunch of ‘likes’, lose some weight (!), get a pay rise, get work, get a makeover, get a date... whatever it is for you that you feel you need to do or be to be ‘enough’, you might temporarily grasp it and get a surge of ‘confidence’.


Conditional self worth is dangerous, and it’s temporary. 

It relies entirely on you being a slave to that standard, and you’re the one that punishes yourself when you inevitably fall short of that standard.

And the confidence goes. 

Our emotional mood is always going to be conditional - based on the ups and downs of life. But your inner confidence - lasting, deep self worth can be the constant bedrock of who you are, and it’s out of that self-belief that you fight the natural ups and downs of life.

It may sound deep for a Monday morning 😳!, but I think that if we’re going to ‘start’ anything.. a business... a relationship... a venture... a week... in which we want to be and feel confident, we need to look at what conditions we’re holding up for ourselves at the outset.

What standard are you holding over yourself?

What if you don’t achieve it?

How would you feel, where would you be left? 

If what’s left is an inner world of self-punitive and anxious thinking.. then what can you do to face that and move towards challenging the power those standards have over you?

This is different from having goals and ambitions.

You can have a goal to make more money (yass!), but have confidence in yourself irrelevant of money.

You can want to get badass toned in the gym, but start with love for your body irrelevant of its comparative size to another’s.

You can aim for success and business growth simply because you believe you’re already worth it and have something to offer, just as you are, now.

I can’t say that my inner confidence is constant, it continues to be a daily check-in with myself. But when, years ago, I realised how much of my worth was tied up in some false and illusive set of standards, and how it was the cause of so much daily struggle, I began facing it head on.

In a conversation with a mentor, I once said ‘I just want to feel free of this struggle’.

She said ‘what does that freedom look like?’

I realised that the ‘free’ me in my head was an image of a ‘me’ that had attained all of those ‘standards’. Skinny, recognised, liked, pretty, sociable... perfect.

My mentor smiled kindly and said ‘what if I said that the true, ‘free’ you is the you that hasn’t met those standards and yet, is happy?’

Frankly, that terrified me. But I knew I needed to get to a place where I wanted that ‘true’ version of freedom for myself. 

So what standards do you need to challenge in order to pursue a life where you believe you’re enough, unconditionally?

It might just take a rethink, talking about it with someone you trust, or maybe, like I did, you need to get some therapy to face it, for reals.

If that’s you then check out @tiliatherapy (insta) for online counselling, for more counsellors and @annamathur (insta) for helpful resources.

Don’t let those false standards rob you of a lifetime of believing you’re enough.

Because babe you’re a queen and you need to know it. 💚

#confidence #selflove #loveyourself #selfworth #innerconfidence #uplift #emilybrooks