My Father’s Words

My dad and his girls

My dad and his girls

Confidence – belief in oneself and one’s powers or abilities.

What is your level of confidence?  Are you the kind of person who believes whatever you put your mind to you can achieve?  Or are you the opposite and feel that you really can’t do much and just let life happen to you?  Or somewhere in between?  

 
I grew up with a dad who on a regular basis told me that I could do and be anything that I wanted in life.  I should never let being a girl stop me and if I worked hard, got a good education and paid attention to any and all opportunities that presented themselves then I would be successful.  Notice he didn’t say I “could” be successful.  He told me I “would” be successful.  He believed in me (and both of my sisters) and instilled in me a great level of confidence in how I handled decisions, challenges and opportunities. 
 
Now my dad had a very personal reason for drilling this into my and my sister’s heads.  He watched his mother struggle when his dad died at age 48.  My grandmother had only been able to go to school through 8th grade since farmer kids didn’t always have the opportunities to go beyond that in the 1930’s.  So she had to figure out how to get a job, find a way to that job since she did not drive and take on all the responsibilities of her family.  My dad was only 19 and his sister was still in high school.  Needless to say this made a huge impact on my father and he never wanted any of his daughters to experience that kind of hardship.
 
I can honestly say every time I am thinking about doing some new thing that is going to be hard, that might scare me and will require a fair amount of confidence I hear my father’s voice in my head, “You can do anything that you make up your mind to do”.  And it pushes me to move forward.  I have the confidence in my abilities to do just about anything.  And if something scares me I have the tendency to just do it with one caveat: it must be something I have interest in.  If no interest then I just move on to the next thing.  
 
Each year on New Year’s Day I review what goals I accomplished and then make out my new goals for the year.  Every single year I make sure to put some goal on there that scares the crap out of me.  But I always have Dad’s words encouraging me that I can do this.
 
When I sat and thought about all of this I realized that this is the reason I do what I do.  My mission is (and really always has been) to motivate others to be the best version of themselves.  It’s my way of taking Dad’s words and pushing them out into the world.  
 
When we encourage others (our kids, our spouse, friends, co-workers) we are giving them confidence .  We become the small voice that pushes them on to greatness.  Helps them break through the barriers of self doubt or uncertainty.  Never underestimate how powerful our words of encouragement can be to our loved ones or even to the stranger on the elevator.  
 
So my dad’s personal story in a way became my personal story.  And his words helped shape me into a strong, confident, independent woman.  And hopefully I in  turn can continue use his words to encourage others to do the same.  Thanks Dad!

Who can you encourage today? Or what encouragement do you need? What is that one thing that has been rattling around in the back of your mind but you haven’t had the confidence to try it? Tell us in the comments below or email me at cultivatingkim@gmail.com. Let’s start encouraging one another to have the confidence to do whatever is in our hearts!!

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