Looking back on my life, I have come to understand that it is not the words or actions of others that breakdown a woman's confidence. It is the power we decide to give to those expressions.
I was raised in an environment witnessing and absorbing the effects of emotional abuse. Words that stung, opinions that made you feel unwanted.
My dad, although I admire and love him is a tough man. He was raised extremely poor as one of 12 children on a tiny Portuguese island. My fathers' young life was far from easy. Forced into manual labor from the age of 6, had limited education, physically abused with violence, and no real care, he immigrated alone to South Africa at the tender age of 17. He was not able to speak English, was treated terribly by his employers, was wronged, discarded, and berated. Losing his brother from a terminal illness, being alone, and living like a captive having to work for his accommodation. My father was already a broken man by the age of 21.
Growing up watching the way he spoke to his children, and my mother infuriated me! He was so proficient at making a person feel unworthy, undeserving, discarded, and immoral. I never understood how he could love us one moment and make us feel so unwanted the next.
The older I got, the more I began to observe, examine, and watch the way he spoke, provoked, and criticized. The more I took notice, the more I understood that his dominance was an illusion. Hurt people, hurt people. All I saw was an insecure little boy projecting his instabilities out into the world and masking his own vulnerabilities as superiority.
I would say from the age of 16; my father lost his negative influence over the way I felt about myself. He no longer had power over my self-worth because I stopped allowing him to. I didn't shrink myself or believe what was being said about me. He did, however, help me to use the negative opinions of others as my motivation to succeed.
Ladies, what I am trying to say is don't blame anyone else for making you feel bad about yourself. Take full accountability for how you think. If you need approval or acceptance from a man that you're good enough, he will always have power over you. Of course, you are good enough!
I get it. The rejection, ghosting, disrespect, and cruel words can have an immense impact on a woman. But here is the secret; Only if you let it.
The person hurting you is not your master; you can choose to take action by how you respond.
You were born worthy, and that will never change. Stop giving someone control over your self-love. Your confidence level depends on YOU: your thoughts, your actions, your beliefs...no one else's.
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