Di Riddell - Your Voice Matters

Di Riddell

Your Voice Matters - Confidence Beyond 50

The Gift of Confidence After The Ravages Of Rape

Have you ever been sitting in a cafe and watched a confident woman walking towards you, she stands tall and straight, she walks at an easy flowing pace, she has a lovely smile on her face – she just looks confident and comfortable in her own skin. She owns the space around her. Have you then thought ‘I want some of what she has got’?
You would like to be that woman but right now you may be feeling –
• Flattened after a life-changing event like a rape. You are overwhelmed, anxious, lost, you are seeking but not sure what. Your trust is at zero level.
• You don’t like your body, you feel ashamed, embarrassed or feel tainted
• You may be scared to reach out because you don’t want anyone to know you are not coping.
• You may be thinking I am alone. Everyone else seems to be coping why can’t I? How can they go about their ordinary day when my world has fallen apart?
• The ‘if only’s’ flood your mind and stop you from doing things, fear races through you.
• You deflect what is going so you don’t have to face a new future with just you.
• You just don’t want that stuff anymore, you are ready and willing to make a positive change but don’t know how.
We can do something about that.
 Let’s stop and ponder for a moment about the gift of confidence, it is a gift that goes on giving. It is a cornerstone of life that supports you in everything that you do. It is a living breathing energy that waxes and wanes, it is not still and stagnant. You don’t ‘get it’ once, hang it on the wall and have it forever. Confidence can be shaken or shattered by experiences and your life can change in a heartbeat. Rape is one of those experiences.

Confidence, self esteem self worth anxious, confidence,

When you gain or regain confidence after your body has been ravaged, damaged and discarded, it a gift. A gift that will make you strong, a gift that will make you aware and a gift that will support you as you move forward.
 So, what is Confidence? It is that extraordinary energy in you that is attractive, strong, vibrant and engaging. You know it when you see it…and say ‘I want some of that’. In fact, it is the sweetener of life.

self confidence, self esteem, overcoming fears, mature women , confidence beyond 50

“We know that confidence and resiliency reign because we have survived to tell our tales of success and misfortune, trauma and abuse. Indeed, we are built to be able to go to the edge of life and come back with our heart and soul elevated... We are built to be resilient, to be able to step up and over rocky terrain and gain confidence.”

Let me introduce you to my Confidence Tree – You may be going along in life smoothly, feeling very confident when suddenly life gives you a shake or a shudder. It feels like the bottom has fallen out of your world and you ask where is my confidence when I need it?

Actually, it is still in there, waiting to surface, it is temporarily buried.
Picture a bonsai tree with its sturdy branches slightly curved coming from a firm strong trunk. When you are confident you are sitting on top of that tree. When something happens, an event, you fall a few branches.
You feel you have hit bottom, the roots or worse gone underground.
When you have the strategies to access your inner confidence and bring it to work in your current situation then you know the secret of my confidence tree.

Self esteem self worth self respect

Starting from where you are now, you can climb back up that tree. What can cause you to fall? There is a myriad of reasons and rape is a biggie.
 Let’s be honest, life is not always sunshine and rainbows. Sometimes we struggle within ourselves, sometimes we lose our footing, sometimes we simply need to surrender and reach out for help.
 When you reach out for help, you get to see your challenge through another set of ears, another set of eyes and share another’s heart space.
 You may have been hanging onto these memories for decades so it won’t all get better in a heartbeat, as we grow we become evolved versions of ourselves. We never did do anything to ‘deserve the wrongs of the past… but they have forged our evolution…and we learn to accept that.

12 Tips for regaining Confidence after a rape

Confidence, standing together, facing fears

1. Be kind to yourself, love yourself and know you are OK, you are not alone. You may think there is something wrong with you, that you caused it. The good news is – you are not the problem, you just haven’t been equipped with the tools required to be confident. They are skills not taught in traditional education, however, they can be learned.
2. Take life one day by day, avoid looking too far ahead for the moment. Deal with each day as it comes and takes the time to count your blessings. When you stay in the moment you find you enjoy all the little things that make you smile.
3. Reach out and get the help you need. It may be professional, it may be from a support group of others who been through a similar experience, they understand and it gives you somewhere safe to express your concerns. Yes, do reach out to avoid isolating.
4. Cultivate the art of gratitude and forgiveness. The sense of peace you achieve sets you free. It does not condone the act, you are doing this for you, yes you, to set you free. I came to this point before I wrote and self-published my story ‘Beyond Abuse’, it was one powerful and transformational journey.
5. Do mindset work every day that may include reading, listening to podcasts, YouTube, use whatever medium appeals to you and that will change over time as you continue to grow. One of my favourite sayings is ‘remember to dress your mind just as you dress your body every day’.
6. Follow daily rituals that could include EFT (tapping), 5min Confidence Exercise, meditating, visualisations, mirror work. Mirror work is a powerful tool for building your self-love, self-belief and your self-confidence. I love the words ‘mirror, mirror on the wall… it does not matter if I am short or tall…if I have skinny legs or my hips are wide…it only matters who I am inside…blue eyes, brown eyes, black or green… what makes me most beautiful cannot be seen… when you look at me don’t judge me by my parts…the most beautiful thing about me is my heart.’

self care, sel;f rspect, self worth, daily rituals

 7. Journalling is a powerful tool for ‘getting stuff’ out of your head, in fact, it allows you to see how far you have come and journalling into the future is a wonderful form of visualisation. You write ‘as if’ you already had it, you can see, taste, smell, hear your self achieving what you want. When you journal daily it constantly reprograms your mind for what you want to bring into your life. It is from that place that you attract and receive.
8. Self-care, nurturing and loving your body. It could be eating healthy food, getting fresh air and regular exercise, a massage, a bubble bath or listening to healing music.
9. Embrace change and challenges. We can either choose and direct change or have it thrust upon us. Living in a place of no-confidence and resisting change leaves you repeating the same mistakes, in a victim mentality and not acting to improve your life because you think positive change is impossible.

Open to change, self confidence, self worth, looking after you

10. Be playful and have fun. Some therapists suggest that you indulge in a pleasurable activity for 30 min daily. This was of immense help to me during my journey as I used to drive myself to the point of exhaustion and thought I did not deserve to have fun.
11. Mix with happy confident people, confidence is contagious, it loves company. Avoid confidence zappers, you know the ones who suck the life and energy out of you, leaving you feeling drained and exhausted.
12. Whatever you choose don’t let it stop you living your life. the rapist may have taken one night of your life, don’t allow them to take over your life.
Cultivating and polishing your Confidence will help you to be strong enough to stand alone, smart enough to know when you need help and brave enough to ask for it.
 If my thoughts have whetted your appetite, my updated book will be out this year and is being published by Lucky Pineapple Books.

At last, looking after you

The excerpt is beautiful and gives a great perspective.
“Inner Beauty: A Book of Virtues” on a symbol of the lotus flower. It reads: The main thing about a lotus flower is that it has its root in the mud. It cannot grow without the mud, and yet its petals are pristine… the lotus flower doesn’t turn mud into anything. Mud is mud. Yet mud also has nutrients needed to aid the flower’s growth. It is the same for us. We are in a situation that we don’t like – “in the mud”. And yet it is probably the most secure position there is if we could only recognise it, not distort it, and let it “grow us’.
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Di Riddell
E di@diriddell.com
M 0409 638 248