Fan the Flame – Part 3

Sunday, December 29th, 2019

Hello All – Hope you are enjoying what seems to be the laziest of days between Christmas and New Years!

Let’s jump right into our deep dive on the five things we can do to build (or rebuild) our confidence after betrayal.  The first two I mentioned in this post (part 2) and if you missed part 1 – you can read it here.

#3 – Developing your Skill Set / Finding your niche outside of your family

In the first blog post, I mentioned that one of the threats to our self-confidence is when we feel financially stuck.  This might be because we have sacrificed our careers for our families (such a noble thing to do by the way!) or this might be because we are in a career where what we make barely gets us by.  In the latter case, tacking recovery work on top of barely making ends meet can make us feel even more overwhelmed.

So what to do?

Re-prioritize and make the time to invest in yourself.

I can imagine some of you now – saying “Shelley, you don’t understand.  It’s going to be impossible.”

Listen girls, I get it.  I have those same thoughts running through my head for myself!  I have wanted to take some courses for a couple of years now to help me be able to help women better – but I come up with a bazillion legitimate reasons as to why it can’t be done.

I’m finally at a place where I am ready to make the sacrifices to move forward with the courses.  Why you might ask?  Because I believe that the confidence that will come with empowering myself in this way will be worth it a year from now. Painful in the present but worth it in a year.

There is something powerful – no matter if you need the money or not – when we use our gifts and skills and get compensated for it.  I truly believe this is a huge way to restore dignity and confidence.

What is a service that you can provide that you can also get compensated for?  Is there a particular skill set that you feel like you need to develop by taking some classes?  I have seen advertisements for this on Instagram and while I don’t know much about it – I do find it inspiring to see all the different resources we have at our fingertips to learn and grow!

#4 – Changing your Mindset from “Victim” to “Empowerment”

I’m going to get a little personal here – and I really hope you can hear my heart because this could get dicey.

A couple of months ago, I was driving in my car and reflecting on how frustrated I had become with feeling like everyone else (which is so not true) has trust funds or an inheritance, or their kids’ college paid for by their wealthy extended family.  I recognized on that drive that I had been complaining about it a lot to anyone that would listen to me.  It got to the point where I was tired of hearing myself talk about it.

Tired of hearing myself talk about it?!  That’s a problem.

As I continued to drive down University Blvd, I realized that I was owning and operating from a victim mentality.  Poor me, it’s not fair, why isn’t this my story, why have we had to work for everything, where is our family legacy.

Typing this out makes me want to find the nearest coffee table and hide under it right away!  But I’m not going to do that.  I’m choosing to be fully known and sit in it.

Something shifted in me and I came to realize that I had a choice to make – I could keep complaining and wishing that the generations before me had done it differently.  OR – I could stand up, straighten my self up, and get to work.

I’m doing the latter – being proactive to do what needs to be done to plan for our future.  Getting real about what it’s going to take.  Taking my head out of the sand.  It feels empowering to take ownership.

And I want to caution you – just because we take ownership and tweak things to do it differently doesn’t mean we can’t feel the feels.  It’s important to recognize that we might feel disappointed or overwhelmed or defeated.

Acknowledge it.  Validate it.  And then ask yourself what your choices are and what you can do to turn the tide.

Is there an area where you feel like you have a victim mentality?  If so, what might it look like to shift from a posture of powerlessness to one of power?

Girls – we have agency to look at our situations, get honest about where we are, and then figure out the small steps we can take to do things differently.  I believe that as we do this – we are able to move toward confidence.

#5 – Connection

Y’all know I couldn’t land this plane without looping back to connection.  Because this is the wellspring of life. (And also why we are supposed to guard our hearts.)

Connecting with God, connecting with ourselves and connecting with others is at the heart of our journeys.  We could spin our wheels doing all these other things but if we aren’t working on community and connection – we’ve completely missed the point.

There is something so tangible and so magical about being fully known with others and then with ourselves – that can help bolster our confidence in ways that we never even imagined.

Oftentimes – I would go into my support group feeling defeated and dejected.  Insecure and without hope.  And 90 minutes later – almost like magic – I would leave feeling connected, empowered and confident.  And it was because I showed up in a safe place where I could be fully known.

Adding a little more to this fully known – I was also accepted in my cRaZy.

If you are looking for one of these places – just know there will be several new groups starting in February and March 2020 and I’d love for you to consider one of them.  Email me if you want me to add you to the wait list.

What about you?  What has helped you start to grow your confidence?  I’d love to hear!

xo – Shelley

ps. You won’t want to miss the last installment of this series where a former group member and now dear friend shares a little bit of her journey and how she has done some of the things mentioned here on her journey toward finding wholeness, confidence and dignity. 

Photo credits here and here


6 thoughts on “Fan the Flame – Part 3

  1. Cyndi Saunders

    December 30, 2019  |  02:37 pm

    I’m so encouraged

    We can win
    And be free
    Hey Shelley thanks for your complete honesty and your vulnerability you are amazing
    And fisher of women !

    We are daughters of the King most high
    Let’s keep on our crowns even if they slip a bit
    We are royalty

    Let’s start treating ourselves like that
    Purple is ours to wear

    • Shelley Martinkus

      January 23, 2020  |  09:46 pm

      Yes Cyndi! I love how you said we can keep our crowns – even if they slip a bit – made me laugh!!! I DO think we have to treat ourselves like we are worthy – even in the simple things. And that’s where it starts – in the simple things. For instance – I’ve decided not to take scraps anymore. Including literally. Oftentimes I will eat my boys’ leftovers for a meal. A MEAL. No more.

      Love you girl! xo

  2. Sherise

    December 31, 2019  |  08:03 am

    Shelley, thank you so much for your openness, vulnerability, honesty, tenacity, tenderness and WISDOM!!
    You really are a gift from God to all of us who found you, even if it was due to this journey we never thought we would be on. Your genuine and wise words on all of these topics you share/talk with us about are like having a conversation with a very good friend who understands you and what your going through, cares and can help you through it and even be better because of it.
    Sherise xo

    • Shelley Martinkus

      January 23, 2020  |  09:50 pm

      Oh my goodness – Sherise!!!! If I could add an emoji – it would be one with hearts going everywhere or the face that is crying. Thank you, thank you. Your words are powerful and mean SO very much to me! xoxo – Shelley

  3. Denise Caldwell

    January 14, 2020  |  10:19 am

    Shelley, there is no question that the two most influential things that has instilled confidence (and therefore endurance) in my life during this process is 1) God and 2) the girls in my support group. Through scriptural promises, God reassures me that I can endure this…and through the intimate sharing – the give and take – with the girls in my group I found validation, reassurance, and the relief that I wasn’t over-reacting or crazy….and understood!! Like you, I would start our call feeling discouraged, but almost without exception, by the end of the call I would feel so much more peaceful, reassured, encouraged, and armed with the energy to keep going. These two entities have made the absolute MOST difference in my life, and in my confidence!

    • Shelley Martinkus

      January 23, 2020  |  09:52 pm

      Love, love, love this Denise! There is amazing power in linking arms with other women that GET it and are poised to stand on the front lines with us as we face if not the most – one of the most intense seasons of life! I’m so grateful to hear that the women’s support group has been just that for you – a life line. And thank you for mentioning God – yes – oh how I remember almost daily how much I need Jesus. Love hearing from you here. xo – Shelley

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