I have had a couple of emails recently about confidence, more specifically, how to become more confident. I thought I would do a post on it and open it up to all of you guys since insecurity or being unsure of yourself is something that we all experience at some point. Some people are born confident, it’s just a facet of their personality but I don’t believe that anyone is 100% confident, 100% of the time. It’s something we all have to work on throughout our lives and it’s integral to our happiness. Feeling bad about yourself or the way you look can really hold you back in life and it can prevent you from achieving your goals and experiencing some pretty wonderful things. You could be missing out on a great guy, the perfect job, wearing the clothes you want to wear or being the person you always wanted to be. So why not make today the day you start to give yourself a break, start believing in who you are and start enjoying your life to the max!
Confidence is all about completely accepting who you are, what you've done, and loving yourself for all your mistakes, successes and bad hair days. It doesn’t matter what others think of you, belief in yourself is strongest and most powerful weapon you can have in life. With that, you can achieve anything! Remember when you were a kid and had big ideas about what you wanted to be? Why give up that enthusiasm for life just because you are older?
I would say I'm a confident woman now but I was never that way when I was a teenager. I was never in the popular group and I didn’t really have the right clothes or feel like I fitted in (except for within my small group of friends). I got bullied a bit and was called names, never anything physical but the psychological damage can stay with you for a long time and you’ll often find that your insecurities stem from things like that. Why is it we brush off all the compliments we get but remember criticism or put-downs for years to come??? I also went through a very bad, scary and destructive relationship when I was 17 and it affected my belief in myself in a massive way. It took a long time to repair myself after that but it made me a stronger person. I built on the experience and if it never happened then I never would have had the wonderful life I have now. I have no regrets because it made me who I am today.
So here’s some tiperoos on how I stay confident…
1) I think the first step to becoming a more confident person is to look at the people around you and decipher whether they have a positive or negative effect on you and your life. Negative people are like black holes and they can totally drain your energy and just suck the life out of you...they're energy vampires! You will probably feel exhausted after being around them because they drag you down and make you feel negative and depressed. Whether they are work colleagues, frenemies or even a member of your family, you have to take positive steps to block their negativity towards you. I often use one of two techniques…either you go on a charm offensive and be so sweet and nice that they don’t know what to say i.e.
Negative person: “You look really fat today”
You: *Smile* “Why thank you, I hear fat is the new thin! I’m SO on trend!”
Or I practice something that my mum taught me through her study of Reiki. You basically imagine that you are in a bubble and when they direct their negative energy towards you, just imagine it bouncing back to them whilst you stay completely safe in your bubble. This may sound stupid and I initially laughed when my mum advised me to do it but I tried it when I was having real problems at work with a couple of people and it worked for me. It makes you feel enpowered and strong because you make yourself untouchable to their nasty words or bad attitudes. Always remember that their negative behaviour is a reflection of them. It gives you an insight into you what kind of person they are and what issues they may be dealing with in their life. It's not a reflection of who you are so don’t let their issues drag you down and don’t give them the reaction they are looking for.
2) I know this is a boring one but it really is an important part of feeling good about yourself and life in general. Regular exercise improves your energy levels and releases endorphins into your body which make you feel on top of the world! You instantly feel more positive, you feel physically fitter and healthier and in turn you start to feel good about your body. You begin to have bags more energy and it doesn’t have to be about losing weight, it can just be about getting fit and being healthy. I NEVER regret going to the gym when I’ve finished a workout but I always regret it when I sit at home watching TV instead.
3) I always find that music has a massive effect on my mood. When I listen to uplifting music, I feel happy and energised and more confident. A great positive song is Katy Perry’s ‘Firework’ because the song itself is about being proud of who you are and achieving everything you’re capable of. It’s a temporary boost to your confidence but the more time you spend feeling happy, the more likely you are to feel more confident in general. I love blasting happy tunes before I go on a night out…I even have ‘getting ready’ playlists I put on whilst I put on my makeup. Yes I’m a big geek, thank you very much!
4) One of the most important things to remember…don’t try to be someone you’re not. Whenever you think of a confident person you know in your life, they seldom copy other people, they stand out because they are proud to be different. Compare yourself to yourself, not to others or you will always feel disappointed. There will always be someone more attractive, more successful, more talented. You have one face and one body you were born with and we all have individual talents. Be the best YOU can be. If you concentrate more on yourself and how you have grown as a person, then you can start to feel good about it rather than focusing on other people and what you don’t have. Don’t envy anybody. Every person has something unique. Develop that one thing in yourself and make it outstanding.
5) Accept compliments gracefully. Too often, when someone pays you a compliment, it becomes too easy to just shrug it off or tell yourself they were just being nice. Accept the compliment, take it in and believe it (unless it’s from some drunk guy in a bar at 3am. He just wants a little sumn sumn.ha ha). You have to start believing in yourself so next time someone says your hair looks nice, just say “thank you”. Don’t confuse confidence with arrogance though – it’s not about thinking you’re BETTER than other people, it’s about being happy with who you are and comfortable in your own skin.
6) Celebrate your individuality. Whether you write songs/poetry, you are the only one in your group of friends who likes country music, you have loads of piercing and tattoos, you want to be the next Susan Boyle…be proud to be different. Take control of your life and own it, own whatever you choose to do. Taking control of your life can give you confidence, whether it’s getting out of a bad job, getting rid of a toxic boyfriend or losing weight. Surround yourself with positive, genuine, good-hearted friends who make you laugh and believe in you and appreciate you for who you are as a person.
7) Kill negative thoughts. I used to always scrutinize my nose when I was a teenager. I hated the way it looked and I always wanted to get a nose job to shave down the slight bump in it. No one else seemed to notice it but me. But as I got older, I started to realize that my nose was what connected me to my family, where I came from. So why would I want to erase that? It tells a story about who I am and chances are, if I got a nose job then my face would look very different. I realized that it’s our imperfections that make us beautiful. For example, I always thought that Joaquin Phoenix’s cleft palette scar always made him more attractive. These little things tell a story about us all and you should wear them with pride. You have to learn to cut off that voice in your head that spews out negative thoughts and replace it with something positive. Mine used to be “urgh I hate my nose” and now it’s “my nose suits my face and every time I look at it, I’m reminded of where I came from”.
8) Grooming. Ok I don’t need to tell you guys about this because you’re already reading/subscribed to beauty blogs so you know the score! We all know how spending a bit of extra time styling your hair, finding the perfect foundation or finding that super flattering lipstick can give you bags of confidence. That’s why we’re all here obsessing over products day after day. We are all looking out for that product that will make just that extra bit of difference and make us feel good. That’s what I love about cosmetics, they can give people the confidence to feel good about the way they look and that’s truly priceless.
So that’s my take on the whole confidence issue and how I deal with it. Everyone has good days and bad days but it’s important to make sure the good outweigh the bad. Because life is too short to spend it putting yourself down, right? Only you can control how you see yourself so it's up to you to make the positive changes in your thought processes. So hold your head up, smile and go about your day knowing that you are special.
What gives you confidence?