As I’m getting older I’m finding that being confident, in any sense of the word, is a trait that I admire in a person. When I see my friends or my boyfriend doing the things that I would love to do, and that I would do, had I been blessed with the ‘skill’ of just being confident, it can lead to me putting myself down and feeling even less confident than I started.
To me, being confident can mean soooooo many things, for example, being independent, trusting your own decisions, feeling comfortable being the centre of attention, believing in yourself, not being filled with self-doubt, looking in the mirror and feeling good at what looks back.
I think the majority of my confidence issues are rooted within the things about myself that I dislike, the things that cause me to feel self-conscious. My weight is something that has really caused me to struggle with low self-esteem for as long as I can remember, I was never bullied nor told by anyone that I needed to lose weight, but it was something that’s always been on my mind and that has always been a major major issue to me. I could have a thousand people tell me “you don’t need to lose weight” “you’re a lovely size” but none of it means anything to me as it’s not what I believe, and on days where I feel extra conscious surrounding my weight, or how I look in whatever I’m wearing, I find that my confidence can be none-existent.
In the past I’ve thought to myself, “I’ll feel confident when I fit into these jeans” “I’ll feel confident when I can do my make-up as good as her” “I’ll feel confident if I get a good grade”.
However recently, what I’ve learnt is that being confident comes from your thoughts and not your results. I can confirm that from all of those statements above, not one of them were true. Although the statement came true, the confidence never came, I didn’t magically transform in to one of those social butterflies who excel in any situation that requires any form of self-confidence the second I was able to fasten my button on the jeans I’d been dying to fit into. Unfortunately it just doesn’t work like that.
Although being confident is the way I believe some people’s brains are wired, I also believe that confidence is a skill that you can learn. I’m not going to tell you that by swearing by “fake it til you make it” you will erase all of your self-confidence issues, but it’s a start. I’ve found that in situations where I feel out of my comfort zone trying my best to at least pretend I look like I’ve got it together and that I’m the most confident person in the room can make me feel slightly better.
Challenging negative thoughts is also a major game changer, I ask every single person reading this to try this for a whole day, challenge any negative thought that comes in to your mind and try replacing it with a positive version of whatever you imagined, for example, if you’re going for a job interview, instead of obsessing over stuttering and panicking your way through, imagine it going amazing, the best it could possibly go. By just changing your outlook on life it can have a major effect on your confidence. This is something over the past couple of years I’ve worked on and it’s helped me overcome my fears in so many situations, although I still have those fears, undoubtedly, it’s taught me that I can overcome them.
Something I heard last year that really resonated with me was, imagine yourself as a child, every time you tell yourself “You’re fat” “You’re ugly” “You’ll never be able to do that” “You’re stupid”, close your eyes and imagine saying that to yourself when you were 3-years-old and it will most-likely break your heart. But that is, essentially, what you’re doing, if you’re filling your days telling yourself these kind of things and filling your mind with negative thoughts about yourself then eventually you’re going to believe it. If that doesn’t work then just simply think… would you be friends with someone who spoke to you the way you speak to yourself? If the answer is no… why?
In this day and age we are filled with the media trying to make us believe that by changing ourselves physically we will feel better mentally, but this is something I’ve learnt to be untrue. Although brands will force-feed you the ideology that by losing weight you will be happy, or by getting a certain product you’re self-esteem issues will go away, but the majority of the time our issues are in our thoughts, and to be more confident, we need to change our thoughts, not ourselves.
This year I’ve felt a massive increase in my confidence, I’ve really tried to knuckle down on the way I view myself and how I want to be viewed. I’ve tried to stop comparing myself to others and stop obsessing over the negative thoughts that come into my mind, although I know it’s something I will be continuing to work on for a very long time, I’m very positive about the direction I’m heading in.
Let me know in the comments your tips for self-confidence!
Thanks for reading,