Confidence /ˈkɒnfɪd(ə)ns/ [noun] A feeling of self-assurance arising from an appreciation of one's own abilities or qualities. Struggling with confidence has got to be one of the most common problems we face as humans.
Our sense of confidence tends to rise and dip incessantly throughout life, and it's this wavering that can often cause us to feel unsure about our own capabilities - and even question our own identity. I've definitely struggled with confidence in the past - particularly when I was young, dumb and hadn't yet flourished into the bedazzling queen that I am today. Often there is a root cause of our lack of confidence but a lot of the time we suffer seemingly for no rhyme or reason. Having gained significantly more confidence in myself over the past couple of years, I know that feeling self-assured tends to come hand-in-hand with experience. It makes sense, right? The more we do, the more we see of the world and the more we step outside our comfort zone, the less apologetic we feel for simply being ourselves and the less inclined we are to compare ourselves to others. Life is too short for all of that. Here are some of my tips.
Develop a positive attitude. I've always been a bit of an optimist, but I know how difficult it can be discount the negatives. Hell, life ain't easy! You shouldn't be positive 24/7 - that's impossible and, quite frankly, unhealthy. Having a positive attitude means shifting your perspective. It's looking at situations from all angles, thinking long-term and knowing that setbacks are all part of growth. A positive attitude will instantly change your mindset to one that is fertile ground for developing confidence.
Stop discounting your successes. This is a simple yet very powerful action to take. Bigging myself up hasn't always come naturally - I don't know whether that's down to being British, or being a woman, or something else entirely! You need to take credit where credit is due. Remarks such as, 'oh, it's nothing' or 'everyone could do what I did' are unhelpful and will only steal opportunities for you to feel successful. Talk to yourself as if you were a good friend. How would you make them feel proud?
Take pride in your appearance. For me, appearance is important. When I take care of my appearance - no matter what - I always feel instantly ten times better about myself. Find whatever works for you (because of course this is a very personal thing) and own it.
Take time to build your skills. When we have confidence in our abilities, it gives us a sense of purpose. Skills can ultimately be used to better ourselves and our communities, and deep down everyone wants to be useful, I think! Everyone has different skills, so your skills will always be unique to you and that can be a contributing factor to how much you value and appreciate yourself.
Be willing to take risks. Taking risks is character-building. I probably sound like a broken record but STEP OUT OF YOUR COMFORT ZONE, BABE. This is a win-win situation. Often you need confidence to actually take risks in the first place but also taking those risks is only going to make you a stronger, more resilient person. We cannot stay stuck in a rut forever - life will move on without us.
Learn not to take everything personally. Not everyone is looking at you. Most of the time, other people are too busy worrying about themselves. You cannot let other people stop you from flourishing. The only one living your life is YOU!
Surround yourself with people who believe in you. We are influenced greatly by our circle of friends, family and acquaintances - even, to an extent, the people we interact with on social media. Humans are a bit like sponges, in that sense. If you are being encouraged and gently pushed towards positive things by the loving, caring people in your life, it's a great way of realising how amazing you are and what you can achieve - because those people believe in you, and they see you for who you really are. It's funny because you'd think we'd know ourselves best, right? Well, we tend to view ourselves through a certain lens and often it's helpful to get a different perspective.
I hope these tips are food for thought! It takes time to develop confidence and it's not always a linear journey, but always remember YOU ARE FABULOUS and worthy no matter what. Period.