Thursday, 11 October 2018

My Top Tips For Building Your Confidence


As a teen, I was painfully shy. And, at the time, I never thought I would be able to overcome that. I thought I would be that shy my whole life. I used to panic about what career I would go into when I grew up because the thought of going to an office and talking to people everyday literally left me in cold sweats. Looking back, my shyness did really limit me. There are so many opportunities that I wish I had taken that I just didn't because I didn't have the confidence. The years I should have spent secretly drinking Tesco Value cider in the park and going to parties in outfit my parents definitely wouldn't approve of and kissing boys behind the bike shed were actually spent reading about other people doing those things. But it wasn't just the crazy, rebellious stage that I kinda wish I had embraced at the time. I wish I had made the most of other things too. Things like mountaineering trips abroad that my sixth form offered or just getting the train into London with my girls. I had so much freedom back then but I never really made the most of it as I was always so scared of mucking up and being laughed at. I remember feeling like the world was just waiting for me to do something embarrassing. So, I hid. And I regret it.

Flash forward a few years, and my life is completely different and I don't feel like that teenage girl anymore who was so scared of what everyone else might think of her. But getting to this stage wasn't easy. Growing your confidence isn't easy. And there are days when I still get those little pangs of panic again - that voice in my head that tells me that I can't manage to do something. But I have really come a long way.

Work on your self-esteem
For me, my confidence is really linked to my self-esteem. When I feel good about myself (be it how I look, what I'm wearing, or what I have achieved that day), I feel so much more confident. In the same way, days when I feel a bit down make me want to curl up in a ball under about 30 blankets with only my arm free to spoon ice cream into my mouth. So, if you are having more bad days than good then your confidence is likely to suffer. And there's no easy solution for that. Just try to remember that even the most confident, cool people who seem to be breezing through life also have bad days and blips in confidence.

Say yes more often
We have all heard of FOMO but I think, for shy people, we have the opposite fear. We love cancelling plans and our go-to response when invited anywhere is almost always no. But it was only in my second year of uni that I realised that I really had been missing out - and it sucked. I had just moved into a shared house with a group of people I didn't know. One evening, I got a text from one of the other girls inviting me out. I was already in bed watching TV and I was so tempted to say no but I pushed myself and said yes. And that was the start of an amazing friendship that lasted for the rest of my time at uni and is still going strong a year on. You don't know what great things are out there if you always say no so the best way to start building your confidence is to get out there more and experience different things.


Practice
I once read an article on how to gain confidence that recommended listening to people's conversations on public transport and imagining what your response would be to everything that say. I mean, this never really worked for me but it did give me amazing spy skills. One thing that did work for me though was working in people-facing jobs. As a teenager, I volunteered in nursing homes and charity shops and that started to bring my out of my shell. Since then, I have worked in many customer service roles and it really has helped. I mean, you have no choice but to talk to people when its your job. So, my bit of advice is to try to do something like that. Volunteer in a charity shop one afternoon a week. Join a language group. Do something where you have to meet different people and chat with them.

Celebrate little wins
Chances are, you won't read this post then suddenly transform into a social butterfly (I wish I had that kinda power, trust me) but you can start to make little changes. And, as you push yourself to try different things, you will have a few little wins. They can be as simple as asking what the waiter recommends in a restaurant or having a chat with the old lady next to you on the bus just because. Each little win is an achievement and a sign that you are moving in the right direction.

Stop searching for the answer
This last point kinda goes against the point of the post but, if you are anything like how I was, you have probably read about 100 different articles on confidence that haven't made a slight bit of difference to your life. That's because there is no magic cure unfortunately. It all comes from within you. That's the scary - but kinda amazing - thing. You are the one that can make this happen.

What are your top tips for building your confidence?



Outfit:
T-shirt: ASOS (here)
Jacket: Topshop (similar)
Scarf: Primark (similar)
Jeans: Primark (similar)
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3 comments

  1. I had the total opposite happen to me - I was really outgoing at school/uni, but over the years I've started being less sociable and more wanting to be in my own company than in someone else's. It is definitely linked to confidence though as I've become more sensitive to how others view me, so hopefully I can build it up again!

    Lizzie // Hello Lizzie Bee

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  2. I feel like saying yes to things is so good for working towards your confidence!

    Danielle xx
    https://www.fashionbeautyblog.co.uk/

    ReplyDelete
  3. These are great tips, I think saying yes to more things is especially effective. I try to push myself outside of my comfort zone more these days and it really works.

    Amy - http://amyevans.co.uk

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