In many ways I feel like a confident person. I can stand up in front of a room packed full of people, I can approach others and start conversations and more often than not, I can walk down the street with my head held high.
But that’s not to say there are times when I feel pretty low on confidence and more importantly, when I begin to doubt myself.
In a world where we can quite happily share ‘selfies’ and express our opinions boldly, it can be surprising how we can sometimes be so confident online – yet in person we can shy away and often doubt ourselves.
To help tackle these insecurities, I thought I would share with you the four points which helped to build my confidence.
Congratulate yourself and record your achievements
When was the last time you congratulated yourself? Or when was the last time you gave yourself some praise? As humans, we tend to focus on the negatives and often find it difficult to accept compliments.
I truly believe by congratulating yourself on small and big things, it can help to put a spring in our step. Trust me, I congratulate myself with things like making an awesome cup of tea to reaching milestones with my blog. As long as these events make you happy, then no matter what they are you should congratulate yourself.
In addition to this, making a portfolio of your achievements can really help. I learnt this when I went to job interviews. The first interview I had after University, I completely failed – I stumbled on words and I didn’t answer simple questions properly. The next interview I had, I brought with me a folder which included my CV, certificates, letters of recommendations and articles from my blog. To me, this was my record of achievements. I felt so proud going through the folder and it really helped to show the interviewers who I was and how enthusiastic I felt about my own achievements.
But as well as keeping a folder of achievements, why not create a personal box which you can fill with your own accomplishments – the everyday and the extraordinary ones. You could add photos, medals, certificates, letters and even affirmation notes that you could make when you’ve had a pretty productive day. Then when you feel a little downbeat, the box can simply remind you of how many amazing things you have achieved and encourage you to think about what you could still achieve.
After we finish School or University, how easy is it to stop learning? In my opinion, it is very easy to do so. I really like to challenge myself to learn more and I think by discovering new things and building on existing knowledge, this can help to develop confidence.
Perhaps you fancy learning a new language or making your own clothes, such activities can help to keep your mind busy and active. A year ago I enrolled onto a French course and I absolutely loved it. Despite learning French in School for five years, going back to basics and getting into a routine helped to develop my confidence with meeting new people and talking in a different language.
If there is something which you are really interested in learning then I would whole heartedly say “do it”! You can meet people with similar interests and really challenge yourself to develop your skills and eventually your confidence. You never know where it could lead you to…
Stop and think
My mind can work at a million miles per hour. Sometimes this can be good – other times, it can be a real pain. When I begin to build up things in my mind, such as being nervous about going to an event, I find it very difficult to reason with my thoughts. I start to focus all my nervous energy onto the (very little) negative things and build these thoughts into huge blocks.
To stop doing this, I follow a few steps. Firstly, I challenge myself and ask “is this worth it?” – 99% of the time it isn’t. Take for example, the nervous feeling I can get when going to some events – deep down, I know it is nothing more than a few butterflies. To tackle this, I just stop and think. It’s as simple as that. I then focus all this nervous energy into good things – such as getting ready, smiling at others and talking to new people. Give yourself the same advice you would give your best friend. It’s as simple as that.
Think positive, be positive and act positive.
This powerful cycle can not only help you – but it can help others too. For example, by mixing with people who are positive, you yourself can be influenced by this and start to act in a similar way.
By being enthusiastic and confident, these behaviours will portray a really positive image and you may feel much happier and at ease. Start small and you’ll soon be amazed at how much confidence you will develop.
As I mentioned previously, it can be so easy to focus on the negatives and for this to overcome your mind. But by thinking above these thoughts, you will not only see things clearer but you’ll be able to focus on the good things instead, which may help you to feel happier and think “actually, I can do it”.