Confidence is something that a lot of people naturally have or don't have, but just because confidence comes naturally to others it doesn't mean that you will never be a confident person. I have always struggled with confidence and in the past it has stopped me from so many amazing opportunities and has hindered both my professional and personal life. When I was at school I used to suffer from panic attacks when asked to do presentations or read out loud as I often felt judged and making friends was difficult. When I finished high school my confidence was so low that I didn't think I was good enough to go to university like all my friends and instead I did a hairdressing course when what I really wanted to study was journalism.
Luckily for me my hairdressing career wasn't a complete waste of time. I managed to qualify as a hairdresser and most importantly build enough confidence to enroll on a media course and pursue my dream career. Fast forward five years and I have a job that I love, my blog is getting bigger and better each day and I'm a lot more willing to take on things that are out of my comfort zone. Why did hairdressing give me confidence? It put me in situations where I had to challenge myself - people put a lot of trust in you when it comes to cutting hair and if you can survive that, a phone call or a mini presentation seems like a breeze, it also made me talk to people on a regular basis whether it be face to face or on the phone and finally, I was given a project where I had to design an informative leaflet for my salon and everyone loved it so much that it gave me confidence in my writing and design skills. I'm not the most confident person in the entire world, but nowadays I do have the confidence to successfully run a blog, pitch ideas to my work colleagues and be able to meet new people and hold a conversation.
During my journey to find my own inner confidence, I decided to abide by these five valuable life skills and they really helped changed my life.
1. Challenge Yourself
Part of being confident is going out of your comfort zone and learning how to deal with sticky situations. The more you realise that you have nothing to fear, the more your confidence grows. If you're scared of using the phone - challenge yourself to make one phone call a week to someone new, if you don't like travelling take a small bus ride somewhere on your own until you get enough confidence to go further. I have learnt that you cannot go from being shy to confident overnight, but if you take baby steps every single week you will eventually get close.
2. Be Proud of Yourself
Be proud of your achievements whether they are big or small and keep telling yourself how amazing you are doing. When I'm feeling anxious I sit in front of my mirror and say 'you can do this'. It may sound a little bit crazy, but thinking about all your previous achievements shows that you have accomplished so much so far, there's nothing stopping you from achieving more.
3. Don't be afraid of Failure
Unfortunately failure is a big part of life and sometimes failure is inevitable. The way to look at it is that lessons are learnt from failure and sometimes failure is life's way of trying to make you a stronger person and paving the way for something bigger and better in your life. I failed my driving test twice before passing and I thought it was the end of the world. However looking back I feel a much more confident driver than I would have been passing first time and because I've learnt from previous mistakes i'm much more cautious and in fact safer than I would have been.
4. Don't care what other people think
This is probably one of the hardest lessons you will ever learn and no matter how hard we tell ourselves not to think about other peoples opinions, it is human nature to care. However one of the best things to do to boost your confidence is not to care what other people think. If you're in an interview situation tell yourself that you might not even see this person again and if you do, it's probably because they actually like you and if you're on the phone - who cares, they cannot even seen you. In life there will be lovers and haters and you cannot please everyone, just be yourself and the people that want to be around you are the people you should be spending time caring about.
5. Be Yourself
Be passionate about things you care about, don't change yourself for anyone and love yourself just the way you are.
Have you ever struggled with your confidence?