I've had so many people ask me “how do i become confident in my appearance? How do i not care about other peoples opinions?”. It starts with self respect and self love. Confidence isn't something that can be learned, it's a state of mind, a positive state of mind. Which isn't an easy thing to create. It comes from feelings of well-being, acceptance of your body (and self esteem). Have belief in your own ability, skills and experiences. Confidence is an attribute a lot of people would love to possess so if you've mastered it already you're ready to take on anything.
What is self confidence?
Confidence can be a result of our upbringings/how well we've been made to feel worthy in life. It's a result of our experiences and how we've learned to react to different situations. We learn from others what to think about ourselves and how to behave based on their reactions to us, which affects what we believe about ourselves and others.
Remember confidence and self esteem are not the same thing. Even though they may link, it's best to differentiate between the two. Confidence is more about our feelings towards how we perform roles or tasks. Self esteem is how we feel about ourselves, how valued or worthy we feel, or the way we look. When you suffer with low self esteem you generally suffer from low confidence, as it's hard for people to believe in themselves and push themselves out of their comfort zone.
How to feel more confident
Often we tend to feel less confident about new or potentially difficult situations so its better to plan or prepare for the unknown. If you're going for a new job for example, you would plan what you're going to say. You could even practice it with friends or colleagues as well as preparing a back up plan incase you fail (which is okay)! You should try to work out what time you need to be there, or how long will the journey take to avoid embarrassing situations which won't contribute much to your confidence levels. Take control of unknown situations the best you can, break down tasks into smaller sub-tasks and plan as many as possible.
Learning and research
Learning and research can help us to feel more confident about up coming situations. Knowing what to expect will add to your awareness and usually make you feel more prepared.
On the other hand learning and gaining knowledge can sometimes make us feel less confident about our abilities to perform roles and tasks, so when this happens we should combine our knowledge with experience. It can be a little intimidating which may make us question our abilities but don't let it put you off, by doing something we've learned a lot about we put the theory up for practice which develops confidence and adds to the learning and comprehension.
"Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement. Nothing can be done without hope and confidence". - Helen Keller (author)
Re-conditioning your thinking
Know your strengths and weaknesses. Write a list of things you're good at and things that have room for improvement. Discuss it with other people as they'll be able to help you add to the list, celebrate and develop your strengths and find ways to develop your weaknesses. Also, we all make mistakes so don't think of them as negative, even if others do. As long as you're aware each time you make a mistake you're learning from within, so don't let anyone judge what they can't see. They're nothing but learning opportunities.
You should always accept and compliment yourself. When you receive a compliment or admire something about yourself, look into more detail about what you or the other person liked. Recognise your own achievements as something great and celebrate them by rewarding yourself and telling your friends and family.
Not everyone takes criticism lightly, which is understandable as nowadays people seem to have trouble differentiating between constructive criticism and blatant disrespect. Everyone sees the world from a different perspective which means we all have different preferences to one another. Criticism is just the opinion of somebody else and people closest to you tend to give it out more. Try to be assertive when you receive it, meaning don't snap back defensively or let it lower your self esteem. Make sure you comprehend what is being said so you can use criticism as a way to improve. You should try to stay cheerful and have a positive outlook on life. Only complain or criticise when absolutely necessary and find a way to switch your negative outlooks to positive. When you give out criticism try to do so in a constructive way, think about the same situation vice versa and how helpful you would find it.
Find yourself a confidence role model. Someone you look up to who is realistic about facing everyday situations. It's best if it's somebody you see regularly who you'd like to mirror. Observe them and notice how they behave when being confident or facing a new and scary situation, how do they move? How do they speak? How do they behave when encountering a new a problem or mistake? What about how they react to others and how do others react to them? If possible, talk to them to learn more about how they think and what makes them feel more confident.
Surrounding yourself with confident people generally helps to make you feel more confident. Learn from those who are successful in fulfilling the tasks and goals that you wish to achieve. Don't be afraid to let their confidence rub off on you, as you become more confident you can then offer to help and advise someone who's less confident than you. Trust me, talking from experience it goes a long way!
"Confidence is contagious. So is lack of confidence" - Vince Lombardi (American football coach)
If we successfully complete tasks and goals, our confidence that we can complete them over and over again increases. An example of this is riding a bike. People who know how to ride a bike and be safe on the roads don't have to think about it very much as it comes naturally after time. On the other hand someone who has no experience riding a bike would probably have to concentrate a lot harder. The learner lacks experience and therefore confidence in their ability to ride a bike.
Gaining experience and taking the first step can be difficult. Often the thought of starting something new is worse than actually doing it which is where planning, learning and conditioning your thinking helps. Break roles and tasks into do-able achievable goals and aim to become as good as you can. The better you are at doing something the more confident you become. RECOGNISE YOU'RE GROWTH!
This means sticking up for yourself and standing up for what you believe in. You can always change your mind if you think it is the sensible thing to do, but not because you're under pressure from anyone else. People naturally become more assertive as their confidence rises. It generally links in with confidence and self esteem.
This is very important when you're learning to become more confident within yourself. As your confidence grows and you become more successful, remember not to feel like you're superior to others. All your hard work will have been for nothing. Nobody is perfect and we all grow and flourish at different times in our lives. Give others credit for their work as you never know how far others have come for the goals they reach, small or big. Use compliments and praise sincerely, be courteous and polite and show interest in what others are doing. This establishes better communication and connection between yourself and others, which is also a major security and confidence boost to add to your strengths list.
If you don't like yourself as a person you couldn't possibly radiate confidence on the outside. Look at yourself in the mirror & tell yourself you’re skin is glowing today, or if you’re hair is glossy & shiny, if you slayed your makeup or look cute in your new outfit! Give yourself credit and be kind to your mind! Do things to relax yourself emotionally & physically. It doesn't happen in a day or two so be patient. Try a face mask or treat yourself to something that excites you. It could be makeup, clothes, anything! As long as you feel proud enough to strut your stuff externally with confidence, regardless to others opinions, (and best believe you’ll look amazing doing it too)!
Thank you for reading lovelies, I hoped this helped! Leave a comment if you have any questions or suggestions of what you'd like to see next. Much love, Umi ♡