How to be Confident in 5 Easy Steps
- What if every decision you made was the right one?
Imagine just for a second, if every single decision you made was the right one? Just sit and play with that thought in your head. There are no more bad decisions, period. You know the score, you sit there agonising for hours, days, weeks, hey even years, over if you are making the right decision or not. How about instead you trust yourself enough to know that every decision you make is the right decision for you, at that time. There’s no point looking back and thinking if only I’d done this or that. Stop, be kind to yourself and know you made the right decision. You will never ever know the outcome of making a different decision to the one you chose so why torture yourself. From now on there are no more bad decisions, because every decision you make will be the right one for you.
- Stop worrying about what others might think.
I know this is one of the hardest things to overcome. We waste so much time thinking omg what if they think I’m an idiot what if they hate my outfit – who gives a fuck? Other people and their business doesn’t affect you. Even if someone is sat across from you thinking they really hate your dress who fucking cares? As long as you feel comfortable and confident in yourself don’t let anyone else spoil it, protect yourself, protect your mind, protect your emotions from other people’s negativity because the majority of the time people are only being mean because of their own insecurities. Even if you totally fluff something up – what is the worst that can happen? I can give you an example, I was due to give a guest lecturer at a university. I was sick, really sick with tonsillitis but forever playing the martyr I thought I couldn’t let anyone down so pushed myself to go. I got there only to find I had picked up the wrong USB drive and didn’t have my lecture! Talk about one of those moments you just wish the ground would open up and swallow you. I thought I’d ruined my reputation and career, the cascade of panic thoughts tumbled around my head. But guess what happened? Realising I was so ill my colleagues were more concerned for my health than I had been. They rushed to get me a cup of tea and asked what could they do to help me since I was refusing to just go home. In the end I gave a rather croaky voiced lecture without any slides off the top of my head and with Google images as back up if I needed to demonstrate something. I managed to make it work and they asked me back regularly after that. I learnt two lessons that day, stay in bed if you are really sick and that even your worse fears coming true might not actually be that bad. More people will want to help you, than see you fail.
- Be kind to yourself
How often do you sit and beat yourself up, I should have done this, should have done that…? But do you ever question whether this is actually helping you? Answer, it’s not. We are all guilty of it. I still have to catch myself doing it. Due to medication I put on a lot of weight over the last two years and I still have to grab those negative thoughts and squash them before they escalate. I really needed to forgive myself, I was very ill and not able to do 5am gym sessions, medication plus a diet of comfort food combined to a few extra dress sizes. But I had to accept that in order to get mentally healthy something had to give. I had the choice of staying in a depressive breakdown or taking medication that got me out of that situation but made me put on weight. I guess you could say I chose fat over crazy! In perspective gaining a bit of weight isn’t the end of the world but I was absolutely horrible to myself. I would blame myself, punish myself and why? Because it certainly didn’t serve me. I now work towards positive ways of improving things rather than beating myself up. Let’s stop, now, no more calling ourselves bad names.
- Accept your limitations
Nobody in the world knows absolutely everything. Nobody. Not even Albert Einstein. When I first started lecturing I was terrified that a student would ask me a question I didn’t know the answer to. Looking back of course I knew a lot about the topics I was teaching so I’ve no idea why I had this fear, or what this unanswerable question might have been. I got over this fear when a more experienced colleague was asked a question, I can’t even remember what it was now how to spell a word or something and she just replied ‘oh I don’t know, let’s go and check it on the computer’. And I was gobsmacked, it was a revelation. I mean of course she wouldn’t know how to spell every single word – I think it was a city in Japan thinking back. But the fact that I saw it was actually ok to say you didn’t know was a real game changer to me. Of course it is ok to say you don’t know, you can’t know absolutely everything, just say you don’t know the answer and then go and find the answer. It’s really that simple.
- Find your cheerleaders
I do feel very lucky to have a support network of friends who will tell me I’m amazing even if I’ve ballsed something right up. They will reassure me it is not in fact the end of the world and more often than not come round with a bottle of gin. Really rely on your support network, because I know you would do the same if one of your friends needed you. Don’t feel ashamed to admit and talk about your problems. Somethings you just need to talk it through. It doesn’t even have to be your real-life friends, if you feel you have more in common with online friends on Instagram or a Facebook group you are in why not create a mini support network between yourselves and agree to be each other’s cheerleaders. Just knowing that you have someone who will always cheer you on will make your confidence soar.
Remember, be kind to yourself and be your biggest cheerleader,