Those who know me well are always surprised when I tell them I haven’t always been confident. In fact, I used to be so shy, I would struggle to say hello to people. Throughout secondary school I wasn’t blessed in the looks department, I went through a dorky stage, I wore big glasses and I was in the process of getting my teeth straightened, all things that were easy pickings for the bullies! None of this did anything for my self-confidence, so I kind of kept myself to myself.
Yet at home, in the safety of my family, I was the clown, the performer, I would spend hours singing and dancing, showing my mum my new moves. Yet as soon as I left home, I would lose all my confidence.
My time at university brought some of my confidence to the surface because it forced me out of my comfort zone. I was now thrown into an environment where I knew no one, I had to speak, I had to say hello, get involved and make friends. I graduated, a whole heap more confident, but nowhere near where I wanted to be.
For a shy and reserved individual, I did something radical. After graduating I applied to be a holiday rep for Thomas Cook. No doubt you have seen them on the Television, the ones that have to do public speaking, perform on stage and sort everyone’s problems out! Not a job for a shrinking violet!
So, what gave me the confidence I have today?
- I started to believe in myself. I started telling myself that I was just as good as everyone else and it was ok to be me.
- I pushed myself out of my comfort zone at every opportunity, I made sure I did one thing each day that scared me.
- I started to keep a journal, I made a note of all the times I felt my confidence dip. I began to see signs and triggers that impacted my confidence that I could begin to address.
- I stopped thinking of myself as a victim, I decided who I wanted to be and then I made it happen (ok it took some work with my coach to achieve this)
- I accepted that not everyone will like me and some people will judge me (and that’s ok)
- I realised life is short, it’s precious and I had already wasted too much time worrying and lacking confidence. I knew it was time to change and only I could make it happen!
Do you lack confidence? Imagine a world where you had more self-belief, how much better would that be!