I used to be a really shy kid. And in a way, it’s kind of funny because my family isn’t shy at all… Especially not my dad! I’m forever in awe of the way my dad can confidently walk into a room and get a crowd of people on his side listening to him within minutes.
On the other hand, I wasn’t like that at all. You know sometimes you have those showy kids who love centre of attention and performing random dance routines for anyone who’d watch? Yeah, that wasn’t me. If I went along to a big family dinner, you’d be more likely to find me getting lost in another world via a book!
Maybe it was down to the fact that I have a hearing loss that delayed me from developing confidence in talking to other people… Or maybe it was just that I was a late bloomer to this kind of thing? Who knows really? I nurtured my confidence as I grew up, especially after I was fitted with a cochlear implant, but the biggest turning point for me was when I started my first job just after I turned 17. And then over the years of my second job I really found a way of bigging up my own confidence, to the point where it doesn’t faze me to meet new people anymore.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m still not the loudest person in a group. I have an ENFP personality but equally I’m not one who tries to talk over everyone else, and I’m still a little reserved when I first meet a person. (Although it’s not that long until my weird side comes out, soz friends). But I think having confidence can take you a long way in life… So here are my 5 favourite reminders to myself for building confidence:
- Start small: Sometimes lacking in confidence affects us in different ways – For example, some people can be really happy delivering a talk to 300 people, but lack the confidence to make small talk to a group of 5. So, work out what your current comfort level is, and start building your way up from there… Practice makes perfect!
- Take a leap of faith: Some people benefit from just throwing themselves in there. During my second job I was a team leader to a group of 8 people… I was completely nervous during the first meeting that I led, but sometimes you just need to go for it and give it your best. After that first meeting, I wasn’t nervous at all for the rest of it!
- Have a positive attitude: Let’s be real here, you’re not going to get anywhere if you keep putting yourself down, are you? Be nice to yourself and be positive that you’re going to do well. Negative thoughts can lead to a negative attitude, which won’t do you any favours.
- Take care of yourself: Dress the way you want, eat healthily, drink lots of water etc. Do all the things that make you look and feel good about yourself, and then the confidence will just radiate out of you. You’d be surprise how well this works!
- Above all, fake it till you make it: This was actually my number one tip, and I also have a friend who does this too. You feel stupid doing it, almost like you’re trying to be a bad actress, but faking it can honestly help you believe it. And once you believe it, you start to feel it. Even faking a smile to yourself in the mirror can help you feel happier and confident about yourself, so smile away you confident, sassy person!