Something a bit different today! This is the first post I’ve written that has been requested.
I’ve found it a bit difficult to write, because I don’t really know how to become confident, I just am. I’ve rarely felt less than confident in myself and it’s only been in recent years I’ve become aware that not everybody else feels the same. As I’ve gotten older more and more people have told me how confident I am – which I’ve always found weird because it’s like saying “you’ve got such great elbows” in that it’s not something I notice or have ever practised.
I find it hard to differentiate confidence from self-esteem from liking your appearance – for me personally, they’re all different words for what is essentially just being happy. So in trying to write this post I asked a lot of people what makes them confident, because like I say, I wasn’t sure. The answers were bewildering to me – power poses, making eye contact, tree stance, repeating a confidence mantra to yourself, etc. If that helps you then great, but I have no idea about any of that stuff, so I’m just going to tell you the things that I think make me confident.
1. Like Yourself – This sounds ridiculous but I actually think a lot of people have aspects of themselves they don’t like. That’s pretty crucial. I like my friends, I like my job, I like the way I look and I like my voice and most of the time I like the way my brain works. You can’t change yourself.
2. Be Certain – I think essentially, being confident is being certain of yourself. Know your capabilities, reactions, likes and dislikes. I never feel unconfident because I know what I’m like, and I know I’ll be ok. I’ve weathered a lot of storms so I never worry that I won’t get through something – I’m certain of my coping mechanisms and my strengths. It’s important to also be certain of your weaknesses, so you can at least be confident in what you’re bad at. For example; I’m late to every social engagement ever but I know this about myself, and I know that my friends are understanding of this, and I know I’ll never be so late that our plans are ruined. So I’m confident that I’ll be ok.
3. Know That You’re At Your Best – This is an extension of the above point. If you know you’re at your absolute best you won’t doubt yourself. Whether that means being prepared or having a good nights sleep, it’s important! For example; I never feel unconfident when I go on stage to perform my songs because I know I’ve written the absolute best song that I could. If I’m not happy with the song I won’t do it.
4. Know Your Strengths and How You Operate – I genuinely believe that if everybody knew their strengths and worked to them we’d be in a much happier society! Stick to what suits you and you’ll have no reason to feel unconfident. Be as prepared as you can be – or trust in your abilities to wing it. And if you are in a situation where you’re completely ill-equipped then…
5. Laugh At Yourself – When it all goes wrong, you have to be able to laugh at yourself and forget it. You gave a crap presentation – forget it. I mess up constantly and I always, always laugh it off. As my friends say, I’m literally laugh-a-minute. It’s one of my favourite things about my life; every stupid thing I do turns into a constant stream of comedy.
6. Have Good Friends – One of my friends went out with the most unconfident person ever and eventually became plagued with neuroses and feeling unconfident too. Nobody ever sat in a circle of friends who they loved and respected, and thought “Wow, I feel so unconfident”. Friends make everything better. Get the best ones you can and surround yourself with them.
So there you go. Pretty basic stuff but maybe it might be interesting for some of you! I think of this as an expansion of my earlier post about being happy. If there’s anything you would add to this list, or any times it’s harder to be confident, then let me know – I’ve got a follow-up to this post planned discussing certain situations!