When I look at my past self, not just to last month or last year, I'm talking right back to when I was 5 or 6, I was obsessed with following my older sister around and doing exactly what she did and how she did it. I had no idea why but she was (and still is to some extent although I would never admit it to her!) my hero who seems to be able to tackle anything and have a solution for any problem I may have had in my life - and trust me there have been some turbulent times when I've relied on her guidance to get me through the day! At the time growing up I wouldn't have been able to say what it was that made me so in awe of her, besides the fact that she's my sister and my parents brought us up to love and care for each other first and foremost above anyone else that would come into our lives. It's only now that I can appreciate and realise that the reason I looked up to her so much and admired her was because she was so confident. Something which I have struggled with my entire life. Now I am well aware that a few of you may have muttered to yourself 'yeah right, you seem so confident though' and that right there is where you will be 100% correct. I have learned through life that confidence may not be naturally instilled in everyone like it was in my sister from a young age but that in order for people to believe we are confident we must portray an heir of confidence and slowly but surely it will build and before you know it - BAM, you're the one inspiring others to find their inner confidence and let it radiate out for the world to see.
"...I looked up to her so much and admired her because she was so confident. Something which I have struggled with my entire life."
Now this post isn't claiming to have all of the answers but I wanted to shed a bit of light on how I feel I have grown and gained confidence in my life but also stay true to the reality that it is inevitable we will all have days when we feel like shit and don't believe in ourselves and that's OK too. I truly had to start tackling my battle with self confidence when I was about 23 or 24 and I started to meet new people and hold a conversation with them. That seems like a pretty late age to have to combat something so big but before then I had been at school with the same people and then moved onto dance college where your talent showed far more than any amount of confidence would so I would just focus on being the best at dancing as I could be and that would help me avoid having to be extrovert or confident in anyway.
So at around 23 I started travelling a lot more and would meet people older than me from all walks of life and because of pretty much being forced into it I had to learn how to hold my own. At the time I hated it and remember calling my mum on several occasions to ask what I should talk about etc but looking back on that now, it's the best thing I had to do and I would encourage anyone who thinks they lack confidence to put yourself into a situation that you would normally shy away from and avoid and just give it a go. It could be something as simple as calling to make an appointment somewhere (something which I used to have to get my mum to do for me!) The smallest of tasks to everyone else will be the biggest of achievements to you and you will feel a little more positive and confident the more you do these things - I promise you!
"...I would encourage anyone who thinks they lack confidence to put yourself into a situation that you would normally shy away from and avoid and just give it a go."
If you've got to this point in the post and are thinking 'yeah but this won't work for me' then you need to start from one step previous to this and feed yourself confidence. Wake up in the morning and tell yourself that you're going to have a good day and when you're dressed and ready to go out tell yourself that you look great. You may not look like the supermodels that you see in the magazines - heck the supermodels don't even look like the supermodels you see in the magazines! But start to give yourself little confidence boosts throughout the day, just little fist pump moments that will make you feel good and ultimately put you in a great mood that will then be visible for others to see. This will make people believe that you're confident, it may not be the type of confidence you thought you would have but everyone has to start somewhere and by building yourself up this way more and more, you will gain more confidence. We're so used to tearing ourselves down and critiquing every element of our lives and appearance that we often forget to look after number 1 and give ourselves little pep talks to remind us how great we are!
"We're so used to tearing ourselves down and critiquing every element of our lives and appearance that we often forget to look after number 1..."
Self confidence is something that I have discovered to be so important to me and although I still struggle with it sometimes, by following these few steps whenever I need to I feel as though my confidence builds an massively helps me professionally and personally. If this blog post has helped you or made you think about things a little different then I would love to read about it below in the comments. Also let me know any other topics you would like me to write about as you guys know that I love writing about real issues that matter to you the most.
Love, Danielle x