Having confidence is not something that comes naturally to me. I don’t even know if it comes naturally to anyone…
I’ve learnt that confidence is something that grows and requires nurturing. It requires constant effort – you need to be aware that if it needs improvement, you need to take action. Just like a cold, you feel it and acknowledge it and then take care of it until it’s gone or you’re feeling better.
Do you ever come to a sudden realization that you’ve been neglecting yourself? Whether that’s not fueling your body healthily, or constantly talking yourself down, or anything else. Sometimes we are hit in the face with this awareness and how we choose to tackle it will dictate the outcome.
Personally, I have found that lately I’ve been on and off with having decent self-confidence, and I think it’s down to an up in stress, and a lack of self-care in general. My life has been hectic and I’ve been slacking in the gym/healthy diet department; some days are definitely better than others, and that’s totally normal. And I can proudly say that I’ve improved significantly from where I was a few years ago. I still have work to do when it comes to my confidence, but I’m getting there.
What seems to help me, is to be fully aware of my current level of confidence.
Being aware of when I’m down and being pretty irrational is really beneficial – that way I can tackle it right away, whether that’s telling someone how I’m feeling, or doing something to distract myself from my thoughts, or whatever else I feel the urge to do in that moment. A simple way that you can gauge your level of confidence, is to think of it as a scale – 1-10 sort of thing; 1 being extremely low, 10 being the highest. Doing so is simple and an easy way to recognize how much effort is needed in order to make yourself feel better. Have you ever felt that your emotional state is hanging on the lower end of the scale? Doing something with your hands can help, and is a rewarding way of coping – For me, drawing is helpful and has become somewhat of a coping mechanism, in that it allows me to distract my body and mind from whatever was weighing me down.
Talking to someone is helpful for me too – having someone that you trust and respect tell you that what you’re thinking is not true, but that it’s okay to feel how you’re feeling, is important. Realizing that there are people in your life who truly care about your wellbeing and that won’t lie to you is really key. You may not believe in what they’re saying in the moment, or it may go against what your own mind is telling you, but truthfully, if they are legitimately caring, they’re probably telling you the truth and it’s you who’s lying to yourself.
Whether you want to believe them or not is your choice, but accepting a compliment or a helping hand could be the difference between you being stuck in one place or taking a step forward.
Fake it till you make it if you need to.
You don’t have to be happy all the time, but if you can pretend to have confidence and play off your insecurities as jokes or whatnot, that will ultimately help propel you forward. I make jokes all the time about my squishy tummy or my ability to squish and warp my tattoos. I obviously don’t always like and accept those parts of my body, but by making my insecurities playful and silly even for a moment, I’m unknowingly helping myself. Or if I say something negative about myself, and someone counters it with a “hey don’t say that! [insert compliment here]”, I’ll agree with them in an exaggerated, flamboyant way, whether I feel it’s true or not.
I’ve also recently taken a step back from the gym and have rarely been going. I can tell that my body is changing, but I keep reminding myself that it’s okay. It was meant to happen and that now that my life has cooled off a tad, I can reintroduce healthy aspects back into my life. I figured that my mental health was more important than my looks, and that I need to be okay with my body and self at any stage of my life. I personally need to learn to look past my appearance, and to take every day as they come and focus on my overall well-being rather than if I can fit into an old pair of jeans. I plan to go back to the gym regularly in a bit, but for now, my mind and body just need a break and so I’m giving them the time they need to heal and recover.
AHHHH. Rant complete.
Hopefully you’ve gained some knowledge or some helpful tips. If you have any tips, or coping mechanisms, please leave them in the comments below! If not, I don’t know what to tell you, so just listen to this Paramore song and wallow in your sadness lol.
Photo credits: Alexandre Wickham