Confidence is key. I think we can all agree on that. Gaining confidence, however, can seem like an impossible task if you're not someone who already exudes it naturally. I believe that everyone has insecurities. I am willing to bet you all of the money in the world (ya know, if I had it) that even the most confident person that you know is insecure or afraid of something. It's because we're all human. If you didn't have any sort of uncertainty or doubt in yourself, you would most likely be a robot. Or an arrogant asshole and honestly, both irk me. But not to fret friends, I am here to tell you that becoming a more confident person is actually within your reach. I'm going to be real with you guys, I come off as a confident person because I am a confident person. But there were times throughout my teenage years, and there are definitely still days/periods of time today, that I felt majorly insecure and struggled to find my self confidence. Everyone's a work in progress and you're constantly growing (which is why I find humans so freakin' kewl); so just because you may feel like the shyest, most insecure person with low self esteem right now, doesn't mean you can't develop and evolve into this badass, self-assured human with bright rays of sunshine beaming from every crevice of your being. Too much? I don't give a fuck. See, it's fun being confident!
I know it sounds uber cheesy, but the starting point to becoming a more confident person is believing that you can. You have to stop throwing yourself a pity party and recognize that you are worthy of confidence and literally, living your best life. Also, you have to understand that it isn't always going to be easy. It's not always going to be fun. Not everyone is going to like you. And that's okay! It might SUCK MAJOR sometimes, but that's how you grow and better yourself. Okay, now that you're in the right headspace, here are my top tips on how to live a more confident life:
1. Put yourself in uncomfortable situations. The only way to gain confidence in a social setting, in the boardroom, in school, on stage, in your place of work, online, and literally anywhere/anything else in life is to phsyically put yourself in those situations. You may feel uncomfortbale singing in front of a crowd or giving a speech to a classroom full of people, but you're never going to gain that confidence if you don't do it. It goes back to the old saying of "practice makes perfect." You may mess up, you may get embarrassed, you may feel like people are judging you, but the more you do it, the better you'll get. Furthermore, the more you put yourself in uncomfortbale siutations, the more you'll begin to feel comfortable in those same situations. I know it's hard to believe, but I promise, it works.
2. Fight not flight. Kind of piggy backing off of my first tip, whenever you're in those uncomfortable situations, don't retreat. Stick it out, bear through the uncomfy, awkward, and sometimes even painful moments. A lot of my low self-confidence stemmed from my anxiety, and when you deal with anxiety your body can feel like it's constantly in fight or flight mode. Sometimes, I'd be in a social situation where I'd get really anxious about something and just leave. Other times, I'd get that anxious feeling and decide to fight through it, and you know what? Majority of the times that I decided to fight through it, I realized I was feeling anxious for no reason or what was uncomfortable passed and it wasn't that bad. I understand the feeling of needing to get out of a situation. However, I highly encourage you to try and fight
3. Learn to trust your judgement over others. You can't live your life constantly worrying about what other people will think about the decisions you make. I'm that chick that will wear whatever I want, whenever I want. Sisters graduation? Cool, I'll wear the shiniest, most extra fancy pants I have and throw on a brixton fiddler hat while I'm at it. Class? Okay, I'll rock a cute sundress, no bra because I can't be bothered, and fake fashion glasses. I love bold accessories and funky pieces, so I'm going to wear them regardless of whether they're someone else's cup of tea or not. Obviously, I'm using rocking your sense of style as an example, but you have to learn how to trust your opinion over others sometimes in all aspects of life. There are so many reasons why people might go against what you say or do, and unfortunately, a lot of the time it's solely out of jealousy and insecurity with themselves. If you're concerned with people who constantly bring you and your ideas down, it can really dent your confidence. Listening to others opinions can be super beneficial, however, you need to know when it's genuine and when it's not, and when to trust yours over theirs.
4. Stop being selfish. My freshman year of college I had to take public speaking. I've always been an outgoing, social person, although public speaking made my heart race and my forehead sweat (as I'm pretty sure it does to everyone). I was lucky enough, however, to have an awesome public speaking teacher who taught me a few tricks on how to get over that fear, and in turn, gain confidence. My professor told me that there are 3 factors that go into a speech. The content, the audience, and you, the person delivering that speech. If you focus on the content, and yourself, you're not going to give a good speech. You're going to worry about what you look like, what you sound like, and whether or not your speech is even good. If you focus on the audience and yourself, you're going to be worrying about what you look like, what the audience is thinking of you, and whether or not the audience even cares about what you're saying. However, if you focus on the content and the audience and stop thinking about yourself, you'll eliminate all of that and deliver a speech focused solely on what you're saying and how you're engaging with the audience. Overall, stop being so concerned with self doubt and what people are thinking of you because that is selfish. And 99.9% of the time, people are too concerned with what they look like or what they're saying that they're not even thinking about you at all.
5. Go off the beaten path. Whether you love to write poetry, make dream catchers, read fan fiction novels, sew scarves, take road trips, sing and make music, take photos, draw cartoons, dance, visit museums, watch ted talks, learn languages, cook, do cross-fit, collect snow-globes, do freaking crossword puzzles, I don't know! Whatever you love to do, whatever your passion is, do it. Even if it's not what everyone else is doing- if it makes you happy, if it sets your soul on fire, and gets you excited, freaking do it. You are your most confident and truest self when you are doing what you love- learn to honor your passions by doing them regardless of what everyone else is doing.
6. Fake it til you fucking make it. Honestly, this one is probably the most important tip of all. Listen, even though I've sat here telling you that I wear whatever the hell I want, even though I post weird and goofy instagram stories and upload "unfiltered" photos on instagram, and even though I told that I am confident, 50% of the time I AM NOT! But instead of letting the days where I feel the least confident consume me, instead of staying at home and throwing myself a pity party, I continue my day and fake the shit out of everything. Meeting someone new? I will be the most bubbly person ever. Giving a speech? Check me out, I'm fucking JFK. Doing a new workout in the gym? I'll go for it. Going out to dinner or a party? Where are my fun pants? You see, even if you aren't feeling confident, you can make others think you are if you act like you are. Snowballing off of that, I'm really gonna blow your minds right now; if you fake it long enough, you will become it. So really, fake it til you fucking become it. I promise, it works and you will be that much closer to living the confident life that you deserve to live.