If I look back to say, eight years ago, then I see a very dependent and anxious girl, always feeling as if she needs to fit in with the biggest group of friends and be having the most “fun”. Yet, on the inside, that girl wasn’t happy; that girl always felt average or even less. She took all criticism to heart and was forever convinced that people were looking at her. That maybe came from being bullied at school, but it was something that unfortunately stuck with her.
Now though, I am proud to say that, eight years on, that girl is so happy and content with her life and the way it is progressing. Her friendship group may be smaller and she might be more contained than before, but she has never felt so confident in herself.
That girl is me.
So much has changed from my pre-teen (and early-teen) years and I want to share my experience of getting to this stage in my life; I know first-hand how crippling anxiety can be…
The first and most important step towards gaining confidence in yourself is to stop caring what other people think. It is harder than it sounds and it may take a while, but ask yourself: why live your one and only shot at life trying to please others?
I have started to dress in things that I like to wear, I feel free to share my opinions because I have a voice and I want to use it, and most importantly, I go where I want and do what I want because this is my life after all – why should anyone else dictate it? What right do they have to take control?
Ask yourself those questions and I can bet now that you do not have an answer.
For instance, I know that people will laugh at this blog and that they will send it to their friends and criticize me for it and, if I am being honest, then that was something that stopped me from sharing it on social media straight away. However, after just a few of my posts, I remembered not to care.
There is nothing I love more than positive feedback about my blog, or hearing how posts inspired or helped someone – I have had quite a few private messages telling me just that and they truly melted my heart – but as for any negativity, I don’t have the time for it. The purpose of starting this blog was to improve my writing skills (and hopefully my employability prospects), and I feel that after nearly six months, it has done exactly that and more! Yet, if I had let my worries get in the way, I would still be in the same position that I was in all that time ago.
Confidence is one of the most vital properties to have in a character. In order to excel, you need to believe in yourself and not be afraid to do what you want to do.
So, please just try it. What is the worst that can happen? Even if just for a day, step out of your comfort zone; wear that outfit you love but you’re not sure if others will, share an opinion or story that you feel passionate about, sign yourself up to something that has always interested you. Most importantly, remember that this is about you getting the most out of your life!
Here’s some books that may help you!