Confidence is always something I've struggled with. I've always been a quiet, introverted person, but my confidence was knocked a lot by a poor choice of friends in high school. They dragged my self esteem down so, so much. I've since learned better than to surround myself full of negative people that are bad for me, but it doesn't bring your confidence back overnight.
I've just finished my second week of my new internship in Germany and so far it's been scary as hell, but really fun and a great experience too. I know that a few years ago, I probably would not have been able to cope, I wouldn't have been able to get on a train that morning and walk into an office filled with new people who speak a different language in a new environment. I was nervous my first day, who wouldn't be? But I am proud of myself too and how far I've come since my days at school when I was painfully shy, had regular panic attacks and would skip days of school just to avoid people.
HAVE A CONFIDENCE BOOSTING PLAYLIST
I have an upbeat playlist on my iPod that I listen to in the mornings getting ready or walking to the underground in the morning on my way to work. It works wonders. Music is amazing how it can either make you feel more emotional and down about yourself, or pick you up and make you feel like you can conquer the world. The trick is finding those songs that speak to you. One of my fav songs for this is Superheroes by The Script.
WEAR CLOTHES YOU FEEL COMFORTABLE IN
Similar to music, the outfits you wear can also really affect your mood. For example, even if I have the most stunning red-carpet-worthy dress, I will never feel completely comfortable in it. I feel way more confident in my fav pair of jeans and my converses. Other people will feel like a boss in a gorgeous dress and cracking heels. Get rid of those clothes that you feel awful in and buy the clothes that boost your confidence.
TAKE SMALL STEPSLike I said before, being an all round confident person doesn't happen overnight. But that doesn't mean it won't ever happen. Set a small goal every day like talking to someone new, speaking up in class or a meeting, or saying yes to something you normally would be scared to do. It all builds up your confidence. Keep a little list of the things you do that you're proud of that you can read through when you're not feeling it.
HAVE A ROLE MODEL
Having someone to look up to, someone who is where you would like to be, can be inspirational and motivational. I have a few, and I find that it is really helpful for me to be able to think 'what would X do?'. It does't have to be someone famous, it could be your mum or your best friend. I look up to a number of bloggers who inspire me, and sometimes reading their posts before I start my day can help motivate me to be more confident and outgoing. Find someone who you can really look up to!
Possibly sounds a bit silly. I know that when I'm feeling a bit down for whatever reason, my confidence is also right down there with it. If I have a chat with someone who can make me smile or laugh then I instantly feel much better. I'm fairly sure there's also some science out there to prove that smiling is an instant pick-me-up. It also makes other people feel more confident and happier around you. Basically, smiling is good all round. Do it more.Above all though, confidence has to come from yourself. You have to want to be willing to change and to put yourself out there, and outside your comfort zone. But trust me, it is totally worth it.
I hope you've all had a great start to the New Year and happy 2016! :)