Summer has pretty much left us, lets be real here ey?
And on that rather depressing opener I bring to you one of the last posts of summer, however a post focused around my voyage to self confidence... OoOoOoOo
I wrote a blog post earlier this year about my issues with self confidence of which the response completely and UTTERLY blew me away. You guys were oh so kind in letting me know that I wasn’t the only one with self confidence issues, in offering advice and reassuring me that sometimes self confidence comes in time and with age. It was one of the most rewarding blog posts I have ever written and I’ve wanted to do a follow up for some time, using some of the tips and tricks that you guys gave to me and in addition, a post to cover other, confidence (or lack thereof) related issues when it comes to my body.
First off, I am SO relieved to hear that self confidence comes with age, now that really is reassuring. This is something I've noticed first hand of late, due to the fact that I’ve been introduced to many amazing ladies via the medium of Instagram, who just so happen to be nailing the shit out of life and who just so happen to be over a certain age. The confidence they have in themselves, their families and their careers, along with the ease in which they speak to their audience and not to mention their complete and utter sass, is something I can only dream about but do not doubt that I will have myself one day (PLEASE LORD!!)
Secondly I’ve learnt that practice makes perfect when it comes to the things that freak us out the most. I had so many wonderful comments from ladies in the same boat as me when it comes to self confidence, and in-particular with crowds of people, some of which explained that the only way to deal with it was to do it as often as possible.
So I took your tips on board and I booked myself onto a public speaking course… It was awful, I didn’t like it and cried after it (LOL), however, I was invited to sit on TWO fashion panels at a recent fashion event and did it and did it bloody well indeed. I was talking about my passion, my special subject and I was comfortable and confident (once I'd warmed up and had stopped freaking out). I was really proud of myself that day for tackling my fear of public speaking and I can definitely say that confronting your fears head on is a failsafe way to combat them once and for all, even if I was cheating with my specialist subject…
And finally, self confidence wise, we have “Don’t fake it, fix it” something that resonated with me from one of your comments and something I'm going to try and explain further throughout this post.
I was walking through Manchester alone today and it occurred to me that I didn’t look at a single face. This is something I always chuckle to myself about as I do it, unknowingly, ALL THE TIME! It was a coping mechanism put into place by my momma, as between the age of 12-16 I used to stare at my feet and the floor whenever I was in public, my self confidence was rock bottom and I was afraid.
She taught me to look ahead and only ahead. To not look at anyones face, to just look ahead, and it worked like a charm.
It’s still something I do now when I’m in a crowd of people and whilst it helps A LOT, I’d love to be able to look each and every person that I pass (without looking like a complete weirdo) in the eyes, that’ll be when I know I’ve nailed this whole confidence thing for good.
The same wonderful lady who commented “don’t fake it, fix it” also said “I’m struggling with self-confidence every day too and I started looking at it logically – what are the things I don’t feel good about and which of those things can I change for the better? If I can pick myself apart, I can put myself back together and be stronger for it, right?” How bloody wonderful is that!? I love the idea of putting yourself back together again, it certainly hit a nerve with me.
So with that, here is me and all of me. I’m baring all.
Me and my *huge* forehead that I was bullied about at school, the stretch marks at the top of my thighs, my wonky toes and ridiculously short torso. Here’s me and my sticky-out ribs, which I hate and which got me featured on Radio X's “Humble Brag” after I stated how “I may be more ribs than rack” over on Instagram… Not something I was bragging about humbly ONE BIT, but hey, I now have a pretty epic claim to fame thanks to those who like to see the worst in me.
Here’s me and my petite frame; the same frame that was heckled at for being too skinny whilst working as a Saturday girl at a plus size clothing store when I was 16, “why are you working here, you’re too skinny to work here” SORRY WHAT!?
I’m telling you all of this, ‘cause I was beginning to pick myself apart for those reasons; sometimes taking photos of yourself as a HUGE part of your job can be exactly why you lack confidence, which people often don't understand. But I knew that after reading the comment above, that I could fix it and I could put myself back together again.
I swiftly signed up to the gym, purely to tone up a little bit and finally get my fitness back on track (I’ve not exercised full time since I was 16…9 years ago!!!) and even then, after my first ever personal training session where I tweeted “First PT session done… I vommed, excellent” I was greeted by a tweet that said “Please don’t become one of THOSE gym people”… Can we ever win!?
SO, after that awfully long winded and hopefully somewhat eloquent waffle about my issues with body confidence, I hope it allows you to realise that we ALL have issues with confidence in someways, often with the way in which we look. Even those of us who take photographs of ourselves as a part of our job, we still don't always like what we see looking back at us. We're all human and we all have our down days/weeks/months but the power to change things is in our own hands, lets not fake it, lets bloody well fix it.
Although a world where no judgements were made based upon physical appearances would be a beautiful one, that will never, ever be the case, so we might as well embrace what we've got and damn well flaunt it. We’re all ace in our own way and there isn’t just one kind of beautiful. Personally I believe that the most beautiful thing you can be is confident. And that’s why I’m sharing this today, I’m trying to find my confidence one step at a time starting with the one thing that is easy to fix and one of the only things where the power is in my hands. Wish me luck!