Nobody else has control over your self confidence but you, so it is time to take ownership!
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Self confidence – like everything in life – is learned. There are always going to be the lucky few who learn it at a faster rate, and a younger age; and then there are the rest of us, forever students finding their feet. A smiley and confident veneer does a good job of giving the illusion of confidence, but without the support of real self-confidence underneath, the exterior can’t always keep up.
Despite it obviously pertaining to the individual itself, self-confidence is too often built on the feedback that you get from others. As humans, we are fixated on this idea that we have to impress and please others. Pleasing others gives us satisfaction, and boosts our mood and confidence. The sheer thought of letting someone down results in an immediate blow to our self-confidence; a direct result of a fear of failure.
But why do we let the thoughts and opinions affect something that is inherent to us?
Why do we squash ourselves down and find it hard to advocate for ourselves? Why is it so much easier to cower than it is to be confident?
Again, failure. We are so scared of letting ourselves and the people around us down, that we prefer to under promise and over deliver. Understood to some degree, I guess. If we talk ourselves down and have everyone expect the least, they can’t be too let down by us. Nobody likes a bruised ego, so it is almost easier to not have one in the first place, than it is a hurt one.
But a defeatist attitude never got anyone anywhere, and this I am also coming to learn. Beating yourself down before even giving yourself a chance isn’t doing anyone any favours. How do you know what you are capable of if you don’t let yourself try? Why do we care so much about what other people think of our attempts and failures?
I write all of this as I too am still learning how to deal with my confidence issues, in many aspects of my life. And I doubt I am alone in this. We could all practice more self-love (of the positive affirmation kind) and less fuck-giving about others, on the path to building and stabilising our self confidence. Even you fast learners out there; everyone goes through peaks and troughs. Learning to let go of what other people think, and how that affects your confidence, is an art. And just like the finest art, it takes practice and time to perfect.