Confidence: What it Takes To Build It and Display It

“Self confidence is the most attractive quality a person can have. How can anyone see how great you are if you can’t see it yourself?”

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Asha the Label top. | The Fifth skirt. | Egidio Alves heels. | Vintage scarf. | Vintage bag. | Sunglasses from Taiwan.

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After writing quite the comprehensive post about my camera equipment and how I take my photos for the blog the other week, the questions about my photo taking process came flooding in. Not surprisingly, the fact that I take all my photos myself seemed to spark the most conversation. Collectively, you were most curious as to how I built up the confidence to stand there in front of my tripod, prancing around in the clear view of other people, taking photos of myself.

I am not sure that my answer was entirely helpful; at least not without the help of some further explanation. For those curious, my answer was ‘I just learned to not care anymore’. Obviously learning to not care anymore takes some time and action – it doesn’t just happen overnight. So, here goes my best shot at explaining how to build and display that confidence.

Confidence is all just a mind set

When faced with a decision or action that requires confidence to make, there are a few key thoughts that I find myself going back to.

The first thing I always ask myself in these situations is…

‘What is the worst that can happen?’.

What is the worst thing that can happen if you find the courage to ask for a pay rise? Is there really anything that terrible that can come from having people giggle at you taking photos of yourself? The more you think about this, the more you realise that most decisions or actions you have to make rarely have a catastrophic consequence.

If the worst thing that can happen is someone says no and you remain where you are, or someone has a laugh at your expense, realistically, we shouldn’t be afraid of making that decision or taking that action. More often than not, we are holding ourselves back because of a rather trivial possible outcome. The realisation of this is a confidence boost in itself.

My second train of thought is well detailed in the cult book, ‘The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a Fuck‘. On a frequent basis, I find myself asking…

‘Who cares what other people think?’

Now, the book didn’t teach me anything groundbreaking or that I didn’t already know. It was just a nice reminder to keep putting it in to practice what I already knew, as best I could. I am still learning how to apply the concept of ‘not caring’ more, but when I have applied it, it has tended to lead to a greater display of confidence.

As you learn to not give a fuck about what other people think, the easier it becomes to channel that energy into your own confidence. There is no better sign of confidence than the act of not giving a fuck. Of course, you do have to watch that you don’t care so little that it comes off as arrogant! There is a fine line to toe, but it isn’t hard to find that line.

Not caring what other people think has helped me develop my own sense of style, to get my job done even if it is in a public area and to just be completely, unapologetically me. It is a good thing to start learning and putting in to practice.

Lastly, just wear a smile and say yes; even if your insides are doing backflips and you can’t steady your hands.

Confidence isn’t necessarily about having your shit together entirely.

Confidence is about putting on a brave face and getting something done; even if the thought of it scares you. Never let on that you aren’t 100% about something. If you appear assured, people believe you. If you appear assured, you appear confident!