Thursday, 7 November 2019

Collaborative / Partnered Post - A Few Ways To Help Boost Your Self Confidence And Self Belief*

When people meet me for the first time, a lot of them think that I'm bristling with self confidence I talk 20 to the dozen and generally seem quite comfortable in my own skin, but scratch a little bit below the surface, and they'd soon see that a lot of the times it's just an act. I've never had a lot of self belief or self confidence, I was a notoriously shy child, and even one of my best friends used to call my mouse girl when we first met at university. It's only the last 10 - 15 years that I've actually started to feel comfortable in my own skin, and as a result I've developed a more confident and positive outlook.

Self confidence and self belief, though isn't a fixed think. Even people who consider themselves as bubbly, positive and happy human beings, can sometimes have a crisis of confidence. This could be because of a certain trigger like your overbearing boss at work telling you that you are underachieving. It could be that you feel inferior to all of the super toned individuals in the gym, or those gorgeous people on Instagram, or it might be because you are generally feeling down and you can’t pinpoint any real cause

Although it seems like such a minor thing, our confidence levels are crucial to help us to maintain a positive outlook on life. When you're feeling confident and positive, you can feel more empowered to take on life’s challenges. When you're lacking in self confidence you can be unwilling to try new things, and to try and achieve your goals for fear of failure, if you're not feeling great confidence wise at the moment, there are a few general ways in which you give you self confidence a boost.

Get Active

While those bronzed bodies and gym bunnies may be preventing you from feeling comfortable on the treadmill or having fun in your favourite Zumba class, there is generally no excuse to remain sedentary. Instead, consider heading outdoors and having some fun jogging around your local park or partaking in a bike ride. If you don’t fancy going it alone, consider roping in a pal to keep you company. This can make exercising a more social activity that you can enjoy with friends.

Being outside will also help you to soak up some much needed Vitamin D (something which I and a lot of people in the UK lack!) which can help regulate your body clock, and help you to sleep better. Natural sunlight is a natural mood lifter so try to get outdoors for at least thirty minutes every day. This is especially important if you work from home or if you have a desk job.

Alas being active and getting fit isn't something that I can do that much of, jogging is a distant memory for me, but even I can manage a little walk around the block or a couple of minutes walk everyday enjoying my surroundings, and experiencing nature, so what if it's raining, grab and umbrella and a waterproof jacket, believe me you'll feel so much better if potentially a little bit soggy when you come back. Changes don't have to massive but even making tiny changes to your daily routine can make a small difference to your mental health.

Image

I firmly believe that my own self confidence issues boil down to my facial palsy, although I've learned to accept myself now, bullying, and name calling can really effect how you see yourself. In this day and age, of social media perfection, more and more of us are self conscious about their looks and appearance. The first thing I would say to that is that you're perfect the way you are please believe that - but if aspects of your appearance are causing to lack confidence in social situations then don't be frightened to look for solutions If you suffer from a condition like acne, all is not lost. While the scarring on your face may make you feel embarrassed or anxious, you could head to your doctor and ask about new drugs like erythromycin. After taking this drug for six weeks, you could see a huge reduction in your acne. There is a wealth of information about Zineryt that is the brand of choice for many medical professionals. Whilst my acne wasn't horrendous as a teenager I did end up seeing my GP about it - I promise they won't dismiss your concerns, and they will help you find a solution.

As someone whose been a size 10 and a size 22, I know all about how weight can effect how you feel about yourself. To be honest probably had as many days being self conscious about my body at both ends of the weight spectrum but if you're really unhappy with your body shape, then again seek professional help. If you want to lose a few pounds though, then it's easy enough to make some small changes to your diet. I'm not big on the whole diet and denial thing, eat those "naughty things" in moderation. and try and swap the sugary chocolate snacks and saturated fat laden meals for more fruit, green leafy vegetables and lean meat and fish. Forget about having to rely on meat and go vegan or if that's to much for you, go meat free for a couple of days each week to maximise your antioxidant intake and to help boost your mood. With a new eating plan, you might be able to lose a few pounds which might help boost your self confidence, and improve your body image

As I said before body image has probably taken a battering since the emergence of social media. Instagram is the most visual of these platforms with plenty of perfectly filtered selfies and lifestyles appearing in your feed every day. Even though you know that these photographs are often faked by a spot of Amaro or Holga filtering, you can’t help but feel envious or inferior. While Instagram aims to be aspirational, it has morphed into a damaging tool that has a negative impact on people’s health. Instead of scrolling through your social media feeds for hours on end, take a detox. While difficult to begin with, you can swap your screen time for something more beneficial in the real world. Head for coffee with pals, go and see a movie or enjoy relaxing with a long hot soak in the tub, or do what I've done and unfollow people who make you miserable. Remember a lot of people only post what they want you to see, you don't see them sitting in front of the TV, eating cereal with no make up on, and wearing a past it's best jumper covered in cat hair. People curate their images to create an image of perfection, they will have a their bad skin, untidy house, rubbish days the same as you do. Keep this thought in your head take a step back and I can guarantee you'll start feeling happier better about yourself, and a bit more confident to boot.

Do Something New

As the old saying goes a change really is as good as a rest. Switch your routine up and if you fancy trying something new, be brave and go for it. By taking the plunge and doing something that is naturally a little scary, you can boost your self confidence. If you fancy trying out for the local ladies football team, go for it. If you want to learn the piano, book yourself in for a taster session. And if you want to have a go at a cake decorating course, enrol yourself in an evening class. There are so many evening classes at local colleges, and a lot of local community centres offer everything from yoga classes, to writers groups and art classes. 

There are plenty of things that you can do to help increase your confidence levels, don't let fear rule your life, if you want to do something do it. Yes it can be scary going into a room of people you don't know for the first time, but meeting new people and making new friends helps to extend your social circle and it also might help you to learn a new skill. Try something new, meet new people, and improve your self esteem.

Travel

To say that heading overseas and partaking in a spot of solo travel can be daunting, is an understatement, and it's would be a huge thing to do for the majority of people to do. However, it needn’t be, and lots of people, are now holidaying alone, enjoying their own company, and finding out a little bit more about themselves along the way. Travelling to another part of the world could see you immersing yourself in new cultures and trying new cuisine. Being somewhere totally new and speaking a different language forces you to rely on your own wits and you will find yourself in unfamiliar situations. Working out your own itinerary and solving problems on route will help boost your self confidence.

Take some holiday that you are owed from work or ask for an unpaid sabbatical so you can embark on your own wanderlust adventure. Think about the sort of destinations you would like to visit. Do you want to head to Iceland to look for the Northern Lights, or perhaps you’d like a physical adventure and trekking the Inca Trail is more up your street, or maybe you’d rather enjoy the beach life of Goa or the Maldives and a relaxing break is just what the doctor ordered. Whatever it is that you want to do and whatever vistas you want to see, ensure that you bite the bullet and get yourself booked on a flight. Book your accommodation and plan your travel to ensure that you can enjoy the trip of a lifetime. You will return oozing with self confidence, but if that's a tiny bit much for your there lots of travel companies that specifically focus on lone travellers, so you could explore somewhere new and meet new friends at the same time.

Self confidence is a funny thing, even a tiny comment from an acquaintance, or a message from someone online, or even a picture that we see online, can change how we feel about ourselves - a positive comment and our confidence soars, something negative, and a cycle of self loathing begins or is intensified. Whilst some of the things that I've mentioned can help you improve out self belief and self confidence. It's important to start with you - read these words, and remember them - you are as good as anyone else, you look amazing, you have an amazing personality, and you are a great person, don't ever let anyone make you feel anything less than what you are x

*Collaborative / Partnered Post

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