Confidence… it’s a mind game.

Confidence. Do you have it? Do you lack it? Do you wish you had less? More?

I learnt a lot about confidence in the last week. I haven’t felt particularly confident for quite a while (by “confident” I mean the quiet confidence you find in people, not the loud brashness of over-confident people). I over-think, over-analyse and can get pretty hurt by people’s attitudes or insensitive comments. But, I’m not THAT sensitive a person to be fair. I can put up with a lot and have a strong sense of determination (call it stubbornness or whatever!), but people do get me down sometimes and I seem to attack myself with the results, resulting in a less than confident spring in my step.

This week has been different though. I feel that quiet confidence, I feel that happiness with the person I am, the person I would never change because I like me. The reason for how this change has come about has to do with the title of this post. It’s a mind game.

You can allow your mind to have negative or positive thoughts, you can allow your mind to tell you that you aren’t good enough, nobody likes you, nobody is interested in what you have to say, or you can allow your mind to tell you that you may not be a supermodel but you take care of yourself and look good, you are kind, you are a good friend to have, you can make people laugh. Even those things alone can make you feel a more positive spin on your life.

Instead of thinking that everyone at work knows better than me because they have been there longer, I have allowed my brain to accept that I have a good job that I have worked hard for, I’m more than capable of doing it, I work with lovely people that I get on well with, we work hard, we also laugh hard and are there for each other. People respect what I do at work, that I work hard and have useful things to contribute. It’s made a huge difference, it makes you walk tall (which again helps with confidence), it makes you smile, it makes you respect yourself.

Its also about “making” things better for yourself. Nobody else will do it for you. I think I have had a total of 3 or 4 people in my flat (apart from my landlord and plumber!) because I hadn’t ever been able to afford to make it look decent (by decent I mean that it never reflected me as a creative person), the furniture was second hand, or free and it was very “make do”. I felt very unconfident about my space and how it defined me. 2 weeks ago I changed it, yeah its only furniture from Ikea, but its more “me” and I have photos on my walls, and art on my walls, and items dotted around that reflect me as a person, and I think its very important to have that in a home. It feels comfortable and we all need a comfortable space.

I also now have a confidence mantra – it doesn’t have to be a saying that you say over and over, mine is a visual one of something I have been proud of achieving, each time I focus on that it makes me smile, it makes me know that I CAN achieve things, and will continue to do so. I also have an upbeat song that helps too. Its all about finding what works for you, and also don’t try and change everything into beaming positivity in one go, take baby steps. Not only does it ensure that you are likely to keep on the positive path, you can also savour the joy of finding you can do stuff. Its a journey, and its there to be enjoyed.

I’ve still got a long way to go, but its all about facing your fears (they are never as bad as you think) and doing it anyway. If you want to lose weight, start by simply getting out of the house for a walk on a regular basis, you don’t need to start off by spending hours down the gym and putting yourself off before you’ve got started. If you want to eat healthily, write an honest food diary for a week then make small changes, feeling lonely? – call those friends you haven’t spoken to for ages, I bet they would be glad to hear from you. Go and enjoy what the world has to offer, look around you as you walk, take in things you never noticed before, smile that smile of yours, help people, have fun and enjoy. Enjoying is half the battle, and remember confidence really is only a mind game.

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