Friday, November 18, 2016

How to be confident






When you’re an actor, it’s 30 percent skill and 70 percent confidence’ – Kate Winslet

How many times have you heard that being confident is key?  In your job, the way you dress, the way you carry yourself.  I’ve heard it so often that it almost washes over me without effect, as in I just don’t hear it anymore.

But when you come across someone in real life who has confidence, then you get it.  There is something magnetising about them and you can’t take your eyes off them.  It could be seeing a celebrity in real life or someone you encounter during a normal work day.

I can still remember when I met Rachel Hunter at a store function here in Auckland, many years ago now.  She sat there cool and ethereal, but still friendly and welcoming.  She radiated this inner glow of beauty and peace and wasn’t like a normal person – she transcended everyone around her.  Yes, I know she’s a supermodel, but still.

I see it with people I meet in our store too; the confident ones really stand out.  Sometimes confidence can come across as arrogant, but more often you are just kind of spellbound, and respect the aura they have around themselves.

All of these people know the secret to confidence.  And what is that secret?

You have to bestow it on yourself and believe it every day.  Act it every day.  Honour yourself.  Confidence is like a cloak that you choose to put on; no-one else can put it on for you.

In New Zealand there is the ‘tall poppy’ syndrome where you are in danger of (figuratively) being chopped down if you get too big for your boots.  From this, many of us sneak around trying not to appear too fancy or talk ourselves up too much.  We will happily support our sports teams, but not ourselves.  We will put ourselves forward on behalf of our employer, but not personally.

Coming from this sort of national background, it can be hard to suddenly turn it around and be that confident person we wish we were.  I think most of us are worried that we will go too far and be outcast.  But we know we won’t, there is too much ‘tall poppy’ drag on us to do that.

It’s all about taking baby steps with your growing confidence.

Quieting the doubting voices in your head

Knowing that the sky won’t fall in if you are proud of an achievement

Knowing that nothing bad will happen if you think to yourself ‘you look good today’

Knowing that you don’t have to be perfect to feel confident (such a huge one!)

For me, I think I was waiting for that day when I was perfect – the perfect weight, eating perfectly, doing a perfect job at work, having a perfect home – to deserve to feel confident.  That day will never come though, life is always a work in progress.

By giving yourself permission to feel worthy of moving through the world in spite of your many imperfections; to feel worthy of ease, happiness, joy and abundance; then confidence will come.  It’s appalling how we treat ourselves sometimes, don’t you think?

So I’m asking you today; are you going to feel confident in yourself, exactly as you are?  To start the ball rolling, I’d like to say ‘I am’.

Fiona

 PS.  You can find my books here on Amazon.

24 comments:

  1. I am proud of losing nine pounds, which puts me back in a pair of jeans I gave up wearing 15 months ago. It was just the right amount of loss to make me feel visible again and make me look like myself. It has been a real boost to feel better.

    Amities,
    Marsi

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    1. That's fabulous, Marsi, well done to you!

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  2. I love that it all comes down to the simplicity of a choice. We add so much to that story that gets in the way of confidence, but in the end it's attainable to everyone and that is a very good thing!

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    1. So true, Stephanie, everything good comes down to simplicity :)

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  3. After being taught all our lives to be polite, wait our turn, not to be proud or over-confident, it's easy to see why women would have self-doubts. Years ago, when my boss was transferred, all the men in my department applied to take his place. I didn't. I didn't think any of the guys would get the job, because they were pitifully unqualified, but I figured the company would bring in somebody else far better. The bosses a step yet above asked me to take the job. One friend told me to do it because otherwise they would give the title to someone else but I would end up doing all the work--I might as well get the title and higher pay. I did take the job and it went well until I myself transferred away, even though a few of the guys never got over it. Anyway, the affirmation by the higher-ups gave a big boost to my confidence. I knew I could do it; I didn't know anybody else thought so.

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  4. Thank you for this lovely post, Fiona. I'm a short poppy, too. I have a speaker in my mind that blares negative talk: I have failed at this, that and the other; my employer finally assessed the true me when I was laid off, so I'll never work again; that sort of cruelty. I forget that I hold the off switch. This morning, I pledge to be kinder to me, just for a little while. Thank you again.

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    1. You totally hold the off-switch, Kerry! When you realise that all those negative thoughts running through your head aren't fact, they're just old faulty opinions that are probably not even true, it's such a game-changer.

      Push those negative thoughts right out of town, by replacing them with new/opposite/postive statements and repeat as necessary.

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  5. Another beautifully written post.
    And I agree with the above comment by Kerry - 'I pledge to be kinder to me'. You hit the nail on the head.
    Thank you.

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    1. Thank you, Lara. I think most of us could benefit by being kinder to ourselves. It certainly is something I have to remind myself of often.

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  6. Thank you for this post! It really is all about recognizing your own unique value, at all times, wherever you are. Not saying I have it nailed, but I do believe we are all here for a reason, and you are the only one who can truly be you. And if you try to be like someone else, you rob the world of the magic that is you (and we all have that magic).

    I also think it's fine to want to improve oneself, whether that's physically, intellectually, spiritually, etc., so long as you don't believe that you need to improve to be more valuable.

    I love this quote, which has been attributed to Einstein, although I think no one really knows where it came from. "Everyone is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid." When we judge ourselves too harshly or try to be someone we're not, we do the whole world a disservice.

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    1. Yes, that's exactly it, Marcia - we all have our unique gifts. And it's perfectly compatible to feel confident while at the same time as wanting to improve.

      Such a great quote :)

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  7. Good post Fiona. I think I've come a long ways in this. One of the things that has really helped me is to stop apologizing for things that aren't my fault. I also learned to stop making self-deprecating remarks. I learned this by watching women say how fat, old, ugly they were, etc. Or they would point out their (perceived) faults. I never noticed them til they mentioned them, and then I would think about it! For example one friend who was always talking about how old she was. Unfortunately, I now think of her as a lot older than she really is! so I try not to put negative views of myself out there. It helps me feel more confident to be nice to myself in that way.

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    1. Deborah, that's really fascinating, and quite terrible that your friend seems older to you now!!!

      It used to feel like I was lying if I didn't point out everything wrong with me, say if I received a compliment. How nuts is that?

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  8. Thank you, Fiona for another amazing post. Your posts are always so calming!
    Confidence is a choice. I realized for me, that there's a difference between being and acting confident. I have pretended to be confident many times when in actual fact, I was riddled with doubt. But that's better than not doing anything about the distrust of one's abilities and qualities! Very slowly, I am reconciling and aligning the acting and being confident.

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  9. Yes, a lovely post, Fiona. I have endeavoured to conceal a latent lack of confidence all my life, so much so that I can now believe I am a confident person! As an only child I had to do everything on my own - attend youth club on my own, go to any children's parties on my own, and so forth, and so I did try to be confident even if I didn't always feel it. It's like the song "Whistle a happy tune ..." and you won't be afraid. There is a lot of truth in that!
    Also, I have always had negative thoughts on my academic ability but then I tell myself, "But Churchill didn't go to university and he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature!" I have gained confidence in my later years mainly through having been published in many magazines - and also through having to interview people, some of them reasonably well-known, too. I never thought I would be a confident person but now when I look at the four bungling lever files with cuttings of my work, indeed many hundreds of pieces, I amaze myself at what I have achieved and this has been a tremendous boost to my confidence.
    Margaret P

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    1. I agree Margaret, you can tell yourself you are something (or not) and... you are that thing.

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  10. I love this post Fiona thank you thank you thank you !

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  11. I love this post and I love the description of "cool and ethereal."
    It is so much about what you project and there is never a perfect time to do that - now is the time.
    BTW - Hi Marsi - I remember you from FC - and gosh yes, that would help me feel like myself again - 9 pounds - if you have any tips would to hear them.

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    1. Yes! The time you decide to be that way is the right time.

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Merci for your comment. Wishing you a chic day!

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