Confident people were always like aliens to me growing up. I wanted to be close enough to observe them, but there was a huge part of me that recognised I wasn’t quite made up of the same stuff…
I used to stare in total awe as the confident kids in school would get up and talk in front of the class without turning an alarming shade of scarlet – I’d marvel at the students in my university seminars that could read out a passage of a book without trembling and tripping up over their words. I so badly wanted to be someone who seemingly ‘didn’t give a shit’ what anyone else thought of them. Someone who wasn’t afraid to be funny, and weird, and vulnerable…
This sense of observing others is something that has been prevalent throughout my life – pretty much up until I started this blog. Suddenly, I felt like I’d found a space that I was comfortable taking up. I started to feel that what I was creating was worth something (even on a small scale), and for the first time in forever, I really felt as though I was building some sort of self confidence…
You may have seen that I went on a press trip to Paris with Chanel Beauty recently (sorry to keep harping on about it), but that was actually the first work trip abroad that I’ve ever been on by myself. I’ve always been quite a socially anxious person, so I’ve played it pretty safe with invitations in the past. I’ve either been guaranteed to know someone when I reach the destination, or I’ve caught the train with a blogger friend that I’m already acquainted with. Anyone else who suffers with anxiety will know that familiarity is often a crutch when it comes to soothing those crushing feelings in your chest. We trick ourselves into thinking ‘what we already know can’t hurt us’, and it can often prevent us from having new experiences…
I think as someone who bases the majority of their work on a public platform, you’re almost expected to be this really confident person that has your ‘shit together’ – a five year plan all perfectly carved out to precision. It can feel really alienating when you’re surrounded be people who seem truly confident and care free, but you only have to get chatting to people to realise that everyone deals with their own demons in some form. The mind likes to play tricks on us like that, so we have to be smart and remind ourselves of what we know to be true: nobody gets through life without pain or set backs.
This year I’ve really pushed myself into more and more situations that scare me. Going on a fancy press trip abroad was definitely one of those things! It’s silly, but I never feel put-together enough and I find meeting lots of new people at once can really overwhelm my brain and leave me feeling exhausted. Not always, but that’s the thing with anxiety and low self confidence – you can’t really predict when they are going to strike.
I know it’s a very small feat in the first world I happen to live in, but going on that trip was a really big deal to me – I came home feeling capable and proud as a business owner. Better still, I felt like it was another huge step in the history of my not so reliable self confidence. I started thinking about all the people that I’d been envious of when it comes to confidence and social skills and realised that confidence really isn’t guaranteed – it’s a state of mind that can easily be knocked.
Everyones situation and starting point in life is different. There will always be people that exude confidence and there will always be people that appear to have none at all. Then there will be people that feel like me – confidence can be found where I least expect it, and I never take those moments for granted. In the materialistic sense, it can be a new pair of shoes that make me stand a little taller and feel less sluggish than the previous day. On a wider scale, it’s chatting to friends in my living room and recognising that everyone struggles at some point in life, and our set backs don’t define where we are heading…
It’s possible to find strength in the strangest of places. I believe that confidence is something we are able to construct – even if it doesn’t come naturally to us. I’ve stopped looking at confident people like they are aliens and have started seeing them as people that love themselves enough to live life the way we are all supposed to – without letting our past experiences dictate us. Without fear of unfair judgement, and without feeling like we are alone…
Photographs taken by Catherine Booty
Location: Temple Studio, Manchester
Blouse – vintage, Skirt – vintage via Imparfaite, Shoes c/o – Arket
SHOP THE LOOK
Ok my english is not really perfect but I will do my best…
This words means a lot to me, because always pretend to do not affected and trying to look confidence enough, when I was actually low self confidence, not really social, not the popular one on the school
Im getting into a divorce in This moment and for me This is the best time to learn to love myself like nobady does before, to get the confidence I lost in past.
This is my time ✌️🤗
Im from México and love your style 🤩❤️
Self confidence came into my life when I started running my blog. That little step made me stop being ashamed of myself.
Smart post and beautiful pictures!
Xo, Izikova / http://izikova.pl
You know, I’m the same when it comes to events and trips and such! Sure, I don’t go on press trips or get invited to events, but I remember having turned down a party invitation because I wasn’t going with a friend I was already familiar with. And even if my friends were going, I wouldn’t go because what if I arrived earlier and had no one to talk to?! And what if I couldn’t find them at the party?!
Confidence came to me the same as you, with my blog. What boosted it even further was making instastories a think for my profile, and with that came recording videos for YouTube, which is being my current school for confidence at the moment!
Flor | http://flordeblog.com
This was great to read – the fact that you pushed yourself is so amazing! I hate that as bloggers we’re expected to be super confident – it’s so different to be behind a laptop or phone screen than to be there in person! Xxx
Couldn’t agree more! I feel like it’s almost expected that you’re a presenter and everything else rolled into one sometimes. Just let me be a laptop person haha xxx