I’ve spoken so often about the most often asked questions I am asked. If I really put my mind to it; I’d probably have a small list of questions that I often answer. One of the more difficult ones to answer is: “where do you get the self-confidence”? This is something that I had to teach myself. I’ve always been a slightly different child, and growing up I felt confused that everyone was not like me.
One moment that changed my life was in a junior Biology class the teacher made a comment that no matter how dumb the question feels; one should ask it as someone else likely has the same question and you would be brave enough to ask on all their behalf. This had me thinking… I would since then always put my hand up and ask questions in each class. Just in case there was a shy kid that didn’t know. This often led me to ask more and more and I quickly became known as the inquisitive kid. Needless to say that helped with my confidence as a child. Growing up into a young adult the pressure to feel as normal as everyone else always persisted, and I ended up hanging with the people who I deemed fun and to a certain degree normal. Thank goodness for that as much as we got up to mischief and partied 5 days a week; I learnt very quickly when to say no, when to address certain behaviours and when to put up (some) boundaries. I was a wild child, a free-spirited individual that – when it came down to it – make people happy.
Once I moved to the UK and had a family, I seemed to have lost that sense of adventure and spirit. Having children for some is incredibly empowering, whereas with me it turned me into a self-doubting, meek stay-at-home mum. I had a career in banking, and I was full of lust for life and fell unexpectantly pregnant much to my own dismay. At the time I was married and had a great job, so normal societal sense told me that this was the right way to go…. have babies and become the grown-up I’m supposedly meant to be. I struggled with my pregnancies. Many women enjoy it, though I really did not. Apart from weight gain, my skin broke out and I had acne and pimples for the first time in my life. My hair became super oily, and due to hormones, I was just a miserable angry bitch.
Shortly after my second born, I was diagnosed with Post Natal Depression. This was the second time in my life that I was diagnosed with a form of depression. My husband was often away on business and so I was alone in a foreign county with two young babies and three people I knew I could call my friends. The time came where I had enough. One could only pity yourself that much. I smoked a lot, ate terrible foods and felt lost. Something was going to have to “give”.
Not over night
It was a process of about 5 years where I changed. Probably a lifesaver yet at same the time the beginning of an end. I had enough of doubting myself. During this time I was also diagnosed with Lupus SLE. I had enough of questioning my value, of feeling uncomfortable in my own skin, of not liking who I was, being sick all the time….mentally, emotionally and physically. I decided that I wanted to go back to work. Initially, this caused problems in my relationship however before you knew it I was in a routine and started making friends. With my first salary, I had my nails seen to and had a hair cut. This too caused trouble in my relationship, however, I kept going.
Little things become big things
At first, I had bath time with soaps, and salts and candles. I started purchasing matching underwear. I bought myself something in every shop I had. Even if it was a lip balm or chewing gum. I felt that I had to put some form of value for myself, and it meant investing in myself. I really didn’t care what others thought. It made me feel good. Special. I owned it. And finally worthy. I made a point of looking at myself in the mirror daily at least twice a day, and acknowledge something that I liked. It was my philtrum/cupids bow (the curved portion of your upper lip), my long delicate fingers, my soft earlobes, my beauty spots on my tummy and neck that I started noticing and actually liking. I took my time doing my make-up and started joining Friday afternoon’s at the pub with my colleagues. And this became a routine. I enjoyed allowing myself to be me. To stop guarding what I was saying.
Weight training became non-negotiable. Going out socialising (in any way) at least twice a month was non-negotiable. Ensuring that we had family dates (going out as a family) became non-negotiable and I slowly discovered an incredibly determined and empowered woman within myself. During this process, I lost “friends” and gained fabulously inspirational people who genuinely cared about me winning. I was labelled, I was gossiped about and was told I am vain, had no self-respect as a mother and unwelcome in most of my circles. It took another 5 years for me to let go of that. To accept that some people are happy where they are. Some are envious of the freedom that comes with choosing yourself and loving yourself, and some just do not want you to win. That is okay, because ultimately if those who love you, cannot be happy for you to shine then they do not belong in your life. Similarly, if you cannot be happy for those around you to shine and be UNAPOLOGETICALLY themselves; then you need to question your own self-confidence.
You see, there is no magic quick fix. There its no secret key to self-confidence. It comes down to how you INVEST in yourself, how you LOVE yourself and when you stop listening to how others want you to be and accept who YOU are…and loving every bit of yourself. How do I stand naked in front of a camera? Because I feel great in my skin. I’m not there to seduce you, I am there because I make artistry.
For more of my HOW TO self-confidence workshop; message me privately on [email protected] – I would be happy to help you find yourself.