A self-doubter's guide to being confident

Words I would use to describe myself: Hard working, quiet, weird, likes-to-be-plan-everything, prepared.

Words I would not use to describe myself: Confident, self-assured, risk taker.

You get the idea. I like myself fair enough, but that's not the problem.

The problem is that I sometimes have a hard time trusting myself, taking risks, asserting that "yes I'm sure" or "I can do this myself" or "I deserve this." And this can make a project like blogging kinda hard. It can also make life kinda hard, because you're constantly scared of messing up.





Because when it comes to asserting big ideas, or running companies, or leading creative projects, the quiet, nose-to-the-grindstone people often get surpassed by those who, while they may not be as prepared, are big-talkers and big-leaders. They're the ones who aren't afraid to fail or be proved wrong because they believe that, either way, they're already pretty good as they are.

I think it's possible to have a little of both types of people in you; confident but also cautious, self-assured but prepared. Even if we're naturally one way or the other, there are always ways to adopt new habits and build them up until they stick. The biggest way to do this is through what I like to call, "just doing it." You can read more about that here.

Today's post, however, is about smaller, everyday ways that you can practice building confidence. Because as satisfying as it is to make a huge plan about how you're going to change your whole life and suddenly become confident, it doesn't really happen that way. It takes practice.


* Use social media more 

But no, you may say, social media is bad for self esteem!! Well yes, sometimes. But as someone who is generally scared of social media, it has also given me lots of practice in the following areas: 1.) "Putting myself out there." 2.) Feeling confident when I like what I post & it's well received. 3.) Shrugging it off when I post something kinda dopey or it's not that well received.

 *Just follow your gut and don't always double check

Someone asks you a question. You tell them the answer, followed by "well, at least I think...". Then, second guessing your entire existence, you double check it via google just to make sure. 
 Next time this situation arrives, instead of second-guessing yourself on every little thing, try to blindly trust yourself once in a while (without adding, 'but don't take my word for it") at the end. They asked you. They want to take your word for it.

 * Reach out to people you admire

Is there somebody who inspires you a lot, who you want to ask a question or share ideas with? Email her. Tweet at her. Leave a comment on her website. +10 points if it kinda scares you.

* Be honest about what you like even if it's weird 

You know when you're in an ice-breaker sort of situation and someone asks you what kind of music you like, or what your hobbies are? And you might say something super vague like, "I like all kinds of music" or "reading." I do this all the time. BUT WHY?? It's like I'm doing the speaking equivalent of hiding; trying to occupy the least amount of attention or garner the smallest reaction. Why is it so hard to say, "I am obsessed with Regina Spektor" and "I write a blog." Why is it so hard to just be who you really are?

*Tell people what you're working on, even if it's not good yet 

And don't play it down. Tell them that you have a blog. Tell them that you are a performance-arts major. Tell them that you wrote something for your school paper, or that you're competing in a competition, or you're applying for a competitive internship. Don't wait for an idea, or a dream, or a work-in-progress to become perfect in order to let it be seen. Because you'll be waiting a really long time.

*Wear something unique that you like 

In my opinion, being 'overdressed' is the surest and easiest way to build confidence. And it literally requires no effort: no talking, no reaching out, no standing up. All you have to do is put on an outfit that makes you feel great, and exist. Even if everyone else is wearing leggings and old t-shirts. In fact, that's even better. You'll feel awkward, sure. You might want to go home and change. But I can guarantee, by the end of that day, you'll have a bit more I don't care what anyone thinks of me in you. 

* Separate yourself from your negative thoughts

Your insecurities and self-doubts are not a part of you. They don't represent you. They're just  thoughts that pass through and disappear. When you detach yourself from them and recognize them for what they are (not the truth), you'll feel less affected by them.


Okay, it looks like this blog post is coming to an end. Let me know in the comments what you do in order to build confidence, or if any of these ideas help you out!

♡ Julia 





22 comments

  1. I definitely struggle with confidence sometimes, so I've got to keep these tips in mind. "*Tell people what you're working on, even if it's not good yet" is a real issue I have. I hate being asked what I'm up to, and nothing makes my crawl back into my shell quicker. Something to work on in the new year I suppose!

    Amber | y a c h t s m a a n

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    1. Yeah I have trouble with that too. Whenever I tell my "real world" friends about my blog I get, like, a shot of anxiety ahaha. Yes, something to work on in the new year! thanks so much for reading, Amber!!

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  2. I loved reading this!

    http://www.myclusterofthoughts.com/

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  3. This is such a great post, I love the inspiration
    xo
    www.laurajaneatelier.com

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  4. I love these tips- especially the part about how you can be both confident AND cautious at the same time. :) So true!

    -Ashley
    Le Stylo Rouge

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  5. Building confidence is one of the hardest thing to do. I have gained it by accepting who I am but adding these tips that you wrote about will make me even stronger. Thank you for sharing!

    Camila,
    My Vogue Style | www.myvoguestyle.com

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    Replies
    1. Aw I'm so glad! And go you for accepting who you are:) Thanks for reading, girl :)

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  6. Girl I love this SO MUCH! I think people can assume that bloggers are full of confidence sometimes and I often find it's the complete opposite. I have always lacked confidence and it's so nice reading this and to not feel alone. Such a fab post!

    Ellle
    http://www.theellenextdoor.com
    xx

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    Replies
    1. Thanks so much, Elle! Your comments always mean a lot to me!

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  7. I agree! Social media was a big one for me as well in terms of learning to put myself out there and to learn how to connect with people. Loved reading this post
    Dora
    http://www.adropofindigo.com/

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  8. I am totally camera shy but decided to put myself out there with my blog. You're right, social media is a huge step into building your confidence!

    Tina
    www.justatinabit.com

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    Replies
    1. It really is! I've never been a big social media person, but I've definitely been feeling a little bit more confident as I do it more! Thanks for reading :)

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  9. You look stunning in these pictures, your hair is so shiny! Great tips and I loved this read, I have a lot of self doubts!

    Rosy | Sparkles of Light Blog
    My Instagram | Instagram

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    Replies
    1. Haha, thanks Rosy! Thanks for reading :)

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  10. These are all great tips! I was just about to disagree with the first one on social media but once I read your point, you're totally right. The first time I opened my blog and instagram were nerve racking knowing that my friends or people I know would be looking at what I was doing. After awhile you just get over that feeling and all worries aside!

    Stacey + thebambieyes.com

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    1. Yeah, same! There are definitely times when social media can be harmful to self esteem, but in some ways it can also really build confidence! Thanks so much for reading, lady!

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  11. "Your insecurities and self-doubts are not a part of you. They don't represent you. They're just thoughts that pass through and disappear." <---- YES! Love it.

    I absolutely loved this article! It is so well written and I enjoyed the perspective you have. I have very similar views about building confidence :)

    I actually work with young women around this very thing, as I also feel like it is a very important topic as young women that we need to be more aware of! Keep up the wonderful writing :)

    -Bailey Opsal, www.baileyopsal.com

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  12. Greetings! If you're not sure how to become confident use our guide: http://skywritingservice.com/blog/15-tips-how-to-become-confident-person - success won't come to you without confidence!

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  13. If you weren't born confident, it means that you'll have to work hard on yourself. You look great and confident! Hopefully, you know how to deal with all those fears!

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