I know, a very confusing title, right!? SO contradictory. How can someone be two opposites at the same time? Strange, but possible!
Ever since I was a tiny toddler, prancing around the living room to Steps or Kylie Minogue, I have always had this sort of confidence in me that knows exactly how I want to portray myself to others. I am very careful with what I say, remaining polite, and open to listening to others, but definitely making sure I voice my own opinion. I have always been one of the loud, bubbly and very chatty kind of people in the world – I think years on the stage gave me a huge platform of confidence. I will make conversation with anyone, stand up in front of people to talk or present without thinking twice, and generally just talk for England!! I do feel that I come across as a confident person, which on the surface, is very true.
I am definitely someone who has always been portrayed as a confident character, and I have always loved how more often than not people would use this word to describe me.
Despite this, often, what I project to the outside, is not necessarily exactly what I feel on the inside. This hasn’t always been the case, and I feel as I have grown older and experienced more, I have been shaped by these experiences, and definitely knocked by a few. Which in turn has taken away that ultimate confidence, and left me with a doubting little voice inside me, sometimes.
I wouldn’t ever say I have ever experienced anything really traumatic in my life, but I definitely lost a huge amount of confidence in myself through my university experience (read here). I almost feel as if it is a confidence I will never get back, a confidence different to how I present myself and how I talk to people, and what I say. A deeper confidence than that, more of a confidence within myself and my achievements.
Talking about achievements, I LOVE the sense of achievement; feeling like you have really accomplished something, or made a difference – who doesn’t love it?! I literally thrive from it, and I am always so scared of my achievements dwindling, I always want to feel like I am achieving, and I think this is where my lack of confidence stems from.
With wanting to achieve all the time, I almost feel like it slows me down. I am always thinking of what I want to be doing, rather than where I am and what I am doing right now. I think faster than I live, and faster than I can grow and progress, and this desire to do well for myself almost drags me down to then thinking I am not good enough or achieving enough, because I am not living at at the point of where my brain wants me to be.
Comparing myself to others is another huge downfall! I absolutely cannot help it, and I know that I shouldn’t, as I have said many times before – and have even written a post about! But still… I find myself doing it over and over again. Despite knowing that I am my own person, and feeling confident with my decisions, and the directions I am taking, I still find myself comparing myself to others, thinking about what I have achieved vs. what they have achieved (there is that stupid achieved word again). Definitely very unhealthy, but one of those things I just seem to do.
I think the final point for me around this lack of confidence, is focused on a lack of self belief. I very much used to be the YES person, like yes I can do that, yes I will succeed with that… the list goes on. But what I do find now, is I think over and over in my head, can I do that, will I actually manage to complete that? This definitely stems from a fear of failure, from previous experiences, and knowing how hurtful the feeling of failure can be. But I am definitely learning to push this aside. And luckily for me, that inner stubbornness and original confidence kicks in – especially if someone else puts doubt in my mind, you watch me prove you wrong!! So I just get on with it, or ask for help, but I definitely do doubt my abilities more than I used to.
All lack of confidence put aside, I still do feel very lucky that I do have a solid amount of confidence, and am able to natter away at any poor soul who gets the pleasure of talking to me.
I would love to hear your thoughts on this, and if anyone feels the same or different to me?