On receiving a few not-so-pleasant text messages, I’ve had a revelation. Somehow I’ve recently gained one hell of a lot of confidence. For the first time in my seemingly insignificant 16 years of life, I can say, ‘I know who I am, and I accept myself’. And it’s one of the best feelings in the world. Here’s the route I took to do it…
1. Get your kit off.
I’m not saying go and do a nude shoot, or even sunbathe on a naturist’s beach. One of the best ways to gain confidence is by standing in front of a full-length mirror in your undies. Look at yourself, but don’t scrutinize too harshly. You might see things you don’t like, but it’s OK. Change the angle you’re looking at yourself from to make those bits look better. Then you can see how much more brilliant you look when you’re not slouched in hopelessness.
2. Eat chocolate.
Yep. If weight, particularly in excess, is an issue for you, this *might* seem a bit hard, but grab yourself a big bar of Dairy Milk (or whichever bar you prefer) and munch your way through it. The best part about having confidence is throwing self-control out of the window on occasions like this. And don’t worry – tell yourself that you’ve had to walk to get the chocolate – it will make you feel less guilty about it. (Alternatively, I heard that Malteasers are only 190 calories a pack – they do say you’ll have to find new ways to be naughty! And they’re just as tasty as a normal choccy bar).
3. Wear heels.
Whether you’d rather just wear them in your bedroom to prevent any accidents, or you’re off for a wander down the shops, wear heels as often as you can (without inducing too much pain on your poor feet). They make you walk a little taller, a little straighter, and with much more determination and assertiveness than any pair of lucky trainers could. There’s a reason why business women wear them, you know.
4. Do something you’re good at, and show it off.
I don’t mean this to be taken as encouragement to start singing Katherine Jenkins-standard opera in the middle of a packed high street. Everyone has a forte or special talent. Whether it’s painting, playing an instrument or writing poetry, it can be shown off – even in the smallest of ways. For example, if you’re a writer, write a poem or a short piece and let your parents read it, or a friend. They are very unlikely to be critical, and you’ll soon be smiling as the compliments roll your way.
5. Think about what you’ve gained.
If you’ve had unpleasant past experiences, they can be a large factor in having low self-esteem, but there is a cure (Hallelujah!). Reflecting upon these sorts of events, while painful, can help you get over them. These things are only sent to try us, so it’s good to see you’ve made it out the other side, or at least are making progress. So reflect, think about how you felt, but also how different you were as a person. Focus on the aspects of your personality that have developed for the better after connection with dark events, and you will begin to feel much stronger in yourself – like you could take on just about anything.