Recently on The Vegan View, we’ve started asking for questions from our viewers to answer in some of the episodes. One of the questions I found especially interesting was about how we are all so confident. Confidence is such a broad term so whether she meant body confidence specifically, or just overall confidence, I thought it was an interesting topic to answer. I wanted to share a little bit of my take on this, though I’m sure we’ll address it on the show at some point — so make sure you’re subscribed so you don’t miss it!
Let’s start by defining what confidence means to me. I think confidence is the ability to be 100% yourself, without feeling any guilt or shame about it, and not feeling like you need to hide who you are. When I see someone who I think is super “confident”, it’s usually someone who is unapologetically themselves.
I don’t think I grew up a naturally “confident” person, for whatever reason. I was actually extremely shy until I started taking acting classes when I was 8 years old, which really helped bring me out of my shell. Then I moved from Arkansas to California which kind of put me in a situation where I was forced to make new friends. That was also challenging and forced me to be a little bit more outgoing. (Side note: there’s nothing wrong with being shy — you can be shy and be the most confident person in the world. My shyness stemmed from being unsure of myself, and that was a lack of confidence).
I can say I definitely have more confidence than I ever have before. That being said, I am a human, and even the most confident of humans have self-doubt and insecurities. If you’re feeling like you’re lacking confidence, here are the things that have helped me in my life.
- Take a look at the people you’re surrounding yourself with. I’ve had to cut friends out of my life who simply didn’t make me feel very good about myself. It may seem sad or scary at first, but when you’re no longer surrounding yourself with that negativity, and only surround yourself with friends that build you up as a person, you’ll see a huge difference. (I think this applies to bosses and coworkers as well).
- Do something that puts you out of your comfort zone, on a regular basis. The times I’ve grown the most as a person are when I’ve put myself in an uncomfortable situation and made it through. I have never once regretted the times where I’ve said “this is scary, I don’t want to do it” and did it anyways. I feel like the king of the world when I accomplish something that scared me. (This can be big or small, as long as it makes you uncomfortable).
- Treat yourself nicely. When I first graduated college and was working full time, I was pretty crappy to myself. I ate crappy food, never worked out, and my only “indulgence” was the occasional manicure. I did not feel good about myself during this time, because I simply wasn’t treating myself nicely! Eat good, healthy food (vegan, cough), find a workout that makes you happy, and treat yourself from time to time! Looking back, I wish I would have saved some money for a facial every few months.
- Listen to your gut, not other people. I still struggle with this, honestly. I like to get the opinions of everyone around me before making a decision. I am much better about just taking it with a grain of salt. In the past, I would take everything people suggested as gold. A great example is majoring in a major I wasn’t that interested in, and getting a job I felt like I had to, to please the people around me and prove that I was “smart” and “successful”.
- Change that voice inside your head. Most people have a little voice inside their head that loves to jump in and discredit any positive thought that comes through. If your initial thought is “I’d be great at ___” that little voice loves to jump in and say “but you’re too old, but there’s better people, but it’s too late”. It’s up to you to say “Goodbye ugly little voice!” And replace those bad thoughts with positive ones. This takes practice, but if you can get those positive ones to stick more than the negative ones, you’ll lead a happier, more confident life.
These are just the tips that have worked for me, but I am curious of any tips you guys might have when it comes to confidence? Sound off in the comments!
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