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The many forms in which I have seen my worries manifest is limitless. Lying awake for indefinite hours, heart drum beats in my chest. Fears of worst possible outcomes racing through my mind. My sleepy (and exasperated!) boyfriend going around in circles, hopelessly trying to get to the source of my deep-rooted concerns.
Heart beats fast. Worries racing. Stop.
Last week I had a realisation. Since as long as I can remember I have believed that the well of my anxiety has come from within. A part of my building blocks, somehow woven and entwined in my DNA. But lately, one momentary thought has turned this on its head. You know, one of those so-called light-bulb moments?
What if I removed the word worry from all of the things I have ever felt anxious about and replaced it with lack of self-confidence? Suddenly everything becomes a little clearer to me! The shattering nerves I felt over the exams I took when I was 18? The job that I was so deeply worried that I would never get when I graduated? The client meeting that I had last week where I was a ball of stress? Even running around checking every switch and tap in the flat 10 times before I leave is a demonstration of my lack of self-confidence and self-belief. The thought that I am somehow incapable of turning all of my appliances off properly like a responsible adult.
But how empowering is it to decide that there might actually be something that you could do about your worry?
By recognising that our stresses, worries and fears are a manifestation of low self-confidence we can actually tackle the problem at the root. With my light-bulb now fully switched on, I have begun to put in place a new routine. Every time I find myself spiralling into a rabbit hole of anxiety, I am trying to build my self-confidence. Let’s take that client meeting last week for instance. Instead of thinking “This meeting is going to go wrong. This client is going to think that I am a silly young girl. What do I know about this stuff?” I tried to change my thoughts to “I am a strong person who can rock this client meeting. I am good enough to do this. I know what I am talking about!” I am now replacing my fears with positivity and empowerment.
By changing my thoughts, I believe I can change my mindset.
Now I am not saying this is a cure-all proposal. I am still struggling with worry, sleeping is still my worst enemy. But at least now I have a go-to in my tool box that I can whip out and fight the fears with. At my most vulnerable, my biggest worry is that my freelance business will not succeed. My side pursuit as a freelance copywriter is becoming my biggest joy and greatest fear wrapped up in one big bad cosy blanket. The thoughts set in “Maybe I am not a good enough writer? Maybe I am boring? Maybe people won’t want my words?”
But you see how low confidence rears its magnificent head once again?
Imposter syndrome creeping in and settling comfortably around my feet as I write this. Sometimes all we need to do is, greet it, acknowledge its presence and then show that miserable creature the door, telling it to get the hell out.
Next step? Focusing on positive self-talk of course! I have found that to stop being your own worst enemy you need to start being your own best friend. I’m sure that you have heard this before, but you wouldn’t tell your best friend that she was rubbish at her job or is never going to make anything of herself, would you? Instead, you would tell her how beautiful and amazing she is and how she can do anything she sets her mind to. You would do everything you could to boost her confidence! So go ahead and start being your own best friend!
Here are my quick fire tips to boost your self-confidence:
1 – Listen to your worries. What are you truly worried about? Could it be that you are actually lacking self-confidence?
2 – Take a deep breath. Often our worries make us have physical responses. Try to acknowledge any feelings of worry and relax your body. Being one big anxiety ball will not help you to conquer your fears!
3 – Try to address any negative self-talk and start switching it around to positive-speak. Repeat after me “I can do it! I am good enough!”
4 – Don’t forget to be patient with yourself. Building your self-confidence takes time and not something that happens overnight. Instead, be kind and take small but powerful steps towards reaching your confidence goals.