FINDING MY CONFIDENCE
As a dancer & performer as a child, a professional dancer in my late teens and my twenties & then a dance teacher/business owner from being 30, putting myself out there, performing in front of people and appearing confident has been my life. Yet for some reason I’m not a naturally confident person at all, I’m just good at pretending to be.
I had an idyllic childhood with supporting parents & I was a high achiever with my dancing and did fairly well at school even though dancing was all I wanted to do, I was successful at dance college, had a successful, wonderful career as a professional dancer and met hundreds of people as I travelled the world & I now run an award winning successful theatre school so, on paper, I should be as confident as they come.
So why do I still have imposter syndrome in many situations, and I have to tell myself I’m confident until I almost convince myself?
I’ve often found over the years that the least qualified and least talented people somehow have the most confidence and the people with true ability, experience & talent don’t but just learn to look like they do. This is probably because there’s always more to learn and further to expand in life whereas some people who are ultra-confident ‘think’ they know it all already. Of course, this doesn’t apply to everyone but certainly for some.
I started to get cross with myself saying no to opportunities that arose that I was more than capable of & seeing people who weren’t put themselves out there and grabbing every opportunity going so, a couple of years ago at the start of a New Year I made a pact with myself to say YES to things that took me out of my comfort zone & I did.
Early in the year I was offered two big career opportunities which scared me but I said yes immediately before I had chance to think about it.
After I had done them & luckily they were both a huge success I felt amazing about myself for the first time in a long time and made a pact with myself to continue pushing myself out of my comfort zone until it is eventually within my comfort zone.
If this year has taught us anything it is that life is short & we have to appreciate everything and grab every opportunity that comes our way before it’s too late. I definitely feel more comfortable within myself this year but it’s a process that I will continue to build on every day.
The importance of self-care has played a big part in my life this year also. Like all working mums & as a business owner, I’ve always been so busy running around here there and everywhere trying to be everything to everyone that you forget yourself in the process. One of the good things to come out of this year however is a slightly slower pace of life which I feel was definitely needed. My children are older now & in many ways need me more as it’s been a very tough year for teens, especially with Isabelle in her GCSE year which has been dreadful for them. But in the day to day things older children don’t need you as much and are far more self sufficient so it has given me a bit more time to spend on myself and for the first time in my life I refuse to feel guilty about it. I’ve discovered a big passion for writing which I love immersing myself in, a year ago I would have felt guilty about this but it gives me a lot of pleasure & takes a lot of work stress away for me.
I’ve never been remotely unhappy in my life, on the contrary, but it’s taken me until my mid 40’s to truly start to feel confident & fully comfortable in my own abilities. I suppose a lot of that comes with age & experience too but I’m running with it and letting it allow me to do whatever I want in life and grab every opportunity that comes my way.
FINDING YOUR CONFIDENCE TIPS
- Visualise yourself as you want to be
- Question your inner critic
- Practice Self Care
- Take time for you
- Push yourself out of you comfort zone
- Be brave & face your fears
- Smile, stand tall & get your shoulders back
- Live in the present
- Do something crazy
- If you fail pick yourself up & try again