Building Confidence Is A Process!

The one last thing I would like to give you regarding building confidence is the knowledge that like most important things, it takes time. It is a process by which you improve daily. There will come a time when your confidence reaches optimal levels where your performance peaks. It is critical to continue doing whatever it is you have been doing up to that point or else one may end up erring to the side of overconfidence which hampers performance as much as having a low self-esteem.

Just because you aren’t instantly confident after the tools and information you have absorbed, don’t panic, you’ll make it, just keep at it. Building confidence is a work in progress!

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If you fall just make sure you get back up.

This concludes the Confidence series. As I continue to add more notes and research to my upcoming Positivity and Academic Excellence series I will use this time to share and hone some of my creative writing skills.

Self-Esteem Building Hacks

There are two tools that I have found to be incredibly effective when it comes to building self-esteem: I AM… and Mack On The Mirror.

I AM…

I AM

This is practically positive affirmations but in every area of life, where we attempt to weed out the phrases “I cannot” and “I am not” because they often lead to a negative answer that limits our vision and our capabilities. Instead we focus on saying “I AM…”

Fill in the missing space with what you believe you are and more importantly what you are working towards!

e.g. I AM Strong. I AM Intelligent. I AM Wise. I AM Confident. I AM Attractive. I AM Focussed…

Mack On The Mirror

My personal favourite. Mack is a slang term I and others used in high school and it means to court. Perhaps we don’t have anyone to speak positively in our lives or to affirm us. Worry not – all we need is a mirror and a mouth. This is effective in that as you use the I AM tool you also see an image speaking the same words back to you. It’s no longer just hearing the words but a visual representation of someone saying those same words back to you invokes a sense of agreement and support, making each of your statements more believable than the last time. The more you do it, the more you believe it. Look at this baby. I don’t know about you but I think she/he can conquer the world.

 

Mack On The Mirror

Physical Side Of Confidence

There are 5 areas that we can attend to by changing some of the things we do physically. Doing so will help us build our self-confidence overall. These five areas are:

  • Exercise
  • Dress
  • Smiling
  • Posture
  • Speech

Exercise

Pretty straightforward. I am sure you’ve heard it before. Recommended 20 min of exercise daily. Once you start it’s easy to maintain. The hard part is starting. Go with an enormous incentive for actually starting and you’ll find that you will.

Exercise will let you know the limits you can take your body and brings that sense of achievement once you reach a particular milestone. It helps shape your body and if done right can help you achieve the look you want.

I feel much more confident now than before I could run without stopping to walk after 5 min.

Dress

First impressions are often dependent on attire. If someone is dressed well the way people treat them reflects that. Same if someone is dressed poorly. Once someone steps on a stage for example you have an opinion of them even before they’ve said a word. Why?

Smiling

You can help fool yourself into feeling confident by doing this. It’s also a sign that you know what you are doing or are comfortable with the results. Try it more often and see it work wonders in your social interactions and your self-perception.

Posture

I was a tall kid. I tried desperately to fit in with those much shorter than me by hunching down for several years. I’ve had to work to recorrect my posture because I belatedly realised that I was tall and there was absolutely nothing wring with that. In fact if I was to define my self-worth using others’ opinion there is actually greater stock placed on being tall than on being short. Still – that’s not what we are aiming for here. Stand up straight. You’ll feel more powerful and confident by doing so.

Speech

Speaking to quickly is a sign of nervousness. It also makes it harder for those listening to process what you are saying. If you speak to slowly however it is easy for someone to then forget what the original point was about by the time you complete your sentence. Volume matters but too much volume can be just as bad – it makes it seem like you’re an attention-seeker aka unconfident.

Work on these 5 key areas and you will see massive positive change in your confidence.

Photo cred: telegraph.co.uk

 

Black Beauty

When I gave a talk on ‘Self-Esteem and Confidence’ to teens I showed them this image:

Khoudia Diop

I then gave them 5 seconds to think of one word to describe the lady in the image. I did this for two reasons: to evaluate the way they viewed things and to prove a point. They had to shout out the first word that came to mind. When I counted down to zero they all shouted a mixture of “dark” and “black”. I had expected this. I then let them know the truth – that the first word that I had thought of was “beautiful” but “dark” indeed followed close behind. The reason “beautiful” came up so quickly is because my outward perception is now driven by my new inward viewpoint. If you had asked me the same question a couple of years ago I would have definitely fallen into the former category. However because I now view all aspects of myself in a positive light, even the not so pretty things, I can now project that positivity on others and point out the things that make them unique and special with ease.

This young lady is called Khoudia Diop. Born in Senegal she moved to Italy to study. Obviously she was an outlier in that region and if you didn’t already know, being different makes you a target for hate, so hate her they did. There were those that could not accept the melanin clad beauty that was Khoudia and she was verbally attacked and called all sorts of names (as you would expect). Under such intense scrutiny (in that environment someone that dark will ALWAYS attract attention) it would have been easy for her to bow down under all the pressure and crumble. She was bullied constantly on every social platform and in person – enter Bullying: Make Or Break. Khoudia spoke out. She acknowledged her dark skin (dark it is – there is no denying it) and embraced her natural beauty. Bullies may have directed barbed words in her direction but she made sure they didn’t hook to her coffee coloured skin – instead she let them bounce off like it was a trampoline. She allowed the pressure to turn her coal to diamond, to ‘make her’ and eventually her mature responses as well as her uniqueness opened doors. This is her now:

Melanin Goddess

She’s an Instagram star with half a million followers and thousands of girls looking up to her as a role model. She is also a professional model even though she left for Italy without the prospect ever crossing her mind. Khoudia is now a symbol black girls and any girls that may have felt marginalised because of their appearance or some unique quality they possess look up to. She even hangs out with celebrities as shown by this pic of her with Lupita Nyong’o.

Khoudia x Lupita

All because she didn’t let bullying break her.

Let’s get this right Khoudia is dark! Khoudia was attacked for it!

But Khoudia didn’t let bullies define how she views herself!

Will you?