When Pearl Drops got in touch and asked me to share my winning formula for 'feeling confident'. I knew I just had to write this post. If you read Emtalks often, you'll know that I love writing personal posts. I like to do one at least once a month as I feel like I can really write and just ramble. I love writing about travel, I love writing about beauty and I love writing about fashion but for me, writing about personal stuff is my favourite. I like to just be 'me' and talk about my problems and things I've overcome (or maybe things I'm yet to overcome) in the hopes that it helps just one person. The topic of confidence is something close to my heart, as a child I had barely any confidence whatsoever. I actually sat and Googled 'how to be more confident'. I found it difficult to eat in front of people and walking by myself past a group of people at school was always one of the most daunting parts of my day. Looking back now, that was so trivial, but these are examples of how bad my lack of confidence was as a teen. Confidence however, isn't really something that can be taught, I can't say, right: do this and you'll feel confident. For me, it just came with time and by pushing myself into scary situations. I'm still not 100% confident though, we all have wobbles, we all have things we're unconfident about and there are still so many situations that make me feel really unconfident and nervous. However, there are little things you can do which will make you feel a bit confident within yourself (everyone differs but I thought I'd share a few things that make me feel a little bit more confident!) Let's go...
Work Out - Working out is something that really boosts my confidence. I wake up some mornings and feel terrible about my body. The best way to conquer this? Work out! Honestly, I always tell myself, 'sitting in bed and telling myself I'm having a bad body day' isn't going to do anything for me, but doing something about this for example, going on a run - not only makes me feel better about my body, but it also clears my head. I get stressed quite often and my kind of 'relief' is the gym. I know the gym isn't for everyone, but even just going on a walk outside really helps. For me, working out really does boost both my mood and confidence. I don't work out for others, I work out because it makes ME and myself feel good. It's even better when you start seeing changes in your body. I feel like I've accomplished something. You can read my top health and well-being tips here and my what I do at the gym post here if you missed those. When I lived in Canada, I went to yoga once a day, it was difficult to fit it in but I found it necessary - I felt so calm after every session but also so much more confident about my body. Now, I make sure I find time at least 5 times a week to fit in some form of exercise, it really does boost my confidence and mood. If I don't work out, I feel grumpy, sluggish and annoyed with myself.
Eat Well - Most people don't link 'eating well' to confidence but again, like working out, if I've had a really bad binge weekend, I'll generally feel great about myself at the time, 'hooray, I deserved that pizza' (which you did, don't beat yourself up for eating pizza! Never deprive yourself - I may have eaten a full tube of Pringles last night) but, when Monday comes, I'm usually like, 'uh I wish I didn't binge so bad, I feel horrendous about my skin and body now'. Remember, eating bad for one weekend isn't going to affect you, but for me, now, eating healthily (80% of the time) is a way of life and a lifestyle choice. I try not to beat myself up for having two cheat days (it's what keeps me going!) a week. However, I notice that when I have eaten well, my body looks and feels better. My hair, skin and nails feel better and I generally have more energy and feel a lot more confident because I know I've been nourishing my body properly. See your body as a car, it needs the correct petrol (nourishment) so it can run efficiently. You can read my healthy, easy meals post here.
Set Goals - Nothing boosts my confidence like reaching a target, I find it so much easier to work hard and stick to something if I have a target. For example, at the moment, I'm trying my hardest (must go on a spending ban!!!) to save up for an apartment that I can buy for myself. I want to get myself on the housing ladder, independently before I hit 22. This is a big goal but I've set myself a timescale and X amount of money that I need to save, and I know I'll feel so accomplished if I can do it. I know that everyone is different, I have reasons for setting such goals and for being so independent but sometimes we have to turn really negative things that have happened to us into positives. I also know that it spurs me on to work harder when I have a goal. It's like when we used to play the Sims, if you used the money cheat, it was fun to begin with but then there was nothing to reach for. When you reach goals, you feel more confident and fulfilled I guess. It's nice to feel proud of yourself sometimes and there is absolutely nothing wrong with giving yourself a big pat on the back if you've hit a target! This doesn't even have to be a big goal though, even just 'don't eat unhealthily this weekend' or 'get to work ten minutes early' or for me, run for an extra five minutes on the treadmill this week! Ticking off even tiny goals are big confidence boosters. I have a to-do list and I feel so confident and good when I've crossed things off it. Sometimes it's the little things that boost your confidence!
Treat Yourself - Nothing is better than retail therapy. I know I probably shouldn't be writing this but it's true. By retail therapy, I don't even mean bankrupt yourself and buy the whole of Selfridges, I don't mean go and buy the most expensive thing you can find, I mean, grab that Starbucks you wanted, or maybe that Topshop top. Or, for me, a treat is going for a coffee and cake catch up with a close friend. It's taking time away from working hard (even if it's just 30 minutes) and doing something for yourself. It's really bad, but I do find retail therapy, taking 'me time' and wearing something 'new' really boosts my confidence. If I wear a new dress on a night out for example, I usually always feel so much more confident! Nothing makes me feel better than wearing good new underwear too! Or, even if I pull out an old dress I forgot I had or borrow a friends dress, I feel like a new woman!
Pamper Yourself! - Now this might just be me, again, confidence differs with everyone, but I feel so confident when I've had my hair done (Sassoon salons always look after me so well!), had my brows fixed or, if I'm saving, it really helps me to just have a nice long bubble bath and put some fake tan on afterwards. Having a tan really boosts my confidence, I always feel horrible pale (again, that's a [personal thing!) but when I'm tanned, I feel so much better. Even sleeping in a hair mask, I feel amazing when I wake up the next morning with freshly cared for hair. Even using a teeth whitener, a good one, twice daily (the new Pearl Drops one is genuinely amazing, I've sworn by Pearl Drops for as long as I can remember - you can get it online here). I add this into my morning routine and it's actually become a ritual now, no matter how rushed I am, I feel like as long as I brush my teeth quickly with this, I leave the house with glowing teeth and feel way more confident. I once forgot my toothbrush when staying in a hotel and had to miss a meeting to go and buy one because I felt so unconfident and horrible without brushing my teeth. Trust me, I've noticed the difference when I don't use this! I think pampering yourself is such a nice way to make yourself feel special, it's all about loving yourself - if I take even ten minutes to do my nails, I always feel better!
Compliment Someone - I was told at school to compliment someone every day. I've been trying this out for as long as I can remember and honestly, spreading the love really does make you feel better about yourself. It kind of gives you the feeling you get when you have a long hug with someone you love. There's nothing nicer than hearing 'your hair looks nice today' so make someones day and tell them. If you like someones coat, tell them. Spreading that love will make you feel better and more confident. Trust me, try it! I have always been obsessed with brushing my teeth. I had braces for so many years and it means so much to me when people compliment my smile, I was so used to having such bad teeth that when I got my braces off I would smile as much as possible so that people would compliment my new teeth! It made me feel so good.
Talk To Someone - It Usually Isn't As Bad As You Think - Talking to someone about your problems/what you're unconfident about can put it in perspective and make you feel more confident. I always feel like if I'm having a bad day and tell my problems to a friend, (I call my friend Gabi crying and she always makes me feel better and tells me I am just being silly) they'll usually boost your confidence and make you feel better. For me though, having a big giggle with a friend is so important and ALWAYS makes me feel happier instantly. I remember when I broke up with a boyfriend, I was absolutely devastated but I called my brother and he made a joke about it. Even though I was heartbroken at the time, in that split second, I felt amazing, I forgot about my problems. It put it into perspective. I always ask myself, 'is this going to matter this time next year' and the answer is usually no. Remember though, a smooth sea never made a skiller sailor!
Don't Beat Yourself Up - Similarly, don't beat yourself up. My biggest confidence quote ever is: 'Never compare your chapter 1 to someone else chapter 20'. Every single person is different. There is always going to be someone in a better position than you but equally, there is always going to be someone in a worse position. Also remember, you don't know someones story - people are going through things and you may not know about them. What looks perfect from the outside, really may be falling apart on the inside. You just cannot compare yourself. Always remember, you are someones reason to smile. You are loved! Easier said than done but it's important to learn to love yourself first, it's so so important. You have flaws? Big deal. We all do. No-one is perfect! Define perfection? Perfection honestly doesn't even exist. I really used to care what people thought of me, but remember, 'what Susie says about Sally says more about Susie than it says about Sally', i.e.: if people are saying nasty things about you, it's them with the issue. Don't let people get to you or bring you down, not ever. I know it's easier said than done and it took me so long to get into this mind set but trust me, as soon as you cut negative people out of your life, you'll feel much more confident. Happiness and health are really what matters.
Face Your Fears - Are your fears really that scary? I was scared of walking across the room infant of people when younger for example because people would snigger at me and stare. This seems so trivial now but back then, it killed me walking past those people every day. In 2015 I faced one of the scariest moments of my life (what was so scary to me back then doesn't even phase me now) and I got on my first ever plane by myself. I left all my loved ones behind and flew to the other side of the world for a year. I needed to do this for myself because I felt unfulfilled. It was petrifying but I needed to do it. You can read more about going out of my comfort zone here as I wrote a full post about it. As Walt Disney said, 'no dream is too big'. You can do anything you set your mind to. I was once a little girl who couldn't even walk across a classroom or eat in front of people but last week, I gave a lecture about women in business to over 300 masters students. I was petrified but I had to throw myself into the deep end and do it. I felt so confident afterwards. There is nothing better than smashing your fears away, I guarantee, you'll feel so confident once you've moved out of your comfort zone. Try it one time!
Smile, Giggle - Lastly, SMILE! It seems like a small thing but trust me, it helps boost your confidence but also, the mood of those around you! When I had braces, I never smiled. One of the main reasons I felt so unconfident in high school was because of my braces. I honestly wouldn't ever smile. Smiling releases so many endorphins which naturally makes you feel happier! For me, as cliched as it sounds, a smile is one of the most beautiful things. A smile can really light up a room and a smile actually, can make me really fall for someone or really like someone. A smile is a powerful thing. As mentioned, I use my new Pearl Drops every single day, twice a day. It's a natural enhancer which protects your smile but it restores whiteness and is gentle and teeth-friendly. I've always sworn by Pearl Drops Lasting Flawless White. Smiling really does make me feel more confident, or even if someone smiles at me, I feel more confident! I hate walking down the street and seeing people look others up and down yet when someone smiles at me, it instantly makes me feel warm and confident.
What are your top tips to feeling confident? Have you used Pearl Drops? Do you agree with any of my tips?
*This was sponsored by Pearl Drops but as always, it is 100% my honest opinion.
Lots of love, Em x
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