Since I was younger, I’ve never thought of myself as being a confident person, despite what I know people think of me. I have always being plagued with anxiety and have sometimes felt very claustrophobic and shy when I meet new people, but I am aware that a lot of people think the complete opposite of me. To me, when you are growing up there are three types of confidence that you regularly have to come to terms with; they are, confidence in yourself as a person, basically meaning that you believe in yourself, and that the decisions you are making are right; confidence with the opposite sex and being able to get to where you want to be with boys, whether for friendship or more, and lastly, body confidence – being confident in the skin that you’re in.
When I think of young women and confidence, I know that we are sometimes slated for how much we let social media influence our lives, and ergo our confidence. We know that the people on Instagram or Twitter, and the celebrities we compare ourselves to aren’t everyday women like you and me; they have personal trainers, make-up artists, chefs etc. that help them live the lifestyle of being in the public eye. But it doesn’t stop us from thinking that they are better, or richer, or thinner, or more toned than us, which in turn decreases our confidence. What are we like eh?
When I was a teenager I was at an all girls school, which meant that I never really had much experience around the opposite sex. In fact, I even went to an all girls primary school, so I never really spend time around boys properly until I was about 13. I found that when I was meeting boys though, they weren’t as hard to talk to as I once thought, and I have many friends now who are male that I am just as close to as female. Once I was able to break down this wall of anxiety around the opposite sex, I felt as though I could really be myself and enjoy the company of them. Don’t get me wrong though, I still felt nervous and jittery from time to time, and I still don’t 100% feel comfortable meeting new people, but that’s just my personality, plus that’s with either gender.
Throughout my life, I have also had problems with my weight. I’ve mentioned before that being on different forms of contraception massively influenced this, but overall I think that I have always felt as though I would be happier if I was thinner, which I know is an unhealthy attitude to have. I have noticed this much more in recent years since I have left university, and been in a relationship, which may seem like a strange time to be doubting your self image. I was looking through old photos the other day of me when I was around 19/20 at a club in Manchester wearing a spaghetti strap dress, no tights and quite a lot of questionable orange makeup, and I just couldn’t believe it was me. If you know me, you’ll know that 1. I absolutely hate my arms, and I don’t think I have had them out in a good few years (quite possibly since that night) and 2. The thought of not wearing tights on a night out immediately fills me with dread. When I saw the picture I couldn’t quite believe that I had managed to be so confident with the way I looked, even though I would have said I was slightly larger back then. I’m still not quite sure where all that confidence went, but it was nice to see that at one point in my life, I really didn’t care what anybody else thought of me, and that is an attitude I want to get back.
This is a strange post to write because it might sound like I am saying that I really care what other people think of me, but that is not the case. It’s a strange one being a girl: We do and don’t care what others think of us at the same time, and in turn this makes us act the way we do, dress the way we do, and even sometimes create a persona and a completely new attitude towards life. In the past at work, I’ve felt that my true personality has never really shone through until recently. Although in myself I feel shy and anxious, people tend not to perceive me in this way because of the person they think I am, from the person I tend to portray. I build up and act more confident than I really am because I feel this is more attractive for a person and more accepted; but since I have been enjoying work more, and I have found a job that suits me I feel I can be myself and therefore be more confident.
Stay happy folks x