Confidence. It’s something that I’ve often struggled with. I may come across as confident and self-assured, and yes, I have worked a lot on my confidence and for the most part I’m pretty good, however there are those times that just washes away. All of a sudden I don’t know how to form words, forget that I have things going for me, and suddenly think I’m an insignificant person who doesn’t belong there.
Confidence isn’t a black or white concept, it changes depending on where we are, who we are with and what the situation is. It’s also about how we feel about ourselves that day.
I’ve struggled with confidence a lot over the years, but like I said I feel like I’m finally feeling OK with myself, yet there are definitely times when I want the ground to open up. I’m also a bit of a sweater. I naturally get really hot (my boyfriend loves me in winter but hates me in summer) and so the slightest bit of nerves and I sweat. It’s not nice, but hey, it’s just one of those things and it happens to the best of us. So I’ve partnered Sure and their new Anti-Bacterial deodorant to write about how I make myself confident in different, and often stressful situations. Sweating is a universal thing that is a confidence killer. It makes us feel clammy, un-sexy and not very good about ourselves. Yet with the right tool set, it’s something that can be killed off instantly. The new Sure Antibacterial Odour Protection reduces up to 90% of odour causing bacteria that live on the skin surface, so you’re not just masking it, which when you’re on a date or have a big meeting is no good as you don’t just want others to not smell it, you want to feel fresh too, for yourself.
So these are my tips that I’ve learnt over the years, to help your confidence, as I think as women we should do everything we can to help build each other up.
Personally I thought dating was one of the most stressful things. I was a nervous wreck and didn’t believe I was attractive, funny or clever enough for any man to be interested in me. So yeah, dating was always a bit stressful. What do I say, how on earth do I flirt?!
Here’s how I boosted my confidence on the dating scene:
Here’s how I boosted my confidence on the dating scene:
Plan some conversation starters ahead.
It may sound incredibly weird, but if you are one of those people who just sort of freeze when you’re a little nervous, it really does help to have a few topics to hand that aren’t “What do you do for work?” Boring! Everyone asks what someone does for work, but really, that’s pretty dull. Unless they are a lion tamer, an astronaut or you have an odd fascination with accountants, then let’s be honest you don’t really care. You want to know how they are outside of work when you’ll see them. Are they someone who loves to go to those quirky, hidden bars, or will hop on a plane with you last minute? So think of conversations that will find this out. “What’s the best bar you’ve been to?” “Do you like spontaneous trips?” It’s much more fun than “Where do you work?”
Wear some sexy underwear.
No I don’t mean with the intention of hooking up! Naughty. I just mean knowing you look the bees knees and hot as hell will boost your belief in yourself no end. Think, yes I am gorgeous, and you sir should feel honoured you’re on a date with me ;)
You decide on the place
I once went on a date and he chose the bar. I turned up and it was not my scene at all. Inside it was very loud, with lots of dressed up “Essex” women with cleavages up to their chins and itty bitty dresses. I was in a nice, but plain dress and I soon started picking faults with my outfit, my hair and my confidence plummeted. So pick a place that makes you feel good. You know the crowd, you know the vibe and you’ll feel much better about yourself there.
In a work meeting.
Work meetings can go either two ways for me. Those ones where I know my stuff, I know what needs to be done, and I naturally become the “leader” of the meeting. At university I was always really good at this, and naturally fell into group leader on group coursework. When I worked in finance, in “my spare time” I was on the committee for my companies Working Families group as the Social and Events lead. When it came to meetings about organising events I was like a boss and was full of confidence. When it came to my finance day to day job, there were people with intelligence like I have never seen. Years of experience and the being at an Investment Bank, some had the personalities that would make you feel 2 inches big with just one put down. Needless to say I picked up a few tips, as it was often sink or swim.
And do this a lot. The big killer for confidence in a work meeting is when you don’t know something or you get something wrong. Yes some people are amazing blaggers and I worked with so many of them, but I’m just not one of those people. I need to know my stuff otherwise I clam up. I’m just a terrible liar. Research the topic, around the topic, and play devil advocate and ask yourself questions against your own points so you can have a comeback.
Again and again. If it’s a presentation, make sure you don’t learn it line for line as a scripted presentation is the most boring thing to watch. I actually love presentations, and what I did was would have a lovely stylised presentation, but with minimal information on it. Just the key points from each segment of the discussion. Then once this is designed, print this off, and then brainstorm around it all the things you need to say. It doesn’t matter the sentence structure in the way you say it, so long as you say those points. Speak like you’re having a conversation to someone about your topic, it’s comes across more relatable and more engaging.
As much as possible meet the people who are going to be in your meeting beforehand. I don’t mean to find out their strategy, but just to say hi, ask them how they are, put a face to a name, and make them more human. Seeing them talk to you in a non-hostile manner will instantly make you more confident as you know they are actually nice, normal people.
It’s a funny one to think that you would lack confidence going the gym, but actually all this health craze has left me feeling a little bit crap, rather than actually helping me. I look at all these amazing women with bodies to die for, and lifting weights heavier than double me, and I just sigh as I can barely run on the treadmill for 5 minutes without sounding like a pug out of breath.
However I’ve found these ways to feel confident in the gym, even if you don’t have a bubble butt.
Ask a member of staff to show you how to do something.
I used to feel too nervous to go into the “serious” weight room. All those big men, grunting as they did their bicep curls, just made me far too scared to go in. I’d be judged for my bad technique or lack of weight on my bar. So before you go in, ask a member of staff to show you how to do something, even if you already know it, but I found getting someone to come in with you will display all those looks of who are you. It’s like you’ve got permission to come in. Silly, but it works.
Wear some fun clothing
What I wear boosts my confidence so much, and it goes for the gym too. I don’t wear crop tops as I don’t have a flat tummy, so I don’t try to wear something just because I saw it on an Instagram star. Wear what flatters you, but have fun with it. I love patterned leggings as they make my bum look fabulous and giving myself a cheeky check out in the changing room mirror beforehand just makes me feel awesome. Also remember to pack your gym bag with all your essentials too. Take a cool water bottle, bring your own fun yoga mat, and make sure you pack deodorant too. As I said Sure Antibacterial Odour Protection reduces up to 90% of odour causing bacteria, which makes it the ultimate gym deodorant in my opinion. You could even go on a date after the gym and you’d be awesome! Remember to wear what makes you feel like you have got this, because trust me, you have more than you know.
Join a class
Classes are the best thing. I love classes so much and they’ve come along way over the years. They are much more about inclusion, team work and having fun. It’s also a great way to learn and ask questions. I’m not the best spin rider, but I make sure I always ask beforehand, the instructor any tips and techniques so that I can improve. If you’re at a class where it’s very cliché, then you’re at the wrong type. It should be about having fun together whilst being healthy.
Confidence is something everyone can possess, it isn’t reserved for some mystical elite. I hope next time you are feeling nervous, these tips help you, as everyone deserves to be confident and happy. I went to Psycle for the first time in order to test the deodorant, and yes the class was amazing, a real harm pumping, feel good spin group, but there were some of those amazingly gorgeous healthy women there that I mentioned, and me in my bingo wing hiding top felt a little inferior. However like I said, I spoke to the instructor as I’d never been before so wanted to make sure I understood it first. Also I’d sprayed on Sures Anti Bac deodorant as boy do you get sweaty in Psycle! Body odour is the number one confidence quashing factor of them all. If I can feel myself sticky and a bit smelly, I just want to die and run away. Sadly body odour is produced by bacteria on the skin that break sweat down into acids. So nervous sweats are not good for anyone! Like I said, I naturally sweat a bit, but I found a quick spray before the session and I was surprisingly sticky free. Also top gym tip, spray a bit on your back, as in spin, your back gets sweaty! When it comes to the gym, you are always going to sweat, but after my spin class I did still feel pretty fresh. A quick shower and another spray and I was off to face my day of meetings.
So next time you have a big meeting, gym session nor date, just remember you got this, as you already rock, you just got to believe in yourself.
Sure Antibacterial Odour Protection is available in 75ml (RRP £2.39**), 125ml (RRP £3.29**) and 50ml Roll On (RRP £1.99**).