Do you consider yourself to be a confident person?
If you ask me that question today, I would tell you that for the most part, I am confident. Then again, it’s actually a pretty difficult question to answer. The way you feel about yourself changes all the time. There will be times in your life when you lack confidence, but you can always get it back. I’ve learned that lesson firsthand.
When I was a kid, I was a lot more confident than I was in my twenties. I think it was because I thrived in school. Elementary school was a fun, encouraging, and nurturing environment. I made friends easily. Giving presentations to the class was a breeze. In fact, I loved public speaking and never got nervous. It was more of the same throughout high school. I was very involved in extra curricular activities and made a lot of friends that way. While some kids struggle during high school, I was one of the few who loved it.
Eventually, high school ended. I went to (and hated) university. Soon, I started working full-time. That’s when life become more complicated and my confidence really began to crumble.
No one cared if I did a good job on a project.
Other people at work knew a lot more than me.
There was so much more competition.
Without getting graded, I wasn’t sure how to define “success” anymore.
And before I knew it, my confidence had deteriorated.
In my old sales job, giving presentations was something I did on a regular basis. Even though it was a part of my job, I got so nervous before a meeting. I always worried that my clients wouldn’t take me seriously, or that they’d ask me questions I didn’t have answers to. On a personal level, I hated explaining what I did for a living. I felt that it wasn’t “impressive” or “interesting” enough.
What I’ve come to realize is that your twenties are a time of self-realization and discovery. It’s a time of significant personal growth and a time when you can come into your own. One of the biggest things I ever did to change my life and how I feel about myself was to start my blog.
When I started blogging almost four years ago, I was so nervous about it. At first, only a handful of people knew my blog existed. I was so worried that I was going to be judged or deemed “narcissistic” for posting so many photos of myself on the internet. I used to get so nervous and uncomfortable if someone saw me shooting photos. One time, a woman walked by and asked if I was bird watching. I told her that I was!
Eventually, I built up the confidence to tell people about my blog. Now, it’s one of the first things I tell people about myself. I don’t care if people see me shooting photos. I have no shame. Heck, I’ll stand on a chair at a restaurant, if it means that I’ll get a good shot.
Ultimately, the confidence I’ve gained because of my blog goes much deeper than that. After I finished school, I was worried that I’d never make any new friends. Like, how does anyone make friends post-grad? Apparently, you start a blog.
Funny enough, I used to hate meeting new people. Now, I love meeting new people! I go to events all of the time and introduce myself to people I don’t know. I never would have done that before. Later this month, I’m going to be teaching my first workshop, because I’m confident that I have knowledge to share with others. Crazy, right?
I should add, that while blogging has boosted my confidence in certain areas of my life, I still struggle in other areas. One thing at a time!
What have you done for yourself to boost your confidence into adulthood?