I wanted to tap into a topic that literally plagued my everyday life: Self-doubt. Self-doubt comes from the lack of confidence. Lack of confidence comes from our own self-destructive thoughts. It’s when simple self talk become the devil’s advocate when the mind when it’s idle.
I can recall a little over two years ago, I went to a model retreat. At these retreats, models and photographers would meet up at an undisclosed location for a themed shoot. It’s a great way to network and meet up with other creatives throughout the city.
I ‘ve never considered myself a model since I don’t have a conventional model look. What enticed me was the need for fresh content and to network. The best part was it’s FREE! I spent days obsessing over my look. I thought about what I should wear, how I would style my hair and how I would do my makeup. I freaked out so much that I started getting stress pimples!
On the day of the retreat, I showed up excited, but immediately felt out-of-place. I didn’t think it was trendy enough compared to the other models. My makeup wasn’t as beat as I envisioned. My skin looked like the bottom of the crunch bar and my body wasn’t as toned as I would like. Bottom line, I didn’t feel put together. My mind kept reminding me I was the oldest model there. My confidence left the building when I started viewing the models as my competition. In a group of super confident models, I felt like a frumpy, old woman who didn’t belong. I couldn’t talk my confidence back due to the SELF imposed mental warfare.
My insecurities overshadowed my will to take part. I watched the other models and admired their confidence. I eventually excused myself, trying to leave unnoticed. As I walked to my car, I heard a deep voice say, “Hey, where you going?” I turned to a photographer who ventured off to the parking lot as well. He started an enthused conversation praising the event and complimenting my unique look. As always, I just brushed off the compliment as him being nice, ended the conversation and turned back to my car.
As I drove off, I stopped myself to call myself out. I burned a potential collaboration at its stake. The only interaction that I received since arriving with my bitter attitude. This photographer could have been my blessing. I pushed him away because I didn’t feel good about myself. It wasn’t him that rejected me as I projected earlier. I wound up leaving with no content, no connections, and a wasted day.
Moral of the story: The way you speak to yourself, determines the outcome of your future.
Here are some lessons I wish I learned sooner to help boost my confidence:
- I’ve learned to receive compliments. I rewired myself to stop putting energy into turning down compliments.
- I’ve learned that giving genuine compliments helps me boost another queen as well. When you are in a room of happy queens, there is no other way to go but up.
- Smile.A lot. The more I frowned, the more negative attention it brought. It prompts people to tell me to smile (which is annoying) or worse, ask me what’s wrong (which in turns makes me think of everything that’s going wrong. Fake a smile and it attracts positive energy.
- I’ve learned to walk with my head held high. I learned what being comfortable in your own skin should look like, especially body language.
- I’ve learned when I look good, I’m more productive. When I look good, I feel good. Putting extra effort into my look totally upped my productivity by 1,000%.
- I’ve learned honing in on a skill or a hobby has given me something to look forward to and be proud of. It gives an air of confidence knowing something like the back of my hand.
- I’ve learned constant reassurance and gratification brings abundance. In turn it breeds confidence.
- I’ve learned to enjoy my solitude. To kill self-doubt, I should have comfort alone with my thoughts. That only takes practice.
- I”ve learned comparison is truly the thief of joy. So keep your eyes on your own prize and focus on crushing your own goals.
- The most important lesson I learned was to remember to have a social life. Doing things without your partner and making time for friends helps create a healthy mindset.
Hope my experience helped you guys.
Remember to dream big. Take chances. And never stop learning. We are CurlyBae.