Thursday, 15 June 2017

An Introvert's Guide to Self-Confidence

Growing up, being an introvert was something I was never prepared to admit to. But all the signs were there - I was that kid who would prefer to be alone with a book by the doors instead of play with the others during break. I was the person who would listen to other people's stories in groups rather than tell any of my own. It had always been instilled in me that this was a bad thing. That introverts never make it out there in the big bad world. Well. It's only now at the ripe age of 21 that I realised this isn't the case. Introverts are a special kind of people with a different view of the world, and that isn't necessarily one which should be looked down on.



I'll be honest though, the more I've grown to accept that 'yes, this is what I am', the more I've realised just how lacking in self-confidence I was. There are many times that I've had that feeling of a heavy punch in the stomach when the nerves kick in. There are many time where I've realised it takes more for me to buck up the courage to do certain things, or to believe in myself even if they're things which I know from past experience I've excelled in. 3 years of Law School has meant being surrounded by the biggest crowd of extroverts I've ever known, and while at times this has definitely made me want to sink into my comfortable box even more, it's certainly taught me a few things about how to believe in myself and most importantly, MAINTAIN that belief.


So here it goes, guys. An introvert's guide to self-confidence:


1) Don't hold on to criticism


THIS. IS. SO. IMPORTANT. One of the biggest killers to my self-confidence over the years has been holding onto that one negative comment when the positive ones outweigh it. I have worked my BACKSIDE off through school, and regardless there have been incidents where some teachers would openly say they doubted I would do well. These comments crushed me. But they shouldn't have. I learned to dust myself off and grind, and I proved them wrong. Self belief is more vital to your success than another person's comments. Only YOU know your best abilities. So trust yourself.


2) Be proud of your achievements


Something that I've realised over the years when practising for interviews for work experience or internships is that I tend to downplay the things I've achieved. It doesn't help that one of my biggest pet peeves is showing off, but this point is far different to that. Being proud of your achievements isn't about boasting - it's about knowing how hard you had to work to gain these things. It's about acknowledging that 'yes, I actually am good at x, y, z'. If you actively notice the things you've achieved in your life you'll realise that you had the potential - and eventually the confidence - to achieve even more.


3) Fake it 'till you make it


Okay, so hear me out. Every introvert has come across plenty of situations where they're forced into doing something they're uncomfortable with doing. Trust me - I understand. I hate this, but when it does happen I know there's one thing that people never forget: and that's how you present yourself. In those first few minutes, you and only you can take control of the position you've been thrust into. Funnily enough, I find that if I act as though I am confident in a situation, after a few minutes those initial anxieties are practically non-existent. It's amazing! Understandably this will come easier to some than it will to others, but practise makes perfect. Just remember that if you have even a fathom of belief in yourself, others will have belief in you.


What are your tips for self-confidence?


Keep it real,


Zahra D x 
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