As stylists, we help our clients to improve their confidence. It’s a big part of our work. But who helps us to build up our own confidence? We do! We all need plenty of the stuff so we can take bold decisions to grow our businesses and inspire even greater confidence in our clients.
I believe that confidence is simply about learning to be yourself and turning up despite your perceived shortcomings.
When I talk about developing confidence, I’m not talking about the everyday ebbs and flows that are normal and that we all experience. I’m talking about strengthening our core confidence so that we believe in ourselves; we trust we’re safe and that everything will work out okay. So that we understand that we’re good enough and worthy enough just as we are.
Here are my ten crucial things you need to develop your core confidence:
1) Become self-aware
Work out what’s really going on with you. What thoughts, fears and worries are swirling around in your head? You might be overwhelmed with too much to do or constantly tweaking your latest offer because you’re a perfectionist and terrified of failing, for example. Once you identify your unhelpful thought patterns, you can work to change them. Fail to do so, and they’ll hold you back. You’ll be stuck in your head worrying instead of taking action.
2) Learn self-acceptance
There is no point in comparing yourself to others as you will always come up short. So many stylists I talk to get stuck comparing themselves without realising it. They spend time scrolling social media, silently taking note of everyone else in the industry and subconsciously telling themselves unfavourable things like:
– I’ll never be as confident as her
– I’ll never look as good as she does
– I’ll never be as professional as she is
– I wish I had perfect teeth
– I wish I had a different accent
None of that is helpful at all. You’re constantly beating yourself up and searching for different parts of yourself to reject.
Confidence comes from accepting EVERYTHING about yourself and how completely different you are from anyone else. You weren’t supposed to be like anyone else. You are supposed to be yourself in all your beautiful quirkiness.
3) Find clarity
All confident people have clarity. They know what they want and are completely clear on their non-negotiables. I want to visit my family in Ireland at least four times a year, more if I can. I want a consistent, lucrative income and fulfilling relationships.
If you’re unsure about what you want, it’s hard to put yourself out there and make it happen. What do you really want? Get specific and write it down. Put numbers beside it. How much do you want to earn? How many holidays do you want to go on every year? The more specific you can be, the better.
4) Banish toxicity
Confident people do not tolerate toxicity in their lives. Toxic people don’t want you to be assertive or a go-getter. They don’t want to encourage you or celebrate you and your achievements. They’re difficult people to be around, and you usually come away from time with a toxic person feeling bad about yourself.
Confident people sideline the toxic people in their lives because they refuse to put up with being pulled down all the time. Sometimes, however, the toxic people in your life are part of your family, and you can’t walk away from them. You can enforce stronger boundaries, though. Work out how much time you want to spend with them and enforce your non-negotiables. Think about and communicate what kind of behaviour is unacceptable to you and how you wish to be treated instead.
5) Celebrate your successes
I used to be bad at this. I was constantly striving for the next thing, beating myself up because I hadn’t got there yet. I understand now that my constant drive and pushing onto the next thing all came down to low self-esteem.
Confident people celebrate even the smallest achievement, whether that’s turning up live in their group, asking for something they want, or creating something new. They celebrate themselves all the time. I don’t mean with a fancy champagne lunch, just acknowledging what you’ve achieved and taking a moment to say well done and pat yourself on the back. You’d do that for a friend but not necessarily yourself, so now it’s time to start.
6) Learn to recharge
Confident people know how to rest and recharge. They know how to take care of themselves and take time out without feeling guilty about it. We must find a way to leave the guilt behind and take time to rest and relax fully so that we have more to give back and be better for the people around us.
7) Take responsibility for your life and happiness
My life totally changed when I stepped up and took responsibility for it and my happiness. I’m going to share a personal story here because I think it’ll touch everyone and illustrate what I’m talking about when I say you need to take responsibility.
I’ve been with my husband for a very long time. We met when we were 19 and after six years together, things got a bit messy, and we broke up. When we got back together a year later, he was living in Bahrain. He returned to Ireland to visit his family and told me he’d made a mistake splitting up with me. He wanted us to get back together and give it another go.
I put my foot down and said if we’re going to get back together, I want to be married by the time I’m 30 and have kids. If you don’t want that, now is the time to say so because I don’t want to waste any more years on a relationship that won’t get me to where I want to go.
Now that’s what I mean about taking responsibility for your own life! No waiting for somebody else to come up with the goods. It’s the same with your business: you must be clear about what you want and take responsibility for the results. Nobody will be as excited about your dreams as you, so don’t wait around for them to cheer you on. Cheer for yourself and go out there and get it!
8) Keep trying
Confident people never give up. They keep on trying. They have just as much failure in life and are usually no luckier than less confident people. The difference between confident people and unconfident people is that confident people keep taking action despite their horrible feelings.
They have the same feelings of fear, shame and anger when things go wrong, just like everyone else, BUT they keep moving towards their goals. They keep trying. Even when they fail, they keep trying.
9) Do not put other people down
Confidence is silent; insecurities are loud. Confident people do not put others down. Putting others down does not show you as being confident; it shows you as being full of insecurities and is a major turn-off.
10) Create a system that renews your confidence daily
Confident people have a daily system to renew their confidence, where they work on their self-awareness and work to move out of unhelpful thought patterns. They have a way of reinforcing the helpful traits that are super important to them. I use journaling to increase my self-awareness and EFT tapping to move away from negative beliefs and stories. Could you try them?
What do you think about these ten traits of confidence? Would you include anything else?