Self confidence has been a battle for my whole life. I used to say that it’s only been since becoming a mother, but actually I’ve always struggled to feel confident in myself. When I was younger there was a big pressure to fit in with everyone else, to have the right clothes and go to the right places. I don’t think I ever quite grasped it, but I found a lot of confidence when I entered the working world. I liked earning my own money and providing for myself, I liked having the freedom to be who I wanted. I was finally away from the restrictions and pressures of school, college or university. And then motherhood hit me like a ton of bricks. Suddenly the financial independence was gone, my clothes didn’t fit and I didn’t have the time or the energy to do any of the things that made me feel good in myself.
As the kids have got older, it’s becoming easier to find that time for myself again. And I’ve had a realisation that I wish I’d had years ago. Self confidence comes from within- it’s not about what we are wearing or the money we earn. It comes from how we feel about ourselves, and no matter what phase of life you are in it’s important to nurture that relationship you have with yourself. Regardless of time or money, there are always things that we can do to feel good about ourselves and we all need to learn to love and treat ourselves in the way that we deserve. The best relationship you should have is with yourself, after all you’re stuck with you forever! I’m going to share three things that I do to help myself when my self confidence is low, hopefully they can be some inspiration for anyone else needing a pick me up.
Over the last few years, I’ve realised that acts of self care are some of the biggest ways I can boost my self confidence. By giving myself that time to care for myself it sends a message to my brain that I am worthy of that time, and that I deserve to feel good in myself, and in turn that boosts my confidence. My favourite self care comes in the form of pampering; a bubble bath, doing my nails and my very favourite things – fake tan! Life is better with a tan, that’s just a fact. And as someone who really doesn’t tan naturally, a fake tan is the perfect answer. Its taken me a lot of trial and error over the years (if you follow me on Instagram you will have witnessed lots of the trials and even more of the errors) but I really think I finally have my perfect tan routine nailed. I try to keep my skin moisturised and I exfoliate regularly so that the tan lasts for longer and stays even. Now that I have a good tanning routine, I really look forward to Fake Tan Thursdays (which can really be any day of the week that I find the time). I like to use a different fake tan for face than I do for my body as they are formulated in a different way that avoids the breakouts I otherwise suffer from. My favourite tanning products are the Bondi Sands Foam in Dark and for my face I use St Moritz Tan Boosting Facial Serum. I can’t explain it, but I just feel better in myself with a glow, my clothes look nicer and I will always feel most confident on days when I have a fresh tan.
Exercise & Good Food
Exercise for me has really very little to do with wanting to improve my physical fitness. That’s a bonus of course, but the biggest benefit I find from getting moving is for my mind. Those little endorphins really can go a long way and I always feel a huge boost in my mood if I’ve moved my body and raised my heart rate a little. Sometimes that will be going to the gym or doing a home workout and I also love going for long walks. Everyone has different forms of exercise that they enjoy so don’t feel like you need to do the same as anybody else. Find something that you love so that it doesn’t feel like a chore, and yes, dancing in the kitchen to Taylor Swift with the kids totally counts.
Good food comes under this category too. I actually really enjoy cooking from scratch, I love cutting up all the fresh ingredients, it makes the kitchen smell amazing and the vibrant colours are a nice change to the usual beige foods that my children want to eat. When I eat well I feel good in myself, and cooking that food is an act of self love in itself, it’s a reminder that I am worth the time and effort it takes to cook it. I deserve to feel good in myself. Just reminding yourself of that once in a while can do wonders for your self esteem and confidence.
If I’m feeling down or stuck in a rut, listening to a podcast is the perfect way to pull myself out of that funk. I’m a total self help junkie at heart and I love listening to inspirational women talking about their lives and their journeys to success, whatever that looks like for them. I soak it all in and it’s almost like their own self confidence is infectious – by the end of an episode I always feel ready and inspired to take on the world again. My favourite time to listen to podcasts is when I’m out for a walk in the evening or sometimes I’ll listen in bed before I go to sleep which always finishes the day on a good note, no matter what else has gone on that day.
There isn’t a one size fits all answer to self confidence, the key is that it comes from the ‘self’ so you are really the only person who can ever know what it will feel like and how you can achieve it. The one thing that I do know though is that we all deserve the chance to find the things that boost our self confidence. As mums, it can be especially hard to give ourselves time, but we do need it, and we are worthy of it. And realising that is the crucial first step to giving yourself that boost.
What do you do to boost your self confidence?