It’s a question I’m asked a lot! Surprisingly.
(My teenage self would SO not talk to me now.)
Confidence is a preference for the habitual voyeur of what is known as…???
(just my little joke!)
I admit, I am a very confident person. I will eat alone no problem. I will ask strangers questions, put my hand up in class if I don’t understand something/ have actually been listening. I will ask for shop assistants’ help, I will call the taxi firm, I will march first into the lecture room, not a problem.
It soooooooooooooooo wasn’t always like this (refer to: my TraGic TeEnhOOd).
So when did I turn into that friend who will ring up and order the takeaway?
Looking at my own experience, I really think that confidence comes with RESPONSIBILITY.
I’m not talking like, parenthood or anything. But if you were a SHY TEEN (like me), you may find yourself opening up and becoming more unapologetically you, as you progress through life and follow your interests. And with that, comes security, and again, confidence.
My first taste of responsibility was being a prefect at school. I sucked at my job, okay, but it increased my self-confidence, having someone trust me enough to invest some power in me. So then I could introduce myself and say yeah, I do this prefect thing at school. And it makes life LESS AWKWARD if you go right in there with a fact about you.
And then it was university, and for the first term I didn’t do ANYTHING! No clubs, no extracurriculars, nothing. I was soooo scared of going in there and joining in (it was a big step!).
Eventually I joined in the Events Committee (read as: I made my roommate join in with me), and found that that provided me with some gravitas (real or imagined, I don’t know), in college. I felt I knew more people, that they maybe even knew me, had seen me at some event or other. As a result of that, I found the courage to join choir and then to join in with community service events and from then on, the whole thing just spiralled! In my final year, I felt like I knew a lot of people in college, and that they knew me. So I could say hello to people with confidence! 😀
Being a responsible member of some committee/ club, I think, is a really good way to give you that boost you might need or want, when you’re in new situations. You can say Hi! I’m Cam, I’m an anthropologist and yeah, you should totally join events comm! We can go together!*
*Or, you know, maybe something less forceful (I’m quite intense and have been described as “desperately friendly“. Lol).
An oldie but a goodie! You could be sh*tting bricks and still you can put your “game face” on (that makes it sounds like your painting mud stripes on your face, but whatever).
You gotta *search for the hero inside yourself* and just blaze on in there.
I find that wearing a thick layer of make-up also helps if you’re reaaaaaaaallly scared. You can hide behind your mascara and pretend to be the sassy confident queen you look like!
- Take a friend! Instant confidence boost.
- Baby steps! If you don’t want to go to the dance class by yourself, maybe message someone who goes/ the teacher beforehand. You can find out if most people go by themselves or with someone or whatever you have in mind!
- Again with the questions. ASK PEOPLE THINGS. This is an INSTANT way to start a conversation! Ask someone the time, or where the toilet is, if you have to. Or go right in there with, I dunno, life questions about God or something. That’s sure to start a conversation!
- Make the first move. Unlike in dating, in this case you can’t sit around and expect to be chased after. You gotta make the effort and after you know a few people or even a couple, you can relax and remove your “game-face”! But smile big and ask someone their name and what they study, or why they chose the subject. I guarantee they’ll be nice.
I hope this ~sort of~ helps! In short, I found that the more I get involved in something, the more confidence I get.