Thursday, 14 April 2011

Becoming Confident

It's never been a secret that I'm always battling nerves. I am not confident at all, I don't like doing anything on my own. I will avoid it at all costs, things like phoning the doctors, doing some printing, going swimming. If I am with someone though, it is fine. I don't mind if I have someone by my side (unless it involves phone conversations, in which case I would make them do it!) But I have come to the realisation that this all has to change. I'm going to have to start being independant and I'm going to have to get over these nerves. Whenever I have something coming up, like that presentation, or an interview, the night before, I am ready to go. I think to myself how I can do it, and it's not a big deal. Even with little things, like doing something on my own, going to a store and having to speak to someone about a problem or something, well when it comes to the actual event? I bail. Completely. I find some kind of excuse not to do it, or go back when someone else is with me. It's ridiculous really. I don't show confidence at all, my shoulders are slumped and my hair usually hides my face or I look down when I walk. I don't like doing things on my own. Yet, I love my own company. It's not like I have to be around people all the time. Infact, I hate that. I have to have my alone time. I work better by myself and I prefer time on my own. So I don't understand why I always need someone to hold my hand when it comes to doing stuff out and about. I cant even get coffee by myself. I can't shop properly by myself because I feel awkward and as if everyone is watching me. I wish I wasn't plagued by nerves.

Something needs to change.
I am fed up of this ruling my life. Why can't I do it myself? I mean, it's not really scary. It's not going to kill me for goodness sake, so I don't know why I get so nervous!
Like I mentioned before, in my future career, I will be meeting new people, having skype conferences, talking to clients on the phone. That scares the bejesus outta me! I have to change. I won't be able to get anywhere in life if all I do is stand by the wall and try and not get people to notice me.
So, I'm going to change. I am going to fake it. I'm going to try and do things out of my comfort zone. I have to stop putting off the jobs that I don't want to do, and just do them.
I am going to document my little 'journey' to becoming confident on my blog. It may seem silly to you, the little things that I would be doing that seem like such a big deal to me, when maybe some of you wouldn't bat an eyelid doing it. But I want to put this out there so I don't back out. If its published, I can't keep pretending I can put it off. I know things have to change, and now everyone else does to.
So please support me on this little journey of mine :) I hope to grow as a person, become confident and be able to do things on my own without any problems at all.
Tomorrow I have to go to the Apple Shop by myself to get my Ipod fixed. Doing this on my own really scares me. I dont like the unknown. What do I say, where do I go, who do I speak to?
Then I have to drive to B&Q (a job I have been putting off for weeks because I wanted to go with someone) and buy some lining paper.
How silly does that sound? But it scares me doing this by myself. You can laugh if you want, I think it does sound pretty ridiculous, these stupid things I can't do on my own.
But maybe, you might have some tips for me? Or maybe you do the same thing, and get other people to do it for you. So please leave some comments for me about being confident. Your comments on the nerves post was so so helpful.
I think all I have to do, is act confident. Put my head up and just pretend I know what I'm doing. Wish me luck! Katie xoxo


  1. Oh my goodness it's not just me!

    I won't go anywhere by myself, I won't answer the house phone because I don't know who is calling. I won''t call anyone, even calling friends! It's horrible isn't it? I don't know why I'm like that. I think what helped me was getting a job in a call centre., which I never normally would but I was very desperate for money and just went for it. I hated it on the phones, it was actually terrifying for me but over time it got a little easier.

    I think you just have to jump in the deep end and go for it, make it seem like you are more confident on the outside even if you're not on the inside.

  2. I used to be exactly the same as this. I used to lie awake at night worrying about going into shops, and whether everyone would be looking at me and judging me for the awkward uncomfortable person that I was. To try and combat it I used to try and plan what I would do, so if I were you I would be picturing myself in the aisles at B&Q, or planning what I would say in the Apple shop. I also used to have anxiety attacks when I was out on my own.
    A few things happened to make this change - one is that I read a really great book called 'Feel the fear and do it anyway' ( which I would HIGHLY recommend. It made me realise that everyone gets scared about doing things, and actually the only way to combat it is to FORCE yourself to do these things so often that they become second nature. The second was that I got a new job and in my new job I had to do things that petrified me, like go places and give presentations, travel places on my own I hadn't been before, make cold calls to journalists and tons of other things that I would never have done if it wasn't part of my job. Gradually as I did these things more often I did them without even thinking and now things like going shopping on my own, or making phone calls, doesn't faze me at all. I can't believe I was the person who used to lie awake at night panicking about doing these things, but I really was. You can do it, you just have to force yourself out of your comfort zone. If you want any advice or a chat I would be happy to talk to you about it (I don't mean in a patronising way - just as someone who has been the same as you and come out of the other side).
    Hope that helps!xxx

  3. I am still a little like this but I am slowly trying to make myself more confident. My mum always said to me if I was confident then I could fake it and I feel like I've become a lot more confident in the past year or so! Good luck with it!

  4. I always used to be like this when I was younger - and still am to some extent, I hate being alone when I'm in public! - but I feel like having a job on a customer service desk has really helped me with confidence in a lot of ways. Im much more comfortable talking to others now.

    Although admittedly I still HATE being on the phone. So glad I'm not the only one like that!

    Look forward to reading about this some more :) Good luck with everything.

  5. Hi Katie, I'm not a shy person but I definitely used to be a bit shy when I was younger about doing things on my own. I'm quite like you in that I do like to be by myself quite a bit, and I actually prefer shopping etc by myself. I think when you've become more confident you'll probably be the same and enjoy doing things more independently.

    I think a massive tip is to plan what you're going to do/say before you do it. I always stumble over my words if I'm on the phone making an appointment or something like that, but if you just think what you're going to say first then it will be fine.

    Before you go to the Apple Store and B&Q just make a game plan, it's not like you have to plan every detail but just before you get there think, right I'm going to walk in, look for this aisle and blah blah, and if I can't find it then just ask someone who works there. Sometimes if I'm nervous somewhere I actually feel it's easier to pretend to be confident and ask a sales assistant rather than wander around a shop feeling stupid.

    If you're shy about talking to people you don't know, like I said, just quickly remind yourself what you're going to say in your head before you speak to them, and smile at them before you speak to them.

    I hope this helped, it must be hard to feel unable to do things alone. Another thing that always helps me (although silly) is that if I'm going out somewhere I wear a bit of make-up and make myself feel confident in my appearance, and then you're more likely to hold your head up and look people in the eye instead of being shy. Sorry this was a massive comment but I thought that might help you a bit...?

    Good luck! Harriet xx

  6. I used to be like this too, don't worry! Up until recently the sound of a phone ringing would turn me into a jelly - sweaty palms, shaking. Not cool! But then I got a job - I applied and accepted the offer thinking it would just be till/sales assistant work but got thrown in at the deep end, answering the phone all day, helping customers, phoning customers and generally having to talk and be confident all the time. Best thing that's ever happened to me! You really do just have to take a deep breath and get on with it. It gets easier really quickly, once you get over that initial feeling of doom! Good luck, I'm sure you will be able to conquer it :)

  7. i want to become more confident too :/

  8. There is a LOT to be said for the fake it till you make it approach,
    eventually you really do start to believe in yourself and without really realising it, you aren't faking any more x