Up Close & Personal: Self-Confidence

Sometimes I find it easier to express myself through my writing because I’ll often stumble on my words. We all have our insecurities and maybe some of you will be able to relate, maybe some of you won’t but here’s mine…

Rhea, why don’t you just be more confident?

If I was paid for every time someone asked me this question, I’d be walking into Hermes right now to purchase a Birkin bag. I get asked more times than I would like, alongside the oh so wonderful question of:

“Why are you still single?”

But let’s not get into that discussion right now, one life struggle at a time please…

I’ve stopped trying to answer and have saved myself the embarrassment of looking like I’m socially inept when I struggle to put together a coherent answer. Instead I’ve whittled down my response to now a quick and snappy evasive shrug – simple. Going down the non-verbal route of communication saves me the time and effort of explaining something that I still don’t have the answer to, even at the age of 23.

In my head, I’m rolling my eyes because I’m not confident enough (the irony) to throw back a passive aggressive answer. Instead I’ll just sit with it and wallow in the thought of something that I’ve struggled to change. From my point of view, my self-confidence is something that I can’t just easily turn on at the switch of a button. In all fairness, if I knew how to I would. The likelihood of me ever becoming completely confident is almost as likely as seeing me wear socks with sandals, kitten heels or double denim – so basically never.

My ‘struggle’ with self-confidence, if you will, has successfully managed to affect various aspects of my life. I find things like public speaking petrifying, new social situations uncomfortable and I have this natural tendency to doubt myself unnecessarily. Did you think that was it? Oh no, there’s more…I’m notorious for being pessimistic. I’m sure it’s annoying for the people around me because even I find it painstakingly frustrating. It’s in my nature and almost impossible to change.

In high school I wasn’t exactly the ‘Regina George’ of my time and I would have probably placed myself somewhere towards the very bottom of the social hierarchy. I was shy as fuck and a nervous wreck in most situations, whether I was able to keep my shit together or not. Instead I was blessed with the gift of being socially awkward and my worry for embarrassing myself was a regular occurrence. I cared far too much about what others thought about me (I still do as much as I try to deny it) and naturally over analysed situations.

Turning down ‘nights out’ is a C.V. worthy talent that I have skillfully perfected over the years. When you lack the confidence in yourself, you worry about the silliest things. As females, you know the drill…the first thing we all do is call each other the night before to discuss what we’re wearing. Heaven forbid that you actually wear something that you didn’t consult with your best friend, because who wants to rock up to the club/bar in jeans when all of your friends are in skirts?

You’ve always got the constant worry of whether your outfit is appropriate enough that you’re not called out for looking like a slut, or whether your skirt is too short that guys can practically see your ovaries. Trying to find the right balance was too much for me, when I once tragically lacked the ability to put a decent outfit together. Truthfully, I was scared that I would embarrass myself so I just wouldn’t go. My introversion was my greatest excuse for convincing myself that I wouldn’t have a good time because going out to clubs just wasn’t my kind of scene. Even the possibility of having a guy approach me was enough for me to always choose a Friday night in.

I’m naturally an anxious person. Always have and probably always will be. All of these things still hold some truth for me today. I’m not super confident, I still worry and I still overthink but I’ve got somewhat of a handle on managing my anxieties. Instead I just take the reckless approach and throw myself into anxiety provoking situations with the hope that the outcome won’t be completely soul destroying.

I’m still just as awkward but I’ve somehow learnt to embrace it and deal with the shitty backlash of people thinking that I’m weird. Living life with a ‘fuck it’ kind of attitude seems like the best way forward because you don’t have time to over analyse everything in a given situation.

Someone once told me that my self-confidence would get better with age. The pessimist in me instantly called him out on his bullshit because I still even find the concept of accepting a compliment extremely difficult, without completely beating myself up in the process. Recently, my perspective has changed so much. I never thought that I’d see myself where I am today and If I could go back, I would literally shake my younger self and tell her to get a grip. I spent too many years confining myself to what I know best: my comfort zone. I constantly put pressure on myself to be confident as if it was a life goal that I needed to fulfil in order to be happy.

You’re always going to be faced with situations in life that leave you shit scared. You’re never going to be 100% confident in yourself and of course I’ve realised that there’s always going to be that doubt or underlying worry. There’s always going to be uncertainties that we have absolutely no control over and maybe that’s what’s so unnerving about it all. You just have to adapt and take things as they come.

Realistically, what’s the worst that can happen?

Lots of love,

Outfit Details:

Dress: Zara | Shoes: Chanel Ballerina Flats

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