As you may have guessed, I am on a mission to dig deep into self confidence as it’s a topic that fascinates me. What is it exactly and how do we get more of it? I want to uncover the patterns that trigger feeling more or less confident in any given situation, define those patterns explicitly and offer you solutions, hacks and advice.
When I started Hello Dame London my aim was to get to the essence of the results my customers wanted, and through chatting to so many of you I’ve discovered it is ultimately self confidence. We all long to feel better about ourselves and look to role models and influencers to guide us in making the right choices. Maybe it’s a change of diet, maybe it’s a new hair colour, maybe it’s being more present with your spouse or children. It doesn’t have to be big but it does have to be significant to you. Our self confidence is like a heating thermostat and can be triggered on and off depending on the environment in which we find ourselves. My goal is to find a way to set the dial at full blast and keep it there. Hopefully by sharing my journey with you, you may find a nugget here and there that will help you to feel better about who you are inside and out.
Women are conditioned to believe if they look better on the outside, they will feel better on the inside. However, we all know that just buying a new lipstick or pair of lashes doesn’t provide an instantaneous quick fix to a deep lack of self esteem or a desire for more self confidence. If only it were that quick and easy! I know I feel different when I wear my lashes and therefore probably act differently too but niggling in the back of my mind is the nagging thought that somehow I am not good enough.
Where on earth has this pervasive lack of self confidence come from?
Interestingly I would say I have a bias to be 80% negative and 20% positive primarily because I tend to dwell on the negative aspects of my life. I have a tendency to lock away all the “shitty” times in a little box in the back of my head. It’s like I pull out the negative and remind myself that I can’t be happy about the good when this bad or negative thing happened to me xxxx amount of time ago. I have noticed that this negative bias erodes my self esteem. It’s confirmation bias at its worst! My brain is on an infinite loop of being unhappy about myself and my life in general. Irrespective of makeup, haircuts and holidays until I slay this dragon it’s going to follow me around and plague my life. This image captures the sentiment exactly. I’m the prince battling the dragon of negative self talk on a daily basis.
Do you ever feel that way? Do you ever feel you can’t be happy because you’ve either experienced negativity in your past or are currently experiencing it in the present? Are you also stuck on the negativity loop? What dragon are you currently trying to slay?
I’m not saying all of these things to be depressing, I’m pointing this out because I know that I’m not the only person out there that struggles with these thoughts. I’m not the only person feeling like somehow my life is sub par and that I somehow don’t measure up.
Rediscovering your self confidence is a subtle art because self confidence is nuanced. What works for me may not work for you which can be frustrating. We need to dig deep and look for patterns which trigger the feelings of low self esteem and unworthiness. A key pattern for me is drinking alcohol - wine especially and I have taken the decision to remove it from my life permanently. I have been down this path many times before which infuriates my girls but this time I feel something has shifted. I am not giving up because I should, I am choosing not to drink because I know it fundamentally changes my brain chemistry and destroys my self esteem. It’s well documented that alcohol is a depressant but like all things it’s not a depressant for everyone. The effects are subtle in that I don’t feel depressed as soon as I have had one glass but 3 or 4 hours later my mood changes and down the dark well I fall. Once I decided to look for patterns I was able to join the dots - 2/3 glasses of wine = feeling melancholy, disheartened and discouraged - without fail!
I have been so inspired by Zoe Ball. Once she gave up drinking she seemed to radiate positivity and her career took off. She just looks so damn happy now! I look at her and think I want some of that. I stopped drinking on the 19th February 2022 - Lolly’s 16th birthday and I have an inner determination to see it through this time.
I need to rediscover the subtle art of self confidence which I had as a child, happy up in my room playing or reading or generally biffing about. I know it’s there and giving up drinking is the first step.
I'd love to know in the comments what are your patterns that lead to feelings of unworthiness and low self esteem.