Confidence, something I sought for so long and finally found, you know when you think you’ve cracked it and that’s it now for the rest of your life, you are just confident right?!
Mine has taken such a beating lately, I am not really sure what the point of this blog post is, right now it feels like a pity party but that is honestly not my intention.
This post is something I have been thinking about for a long time but I always feel apprehensive to pen anything like this as it’s just all so self indulgent but in the hope that it may help others I’m going to post it anyway.
For me my confidence goes hand in hand with my mental health, I feel like when I’m anxious or sad that my confidence drops so easily. It can be about how I look or that I don’t want to socialise because I feel like I have nothing interesting or funny to say or talk about.
It pains me to say that my mental health is probably the worst it has been in my entire life at the moment and again this is not a pity party but I am a fan of being honest and real and the fact is this is the reality of this point in my life, it’s very easy to just be the best version of yourself on the outside putting on a brave face without anyone actually being able to tell something is wrong.
The saying Comparison is the thief of joy is just so true. I often relate this to comparing myself to others which I’m quite good at not doing… without realising that I do ALOT of comparing myself to myself, which for me is equally as damaging.
I think we often put a lot of pressure on ourselves to just be ok, to just get on with it, to be fine… when I finally bubbled over last week it was to my Mum and she said something that has just stuck in my head, and that was to just feel how I am feeling, ride that wave so to speak and stop trying to NOT feel it, stop fighting it.
I sometimes spend far too much time indoors and on my phone which I know are huge triggers for my anxiety and just generally make me feel shit. I have been giving a lot of thought about when I really lost my confidence in my life, when I was 16 I started college in London, where I spent 3 years just having so much fun. I had a huge circle of friends who I loved to bits, went out all the time and was just so carefree. Then I went from college to work, I worked in Canary Wharf for 2 years and again made some amazing friends and memories. Now I don’t see hardly any of them, partly my fault and partly others, there will be the odd Facebook DM or Whatsapp every now and then but it saddens me that I have lost touch with so many people.
I think when you become a mother, everything changes, I was 22 when I got pregnant with Abbie and it was the shock of my life I won’t lie, completely unplanned, unexpected and I just sobbed. Kieran and I were living at my parents and we were out every other night, it just didn’t feel right, I thought there was absolutely no way I was ready, he was ready and I was petrified. I didn’t have any friends with kids and I think from this point is where my social life changed so drastically. You start making excuses not to see people because the thought of going out and sitting round a pub table, everyone else drinking is just not fun… and before you know it you are on mat leave with a tiny human, your other half is at work all day and it’s really quite lonely. It’s like the more you don’t socialise the easier it is to just keep yourself to yourself, then you make plans and instantly think of ways to get out of them, it becomes more and more daunting and when I thought back to my younger self it’s like thinking of a stranger. That was my mat leave with Abbie and to be fair now I’ve written this all down I think it was probably one of the loneliest and saddest I’ve been. All of that being said having kids has bought me confidence and strength I didn’t know I was capable of and although I have wobbles feeling confident about my image or meeting people, I have so much confidence in being a Mother and those two girls are the making of me.
God I’m sitting here and thinking what a load of old waffle, and feel like I’m not getting to the point at all just waffling on and feeling sorry for myself but anyway let’s try and get back to talking about confidence. So you live your life and things happen, things shape you as a person and you learn lessons about yourself right? So what about when you know this stuff but go against it anyway in turn making yourself feel even more shit. For instance, I know when I eat bad, I feel bad… my skin breaks out, I feel sluggish and tired but I carry on the vicious circle of feel shit, eat shit and so on. I also know that being indoors too much makes me feel bad, I love walking and just having some headspace… but the thought of getting up and out is too much so sitting there with my nose in my phone feels like the easier option. It can be so so tough to break this cycle, I find that tackling one thing, one day at a time is the best option. So for instance this week I have said to myself, get out everyday. Not including school run and work, but get out and walk, go the the shops, gym, whatever just don’t be in the house too much… the age Isla is at the moment it always feels like the best option is to stay in but the struggle of being out with her is worth it compared to how stressed I feel after being indoors with her all day. Next week I will try and focus more on what I’m eating if I feel ready but baby steps and all that.
Losing weight for me was a huge confidence boost, I admire women so much who love themselves full stop, but I do struggle with this. I accept myself and my flaws, my saggy tummy and stretch makes do not bother me, cellulite, varicose veins all of the flaws none of that bothers me, none of that is going anywhere without minor or major surgery… but I really struggle not to look at my slimmer, fitter self and not think I wish I looked like that. I think even back to my most recent holiday in Portugal this year, I was having personal training and eating well most of the time… I don’t think I actually appreciated what good shape I was in and I’m annoyed with myself for letting myself slip away from this. I feel like I have a duty almost to love myself and help others feel motivated and inspired to love themselves no matter what… but the fact of the matter is, I feel shit and unhealthy, my skin is the worst is has ever been because of all the chocolate I am eating and I need to stop feeling guilty for wanting to change.
So my first steps for finding confidence again are taking those baby steps, small changes, small goals… nothing major just some shifts to try and have a better balance in my life. And when it comes to socialising and getting out more, I find the saying ‘fake it till you make it’ always helps me. Push yourself to do things you feel apprehensive to. Say Hi to someone new, start a conversation. If you meet me IRL I am usually so nervous talking to new people but you would never know it 😂 and honestly the more I push myself to do these things the better I feel. When you are feeling low and shit it’s ok, just feel it and make sure you tell someone… don’t hold it in, let it all out… and write things down if that’s your thing! Blogging for me is such a great outlet even if I do sound like a messed up, self obsessed nutter… I have some blogs in my drafts that I have just typed out on bad days, not for others to see but more for me just to let it out.
I really hope this helps anyone and I can’t believe how much I’ve actually waffled on but I am totally procrastinating and enjoying a rare free moment to actually write.