Gaining confidence is something that happens when you start to believe in yourself without needing anyone else’s approval. You begin to know your own strength and it’s not because of what others say, but because you know that that strength and power comes from within.
I know this now, but this hasn’t always been the case. Growing up, I was always really shy and insecure. It’s when I found my passion and started to do what I really love that things began to change for me.
“Papa is the head of the household”, my mom used to say to my two younger sisters and I. “Whatever he says goes and never speak when you are not being spoken to.” Hearing those words multiple times during your childhood will get you behaving a certain way. I started to believe that speaking as little as possible would keep you from saying the wrong things and would help you stay out of trouble.
My primary school teachers and my peers would sometimes not even know that I was in class because I never put my hand up or spoke to people. Although I was a decent student, being silent meant that I always had to depend on myself and not ask for help when I needed it. It meant that my teachers didn’t feel like they could trust me for leadership positions like head girl or class monitor. I wanted to be head girl, but it was difficult to believe in myself when I couldn’t trust myself to speak and when I didn’t think my teachers believed in me either. I got used to being that way, and eventually my dreams of being head girl faded away.
Things really started to change when I got to high school and joined the soccer team. The principal called for more girls to start playing sports and I thought, “why not?”.
After the first month of joining I could feel the change in my spirit from the moment I started playing on that soccer field, I felt so free and I loved learning and being in control of my body. I didn’t care what anyone thought whilst I was on the pitch! There was nothing shy or quiet about the way I moved when I was playing soccer. I felt like a star on the field, and I only needed myself to know this.
Once our team was ready to compete with other schools, my coach decided to make me the captain of the soccer team! Being captain wasn’t difficult because I was confident in myself when it came to soccer and I knew I could lead and help the other girls in my team. It also gave me the confidence to be more open in class and ask questions when I needed to. The best thing about confidence is knowing that it doesn’t matter if you are right or wrong about anything. All that matters is you trying to be the best version of yourself!
So my top tips for being more confident?
- A quick way to boost confidence on the inside is to feel powerful on the outside. Take a moment to straighten up and hold your head high.
- A motto is a sentence or two that you can turn to when you need a boost. Mine is ‘I’m stepping outside my comfort zone to achieve my dreams’.
- I learned that sometimes, I need to ask for help. If there’s something you’re interested in, find someone that knows all about it. They can help you prepare and get involved.
- Try and do something new whenever you can. These can be really small things but it will help you get out of your comfort zone.
Do you have a hobby or passion that helped you believe in yourself? Tell us below!