Confidence is Key

Hello hello, welcome to my brain. There’s a lot of craziness up in here, and a lot I can’t control.
Are you sure you want to keep reading?

….

I’m glad you did because today I’d like to talk about something very important.
C O N F I D E N C E
Or my lack there of.

You see, this is something I’ve been struggling with lately, and I thought – maybe I’m not the only one.
There are plenty of articles that I read daily that include “being confident” as a step towards a bigger goal, such as being a happier person or performing better at work. However, none of them go into detail about how to actually be confident. It seems like unless you were born with this particular trait, then it’s just bad luck for you and come again soon please.

There are plenty of people who have natural confidence; the extroverts of the world. My boyfriend being one of them. Nothing seems to phase them, they give anything a go and more often than not, excel at whatever they’re trying out [I am generalisng here, bear with me]. This is the view from the introvert’s perspective. In reality confident people still suffer from fear and anxiety, just on a smaller scale, and manage to overcome these feelings in order to achieve what they set out to do.

BUT HOW?! is the question I have been asking myself, pretty much since the day I met Andrew. How can he be so calm, chilled out, but ready for anything? How does he not stress out and overthink everything to the point of giving up?
Well, for starters, he is male. I’m generalising again, and there are always exceptions, but it seems that women tend to think about things a lot more than men. We’re the stressers, the worriers, the over-thinkers and over-analysers. Which can make things a little difficult.

The goal I’m having a hard time with at the moment is riding. I have ridden my bike a couple of times a week for as long as I can remember. I love it, and always have. As I’m getting fitter and my skills are improving I want to push myself. So, I started riding to work. I began on the bike path, and worked my way up to back streets, and finally main roads. I was on fire, and nothing could touch me.
Until one very chilly, frosty morning when I took a short cut through a park, cut around the “slow down” barriers, slid on the frozen grass and came off the bike. I didn’t get hurt – I had a couple of grazes and some very cold legs, but it shook my confidence.
Andrew has been taking me out Mountain biking, which begun really well – until it didn’t anymore. I get in my head too much, over think and let the fear of coming off the bike control the whole ride. Which has been horrible for both of us, what was meant to be something Andrew could share with me has turned into this stressful outing where I feel bad for not performing and he feels guilty for pushing me.

So, how do you get out of this vicious cycle? [pardon the pun]
For me, the following things have really helped:

  1. Yoga [in particular yogi breathing]
  2. Remembering why I started
  3. Asking myself if I really enjoy this
  4. Having solo time [I got out on my bike in the bush last week, alone. Changed my whole perspective]
  5. Making goals [even if it’s simple things, like ‘I’m going to really enjoy myself this time’]
  6. Admitting mistakes [this is HUGE, and so powerful]
  7. Accepting compliments [because then you start to believe them]

I think this is what life’s really all about. There’s no big mystery, it’s pretty simple; do what you enjoy doing, with the people you love spending time with.
Push your comfort zone, but understand where your boundaries are.
Confidence will build over time, as long as you are doing what you love and having FUN.

I hope you all find things that scare you, excite you, calm you down, build you up and leave you with a smile on your face!

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Hanbel.
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