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Help - cunning ideas for building confidence

(25 Posts)
VivMac Mon 07-Jul-14 12:36:35

I'm trying to find real, practical, effective suggestions on how to build confidence, little bit by little bit and would really like some ideas. I've got as far as wearing the most reddest lipstick but wonder what else might be worth trying ...confused

TwoInTheMourning Mon 07-Jul-14 15:24:43

Volunteer at school and try different activities. Become an exam invigilator. Take a course on something that can help with work or something you really enjoy, like a craft.

VivMac Mon 07-Jul-14 17:21:21

Good scheme TwoInTheMourning: in some ways, though, I want to break free of school, school gates, exams, other people's children!!!

CareersDragon Wed 09-Jul-14 16:53:50

Do something that you've never done alone before....go to a restaurant/ the cinema/ a train or plane trip...
.... Join a club / do an activity where you know nobody somebody else do something....
...learn a new skill/ language...
....have a beauty makeover in a department store...
...pretend you're somebody you admire for a day, and imagine how they would deal with the challenge that you've given yourself....
Good luck! smile

VivMac Wed 09-Jul-14 18:04:48

Loving the idea of pretending to be somebody I admire for a day and imagining what they would do: unfortunately everyone that springs to mind has some extreme behaviour traits which might be compromised by the challenges of 21st century - Boudica, Edith Cavell, Ruby Wax being the ones that immediately spring to mind!!

Timeforabiscuit Wed 09-Jul-14 18:13:51

There is a group called reading aloud who gather together and do just that.

Try and break out of old routines? Having coffee instead of tea, wearing brighter colours than usual, taking a different route to the shops.

DarlingBudsOfMay Thu 10-Jul-14 09:31:56

If in doubt I ask myself, "what would Audrey Hepburn do?"

VivMac Thu 10-Jul-14 14:48:12

The Audrey Hepburn option handily rules out eating too much chocolate; sobbing pathetically; and seeking dark spider-y corners to hide in - off to wear brighter colours and try eyeliner like a kitten... hmm

DarlingBudsOfMay Sun 13-Jul-14 23:39:17

Hehe me too. Whilst humming 'Moon River' smile

JaneGarveykeepsmesane Tue 05-Aug-14 13:39:26

Hi Viv

I hope you're getting on ok with the whole confidence thing back at work.

Some serious suggestions that helped me return after illness absence and a baby were:

Re-read your CV as if you were hiring and evaluate it. No doubt it's great and you have lots to be proud of.

Think about why you are going back to work. This should give you the reason and the feeling for what yours trying to achieve. If you're going back to earn money but don't necessarily want a cut throat career war then understand that - that will take pressure off. If you are going back with career advancement in mind, then be prepared. You need to have your home life run like clockwork, I'd suggest a nanny and back up grandparents or whoever for when nanny is poorly and do your shopping online - I love ocado, personal choice. You will need to be your priority while you re-establish yourself. Take that time and don't be overly critical
of yourself. Your kids will thank you for it in the long run - and you will still have a career when they've gone on to the next stage of their lives. If they're old enough, be brave and have a chat to them about what you're doing and why. The confidence boost you will get from your kids being behind you will make you feel you're walking on air.

If you are short of cash for new suits contact charity Dress to Impress - they have some seriously high quality stuff donated by lawyers, accountants, high ranking execs, usually after mat leave. They also give free confidence coaching.


HippityHoppityLaLaLa Tue 05-Aug-14 19:09:17

Watch this Amy Cuddy TED talk - all about posture. Costs nothing to watch, and nothing to implement.

NCFTTB Tue 05-Aug-14 19:44:30

Fake it until you make it!

Loosing your confidence is so hard and has such an impact on your life. You can't go and physically look for it and you can't just buy some more! All you need is for someone to give you an opportunity or take a chance on you (work wise) and your confidence will soar. Something will switch in your head and they'll be no stopping you!

I love the idea of going to the cinema/theatre, having a make over at a counter in a department store or doing something else like that on your own - I might try that!

Good luck OP!

LizzieVereker Tue 05-Aug-14 20:03:43

I found this book really helpful, it's definitely helped me improve the way I run meetings, get things done, present myself etc:
Nice Girls Don't Get The Corner Office

Pointlessfan Tue 05-Aug-14 22:22:12

When I was having a wobbly patch at work a friend suggested that I list the things that have gone well or that I have achieved at the end of each day. This really helped me to see that I was doing well at work even with the odd setback. My DH and I did the same thing each night when our baby was first born and it really helped us to stop doubting ourselves and see that things were going well.

PinotGreedy Tue 05-Aug-14 22:45:18

The Amy Cuddy TED talk that Hippity suggested is excellent. I have recommended that to so many people. You must watch!

wouldlikeanother Wed 06-Aug-14 09:34:39

Have a good idea in your head of what a confident person is/does and write down all of their qualities. I think that once you know what you want to be like, you can start moving towards it.

Having time for myself and pushing my boundaries has really helped with my confidence.

I do a lot of things that some people wouldn't dream of doing - think strutting around a theatre selling flowers in just a corset, knickers and stockings - although I'm still crap at public speaking and keep giving myself little nudges out of my current boundaries.

When I was 18, I used to look at my friends and think "Wow, I wish I could do that..." and now I do - and it's refreshing to see someone that I can see has a bit more gumph than I do that makes me have that feeling and makes me realise how much work I still have to do.

NotCitrus Wed 06-Aug-14 13:15:59

Advice I got recently:
1. Walk like you're wearing a crown.

2. Imagine all your colleagues were in fact the same as you (LGBT, invisibly disabled, actually more worried about caring and other outside commitments than work, whatever). Do they seem less scary now?

Do you have a few friends who are parents who work? Can you share worries and rants every week? I've just had a weekend doing volunteering that impresses people (reporting to a community group on the charity set up to manage their finances), and that always makes me feel more confident for the day job.

waitingforgodot Wed 06-Aug-14 20:54:51

that video is really good!

HippityHoppityLaLaLa Wed 06-Aug-14 21:55:29

Lizzie - thanks for the book tip, it looks useful.

I got the Amy Cuddy TED tip on MN grin

Randomkath Wed 06-Aug-14 22:44:54

Keep doing things outside of your comfort zone! Doesn't have to be work related or something anyone else would be particularly impressed by as long as it feels like a personal victory for you. Wearing bright lippy is a good one. Make a list of a few small things you would normally shy away from doing and build up from that.

OneCabbageTree Thu 07-Aug-14 00:30:13

Thanks for the Ted talk link, it's great!

My trick for confidence at work is to go the extra mile in terms of making sure I understand the subject matter inside and out, and sometimes even have what I think of as "study" sessions to study up on things. If I feel like I know what I'm doing and talking about, my confidence skyrockets. When I really work on understanding an issue inside and out, you also quickly realise how man other people that you think know it all are bluffing grin

BeckyCandC Sat 18-Oct-14 03:38:36

Building confidence can be easily said than done for some people. Confidence mostly roots from how one sees oneself rather than how other people see you. So one of the first things to rebuild confidence is to identify the weak areas you see in yourself that affect your confidence. This is the starting point and keep going from here. Don't give up. Becky at

redexpat Tue 28-Oct-14 18:42:12

During a bad time at a placement I wrote a list of everything I had done that I was proud of. I also wrote a list of things I liked about myself. The 2 are different, and I've often struggled to disentangle them.

Appearance: if you have the money, get your style and colours done. It just removes a massive amount of doubt and insecurity about your appearance.

Have also noted the book recommendations. thanks MN!

ceeb Tue 28-Oct-14 22:59:02

My take on making any change in my life is to do make one or two really small changes and sticking with them until they are just habit, and then adding one or two more. In this case, something small might be to spend just 5-10 minutes a day on something that will make you feel confident, whether that be exercise, learning a new skill, decluttering your desk, sending out work-related emails, calling your mom, helping your DC with homework, crossing one thing off the to-do list, etc etc etc. I find such a buzz at getting the little things done, especially when it slowly starts to add up to something meaningful.

Parka Thu 04-Dec-14 22:08:46

Just found this thread - I've got 3 job interviews coming up and I'm going slightly crazy worrying about them. The Ted talk is great, as are some of the other tips people have given. My problem is that as I've got older I find that I shake when I'm nervous, so I've had to learn all sorts of tricks to avoid it being very obvious - eg never ever ever hold a piece of A4 (learnt that one the hard way!).

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