How to improve your confidence

Nerves can affect your day-to-day activites. So here are some ways to build up your confidence and stop them from taking over.
Avantika Vaishnav
Avantika Vaishnav

This post was written by an external contributor. Emer Scully gives some tips to get rid of those nerves and replace it with confidence. 

Making the change from school to university can involve a whole new set of expectations as you enter a world far removed from home. You will meet new people, perhaps get a part-time job and manoeuvre your way around a potentially unknown town/city.

What you will find, however, is that by the end of university these issues won’t seem as daunting. Making friends, attending job interviews, and speaking up in class becomes a little easier each time you step out of your comfort zone.

It’s the same with every challenge. The more you do it, the less scary it becomes. With this in mind, here are the five things you can do to become the best and most confident version of yourself.

Have some public alone time

nerves public alone time

There is nothing more nerve-wracking than being alone in a public space. In an area where everyone else seems so sociable, actually stopping and enjoying the moment on your own can be daunting. The constant concern about what others think is often a cause of anxiety, but it’s important to take this step away from caring about the opinions of an anonymous crowd.

Enjoy your own company outside and spend time alone in a coffee shop, a cinema, or at dinner. Take a book, people watch or just take the time to think.

Join a club

Pick an activity you have never tried before, or one that you gave up years ago. Get yourself into a new environment and make some new friends. They could end up being people you’ll know for life. You never know, you might love the club so much that you go professional, make your fortune and never have to write another essay again!

…okay, maybe we’re exaggerating a bit. BUT it could still be a lot of fun. Again, anything that gets you out of your comfort zone can only help the feelings of nerves and anxiety go away.

Pick up the phone

nerves phone call

Have you been putting off chasing up that email you sent last month? If you want a job or work experience badly enough, you have to call. People in big offices doing important jobs are busy people and will probably have missed your email. We know it’s terrifying to pick up a phone when you are used to instant messaging, but it’s so important to get over that fear.

When I first made a call during my first ever work placement I was shaking. But I refused to let my fear get the better of me, so I picked up the phone and all was fine. I can attest that as soon as you start talking you will realise how simple it is for your brain to create fear over the simplest of tasks.

Just do it

If your brain constantly deliberates over whether or not to go somewhere or do something, nine times out of ten the best option is to go and do it. Believe me when I say that the faster you go ahead and try something new, the better you will be at overcoming any negative feelings.

Your brain may have the power to plant doubts and worries in your head, but you ultimately decide what to do. Send the email, go on the night out, just do it.

Take your time

nerves take your time

Doing what seems scary more often that not will result in a sense of achievement. But you also need to take your time. Understand that ‘the world cannot touch me’ attitude will not suddenly appear overnight, and nerves will always be there.

Everyone feels scared sometimes. It may appear that charismatic politicians, inquisitive journalists and hilarious comedians are incredibly put together. But believe it or not, they will also still feel anxious at times. If you want to be more confident you need to accept the nerves, and deal with them calmly.

Ultimately the key to confidence is to do what scares you – approach the celebrity you see in the street, sing karaoke with your friends (even despite your complete inability to sing) and say yes more. Because once you’ve achieved what you once thought was impossible, the world suddenly becomes one notch less terrifying.

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