Today I’m addressing how we can all feel more confident. We deserve to feel certain, empowered, powerful and emboldened in our own skin. So how exactly can we have that almost all of the time?
Greetings Foxies! Your friend in fashion is back - Happy Tuesday night. For everyone who is new, Welcome! I’m Nicole Byrne aka The Fashion Fox. Every week on Tuesday Australian Eastern Standard Time I open up or share information about a useful or special topic that we can all benefit from.
Each week I choose from: life, business, fashion, home, motherhood, womanhood and more. My blog posts are heavily influenced by you, the reader, and I create blogs based on the questions I receive from you all the most.
Something that pops up again and again in life and in my work as a fashion stylist is the word, feeling and state of being, “confidence.”
This week I’ve been inspired by a special day of the year, coming up on March 8th. International Women’s Day. In my work as a fashion stylist I can hand on my heart tell you that women come to me wholeheartedly because they want to look and feel more confident.
Maybe you need some confidence, want some confidence or want to experience the feeling of confidence more consistently and daily? I know I do! It’s something we all want, something we all deserve and it’s one of those things that money can’t truly buy. But we have make it, curate it within and be it. So how do we do that?
Visualise Yourself As The Person You Want To Be
What does she do for a living? What’s her morning routine? How did her hair get so shiny? Close your eyes and think about what it would feel like to be the woman you want to be. Feel it with all of your being. The way your home would look. The car you would drive. The outfit you’d have on. The places you’d go each day and week. What would it feel like in your heart, mind and body, if you knew you had truly made it? Allow yourself to feel that right now and hold that feeling close to your chest. I’m a visual and tactile creature, so vision boards have really helped me to remember what my goals are for the year. When I wake up in the morning I look at mine and this helps keep my biggest goals, my future self and future best life at the forefront of my mind each day. It’s made up of images and words which really resonate with me on a heart and soul level. Words and pictures that make me want to get up and really make the day count. If you’re a visual and emotionally driven person like me, a vision board could be a great way to keep you focused too and help build some confidence in your daily and yearly life direction. I wuv it!
Make Time For You Confidence is a jigsaw. It’s made up of tiny little pieces to create the greater picture of complete confidence. It’s important to remember ourselves and prioritise time to recharge and reset ourselves. Life is so busy making it easy to forget about yourself while all the while you continue to give so much of your time, energy and self to others. Be it children, the husband, a new partner, work, customers and co-workers. We simply cannot feel daily and consistent confidence if we continue to ‘pour’ our time and energy from an empty personal cup. Take 15 minutes per day with no distractions, with no exception, to do something just for you. I love to go for a walk in the sunshine, read a new book, have a bubble bath, put on a face mask, go to Pilates, switch on my Master Class, sit by the pool or sit on my own and have a cup of tea. It has to be something that makes you feel calm, re-energised and fulfilled. What do you really enjoy doing? What makes you feel most like you and helps you bounce back? Prioritise that for at least 15 minutes a day.
Be Fair, Don’t Compare Many years ago I remember sitting at a cafe one morning and hearing the ‘tap, tap, tap’ of what could only be an incredible pair of shoes coming down the footpath. I looked up and saw a tall, svelte, glamorous, incredibly confident looking woman walking down the road and into the cafe I was sitting at. She oozed confidence. She looked like the human version of an expensive, shiny new car. She looked important. Certain. Powerful.
She walked by with the cool calm slink of a jaguar. Shit. She even smelt amazing as her perfume wafted through the air toward me. “I bet her bra matches her underwear too,” I thought.
I wiped a little bit of hollandaise sauce from my lipstick-free mouth as I gazed at her in awe. On this day I had wet hair which was tucked into a bun, I was exhausted from a lack of sleep, wearing activewear which I had thrown on and I had pressed my favourite sunnies into my tired little face that morning. I had had a rough day, rushing around, going to the gym, organising my kid etc etc. On this day I felt like a sweaty, disheveled, unorganised farm animal compared to her.
It felt awful.
I love fashion, outfits and styling and looking and feeling groomed. I already didn’t feel good about myself that morning and on this particular day things hadn’t really gone my way.
If I’m sitting, staring down a plate of crispy bacon, eggs, toast and hollandaise, things haven’t gone my way that morning hahaha.
This leads me to my next point, try not to compare yourself to others.
We as women unconsciously do this, A LOT.
How can we do it less or not at all?
First, remember that we are trying our best. Some days are excellent, we breeze through the day and absolutely everything goes our way. Other days we are rushed, stressed, smelly and stranded by the side of the road in a broken down car (did you see my latest Instagram story waiting for Roadside Assist?). You are trying your best at all times, so love yourself for it, even if it’s a shitty day so far. Unfollow people and pages on Instagram and social media that make you feel less than best. If it’s impacting our self esteem and making us feel like failures it only makes logical sense to ‘unfollow.’ We all know that social media is a highlight reel, showing the best, most polished and sometimes most edited version of a person’s life. We scroll through our social media unconsciously comparing. As someone who creates content, enjoys curating new content shot with the perfect lighting, hair and makeup, I can transparently confirm that.
Follow people who inspire you and make you feel empowered and happy. If you’re not sure whether to follow someone or not, ask yourself, does this page: teach me anything of value? Make me feel good? Make me smile? Make me feel excited and motivated?
Finally, to put it in perspective, a sunflower is just as lovely as a red rose. They are both flowers but a sunflower will never be a rose and a rose will never be a sunflower. It’s kind of like that scene in My Best Friend’s Wedding where Kimmy will never be Jello and Jules will never be Creme Brulee.
Both flowers and both desserts are stunning and delicious in their own right. Neither takes away from the taste or beauty of either one. They are simply different and no amount of comparison will make one better than the other. Embrace you, even if you’re Jello, because a lot of people like that and think it’s the best ever!
Circling back to the cafe scenario I mentioned earlier, I want to reinforce that I was trying my best that day. What I mean is that everything I’d done was for the betterment of the future and forward motion. I’d been to the gym which meant that I had done work for Future Nicole to have abs, I’d dropped my kid off to school and boot didn’t close so I had to get out of the car in my nightie which (unbeknownst to me) was tucked into my knickers and the man dropping his child off behind me saw more than he bargained for that morning.
I’d rushed to a fashion showing which meant that my boutique would have beautiful new stock coming in next season and I’d packed all the school lunches and made it just in time to have a few minutes to myself for breaky before it was time to open my boutique for the day. So as you can see, I had been trying my best to make a good day and week and not every morning is made equal. So you have to love yourself for all that you do when the day doesn’t go your way.
Surround Yourself with Genuine, Authentic Souls When you surround yourself with happy, kind, genuine people your life gets so much better. Everything feels lighter, easier and sweeter. You relax, knowing you can be yourself.
Happiness is so contagious isn’t it? It’s just like full, big, belly laughs. We just want to join in. Kind friends and people will always want to find the humour in things. They will ask you what your biggest goals are. They will treat your successes as their own and show you empathy when times are tough. They will offer up helpful, caring solutions and do everything they can to focus on the positive with and for you. That’s how you know when you’ve found your people. How do we detect and phase out the less than best of friends? Recognise that some people are just unhappy and perhaps even married to misery (the feeling, not the person, or maybe both?).
In my past, a lot of the people around me lit up when they saw me in angst, turmoil or misery. They would relish in the drama of what it meant when my day or week was a particularly tough one. They would feed off of my story about what had gone wrong, wanting to know every detail, wanting to know more. When I was having a good week, and sharing that with them, I could hear what I now realise was disappointment and disinterest in their voices.
Do you have people in your circle who seem to have constant criticisms toward you? Or perhaps they put you down in a way that is embellished inside a compliment?
Pick up on the little things. Please, please, please make sure that you surround yourself with people who genuinely want to see you consistently happy, peaceful and thriving.
Fake It Until You Make It Yes, yes, yes! This one is the best. Smile and hold your head high. Stand tall, shoulders back and look up. Your biology will change your mind, a smile will send a rush of happy chemicals to your brain AND all of this will drive the Debbie Downers and nay sayers crazy. Be savvy. Pretend you know more than you do and eventually you will. Always listen and observe, knowledge is power, and this world and those around you will teach you so much.
Take a stroll through the ‘self help’ section of your nearest bookstore or library. Now, now, don’t look at your phone screen like that. Some of my favourite, most empowering book titles come from that section. If you don’t know where to begin I absolutely love The Universe Has Your Back by Gabrielle Bernstein and The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*** by Mark Manson. And should you find yourself in the autobiographical section I recommend, Becoming by Michelle Obama. Get these books in your chow paws and start reading!
Choose to never stop learning as it will better yourself and trust me, you will feel so mentally energised and proud of yourself. All amazing ingredients for personal confidence.
I cannot lie, I’ve saved the best for last. This is a trick to stand by and live by ladies.
The Fashion Fox Checklist 6 Easy Ways to Feel More Confident
Visualise yourself as the person you want to become
Make a vision board: powerful pictures and image that remind you of where you want to be and your future self in a simple glance each morning
Allow 15 uninterrupted, blissful minutes per day for just you
Visit the self-help section of your nearest bookstore or library, this is my favourite aisle, find a book that resonates and never stop learning
Phase out critical, negative people who leave you feeling low or feed of your personal distress and bad days
Find your tribe, genuine souls who make you laugh and feel supported
Dress as though you are going somewhere incredible. The world is your runway. A good outfit almost always means a good day.
Remember that social media is a carefully curated highlight reel and does not reflect daily real life all of the time
Avoid comparing yourself to others, know that you are trying your best, love yourself for the effort you put in and for who you are today
Creme Brulee and Jello are both wonderful