Build Your Confidence CV : Cosmopolitan

by Frankie Hobson

Gillian Brymer
Age: 24
Relationship status: Boyfriend of three years
Job: Office manager in a PR company
Confidence Crisis: Work

Gillian says “Three months ago I started working as an office manager for a PR company and my confidence has just disappeared. I’ve always wanted to move up the career ladder – but now I’m on the next step, I worry I can’t live up to the role. My previous job was as an office administrator and I was there for four years. I knew everyone really well and there was always a colleague to chat to. I also didn’t have to push myself too hard. But I always wanted a bigger challenge. I was really excited to get a more senior position, but now my nervousness is holding me back, and I know I need to get over it. My new job involves organising the running of the office and on my first day in a meeting, I felt I wasn’t making myself understood. I know there’s a lot to learn but every night since, my mind has reeled with things I might have done wrong. The other day, I transferred a call to the wrong person. All day I expected to be given the sack. I worry what people think of me even though, logically, I know they’re busy and I’m the last person on their mind. I worry that people think I can’t cope with responsibility. It’s strange as I’m confident in other areas of my life. I’m in a steady relationship and I have a busy social life.”

Confidence solution

David Wood is a life coach and entrepreneur.The expert says “Firstly, Gillian should be congratulated for stepping out of her comfort zone. Many people who aren’t forced to push themselves in their current position wouldn’t even take a new job – they’d have stayed where it was safe – so she’s really demonstrated courage here. However, Gillian seems to have a deep belief that goes something like, ‘I’m useless, worthless, and any second they’ll find out!’ Even though her brain knows this is not true, as is the case with many people, she’s finding it difficult to suppress those negative feelings. To boost confidence when your mind is bursting with things you might have done wrong, try writing down a list of everything you’ve done right. Often, people around you don’t comment on the good things you do, but do remark on mistakes made. So, writing a list will help you put things into perspective. Also, ask for feedback so you can hear how you’re really coming across, rather than letting your fears overrun the reality of the situation. If your boss is too busy to give you feedback, find a mentor at work who you can confide in and lean on for support, and who’ll be honest with you. Also, the next time you start beating yourself up over failures, try this: stop and take notice of the fear building within you, accept it, and then make a conscious decision not to let it determine you decisions. For example, if you find yourself afraid to ask your boss how the report you did was, take note of the fear, then tell your fear, ‘Thanks for the input’, and choose how you want to respond to it. Keep practising this and you’ll find yourself more in charge of your actions and feelings, and your confidence will grow.”

Karen Ogilvie
Age: 25
Relationship status: Single
Job: Advertising sales executive
Confidence crisis: Love

Karen says “Just over four months ago I split up with James, my boyfriend of 18 months. Since then my confidence has taken a nosedive. James and I met in a pub and became close very quickly. We were the same age, had a lot in common and, because I fell in love so fast, I made him the priority in my life. I felt happy, attractive and secure. We moved in together after just a couple of months and our relationship was very passionate. About six months later it started to change. At first, I thought our arguments were the normal ones couples have: tidying up the flat, doing the dishes, etc. But James grew distant and began spending more time with his friends. I didn’t know whether he loved me as much as I loved him. When I tried to tell him how I felt, he would get very defensive, saying I was too demanding. In the end, the constant arguing made our relationship impossible and we broke up. I feel deeply wounded and my confidence has been badly dented. I thought that because James didn’t want to spend all his time with me, it meant I wasn’t attractive and interesting enough to keep a man. Now I can’t even talk to a guy without fear of him thinking I’m trying to pick him up. I feel like a wet blanket, avoiding eye contact with men and feeling sorry for myself. My friends take me clubbing and, initially, I’m up for a laugh. I might start dancing but whenever a guy even smiles at me, fear wells up inside me and I look away. I’m scared of what might happen. And I worry if someone gets close to me they’ll see all my flaws – physical and emotional. I was in a bar a month ago when a man came over to talk to me. I was nervous but we managed to exchange numbers. When he phoned, I was at home with a girlfriend having a glass of wine, but when I heard his voice I just clammed up and said, ‘Sorry, I’ve made other plans’, and put the phone down. He must have thought I was crazy but I just panicked at the thought of having to get to know him better. I know I want to take my time with relationships – but I can’t even find the confidence to accept a first date.”

Confidence Solution

The expert says “There are two things contributing to Karen’s lack of confidence. Firstly, she has taken the break-up personally, blaming herself and her ‘flaws’. Secondly, she believes she has a ‘void’, and the only way to feel ‘happy, attractive and secure’ again is to have a boyfriend. To beat this confidence crisis, her first step is to recognise that her ‘flaws’ are part of what makes her human and wonderful – she needs to learn to accept and embrace them. In relationships, when people become close and learn more and more about each other, they will see each other’s flaws – so there’s no point in trying to hide them. When she accepts them, she won’t be worried about what guys think, and she’ll become more confident in herself. Ultimately, she’ll realise they’re not flaws at all. Also, the only person who can fill her ‘void’, is herself. To do this, she needs to start taking more care of herself and her needs, and spend some time treating herself. Anyone can do this. One way is to make a list of five to 10 indulgences, like having a massage, exercising, having quiet time alone, soaking in a bubble bath or just hanging out with friends and having fun – whatever makes you happy is the key. That’s when the ‘void’ will become whole again. And that’s also when the guys will start appearing – because you’re confident, secure, and don’t need anyone else to make you happy. You can also have counseling or take a personal development course which can be very helpful in building self-confidence and learning to love yourself.”

Claire O’Neill
Age: 22
Relationship status: Boyfriend of five years
Job: Account manager
Confidence crisis: Social life

Claire says: “I know I’ve missed out on a lot of opportunities in my life because I feel nervous in social situations. When I’m with a group of people I want to be outgoing and the life and soul, but instead I’m shy and retreat into myself. Consequently, people mistake it for arrogance or think I’m just grumpy. I have a boyfriend, Ranjit, and a close circle of friends plus a great job as an account manager for an IT company. I’m also a great talker and listener in a one-on-one situation. But as soon as I find myself in a large group of people, I freeze. I was bullied at school and even though it was a few years ago, whenever I’m surrounded by lots of people I constantly battle with a voice inside me saying, ‘They think I’m stupid.’ Last year I went to a wedding with Ranjit. The groom was his friend and the reception was in a large hall. I had to brace myself when I walked in to find a seat. I stayed put all evening, bent over with my arms wrapped around me. Ranjit, who’s really outgoing, kept trying to pull me onto the dance floor but I just held on to the table saying ‘No, I don’t want to.’ I felt even worse when his friends kept coming up to me all evening saying ‘What’s wrong with you? Come on.’ But every social event is a huge hurdle to overcome. I recently had to force myself to go to a friend’s birthday at a nightclub. I wanted to get up and dance like the others, but I ended up sitting by the table watching everyone have a good time. I worry I’ll stop getting invites because I’m no fun to be with.”

Confidence Solution

The expert says “We can all suffer a loss of confidence in social situations. In fact, this dilemma is incredibly common – surveys show public speaking is people’s number one fear, even over death! You can learn to overcome these fears by gradually building up confidence. Start by placing yourself in a comfortable setting, maybe with your boyfriend or a close friend. Then try socialising with a few friends. If your fear starts building, acknowledge your nervousness and say to yourself, ‘I’m going to let go of this fear and have a good time.’ If the fear builds again, do something like catching a breath of fresh air or separating yourself from your friends for five minutes, which will help clear your head and relax you. Then try having a good time again. Once you’ve taken control of your nervousness within a small group of people (you may need a few get-togethers before you’re totally comfortable), repeat the process with a larger group – maybe invite six or eight people over for dinner. Don’t expect to be a social butterfly immediately – it takes time and practice – but by building up slowly and not being hard on yourself, you’ll slowly create the inner confidence you need to enjoy group settings. And just remember, you’re not alone in feeling scared or shy in social situations. If you look around a room full of people, chances are, most will be feeling some degree of nervousness, too.”

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Author: Shalini Verma

Hi ! I am Shalini Verma and I help people to Achieve continuous inspiration and success , aid them to FREE energy from patterns and programmes that no longer serve them , partner with them to CREATE energy by putting into place regular work and life practices that are inspiring and sustaining and to MOBILIZE energy by taking intentional action into new oppurtunities and adventures . If you are ready to make inspiration and success your daily reality......then we are ready to go !

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