When I was in my teens and early 20’s, I thought I was the greatest dancer around. I had never had dance lessons (apart from the ones in front of my bedroom mirror), but I was super confident in my ability none the less. I was pop, lock and droppin it all over Perth.
But as I grew older this confidence began to waiver and it reached a point where I was actually embarrassed to dance in public. My dance moves have always been the same… they still haven’t changed. The only thing that changed between 18 and 28 were my thoughts. When I was 18 I’d tell myself “yeah you nailed that Steph! Looking sexy!” whereas now I think “god you look like an idiot, stop embarrassing yourself before people notice”.
Throwback to 3 years ago, I was on holiday in Bali with my girlfriend Nat. We’d spent the better part of the evening sipping cocktails and were now ready for a dance. Both single and ready to mingle, we took ourselves off to La Favela in Seminyak (I love this place, still to this day!). The lights were dim, bodies pulsing, sweat dripping everywhere and the best RNB music was blasting from the speakers.
At this stage I was very aware people were watching and I felt vulnerable. My dancing was awkward… almost robotic. Lacking any kind of rhythm. I was self-conscious about it too. Right across from me Nat was absolutely killing it, bumping and grinding, smiling and laughing. She was looking at me and mouthing “how good is this?!” and in honesty, I wasn’t enjoying myself. I hated feeling out of place and I wanted to go home.
But I couldn’t go home because Nat’s night would end then too and she was having so much fun. So, I had another tequila shot and said, “fuck it” …. I blocked out everyone in the room, told myself I was a sexy Latina dancer and let my body move to the music.
I stopped giving a crap about how many other beautiful girls were in the room… about whether people would laugh at me, or find me attractive and I stopped giving a crap that people were watching. About 10 minutes later a woman came up to me and said “you look amazing…I love your dancing!” She was one of 5 people that night who complimented me on my dancing. With each compliment, my confidence grew and by the end of the night I was having the time of my life. To this day it was one of the best nights out I’ve ever had!
It took one thought to change my whole night and that thought was “you got this… who cares, just got for it”.
People who know me or who have met me might think I’m a confident woman, but confidence is just a state of mind. Its fragile. Yes, I’m confident enough to walk into a room full of strangers and start conversations, but I wasn’t confident in my dance moves that night until I changed my thought process.
The truth about confidence is: we rely on results to gain confidence. Think about it, the first time you try a new task or skill you’re usually not confident, but once you’ve mastered it for the first or second time your confidence increases.
But really our confidence should come from our thoughts. You don’t need to be good at something to be confident, you just need to believe in yourself and tell yourself “you’ve got this”. When I walked onto the dance floor that night, I was telling myself I looked stupid. But once I stopped caring and told myself “you got this” … I was instantly loving life and super confident. From that the compliments from others started flowing and increasing my confidence more and more.
Confidence is not something your born with… anyone can master the skill of confidence.
The key is to go into every situation with positive self-chatter and don’t let self-doubt creep in. You can do anything you want to do and be anything you want to be. You just need to believe in yourself first…. Then go for it confidently.