Confidence Archives | Smart Photography

Category Archives for "Confidence"

Talking to Yourself

"Talk to Yourself Like You Would To Someone You Love"

This is one of my absolute favourite quotes, from the fabulous Brené  Brown.

It's also really, really hard to do. Plus, we sometimes fall into a pattern of familiarity with people we love that means, well, we don't always let them know that we love them.

How about then, we at least try to talk to ourselves with respect?

When we respect our own opinions, our health, our bodies, we're showing that we believe in ourselves - and this is at the root of confidence.

When we don't have faith in our decisions, and waver, second guess, or start to lose track of ourselves, our confidence levels fall.

Body confidence is not separate from any other kind of confidence - build your confidence in one area and it will ripple through your life.

Build your body confidence, and you will gain more general confidence
Build your overall confidence, and you will gain more body confidence

Respecting your opinions doesn't mean you somehow think you're always right. Don't people who do think they're always right just annoy the hell out of you?
It just means that you place trust in your own decisions. If something doesn't work out, well, we're all on a constant learning curve, that's how we grow and change our minds over time.

Equally, respecting your body doesn't mean considering it to be 'perfect'. It simply means that you make decisions based on what you know to be good for your health, good for your body, good for you.

Establish a pattern of respect for yourself, and your confidence will grow

There are so many ways to do this, and it will vary for everyone.

If, for example, you start sentences with "I'm probably wrong...", catch yourself, stop yourself, remove the preamble and just say what you think.

If you never choose what film to see, or what restaurant to go to, because you are more concerned at pleasing other people than yourself, put your opinion forward. Yes, compromise is a wonderful thing, but not if you're always the one doing the compromising. 

If you feel like you don't 'deserve' nice clothes, well-fitting lingerie, or to be able to wear a bikini - show yourself that you are absolutely as deserving as the next person.

Act right now how you think you would act if you had more confidence

Because that's all anyone else is doing.

Can you face your face?

So, to most people this is a ridiculous question - you're quite happy with your face, thanks!  However lots of people, women in particular, absolutely hate looking at themselves.

In the average week I will hear several times, as women flick through images "nothing like this - too much face".  Now, sometimes this will be because they want something that shows more than just their face. But a lot of the time it's because they specifically don't want an image of their face.  Not close up. No way.

"I won't like it", they tell me.
"I hate my face".
There may be actual wincing.

What, you may ask, is wrong with their faces then?  Just who do I have sitting in front of me?  The answer is that nothing is wrong.  I'm always a little taken aback, especially when people clarify with "well, obviously nothing too facey" as if I should be totally in on the reasoning.

Except, the thing is...I kind of am. Or at least, I should be. I don't love my face. I have been told more than once that I look like my dad.  I mean, there was nothing wrong with my dad, but, you know, he was a man, and I'm not. And I really do have his face.

And so we go from not liking our faces, to avoiding looking at our faces, to not liking photos (because we're confronted with our faces) to avoiding photos.

It's an issue. For starters, we could probably do with stopping being so disappointed in ourselves.  Are we surrounded by super models? Only in magazines, and on social media -why should those carry so much weight with us?

Do we recoil from the faces of our friends, families, work colleagues? I know I don't!

We need to be less hard on ourselves and, crucially,  stop trying to avoid looking at ourselves because, guess what? You look normal! I look normal! This is what normal people look like, and no one else is bothered by us so we shouldn't be either!

Much love
Anna
xx

The Secret to Body Confidence

Is There a Secret to Body Confidence?

Well, if you were hoping I would go with 'this one neat trick to give you more body confidence', I'm afraid you're going to be disappointed!

However, I can tell you how to improve your body confidence, so don't despair (unless you are looking for something that takes zero work on your part!).

Changing how you look won't necessarily increase your body confidence

secret to body confidence

Think about it - do all the women who look how you wish you did brim with confidence?
Or do they just have a whole different set of insecurities?

I used to think that 'beautiful people' must be aware of it. Newsflash - they often aren't. And if they are, then they are also often aware of how fleeting beauty (in the traditional, media enforced sense) is. 

You can look at this as bad news - so what's the point of even trying to 'improve' if it won't make you feel better about yourself?

Or you can see it as good news - because there are plenty of regular, normal women, like you and me around, who aren't gorgeous supermodel types, who are perfectly confident and comfortable in their own skin.

If body confidence doesn't have to be tied up in how you look, then it's attainable to all of us, right now! Yay!

So what can you do?

You need to change how you feel.
Sounds so simple, doesn't it? Well, realistically, it is simple. Simple is just not the same as easy.

Here Are 4 Tips on Changing How You Feel and Improving Body Confidence

1. Ditch The Competition

To do this, you've got to suss who your competition is.

It could be:

-  your friends.
Don't literally ditch them! They're your friends. But remember that pretty much everyone has insecurities, problems and a whole load of 'stuff' going on. You are not in competition with them.

- the people you follow on social media.
Social media can be fabulous for making you feel connected, and terrible for making you feel like you're failing, inadequate or underachieving.
If who or what you are choosing to follow doesn't inspire positivity, just stop following. Kon Marie your social media until it only 'sparks joy'!

- yourself!
For most of us, our impression of how we look, and even who we are, is formed in our late teens/early twenties. So, the further away from that we get, and the more our bodies go through (childbirth, illness, the menopause), the less we sometimes identify with ourselves.
Your mental image of yourself needs updating, rather than constantly thinking you should be trying to be more like a much younger self.

secret to body confidence

2. Listen To Yourself

secret to body confidence

For many women, our own wants and needs get drowned out by the demands of, well, life.
Jobs, children, relationships and trying to balance everything, all of the time, means that something usually falls by the wayside - what you need.

It becomes increasingly difficult to prioritise yourself. We are excellent at stifling our inner voice that cries out to say 'take a break'. When she's never being heard, she eventually just shuts up. Well done, we have managed to silence our own wants.

You need to turn the volume up on your inner voice and start listening. Of course, we can't drop everything when she says 'a week on a beach with a good book and no demands' is what she craves. But if we never listen to our own internal voice at all, we 100% lose the ability to even know what we want.

If you have no clue where to even start with listening to yourself, click here to go and take a look through our 'Summer of Self Love'* videos, as that is exactly what they are all about.

(*may also be followed in Winter).

3. Stop Believing That How You Look Affects What You Can Do

I'm not beautiful. I don't have the perfect figure, and everything seems to sag a little bit more each day.

I probably have to accept that I am not going to make it as a supermodel.

Anything else I might want to do though, is there for me to crack on and do. I can learn what I want, wear what I want, go where I want, do what I want.

I may have other constraints (mainly financial!) but how I look can't stop me doing anything, unless I make the decision to let it.

Why would I make that decision?

4. Let Your Body Know That You Love It

(Even if you don't).
We often punish ourselves when we've fallen out of love with our bodies. Couple that with putting ourselves to the bottom of the pile when it comes to our priorities in life, and we have the perfect recipe for self loathing.

This manifests in so many ways, and it varies from person to person. It often boils down to one thought - 'I don't deserve...'
We sometimes attach 'conditions' to when we might allow ourselves nice things (and the biggest of these, by far, is 'until I've lost weight'.

- I won't get new clothes, until I've lost weight
- I can't go and do <whatever fabulous thing you want to>, until I've lost weight

Let's not pretend that exercise can't become a form of punishment too, when it becomes obsessive.

It's understanding the difference between setting goals - which can be a great motivator - versus deprivation - which is less so.

Your body deserves lingerie that fits you, nourishing food that you enjoy, your care, your love and your attention.

Your body does not deserve your punishment. It doesn't deserve to be uncomfortable or in pain and to have these things ignored. You don't need to pay a penance for not achieving whatever it is you want to with your body, by allowing it to hurt.

Your body does deserve to be celebrated. It's amazing. Even when it's broken, even when it doesn't look how you want, it is doing it's best for you. Let your body know that it's best is always good enough.

Don't love your body? Fake it, and treat it like you do. It won't be able to tell the difference.

If you can do all of these things, then do. Each one will make a difference. If you can only do one - treat your body as if you love it already. 
Fake it 'til you make it.

Much love,
Anna
xx

Who’s That Girl?

The one that almost every woman wishes she was more like?

It's a funny one this, because, back in the day, many of us didn't really like her at all. We certainly didn't idolise her, or consider her to be in any way aspirational.
Yet, here we now are, every time we look in the mirror, wishing we could see her reflected back. Trying to make ourselves more like her.
How times change!

We weren't even nice to her, at the time

So many of us were deeply unkind to her.  And don't think that stuff doesn't stick, because it does. We can't go back 20, 30 years and apologise. We have to live with how we behaved towards her, and the consequences of how we spoke to her. It's shaped who we are now, even if we never even think about it.

She was everything we're not

Back then we may not have thought she had a figure to die for, but what we'd give for it now!
And just to be that young. To not have our lives written over our ​bodies, and time written over our faces.

​Meanwhile she hasn't changed at all. How could we have not appreciated her at the time? Why can't we be like her now?

Hindsight's a wonderful thing

We may have come a little late to realising how utterly fabulous she was, but we got there in the end.

Now, though, we have to stop trying to be in competition with herThat moment has passed. We can take the traits we love - maybe her confidence, her attitude, whatever those aspects are of her personality that we wish we had a little more of now. But we're not going to look like her. We might feel the same age as her on the inside (newsflash - you get to look like a grown up without ever feeling like one), but we're not, and we need to be ok with that.

We don't need to be jealous

And we don't need to compete. So, she's not there in the mirror? We can still love the person who is.

Ready to fall in love with the awesome woman you became, and start appreciating her a little bit more?

Just fill in the form below, and I'll be in touch.

Much love,
Anna
xx

heart

Why does ‘youthfulness’ give you confidence?

Here's something I'm pondering after seeing an (incredibly long) infomercial at the weekend, about some super duper eye cream that will restore youth and thus, seemingly hand in hand with this, confidence.

"Imagine how much younger and more confident you will feel" the presenter said.

Again and again and again. The phrase was repeated so often it genuinely is ingrained on my brain now.

Clearly, then, this is a persuasive marketing message for women (although, to be fair they did briefly mention men, because obviously there is no reason men shouldn't feel deeply insecure about the ageing process too).

The thing is, I wasn't at all confident, when I was younger

Yes, I may have been less wrinkly and less saggy, but I was also quite definitely a lot less confident in my teens, twenties and thirties than I am now, in my mid-forties (I have one week left of 'mid').

Not to mention the fact that we currently seem to have an epidemic of young women feeling absolutely bloody terrible about themselves.  Women are starting to have, for example, plastic surgery, at ever younger ages. We're obsessed with 'fixing' ourselves and no one seems to be comfortable in themselves, at whatever age.

If women a whole lot younger than me are not feeling great about who they are, then youthfulness is not giving them confidence.  Why would some sort of fake youthfulness give me any?

I can't win a fight against ageing

If I tie my self-confidence up in how old I am or look, then I'm immediately putting an expiry date on my own confidence. I'm entering a battle I definitely can't win, in the long term.

Since I like winning, I'm going to stack the odds in my favour by embracing the fact that age is making me more comfortable in who I am, not less so.

Much love,
Anna
xx

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