Confidence Archives | Smart Photography

Category Archives for "Confidence"

Have you lost yourself?

A common theme among many of our clients is that,  somewhere along the way, they have lost 'them'. Their feeling of self has been eroded, and they feel adrift - not really knowing who they are.

There are lots of reasons why women get to this point. Often life can almost consume us as individuals when the demands from children, relationships or work pull us in many different directions. 

Who's at the top of your list?

When you're dashing around, prioiritising many different things, do you ever make it to the top of the list yourself?

Actually, do you sometimes feel that you're not even on the list? You think 'me-time' is a lovely theory, for those that can have it? And, more crucially, you wouldn't know what to do with it if you had it?

Have you stopped listening to yourself?

When we consistently subdue our own needs, eventually, we lose track of what they are. Our internal pleas die away, when they're a voice that never gets listened to.

Then, when we suddenly do find ourselves with the opportunity to do something we want to, we can't hear that voice. It's learned to be quiet. We taught it to be quiet, and we taught it well.

Learning to listen to yourself

We should be able to listen out for our own wants, and, more importantly, needs - it's at the absolute root of self-confidence. As we let that inner voice get faded out by the demands of life, that is how we lose ourselves.

We taught that voice to be quiet - all we we have to do is teach her to speak up again!

You have to make it back onto your own list of priorities. If it feels self-indulgent, look at it this way. You can't maintain everything else you're trying to do, if you disappear yourself.

You can't draw water from an empty well.

Emily Ley

Start small

Building confidence and listening to yourself means making decisions that are about you. Compromise is, of course, necessary, a lot of the time. So pick something that isn't going to have a huge impact on other people and go from there.
It could be as simple as choosing a film you want to watch on tv, or at the cinema. Rather than saying "I don't mind", make an active choice - it may not be everyone else's first choice - let them have their first choice another time.

It could be saying yes to a night out (or it could be saying no to something you've fallen into a pattern of doing, but don't enjoy).

Just start letting your voice be heard by you. Stop subduing it. Hear her - she's the 'you' you've lost.

Start listening to your own voice, and hear it get louder

I've said time and again that confidence is a muscle that has to be exercised, and in tandem with this goes listening to your own wants and needs, and sometimes (not always, you don't have to get selfish about it), putting those to the top of your list of priorities.
Even acknowledging how you feel when you can't necessarily act on it will help you to find your path back to you.

Much love,

Think you might be ready to fall in love with you?

Come along for a complimentary boudoir portrait session and enjoy our 'Fall in Love With You' Guarantee.
If you don't love your images, we will refund your deposit, in full.

We're confident you will love your images, in which case simply deduct your deposit from whatever you choose to order.

Click the link to fill in a short form and take the first step to falling in love with you.

Accepting Weight Loss

Imagine achieving something amazing... and treating yourself as though you haven't.

Sounds unlikely, doesn't it?

Now imagine losing a lot of weight, but when you look in the mirror, you still see the old, bigger you.
You carry on wearing the same clothes you used to wear.
And you haven't changed how you feel about yourself. At all.

There's an expectation that if you achieve a weight loss goal you'll feel differently about yourself, but often it will take our brains a while to 'catch-up' - leaving us feeling deflated instead of elated!

In some ways, we trap ourselves by constantly referring back to pictures of how we used to look - we show them to other people and expect their reaction, their shock, their amazement, how impressed they are. But we don't feel it ourselves. 

One of the most common side effects of being unhappy with our weight is not wanting to see how we look. We get used to avoiding both cameras and mirrors. But the numbers on the scales can only tell you what you've achieved - they won't show you. 

And every time we show someone a photo of the old 'us', the bigger 'us' - if that's the only time we see ourselves, we reinforce to ourselves that that's who we still are.

Every time we wear the clothes that are too big, and just make do, we diminish our achievement.

To make our brains catch up with our bodies, we should celebrate - not just the numbers on the scale, but the physical reality of what we've achieved.

Buying new lingerie and clothes is a genuine act of love towards ourselves. We're telling ourselves we're worth it. We did it. That it's ok to like ourselves.

And when we allow ourselves to look in the mirror, and even be in new photos, we'll gradually replace our old notion of who we are,  and be properly able to celebrate who we are now.

Looking Good Doesn’t Equal Confidence

In my twenties, I was determined that before I turned 30 I would lose weight

Losing weight became something that would transform my life, because if I was only a size 10 I would surely also be beautiful. All clothes would look amazing on me. I could wear blouses! Tucked in! (Where I thought my chest was going to go is anyone's guess).

The important thing was that if I was thinner, I would also be more confident. And if I was more confident, I would achieve more things. 

  • I'd no longer be a wallflower at parties.
  • I'd be able to stand up and give presentations at meetings, without feeling sick.
  • I'd go and meet other business owners and create partnerships with our own business easily.

These are the things that confidence would surely bring me.

And the only way to get it, was to look 'right'. And right equalled thinner.

Needless to say, when I turned 30, I was the heaviest I'd ever been.

Not to worry though, because turning 40 is a much bigger milestone than turning 30 - I'd do it by then.

I carried on with the mythical version of what I could achieve, if I simply looked better.

I didn't, of course, join a gym, exercise a lot or eat healthily, except sporadically and with a faint feeling of disgust at myself, every time I fell off the wagon and ate a packet of crisps - thus ruining my life. Because each little failure made me understand that I could and would never be the confident person who would achieve more in life. 

I did lose weight - I crash dieted down to a size 12 for my wedding. We know what follows crash diets, right? 

Now, I looked fabulous at a size 12. Did I feel confident? Like I could do all the things I felt I'd be able to, if I looked better? No. I felt the exact same insecurities that I had when I was bigger.

So, I turned 40 and, amazingly, I was pretty much the same as at 30. Maybe a little greyer. OK, Probably a lot greyer (I haven't seen my real hair colour since I was 18, how would I know?).

By now I was spending my days talking with women with all of the same insecurities I had.

 There is something really liberating about finding out that everyone has the same insecurities, and this is my entire working life! 

What I learned was, looking great does not equal confidence. Women who are a size 8 have all the same body hang-ups and insecurities as women who are a size 18. And a size 28.

So if the beautiful women who I sit and chat to all day long aren't confident... would changing myself physically really make me any more confident? Probably not. I was looking in the wrong direction if I wanted to feel good about myself.

This could have been a depressing revelation - if these women weren't confident, what hope did I have? But actually, I found it liberating. I found I could change what I was aiming for, because none of my aims could really be achieved by changing my physical self - so my physical self could stay how it was - I needed to change my mindset.

And that's what I did.

I accepted I wasn't the 'ideal' that I had in my mind, and decided to be ok with that. Because what would I really gain by looking any different?

And it turns out that acceptance is pretty much equal to confidence. I'm not interested in what other people think of how I look, so I have nothing to fear from their gaze. I can wear what I want, have my hair how I want and not feel like I need to be fashionable, because I have no one to please but myself.
The confidence this has given me in who I am, is immeasurable. I can do the things I thought I couldn't - or if I can't, there's no physical change I can make to alter that. It all comes from within.
And, of course, I don't think about food, or calories. I think about keeping healthy enough for long dog walks, and so my weight stabilised, and then reduced. To my 'wedding' weight, without the crash diet.
Much love,

Looking good doesn't = confidence.
Confidence = looking good.

Be Your Own Inspiration

If you admire women who have confidence in their bodies - start being one

There is an utter misery to be found in not feeling good about your body.

It limits everything from clothing choices, to the things you'll do.

"I can't wear a bikini" 
"I can't wear shorts"
"I can't wear dresses"
"I can't go in the pool"

These are constant refrains throughout the summer.

Beach body ready? I have heard hundreds of women refer to themselves as "more like a beached whale". I've spoken about myself like it to. Because if we can get the insult in first, we're surely staving off anyone else having to bother?

Not exactly inspirational is it? We wouldn't tell our friends to cover up. We'd encourage them to be proud of who they are.

You can be the inspiration for other women

You know the insecurities that other women face, because you face them yourself.

Every single time a woman decides to stop giving a f*ck about what everyone else thinks, she becomes an inspiration to others.  She helps the rest of us get that little bit braver. And she grows in confidence herself. You can be her.

To start with be your own inspiration

When you step outside of your comfort zone, you'll find that it was never real. All your comfort zone really is, is a set of limiting beliefs. If you have the means to do something, if you're physically capable of doing something, then doing it or not doing it is a decision you can just make.

Have the confidence to be your own inspiration.

Wear the bikini.
Go in the pool.
And find out that what other people think is "I wish I had her confidence".

​If you're looking for someone to be inspired by, look in the mirror first.

Much love,

Think you might be ready to fall in love with you?

Come along for a complimentary portrait session and enjoy our 'Fall in Love With You' Guarantee.
If you don't love your images, we will refund your deposit, in full.

We're confident you will love your images, in which case simply deduct your deposit from whatever you choose to order.

Click the link to fill in a short form and take the first step to falling in love with you.

Getting Beach Body Ready

Getting beach body ready is a 'thing'. I know it's a 'thing' because I've seen magazines telling me what diet I can use to 'drop 5 pounds in a week' whilst showing photos of celebs in bikinis that I don't have a hope in hell of looking like.

This doesn't reflect what I think about. I have a bikini that fits (sort of). I have sun tan lotion.

I'd be more interested in an article on
'how to shave your bikini line when you're using one hand to hold your stomach out of the way so that you can see it' (although to be honest, why bother?).
'which subtle fake tan can cover varicose veins effectively, whilst not making you smell like manky biscuits'.*
Or maybe
'toe hair, just why?'

(*ok, not really, I'm pale and uninteresting and I'm fine with that).

I'm just after a more realistic view of the world I actually inhabit, rather than losing 5 pounds to end up not looking anything like Myleene Klass. I automatically am beach body ready.

Because sometimes, life isn't about trying to be the most glamorous, attractive and alluring version of myself.  If someone doesn't like how I look on a beach, may I respectfully suggest they sod off to a different beach?

The Smart Photography Guide to Getting Beach Body Ready

To that end, I gathered a team of experts, to get real on what it means to get Beach Body Ready.
Here's the result.

Massive thank you to our fabulous clients  Charly, Sian and Beth for coming along and taking part in this, alongside our photographer Rachel and me.

If you'd like to go on a body confidence journey and improve your body image, just get in touch below.

Much love,
Anna xx

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