Almost a year ago, I wasn’t realty sure what I was going to do with my life. I’d been kind of, sort of, but not entirely starting out as a freelance designer but I wasn’t enjoying the freelance lifestyle. I was coming round to the idea that I was going to have to start a ‘proper’ career and maybe even go back to uni to retrain.
I still wasn’t sure what I was going to do when I saw that Joel Runyon from IMPOSSIBLE was looking for a part time editor for his blog. The job was only going to be for about four hours a week but, since I didn’t really know what my future was going to look like, I figured I’d apply.
But I knew that, if I wanted this job, I couldn’t JUST apply. See, IMPOSSIBLE is all about doing the impossible (duh). The people applying for this job were going to be hard core. To stand any chance, I was going to have to stand out.
Not a fan of public speaking? Me neither.
For me, writing is so much easier than speaking. You get to take your time, figure out exactly what you want to say, tidy it all up, cut out the fluff… Oh, and no one has to watch you do it. Even if your writing sucks, you don’t have to witness anyone else thinking it sucks.
But we live in a world which values extroversion, so, whether we’re at school, uni, or work, there are times when we have to speak in public. And, if we’re going to have to go through the pain of putting ourselves out there, the last thing we want to do is get up in front of everyone and look like a nervous wreck. It’s one thing to suck at public speaking but it’s another thing to suck at public speaking AND clearly be pooing your pants.
People always say you need to separate your actions from yourself. You are not your failures. You are not your successes. All that shizz. I never got it.
I always struggle to take on board bits of advice from other people until something happens in my life that I can apply that piece of advice to. But then these two things came together that finally got me to understand what people mean when they say you have to separate yourself from your actions.
Today’s post is a little bit special. See, it’s part of the Thriving Blog Tour which is being run by Hannah Braime from BecomingWhoYouAre.net. As shy girls, I reckon you’d get a lot out of reading BecomingWhoYouAre, so make sure you pop on over there and take a read. Hannah’s also looking for an intern at the moment, so if you’d like to get some experience in helping to run a website, definitely apply for that.
The Thriving Blog Tour is all about self-kindness and going from coping to thriving. You can read the other posts in the tour here. If you think you’re only ‘coping’ at the moment and you want to learn to thrive, take a peek at Hannah’s six week course, From Coping to Thriving*, which is starting this week. Otherwise, let’s get into it.
So if you ask me, you guys are a bunch of talented soandsos who just don’t know it yet. From emailing back and forth with those of you have got in touch with me, I know we’re a pretty creative bunch with a tonne of different interests.
I believe that inside each of you there’s this little bundle of talent and I want to coax it out. I want to help you find the confidence to turn your dreams into reality. I have high hopes for you.
A couple of times last year I impressed myself by being particularly chatty and taking the lead and not caring what strangers thought of me in social situations. Each time, I was massively proud of myself.
Have you ever been hanging out with friends or strangers and been completely different from normal? Been amazed at how talkative you were? Not even worried once that everyone else thought you were a dork or that your clothes weren’t cool enough? Been on fire with the jokes and witty comments? And not been able to explain what it was that made that one time so much easier than all the other times?
Everyone has a slightly different definition of confidence but, generally, it’s agreed to be some kind of belief or trust that everything will work out okay and that you will be able to take care of yourself.
Confident people aren’t scared to ask shop keepers where products are because they’re happy they’ll be able to ask without tripping over their words and that they’ll be able to deal with whatever answer the shop keeper gives.
Confident school kids aren’t scared to put up their hands because they’re not worried what the teacher and other kids will think of them if they get the answer wrong.
When I started Twisted Sleeve, I knew I’d have a hard time getting my readers to talk to me. If you’re shy, you’re not exactly going to plonk yourself down next to me and start nattering on about what you did at the weekend, are you?
One of the things I was most looking forward to about running Twisted Sleeve was having this safe space full of girls who know what it’s like to be me who I could chat to on the Twisted Sleeve Facebook page and get to know and become friends with. I see other bloggers having loads of banter with their readers in the comments sections of their blogs and on Facebook and I really want to have that with you guys.
There’s a campaign making its way around the internet at the moment called Ban Bossy. The idea behind the campaign is that when boys assert themselves, they’re called ‘leaders’ but when girls do the same, they’re called ‘bossy’. The Ban Bossy campaigners want everyone to stop calling girls ‘bossy’ and to encouraging them to be leaders instead.
I’ve been nervous ever since I found out about the Ban Bossy campaign because I knew I needed to have an opinion on it. I figured it’s relevant to shy girls because it’s a conversation about how girls are raised and what impact their upbringing has on their confidence and success. A couple of my friends have told me they were taught to be quiet and reserved as kids, so they struggle to be loud and confident as adults. So I agree that the way we teach young girls to behave is important.
Has anyone ever told you not to worry about what other people think of you because they’ll either like you or they won’t and you have no control over whether or not they do?
And have you ever nodded along, thinking ‘yeah right’, before rushing off to brainstorm a million ways to make everyone like you?
Yeah. Me too.