My Guide to Confidence in 6 Steps

Wow…This is my first guest blog!

When I first started blogging, the thing I was most excited about was having other people read my thoughts and hear my advice. But then, when I started writing, I was like ‘woah.. this means I am totally vulnerable to criticism!’

This, I’m sure, is relatable for so many people – not just bloggers! If you’re applying for a promotion and you’re asked to present to a group, you may feel vulnerable and insecure about your ideas in the same way.

Nonetheless to strive for what we want, we absolutely must remove ourselves from our comfort zone and remind ourselves of a few very important things.

For my first ever Guest Blog post, I’d like to share with you some advice on confidence. It’s something we; lack, build, lose and encourage. But how? And why?

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Confidence is a feeling of belief or faith in someone that you can rely on. It is a mindset and ‘someone’ can be yourself or anyone else.

We are encouraged to be confident from such a young age, but the methods to attain it are often never mentioned. One seemingly timeless piece of advice is to ‘imagine everyone is naked’ when giving a speech – has this ​really ever worked for anyone?

So, since lockdown, I’ve chosen to take some time for reflection. I have reflected upon who I believe I am as a person. Some traits I am sure I can use to describe ‘me’

– such as organised and conscientious. However, when it comes to confidence, I can’t quite make my mind up.

It is so natural to be confident in certain settings over others. You may find that in the office you are comfortable chatting with lots of different people and have no trouble with being the centre of attention, thus, confident. However, when faced with your In-Laws, it may be a different story and you may feel less confident in your own abilities to hold a conversation.

 This is normal! We often find ourselves changing our persona depending on who we are surrounded by and our confidence may fluctuate depending on how comfortable we are in any given social setting.

You may be reading this and ask yourself ‘but how do I become more confident?’ You may be quite introverted and want to put yourself out there a little more.

Well, here are my tips on how to become a more confident person. Some may come across as blatantly obvious – but I feel it is important to remind yourself of these things. Others may be less obvious – I hope you make a mental note of these and remind yourself when needed.

Your goals surrounding confidence will differ, as will your reasonings. Nonetheless, I hope you find my advice useful! Here goes…

  1. ALWAYS Stay True to Yourself

It is so important and possibly my number one piece of advice for just about anything you want to achieve. In this case, you want to gain confidence. The most effective way to do this is be sure of yourself and what you stand for. You’re going to need to know what it is you want (I’ll come back to this later on) but most of all, you needtoknoww​hy.​Whydoyouneedtoportrayconfidenceinasocialsettingwith high profile members of a particular organisation? ‘​To make an impression, make yourself known and to put you in good stead for a career.’ ​Whatever the reason, you need to understand your motives and stay true to who you are and what you wish to achieve.

  1. Write Down Your Goals

A major factor in confidence is the belief that what you want to achieve can actually come to fruition. I know it sounds cliche, but you really can achieve what you set your mind to. The moment you start doubting this is the moment your confidence lacks and you begin to falter or deviate from your goals. So, by writing them down in an assertive way, you will be able to more easily envisage yourself achieving them.

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If you are creative, make your page colourful and pretty. If you are more pragmatic, organise your goals into; personal, relationships, work and exercise, etc. However you choose to write down your goals, you must articulate it in a way that sounds as though it is already your reality. For instance, ‘I will get a promotion’ or ‘I will save enough money for a house.’ This allows us to more easily visualise ourselves living our goals with confidence…

  1. Visualization

This is an age old technique but it is so effective and has certainly worked for me. To visualise your goals, you are imagining your life as though your aspirations are achieved. This makes the goal more realistic and allows you to see the good in what you want to achieve. Visualisation of your goals may motivate you to push that much harder for what you want. But not only this, it will help you grow in confidence to work towards what you want. It will leave you in no doubt about what and why you want your life to take a certain path.

  1. Don’t Be Afraid of Rejection or Failure

Part of growing in confidence is to strive for things, however, what holds a lot of people back is the idea of rejection or failure. This is totally understandable, however, it is something we must overcome to grow in confidence and achieve our goals. So, how do we do that? Although easier said than done, we must not be afraid of rejection by others or failures. To be rejected by a new employer or by failing to achieve what we wanted to, we are simply creating new learning experiences to carry forward to your next venture. For instance, you apply for a new job at a different firm.

You are successful in your written application but do not get the job after your interview. This is not a failure because you have gained invaluable application and interview experience for a job that you will get elsewhere at a later date. (Always try to receive some feedback in this instance, too!) One handy tip is to walk away from your interview and write notes and tips for your future self! Whatever form rejection may take, you need to remember that you’re still progressing towards your goals, and

 this experience will give you the confidence to do so in the near future. Don’t give up!

  1. Build Positive Relationships

I have spoken about this in my previous blogposts on’​ Protecting Your Energy,​’ however, it is so important to build positive and meaningful relationships. Why would we ever choose to be friends with people that try to knock our confidence? Please, please p​ lease s​ urround yourself with people that want to see you succeed and who help you along the way.

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This could be in the form of inviting you to coffee when the know you might be stressed about upcoming deadlines or simply dropping you a message to check in! Likewise, try to b​ e ​this friend to others. You’ll find the world to be a happier place when you build others up.

  1. Do What You Love (But Not Always)

My most ambiguous tip.. but an important one, nonetheless. Simply put, it is important to do what you love to build confidence because you are assured in what you are doing and passionate about it, too. However, you should always try to edge yourself out of your comfort zone. You never know … you might just find a new passion or fill your mind with new information, equipping yourself to achieve your goals!

Here I have only scratched the surface in what you can do to build your confidence. Simply reading this blog post will not help you, either. You need to internalise this advice and carry it with you. If you ever feel inadequate or under qualified, you need to remind yourself of these six steps. You are brilliant, you are valuable and you are confident.

Grace x

10 Yoga Poses For Anxiety

It’s hard to smile through anxiety, exhaustion, depression & frustrations. In case you think anxiety is “something you can get over” I’m here to tell you that it’s not because if that were possible all anxiety and depression would not exist.

The truth is for ones who maybe fortunate enough to swerve by and miss these states of mind all together and don’t know what it’s like, depression is like sitting in a room full of people with a blank stare and not a thought in your head but hearing everything going on around you and being too exhausted to respond to any of it. Anxiety feels like an elephant is sitting on your chest while your mind whirls through days and days of events in 10 seconds then around again, you’re too agitated to try to make sense.

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How does all of this sound? Yeah, terrible. So just think of the person that is suffering from anxiety and depression, think about what they go through on a daily basis. Day in and day out.

It can be debilitating some days, going over everything your thinking, feeling, wondering, and questioning. Some days you feel like you can’t even breathe but you try to empty your mind of all thoughts and try to let all emotion fall away while you try to escape if only for a minutes worth of peace.

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I love that mental health has come to light over the last few years after being neglected for what seems like forever.

As each of us share our stories, tips, and tricks we learn more and more which only expands our mental health toolkits and helps us meet and reach out to new friends that understand the struggle we’re bounded in.

To get to know your friendly asana’s lets take a look at what these poses are and how they can help with anxiety:

”An asana is a body posture, originally and still a general term for a sitting meditation pose, and later extended in hatha yoga and modern yoga as exercise, to any type of pose or position, adding reclining, standing, inverted, twisting, and balancing poses.”

These poses are great for helping to relieve anxiety, these poses are also beginner friendly but don’t push yourself if you can’t complete the pose. That’s just motivation to keep giving them a try, huh?

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  1. Bound Angel Pose
  2. Bow pose
  3. Bridge pose
  4. Cat/Cow pose
  5. Camel pose
  6. Half Moon pose
  7. Extended puppy pose
  8. Staff Pose
  9. Seated forward bend pose
  10. Legs up wall pose (my favorite)

You’ll feel better instantly after these poses, they give a sense of relief to all those anxieties by quieting the mind and concentrating on your breathing while also helping the psychical ailments as well while working to help lengthen and stretch the targeted muscles of the poses.

As I stated previously these poses are kept in mind with the beginner in mind. You can always go deeper into the pose if you’re use to doing yoga on the regular.

If you decided to give these gentle poses a try leave me a note in the comments about how you felt after your sesh, I’d love to hear from you!

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Silk Elements Heat Protectant Spray Review

I have no idea where my curly hair came from, the only people with it in my family just so happens to be me and my aunt. 

Needless to say we both despise it, it just takes so much up keep! As you can see below it gets pretty unruly if it dries naturally with little to no product. However it is still so soft and smells great thanks to my shampoo and conditioner, with a very light scent.

(In the photo I’m not wearing any makeup, I’m a little self conscious about that. I was in a tornado when I was 3 and have broken blood vessels on my cheeks and face.)

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Until i got it trimmed and thinned out it was halfway down my back curly and almost to my butt when i straightened it. Which took me a little over 2 hours to straighten after all was said and done.

I love natural hair products because they help give my curls the moisture they need to survive being my hair. I wear it in messy buns most of the time so I’m constantly breaking it.

 

How is wearing your hair up everyday harmful?

The hair tie breaks hair off where it’s held tightly to hold the style desired, if you do this everyday you’re causing a massive amount of breakage. Try alternating styles between loose and tight hairstyles for less breakage.

A friend told me about the Silk Elements line of product and that day I went to pick up the shampoo, conditioner, and the heat protectant spray.

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Umm can I say that I’m hooked?! Now it’s pretty much all I use except for a little John Frieda straightener product. When using the products they don’t weigh my hair down like products I’ve tried in the past have. There is also no flaking from the products, which I’ve also had happen.

I love a good investment when it comes to myself (who doesn’t right?) especially when it makes me feel pretty and like I have my shit together (yeah I’m totally winging it).

 

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I love how soft and shiny my hair is after it’s straightened using the Silk Elements heat protectant spray and a small amount of Moroccan argon oil on my ends.


I also like how neither of the products have a strong smell, smells gives me headaches which is another big reason I’m excited to find them!

Ugh, you can definitely see the difference! The style lasts for days with a little dry shampoo as well.

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Im not by any means a beauty blogger so those of you who are may be like “ok what’s she proud of?!”. I’m starting to learn my hair which I’ve never done before, so I’m pretty proud of myself for throwing together random products that actually work for me. I did the same when I do wear my hair curly.

Needless to say these products will forever be in my bathroom cabinet for as long as I can find them. Anything that tames this mane is a must keep!

Do you have a new product I should try? Tell me in the comments!

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Fall In Love, Again

It’s been a rough 3 years, I’ve been misdiagnosed until about 7 months ago. The meds I was taking were actually making my bipolar disorder worse.

I’ve fallen out of love with pretty much everything including myself. I’ve felt so numb for so long that I didn’t care if I ate, got out of bed, or some days even shower.

I’ve worked deeply with my psychiatrist for the past few months to make sure I’m being honest. I want to get better because the shell I’m living in isn’t where I want to be anymore.

I don’t want to take medication but I have no choice, I can’t afford to lose another job, trade-in my 6th brand new car in 6 years, or stay in bed for days at a time.

Fall In Love, Again #mentalhealth #love #art #yoga #running #adventure

I broke things off with the (ex) boyfriend because frankly who wants to live with someone having crying fits, anger issues, financial binges, or a general dislike for themselves?

He’d been my rock all year but in a moment I decided to ruin it and then let it all go. So, I’ve taken it upon myself to be single, the rest of my life.

I may be feeling better with my fine-tuned medications but that only helps keep the vicious animal at bay, they don’t actually cure anything. I could still have an episode any time which can lead to sleepless nights, depression, or mania.

I’d love to find someone down the road maybe but it would have to sweep me off my feet to even be considered getting passed the moated concrete wall I’ve so carefully constructed around my heart, which will not be an easy task. With my luck, it would be a knight riding a donkey who likes Opera music (no offense if you like opera).

 

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I want to fall in love again with:

Reading – I would read at least 2 books a month and now I have a small stack sitting on my crowded bookshelf just waiting to have a crease in their spines.

Painting – Painting was something new I picked up before the worst transpired. I can’t draw stick people but I can make lines, shapes, and TRY to paint what’s in my mind.

Art – My favorite place is the art museum, I love everything about it. The unique pieces, sculptures made with methodical precision, the smell. That last one may sound a bit odd. There’s an endless pond in two spots on the property where I love to write and shady spots near the pavilion.

Running – I love hearing my feet hit the pavement, although Time has ticked by and I’ve gained weight so it won’t be as easy as those 7 minute miles I use to run.

Fall In Love, Again #mentalhealth #love #art #yoga #running #adventure

Writing – I had a freelance writing business that I let tank. I was doing great because it was paying the bills. Then I’d get into my moods and that stickiness doesn’t keep clients. Now that I’m feeling better I’m going to try my hand to build it once more. In the meantime, I’m going to pour everything into this little space. I’m hoping to monetize later but for now, I’ll be nurturing it.

Adventures – I went to the Tennessee mountains last month and although it was cold, wet, and rainy a friend and I found ourselves by the Chestoa river In the Cherokee National Forest. The water was flowing, the branches we’re dancing, and the sand squished under our feet. I felt the spark light my spirit and I craved more.

Fall In Love, Again #mentalhealth #love #art #yoga #running #adventure

What do you want to fall in love with again?

 

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Why You Should Consider Yoga

This post has affiliate links, if you make a purchase from these links I get a tiny commission at no cost to you, you can read the full disclosure here.

What is yoga

The word “yoga” in Sanskrit means listen. Listening is the key to what yoga is all about. It is about listening to your body. Stretching, bending, breathing, and listening. It’s about becoming more aware of your body, its strengths, where it needs help, and nurturing it.

Why try yoga?

When doing the yoga pose itself the stretching opens up tight areas in the body and also strengthening those muscles. This helps with good posture and also helps you focus on body awareness. You relax or contract each muscle with each different yoga pose.

The benefits of yoga:

  1. It’s a great way to strengthen your body and core.
  2. It’s an excellent stress reliever.
  3. It can be done anywhere.
  4. It’s a good way to learn how to connect with yourself.
  5.  Yoga practices are fun and none competitive.
  6. Best of all it can be fine anywhere at any time.

Why yoga is for everyone?

Yoga helps you improve strength by using your core for support. While I’m a yoga pose your muscles are activated to keep you in that particular pose. Yoga helps tap into your own flexibility while limbering you up. Once you start it’s about stretching your limits.

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For me and myself

I found the first time I did yoga I felt better and I could breathe. My limbs felt light and my entire body felt refreshed after stretching.

A few of my favorite products to get you started:

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You’re probably like “Leslie – cut the bullshit” but I bullshit you not friend! If you give it one session just one 30 minutes session I can assure you that you’ll notice a difference.

Once you do it everyday for a month you’ll noticed changes in the way your body feels, all of this just by stretching.

Why You Should Consider Yoga #yoga #routine #stretch #poses #workout

I’ve put together a few simple yet easy yoga poses for you to try, anyone that wants to try! Get your family and your friends in on each pose. These poses are better when done on the right equipment so no one gets hurt but have an optimal workout.

I’m no doctor so if you find yourself in pain or there is discomfort then don’t try yo push yourself. These poses can go at your own pace.

At first, I suggest doing one yoga pose a day. You can hold each pose for 2-3 minutes if you can. You can also increase that time once you continue your daily practice.

To help you get started I’ve posted 15 different poses that are sure to give you results. The key is to stretch into each pose, remember not to hurt yourself! Yoga is supposed to be relaxing.

Why You Should Consider Yoga #yoga #strength #workout

I decided to give you guys visuals for each pose rather than explain each pose. This way you’ll get an idea of what the correct pose looks like.

Adrian is an amazing teacher and she knows her stuff! I watch her videos and learn something new each time.

Yoga poses daily:
Chair Pose
Forward Fold pose
Chaturanga
Upward dog pose
Cobra pose
Down dog pose
Staff pose
Mountain pose
Knee to nose pose
Warrior 1 pose
Warrior 2 pose
Warrior 3 pose
Reverse Warrior pose
Pigeon pose 
Plank

If you give any of these pose a try please let me know how they worked for you. Remember to only go at your own pace, do not strain or push yourself too hard.

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