Feeling self-conscious is something I’ve struggled with throughout my life. I was a tall, olive skinned kid who wanted to be short and cute with freckles. I wanted to blend in.

Though I’ve largely overcome the battle with social anxiety, I still have moments of insecurity and know that it’s a feeling that afflicts most of us every now and then so want to share my secret little self-confidence hack with you. It has really helped me when I’ve not been feeling so awesome on my own!

A few years ago I was at a women’s business breakfast and was having a bad day. I’d had a bad sleep, I wasn’t confident with what I was wearing and my hair wasn’t working. Had I not paid so much money for the ticket I would skipped the event entirely.

So there I was, standing alone in a room full of women. Being an introvert, I stood on the sidelines trying to act nonchalant while inwardly certain I was sticking out like a sore thumb. I glanced over and through the crowd my eye caught an orange and yellow striped dress. A woman was standing alone in a sea of people looking calm and confident so I watched her in awe. I admired her for not only wearing an outfit I would have never had the courage to wear, but also for her relaxed, self-assured demeanour. As I continued to watch and wonder about her I realised I also gained strength from her. I thought about it and figured, if she can stand here alone, I can too.

Now, whenever I feel self-conscious I employ this tactic. Whether I’m out for a run in the morning, in the middle of a busy shopping centre or alone at a networking function, if I feel that twinge of self-consciousness beginning to rear its head I look around and take courage from other women who are on their own.

In this way, I’m able to shift my focus and become other-conscious, instead of self-conscious. It’s my quick, simple confidence hack that has saved me from squirming in discomfort on many occasions. So the next time you experience that annoying social anxiety, try turning your attention outwards, take comfort in the knowledge you are not alone, and gain courage from the confidence of those around you.

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