12 Days of Confidence

Day 5

Have you found yourself watching a video on Youtube and thinking “That speaker is so good, I want to be like that”? Or maybe you look at your boss, and find yourself wishing you could be calm and articulate like her. It’s a natural human reaction to compare ourselves to others, and to try to be like the ones we admire. But it’s not always helpful to do so.

The next time you find yourself in that situation, tell yourself this:

You are unique, and special, and good enough. You don’t need to be like anyone else, you just need to be you. Trying to copy someone else doesn’t work – because it’s not authentic to you. It actually takes up a lot of brain power and stops you from pouring your energy into the content.

I learned this the hard way at drama school when training to become an actor. I was in rehearsals for our production of Shakespeare’s As You Like It and I had a great role to play. The (fierce and feared) director stopped me in the middle of a scene and said “ Why are you doing that accent?”. I blushed and confessed I was changing my voice from my natural Belfast lilt to something else. (What we call Received Pronunciation in the acting world. Or think of it as how the Queen of England speaks).

 

I thought, well the most famous Shakespeare performers speak this way, so it is what I should do too. Once I dropped the accent and spoke in my natural way my performance hugely improved. It was present, believable and real.

What we need to do is to love ourselves a bit more.

 

Shakespeare had it right “To thine own self be true”. I encourage you to bring out the qualities that are true to you and show your audience who you are. That’s what they’ll connect with – you, because you’re good enough as you are.